Today's Mighty Oak


It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of July and that the race is coming up so quickly. I’m so very tired of running in the heat, humidity and sunlight, and I know a bit worn down right now. But seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is both awesome and terrifying at the same time!

I’m also at the point (well, probably past the point, if I’m being honest) in a training cycle where trying to do all the training and everything else in my life (household chores, cooking, shopping, two jobs again, as well as a backlog of catching up and seeing friends due to the pandemic) has really worn me down. Training for an ultra is tough no matter what, and training for an ultra, and still being a functioning human in society as a single person is even tougher.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 9 miles on the trail
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. Back on the trail.
  • Thursday: 5 miles, tiny loops
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 8miles. Ran with my friend who stayed over for my Opening Ceremonies Bingo party the night before!
  • Sunday: 15 miles. Ridiculously humid, sunny in quite a few places as well, but glad I got it done.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically this week.
  • Yoga: Between all the errands and running around, missed doing yoga this week.
  • Stretching: Stretched after every run!



Back at it after my week off. I told myself I’d go easy and be open to reduced mileage just to make sure that I didn’t hurt myself. I did end up skipping Sunday’s run, after a week of not sleeping well, it finally caught up to me and I just could not do another long run on that little sleep. This was supposed to be one of my two peak weeks, although looking back at this cycle, what was planned (60) has been less than four miles more from two of my previous weeks, so I’m trying not to be too terribly concerned. Anyway, here’s what my week looked like:

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 4 miles. Tiny loops.
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. Headed to the trail.
  • Thursday: 8 miles, back on the trail.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 10 miles. This was supposed to be 20, but was interrupted by something that precedence. As I was on my way back from my first out and back, about a mile and a half from the parking lot, I spotted a woman ahead holding her arm up at a 90 degree angle. I thought, ‘wrists don’t normally look like that,’ and as I got closer, I asked if she needed help.

    Turns out, she had stepped off the trail to let some cyclists go by, she slipped and tried to catch herself, breaking her wrist. She asked if I thought it was broken, and I replied, that it probably was, ‘but let’s just get you back to the parking lot.’ I took her dog, who was pulling on her and jostling her whole body, causing her a lot of pain, and I spent the next mile and a half taking care of both of them. I kept the dog moving and from tripping up the woman, and kept her talking to keep her distracted and calm.

    She had tried calling her husband who didn’t answer, and both me and another guy in the parking lot offered to drive her to the hospital, but she insisted, multiple times, that she would drive herself one handed. I was certainly happy to help as much as I could, but with literally only a water bottle with me on the trail (besides my cell phone, and we walked back before an ambulance would have reached us), this was all I could do. She was very appreciative, and I hope to see her again on the trail (and maybe sign her cast)!
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically this week.
  • Yoga: Did my favorite Yin Yoga class working on my legs
  • Stretching: Back on track, stretching every day.


Well, what a week this was. Took the entire week off, which was a nice mental break, and was needed for my leg. Spent most of it wrapped in an Ace bandage, which helped tremendously, as well as some ice packs and kept it elevated. Hit the stretching really consistently and made a huge effort to increase my water intake.

While it’s a little tough to now get back into it, it was really the right thing to do. It’s just frustrating that the heat took so much out of me, but it had been (and continues to be) hot and humid, with little relief. It’s all great training I suppose, but still rough.

It did help me to remember that in the grand scheme, between this, and one missed run in week 17 (more on that in the next post), I’m still hitting 95% of my mileage, and it’s better to be a bit undertrained at the start line than injured.



Ugh, my legs are trashed after this week. I was at mile 16 of 21 on Saturday and my left leg out of the blue just started aching like I had run into a coffee table with my shin repeatedly. I think it’s the heat and humidity, plus the sustained, high mileage (for me) that just wore me down. Weird pains and tight muscles in both legs that I’m working through, and will probably cut a bunch of mileage next week (thinking of just cutting everything in half). We’ll see, this isn’t great for my confidence both for Miakonda and upcoming long runs.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 3 miles. Heat was over 90, so I walked this to try to get some acclimation. Good choice not to run, but still brutal.
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. Storms rolled in, the temperature dropped and I headed to the trail. Got caught in a bit of a downpour, but it was kind of nice.
  • Thursday: 8 miles, on the trail.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 21 miles. At the turnaround of my last out band back my shin started aching. I’ve since added pains to the other leg as well. Doing my best to dig in with sticks, foam rollers, lacrosse balls and my hands to loosen things up, as well as extra water and electrolytes.
  • Sunday: 3 miles. The Sixth Annual Pittsburgh Frontrunners Back of the Pack Fourth of July Run and Brunch! It was my turn to host so we went to B-Y Park in Trafford and ran a bit on the trail before having a lovely potluck brunch! Such a fun tradition!
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically this week.
  • Yoga: Did my favorite Yin Yoga class that specifically focuses on hips!
  • Stretching: Doing well, just need to keep it up, especially really getting into my legs and seeing if that helps.


