Today's Mighty Oak

Another crazy week, and that train is not slowing down anytime soon, but here we go!

  • Monday: Hills and strides: 4 miles, 6 x 12 second hills, 6 x 100m strides. Was supposed to do 8, but stopped after the speedwork portion since it was such a busy week and I needed the extra time to packed for Sleepy Hollow.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: VO2 Max: 9 miles, 6 x 1000m, 5K pace (9:25). Was really proud of myself for hitting this workout!
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Ran most of the first training mission for the ZR Halloween virtual race around my neighborhood.
  • Friday: Rest/travel day.
  • Saturday: 25 miles. Paced friends at the Sleepy Hollow Hourly Ultra in Canton, Georgia. Will possibly write up a race report, but had a great time helping friends crush their goals!
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, although I was complimented on some progress my arms have made, so that’s good! I also like to think all the crewing and rearranging of our tent site was a good workout too!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run, although I did not after my pacing at Sleepy Hollow (even though I was yelled at for it), and I’m paying for it.

Another crazy week, and that train is not slowing down anytime soon, but here we go!

  • Monday: LT Run: 20 minutes/4 minutes recovery/16 minutes 9:31 pace
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 9 miles.
  • Friday: 7 miles, strides: Strides 10x100m 8:35 pace.
  • Saturday: 4 miles: Happy Matt Virtual 5K!
  • Sunday: 12 miles, progression run: last 3 miles at LT pace (9:31)
  • Strength: Just one BWF workout on Friday.
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run.

A lot was going on this week, so things were moved around, including a workout moved to the previous week. But thankfully, this was a down week, so I was able to get everything worked in and only had one speed workout to do!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 8 miles.
  • Friday: 7 miles, strides: 2 sets of 5x150m.
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: 10K: The Great Race. Always a fun time running through the city of Pittsburgh, it was really humid and significantly warmer than last year, so I’m super happy with being about a minute slower than my PR!
  • Strength: Two BWF workouts, Friday and Sunday.
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run.

I had to do a lot of juggling this week, a lot of which is due to what’s going on in Week 4, so a very full, somewhat painful, but very successful week!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Speedwork: 6 miles: 6×12 seconds hills (8:57 pace), 6×100 meter strides (8:34 pace). Was supposed to do 8, but a study I’m in has a heart rate sensor on my foot and it was painful to run, so I called it a bit early. Still getting faster on my speed workouts and think I can push it even a bit more.
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: Lactate threshold: 8 miles with 18 minutes LT interval/4 minutes recovery/15 minute LT interval; 9:31 pace.
  • Saturday: 8 miles. Afterwards I did the second event for the Corndog League, which was flights of stairs (both up and down) in 20 minutes. I met Mike and we went to the Cathedral of Learning where I completed 47 floors (pictures below)! From there, I headed to the Frontrunners 30th Anniversary Banquet!
  • Sunday: Endurance progression: 12 miles. Last two miles at LT pace (9:31)
  • Strength: I only did one BWF workout last week, so I did three this week to even it out: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. It’s definitely paying off, so that’s awesome!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run.

The theme of this plan seems to be every Friday I’m muttering “Uncle Pete is trying to kill me.”

However, I have to say, I’m getting faster, or at least I’m getting more confident at how fast I should be running.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: General aerobic + speed: 7 miles with 6×12 second hills and 6x100m strides; Hills at 9:14 pace, strides at 8:57. Once again, I think I can push these a little faster, so I’ll try that next week.
  • Wednesday: Endurance: 8 miles.
  • Thursday: BWF. Did not want to do this, but got it done anyway.
  • Friday: Lactate threshold: 7 miles with 18 minutes LT interval/4 minutes recovery/12 minute LT interval; 9:31 pace.
  • Saturday: I have to shuffle around a few dates due some things next (this) week, so I moved my recovery 9 miles from Wednesday to today.
  • Sunday: Endurance: 11 miles. Two loops on the jail trail with Liz and Steve. It was sunny and warmer than we wanted, but I was so happy for the company. They peeled off and did 20 and I headed home to brew beer!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run. Things are feeling a bit better (although I didn’t have the chance to on Sunday and I felt it later that day).

