Today's Mighty Oak

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:

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!

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