Made it through, and even surprised myself with how well I felt after the 50K on Saturday (ended up just shy of 33 miles). Still need to readjust a bit, including expectations, especially in the heat, but at least it seems like I have my nutrition, salt and hydration dialed in (or much improved).

  • Monday: 5 miles. Tiny loops.
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: 4 miles. More tiny loops.
  • Thursday: 9 miles, on the trail. Stopped for a frozen coke on the way home, my new favorite treat for less than $1!
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 50K.
    Started super early as the heat was climbing and so was the humidity, so actually started right before dawn. Nothing felt too bad, just some tired legs by the time I got to around mile 22. Thankfully, that is when Moly and Alex, teammates from PRorER joined me for my last out and back!

    It was so great running with them, definitely a big, boost! We took it easy and read some of the historical signs and played in the creek a bit, as it was a brand new place to run for both of them. I also really appreciated Moly encouraging me through the heat and humidity (her favorite).

    While I feel slower than I was last year, my training has been solid so far. It’s wild to me to realize I only have ten weeks left until Miakonda, but watching my teammate finish Western States this weekend was such an amazing experience (and our team that went to crew/pace), I’m very excited to have a goal race on the horizon!
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically, I’m failing at this.
  • Yoga: Also failing at this, ugh.
  • Stretching: Was good until the 50K, then missed it for a day or two, so need to work on this too.


This was one of those weeks that wore me down. I had to remind myself that I’m over halfway through this plan, I’m supposed to be a bit worn down. But I also look at a 50K I have this weekend don’t feel in any way prepared.

I do think I’m at least tolerating the heat a little better. I’m not used to it or acclimated, but at least I’ve made some progress.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops.
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. Back to the trail.
  • Thursday: 9 miles, on the trail.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 15 miles. Incredibly humid.
  • Sunday: 14 miles. Also incredibly humid. Weather said it was going to rain, but ended up being sunny and hot, so a big disappointment. I did stop at Speedway on the way home for an $0.89 Coke Slushie, which was perfect and may become somewhat of a tradition as long as the temperatures stay high.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically, will get back to it next week.
  • Yoga: I didn’t have a chance to do a yoga class this week, hoping to get back to it!
  • Stretching: Missed a couple days, but got back to it at the end of the week.


I feel like every training cycle I have a week like this, so maybe it was good to get it out of the way, but man, it just wore me down (and it was a down week in terms of mileage!). Humidity was through the roof all week, temperatures are climbing and I feel like I’m just not acclimated to the heat yet.

On top of that, had some pretty bad knee pain for a few days. Nothing that some extra stretching, icing and adjusting some sleeping positions didn’t fix, but certainly something I want to keep an eye on. I feel like I usually have some sort of minor injury during a training cycle, but usually it’s my IT Band, not my kneecap.

Part of what added to the injury is running on cement for sure. I’m still not quite ready to go back to the gym (I’d rather wait until a month or so after mask mandates are lifted, just to keep an eye on numbers), plus running outside is the only way to heat acclimate, so it’s better training for me (except on thunderstorm days) to run outside.

I’m really not sure what my goal should be for Miakonda. It’s my first in-person race after being vaccinated, but I choose it since teammates will be there and it has a small attendance cap, a nice way to ease back into races. I know that so much of how the day goes will be weather dependent. A bright, sunny day will end my running pretty quickly, especially with added heat and humidity, so I’ll have to do some goal setting the week/day of. On top of that, I don’t know if I should use this race to train for O24 (24 hours), Eagle Up (81 miles) or maybe see if I can instead PR my 100K.