And we’re back on a training plan (and it feels so good. Just kidding, Uncle Pete is probably trying to kill me), this time, getting ready for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November.

Most of my training plans have been miles focused, with minimal workouts in them, so I figured I would try something a little bit different. Pfitz is very scientific in his approach, with very structured workouts. I already know there’s a couple weeks I’ll be moving some things around, so that will take more finesse than on previous plans, but overall, I’m excited.

The goal is to sub 2:10 at Philly, although it is a relatively flat course, so I’m hoping with this plan I can reach that, it’s not too much of a stretch, and will be a nice new PR.

I have my train tickets, just have to get an AirBnB for me and two of my friends and we’ll be out there enjoying the weekend and seeing a new (to me) city!

  • Monday: Rest. Well, was supposed to be a rest day, but since it was Labor Day and I had the day off, I met a friend and we did 5 miles along a favorite route of hers!
  • Tuesday: General aerobic + speed: 6 miles with 8x100m strides; 9:14 pace. Looking back, I should probably increase this pace a bit.
  • Wednesday: Endurance: 8 miles. Headed to Schenley Park to run both the day and night versions of the Frontrunners loops. Was humid and gross, and I kept seeing the same people as we all took different winding routes through the park and nearby streets.
  • Thursday: BWF. Back on the Recommended Routine, hoping to do this twice a week during this cycle.
  • Friday: Lactate threshold: 7 miles with 14 minutes LT interval/4 minutes recovery/12 minute LT interval; 9:31 pace. My first crack at a true LT workout (using the paces in on the charts in the back of the book).
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: Endurance: 10 miles. Also did BWF since I didn’t do it on Saturday
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run. Things have felt a bit creaky, but I think that’s to be expected the first week back on a training plan, but otherwise, nothing too painful.

Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, the trailer for the Zombieland trailer:

The National Cathedral (which is Episcopalian, by the way), has called out the President’s racism as a clarion call to white supremacists.

Here’s the cast for the Wheel of Time series. And here’s a primer about the the book series.

The Obi-Wan Disney+ series is officially happening! And here’s the trailer for The Mandalorian:

Speaking of Star Wars, how about a lightsaber bionic arm? Yes please!

The trailer for the new series, The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance (and the primer for that as well):

This German town will give you money to prove it doesn’t exist.

The trailer for the new season of AHS looks awesome. Slasher summer camp meets the 1980s (seems to be very Stranger Things influenced).

Holy crap, the cast for this show looks amazing and I can’t wait to watch the insanity:

Mayor Pete gives an eloquent and great breakdown about a form of homophobia often encountered.

The administration is once again pushing, this time to SCOTUS, to allow anti-gay workplace discrimination to be legal. Oh, and anti-trans discrimination too.

Brace yourselves, Texas passed a law I agree with! Sending unsolicited nudes is now considered a form of sexual harassment in their legal code!

I guess kind of a good story: a bigoted wedding venue changed their mind about barring a marriage when they couldn’t actually find proof in the bible that interracial marriage was a sin. They still block gay weddings, but hey, it’s nice to hear that they took the time to read and come to the right conclusion.

Guys, guns are totally gay:

Okay, that’s it for now, have a great one!

I spent July cleaning up my digital and physical life for a project I did for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Taking the format of NaNoWriMo, camp is more free-form, allowing you to write, edit, draw, really tackle any project you want. I set out about 40 different tasks and I completed 30 of them (and I was working on number 31 last night, but didn’t finish).

