Today's Mighty Oak


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 today (and a year from now)!  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!



I was talking with some of my teammates about how I really feel worn down from this plan, even moreso than when I was training for the 100K earlier this year. But looking back and seeing how much of this plan is really quality miles, focused on speedwork, it makes sense. That and Uncle Pete is trying to kill me.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 11 miles.
  • Wednesday: 8 miles.
  • Thursday: Rest. Gave out Halloween candy!
  • Friday: 10 miles. 5k pace (9:25), two sets of: 2x1200m, 2x1000m, 1x800m.
  • Saturday: 11 miles: 4 miles in the morning doing the Zombies, Run Virtual Race and 7 in the afternoon. Shuffling miles around to make my travel schedule work. I did get complimented at the gym, one of the trainers says I make running look effortless. We chatted a bit about training and ultras, so that was a great confidence boost!
  • Sunday: 14 miles.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, back at it in the future, promise!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after every run (except the first run on Saturday, had to shower and quickly get to my church bazaar).


Another week of training complete, lots of things moved around so I ended up running every day!

  • Monday: 4 miles. Made up missed miles from a run the week before and joined the Frontrunners on a run to Southern Tier brewing!
  • Tuesday: 7 miles.
  • Wednesday: 7 miles: 2 sets of 4x150m strides.
  • Thursday: 4 miles, 3x100m strides.
  • Friday: 10 miles. Headed down to Schenley and did some loops which took me (unknown until it happened) through Phipps’ trick or treating and Pitt’s homecoming.
  • Saturday: 10 miles.
  • Sunday: 700m. Corndog League event 3: Fare and Back Again! Running with a stuffed cat, pumpkin and bedsheet (ghost costume) and generally confusing the other people at the track.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, back at it in the future, promise!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after most runs, but do need to do better at it.


Late getting this out, sorry about that!

  • Monday: Rest. Travel day back from Sleepy Hollow.
  • Tuesday: 9 miles.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 10 miles. Ran both Frontrunners courses and the two mile mini loop around the Cathedral of Learning for a lovely evening.
  • Friday: 4 miles: 10x100m strides. Was supposed to do 8 miles, but my stomach was not cooperating, added this miles in next week.
  • Saturday: 13 miles, progression run. Really proud of this run! Nailed the last three miles at 9:25, 9:02 and 8:52 paces, and a total of 2:10:12. My goal for the half is sub 2:10, so I’m hoping that with dropping the hammer earlier, as well as race day energy, I’m setting myself up nicely to hit that goal!
  • Sunday: 5 miles.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts, back at it in the future, promise!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine after each run, although I did miss two this week, but I’m getting back into better habits!


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.

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