Lots to think about and lots to plan, and at the same time, so much beyond my control. Either way though, halfway done!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 2 miles. Planned on doing more, but as I was running (tiny loops), I saw the lightning and called it early. I don’t mess with lightning or ice!
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. Back to the trail.
  • Thursday: Unexpected rest day. Knee felt awful so I took an extra day off for more stretching and some icing. Seems to have done the trick and I’ve added a new stretch into my routine and modified another one. Running on cement (tiny loops) is certainly a factor though, I’ll certainly be aiming to get to the trail even more.
  • Friday: 7 miles, tiny loops. Ran nice and slow and I cut out speed work this week to give my knee a bit of extra rest.
  • Saturday: 21 miles.
  • Sunday: 4 miles.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: None specifically, will get back to it next week.
  • Yoga: I didn’t have a chance to do a yoga class this week, hoping to get back to it!
  • Stretching: I did my stretching routine after every run, and added in and modified some stretches to help with knee pain, which seemed to do the trick!


Lots of heat, lots of rain and lots of schedule swaps this week, but I made it all work! Hard to believe I’m almost halfway done with this training cycle. I’m certainly dreading the heat this summer, but know I need to train in it for the race itself, and while I still feel a lot slower than where I was a year ago, I’m honestly not that far behind where I was, so hopefully I can work on the mental side of things a bit as we approach race day.

  • Monday: 10 miles. Headed down to the trail after work.
  • Tuesday: 8 miles. Tiny loops. Speedwork: Tempo – 18min/4R/12min
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. Back to the trail.
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Wasn’t sure I’d be able to get this run in, but the timing worked out just right!
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: Rest, at least in terms of running. Went up to camp to help out with Beaver Day. We got all the canvas up across the reservation, as well as a myriad of other tasks. I spent the morning getting the Camp Freedom office opened before jumping on a tent crew on the Ridge in the afternoon.
  • Sunday: 22 miles. The second half of this was super hot, with limited cloud cover. The day turned out to have a heat advisory as the day went on, so stupid heat training for me.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: Beaver Day provided an ample workout.
  • Yoga: I didn’t have a chance to do a yoga class this week, hoping to get back to it!
  • Stretching: I did my stretching routine after almost every run, I missed one, but otherwise am still doing really well with this.


This week started out hot, had some great weather on the weekend for running and is the first half of two just bonkers week schedule wise. Everything is reopening and starting back up and I’m being pulled in way too many directions.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops.
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. More tiny loops.
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: 9 miles, Tempo workout: 18min/4R/12min. Headed down to the trail after work to start off the long weekend with a very wet run in the rain. Was a good run, and I’m glad to have gotten back to speedwork after a week off. One tree was down, but it was cleaned up by the next day (and easy enough to get around).
  • Saturday: 12 miles. Back to the trail (but a different starting point). Weather was overcast and perfect for a run.
  • Sunday: 15miles. Back to the trail once more.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: No Zombies, Run this week. Need to get back to it.
  • Yoga: I didn’t have a chance to do a yoga class this week, hoping to get back to it!
  • Stretching: I did my stretching routine after every run!


This week was brutally hot. No cloud cover or rain, temperatures above 85, tons of dust from the trail and pollen exploding into the air. It’s all good training (well, except for the dust in my eyes and throat, that’s just annoying), but when there’s no canopy cover it is just oppressive.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops.
  • Wednesday: 9 miles. I headed to the trail (starting from a different trailhead) for something different. It was ridiculously humid and I was covered in bugs by the time I left (thanks, creek), but still the right choice, I’ll do it again this week.
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Was supposed to be 7 miles and was supposed to be a tempo workout. The sun beat me down, after 9 minutes into the workout portion I had to call it quits. Not a total waste, obviously, but a bit demoralizing and just rough on my body.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 22 miles. Made up the most miles from Thursday, but again, still really warm, but an early start helped mitigate that.
  • Sunday: 10 miles. Got a later start than I wanted, so it was warmer than I had hoped, but it wouldn’t have made that big of a difference anyway. Did have a pleasant surprise passing one of the Frontrunners! We stopped to chat briefly, it was nice to see him since I hadn’t in a while and I never expect anyone from the group to be on this trail since it’s outside the city.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s Bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: No Zombies, Run this week. My goddaughter’s second birthday party was Sunday and the timing didn’t work out, but the amount of moving supplies and equipment was a decent workout!
  • Yoga: I didn’t have a chance to do a yoga class this week, hoping to get back to it!
  • Stretching: I did my stretching routine after every run!

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