Here’s what I did:

Finished reading “Refocusing My Family”
Setup and started mental health BuJo
Updated personal ultrarunning packing list
Sorted papers on printer stand
Mango: Arabic lesson 1
Created Runnit Spotlight wiki page
Knit heart blog post
Magazines finished: 1
Cleaned up Google Keep
DnD Recap
Medical directive packet
Philly half training plan
Cleaned up mobile bookmarks
Cleaned up browser bookmarks
Clean bookshelves: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Updated videos for the Myst Linking Book
Social media pulls: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July
Updated my running page
Sorted my ginormous pile of filing

The big projects I need to finish (besides the cleaning out my filing cabinet, which I got halfway through last night) is cleaning out my Gmail and updating my dating app profiles. I had also hoped to get through more magazines and cleaning some more physical spaces, but before I tackle those, I have to get the huge pile of books I’m getting rid of out of my house.

Overall it was a successful month and I’m glad I tackled what I called “Literary Miscellany.” It’s been nice to get those tasks checked off and out of my mind!

The current administration has (somewhat quietly, especially when you consider everything else that is going on) put together what they are calling a “Natural Law” Commission.

They are unhappy with how the government in the past has protected human rights, and have instead installed a committee that is completely against a woman’s right to choose her medical care or any type of equality for the queer community.

The committee is the brainchild of the founder of NOM (the defunct National Organization for Marriage that fought for California’s Prop 8) and the author of the hate-filled Manhattan Declaration. GLAAD has a report about all the members, and it doesn’t look good.

Add this to the ever-growing stack of steps backwards we’re taking. This is a way at an end run around the marriage equality ruling from SCOTUS as well as Roe.

All my best,


I came across two articles from GQ about gay stereotypes, and while they were both written with a tongue firmly in a cheek, they both admit there’s some truth to them (even if they can’t prove anything scientifically).

The first: that gay men walk fast.

If gay men feel self-conscious or fear attack, they could walk quickly to get away from perceived risks in order to feel safe again,” she explains. “They might also fear being judged or stared at, so want to move away from the ‘perceived risk’ as quickly as possible.”

Though Phillips also says that feeling confident can increase walking speed. “It is all about the feeling of safety and security in the body. If you feel safe somewhere, then you may feel like ‘strutting’, being more open and feeling more extroverted,” she explains.

MacRae tells me that walking fast might be a method for gay men to give a “visual cue” of their physical fitness and attractiveness, and that there’s a gendered element to how we perceive sexuality that may influence walking speed. “People generally perceive sexuality from women’s bodies when they’re standing still and men’s when they’re in motion,” he says. … So gay men upping the pace of their walking also amplifies their sexuality. Strutting, or walking at a rapid pace, can be a way of displaying homosexuality in safe spaces.”

And the second: that iced coffee is part of gay culture.

“Like, gays will do ridiculous things and there’s something so counterculture about drinking an iced coffee during the winter.” It’s also, he says, a sign of resisting homogenization. “Hot coffee is so normcore. Like, it’s for dads and old people commuting on the train.”

For Sam, iced versus hot coffee is the perfect symbolism between queer and straight culture. Essentially, iced coffee has become a queer avatar, and a way for gay people to signpost themselves against the uniformity of heterosexuality.

But there’s still an element of covert behavior that occurs in the queer community, be it sexual or, in the case of social media, through the development of digital languages like memes and modern slang. From things like the rise of the word “wig” and Wendy Williams GIFs, there’s an aspect of digital communication that feels exclusive to queer people, although these then tend to filter down into more mainstream culture. Iced coffee could just be an IRL manifestation of this playful covert language, signaling to any fellow gays in Starbucks that you’re one of them. As Dr. Bengry posits: “It has to be a shared experience.”

But really, the reason iced coffee is gay is actually quite simple. A number of people on Twitter got in touch with me to suggest that part of the gay appeal is quite literally the straw you drink it through. One user suggested that the straw meant that you could “maintain eye contact on your phone, some cute boys, [and] homophobes wanting to attack u [sic],”

The two articles are fun and playful, don’t think too much about them. But I do have to say, both are very true about me. And I’m okay with that. I can enjoy the signposting of both and look at them with a wry smile, understanding a bit more about myself if I truly want to dig a bit deeper.

All my best,


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