Today's Mighty Oak


The Philly half was my A race for the fall. Read more after the break for a full race report and pictures!

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Race week! Here we go!

  • Monday: 7 miles: 4x100m strides, 2 miles at race pace (9:35)
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles.
  • Thursday: 3 miles: 3x100m strides
  • Friday: Rest. Travel to Philly via Amtrack. Left 30th Street Station and walked to the Convention Center then south past Rittenhouse Square to our Airbnb. When friends got into town, walked back to the Convention Center and back before turning in for the night.
  • Saturday: Race day! Full race report coming up as a separate post. Also did a two mile warm-up run from the AirBnB to the start area, which was awkward running with our gear bags, but still glad we did it!


Ugh, work has been awful, NaNoWriMo is keeping me super busy and I feel like I just need a break. My left leg is giving me some issues, so I’m working through that. I know I’m beat up from this plan, but in a good way, but I also feel like I’m just skirting that line, and I need to hold out until Saturday before something breaks.

Either way, I’m at least hoping to enjoy some time away (after yet another trip to Cleveland on Thursday), and hopefully just relax a little bit. My last long run went really well, and it gave me back a little confidence that (barring crowds), I have a shot at setting a new PR. But I’m also trying to remind myself that even if I don’t, I’ve gotten faster and I can be proud of this training cycle.

  • Monday: 6 miles: two sets, 6x200m strides
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: 9 miles: VO2 max: 2x1200m, 2x1000m, 1x800m, 5k pace
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: 3 miles. Was up at 3:30 to drive to Cleveland and back, then sat in traffic both ways to a Write-In, but got my miles in between events.
  • Saturday: 4 miles. Much like the detours on the roads the day before, detours on the trails.
  • Sunday: 10 miles. Ran on a new (to me) trail, the Westmoreland Heritage Trail from Monroeville (Bel-Aire) to the Cozy Inn Cutoff. I loved it, and I want to go back when I have some more time and I can stop and read all the history signs and whatnot and take pictures along the way!
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts. Need to get back into this habit, although I’m proud of myself for staying with it longer than I ever have before! Planning on it after the half.
  • Stretching: Lots more stretching, so that’s a good constant at least.


I will start this (brief, I promise) post off with two caveats:

Caveat the first: Whoever the Democratic nominee is, they will disappoint each and every one of us in some way. Get over that now. The alternative is (among so many other things) children in cages. Vote with your heart in the primary, but vote with your head in the general. Get over your bullshit purity tests and let’s do the work to make fix some of these monsterous crimes.

Caveat the second: I have a lot of candidates I like. Before Mayor Pete, I was pulling for Castro. And Harris. And Warren. And Booker. I do also love, love, love the fact that so many of the candidates have issues they are specialists about, release their plan and then the rest of the field basically follows suit. This is a good way to operate.

Caveat the third (okay, I lied, I thought I only had two): I’m an independent. Unless Pennsylvania changes their rules (which there is a potential for that to happen), I can’t vote in the primaries, so I don’t have as much of a horse in this race (and yes, I’m a full hearted progressive, but since no one can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory quite like the Democratic party, I remain Independent).

Okay, on to it: I really like Mayor Pete. Yes, he’s gay, and seeing myself in a candidate in that way is something I didn’t think I’d ever see. I also love that he’s my age (two years older). Our generation faces a lot of unique challenges, and we need lots of younger people to step up, take the reigns and not let the older generations dictate so much of the world.

But I also love that he’s outspoken about his faith: one that I have always known to be liberal. He’s fighting the right on their own turf and laying it out in stark terms.

Faith should inspire social action.

https://www.towleroad.com/2019/11/pete-buttigieg-social-gospel-movement/

He’s actively proclaiming that his faith moves him to care for his neighbors, to create a social safety net and to fight those who hoard their wealth. This is a message that needs shouted from the rooftops.

When the right claims to have a monopoly on the Christian faith, we need to push and fight back against that. It’s disingenuous at best.

So while he may not end up with nomination (odds are he won’t, just based on sheer numbers), I hope that this something he continues to pound and something that the progressives take from him. Christianity at it’s heart is liberal and progressive. In the words of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, it’s about radical love. Let’s embrace that, and fully reclaim it.

All my best,

Mike



Alright, we’re halfway through NaNoWriMo, so a quick break for me to write here.

Comparing a decade of music with DJ Earworm:

Here’s my thought. Michael Bloomberg is going to enter the race just so he can more easily spend money on campaign ads or get around Facebook ad guidelines or something, but he’ll use his fortune to support whoever the Dem candidate is. But who knows if I’ll be right.

I’ve seen this done before with bagpipes, and I love that this trend continues, this time with saxophones!

The trailer for the Star Wars IX:

USA Hockey is adding an indefinite suspension penalty for players using racist or homophobic language.

Trojan is running an awesome campaign about comprehensive sex ed and combating slut-shaming of all forms.

And finally, the trailer for the new season of The Crown:



Late update, but still wanted to get this down. Work and NaNoWriMo have me pulled in about 1000 different directions, and Uncle Pete is still trying to kill me.

I’ve also come to accept that I may not hit my goals in Philly. Or maybe I’m just hedging my bets. The last time I ran a training plan specifically to get faster at a distance, it was a much, much smaller race. I know Philly is a huge race, and because of that, it may not be really condusive to setting a new PR. We’ll see how it goes, I’m still going to try, but I also know that a lot of the jostling and crowds are not going to help.

My goal is still sub 2:10. I’ve gotten faster from this training, and I probably have a faster time in me, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to go much faster on race day due to the crowds and the environment. Either way though, I’m excited to go see a new city and get a few vacation days in!

  • Monday: 4 miles: 5K pace (9:25) two sets of : 4x150m.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 4 miles. New (to me) shoes! Got a pair of Ghosts 11’s off eBay and they were in great condition, only a little bit of red on the bottom from running on a track, otherwise, couldn’t tell they were used!
  • Friday: PRANK Run! 14 miles. Joined Mike, Mike and Fox and we ran “My Little PRANK Run: Friendship is Magic,” centered in the neighborhood of Friendship. We headed to Highland Park, Bloomfield, Oakland (where we got some great comments) and others, was a blast, as always!
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: 10 miles.
  • Strength: No time this week to do any workouts. Need to get back into this habit, although I’m proud of myself for staying with it longer than I ever have before!
  • Stretching: I’ve been doing my full stretch/IT band/knee rehab routine. This plan has really beat me up, and that helps, but my legs are really feeling the accumulated soreness, so I’m looking forward to bit of a break.


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!

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