Today's Mighty Oak

Another weekend of loops which means another chance to try out some different fuel! First up, I had some candy orange slices. These were a lot better than the Swedish Fish from last week, but I feel like they didn’t stay with me for long and I was hungry quickly after eating them. Plus, I then had a bunch of extra slices after I was done running so I just kept eating them. Will do in a pinch, but I don’t have the restraint to stop.

After my first and before my last loop, I had half a Bobo’s bar. This was really good! Easier to chew with a Clif bar, filling, but also sat really well. Each half was about 85 calories, so I’ll need to supplement with something else, but it was a really good find. Easy to eat while walking, didn’t make my jaw sore from chewing, tasted good and sat in my stomach well!

  • Monday: 7 miles and then dinner at Blaze pizza. Sometimes you just have to scratch that itch, and they have vegan ‘cheese.’
  • Tuesday: 7 miles. Back to the gym.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles. Another day in the gym, just grinding out miles.
  • Thursday: Rest day.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: 22 miles. This was a big deal for me. During my first marathon training cycle, I bonked hard on my 22 mile run. In the long run, that was a good thing, so I know what it feels like, and how to make sure I avoid that again, but running this was a huge mental boost for me.
  • Sunday: 6 miles. Ran around my neighborhood, the time change messed me up, before I headed downtown to the symphony!
  • Core/strength: Back on the r/bodyweightfitness train! Only got one workout in, and man do I need to work on my chest, and boy did my arms hurt, but it’s a good start!

Race reports owed: Jackpot. Spring Thaw

Another weekend of loops which means another chance to try out some different fuel! First up, I had a Kind Pressed Fruit Bar, banana chocolate. It was good, although it was very, very banana-y. Not really a problem, but good to know the future.

I also had Swedish Fish, which I expected to really like, but I have never been more wrong. Granted yes, it was cold so they were tougher than normal, but chewing them and getting bits of them stuck in my teeth was awful. My jaw was sore, and my stomach didn’t enjoy them either. So they’re getting crossed off the list!

Race week! Again! This time, an impromptu race that fit in well for my training plan!

  • Monday: Rest day
  • Tuesday: 10 miles. Ugh, mid-week medium runs are still the worst. Did tiny loops in my neighborhood (30 of them) and listened to the end of “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” Lots of thoughts and feelings about that book.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles. Still suffering from a sinus infection, and after this run, went to the doctors. I was actually feeling a lot better, but still couldn’t shake it, but even then, she said it was pretty bad. A Z-Pack, nasal spray and a prescription mouth wash called “Magic Swizzle” later, I was finally on the mend.
  • Thursday: 7 miles with speedwork: Hill repeats in Schenley Park, three times up to the overlook at the disc golf course. These are on top of the regular hills on the route. Some days I’m thankful for the hills in Pittsburgh, other days, I torment myself with them.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: 12 miles. Slept in and by the time I got down to the Color Park, met up with Steve and Liz unexpectedly! Did a loop with Liz before they took off and I did the second, as well as the out and back by myself. Also got to wave to a friend I had made the week before at the Spring Thaw!
  • Sunday: 10 miles, set a new treadmill distance PR! The weather report was doom and gloom, so I headed to the museum, then back to the gym since I just didn’t want to run outside in it. The 10 miles was still a good mental workout though.
  • Core/strength: I’m the worst and didn’t start his up again, trying again!

Race reports owed: Jackpot. Spring Thaw

Race week! Again! This time, an impromptu race that fit in well for my training plan!

  • Monday: Rest day – flying back from Vegas
  • Tuesday: 10 miles. Ugh, mid-week medium runs are the worst. Got it done, just not happy about it.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles.
  • Thursday: 7 miles with speedwork: Hill repeats in Schenley Park, three times up to the overlook at the disc golf course.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: 20 miles. The Spring Thaw fit perfectly, so I attempted to approach it as a long, slow, supported run. Ran faster than I should have, I need to make sure I work on that. Definitely feeling it now, but still really happy with the race. If this is any indication, speedwork and increased mileage are working and I’ll be able to take a big chunk off my marathon time!
  • Sunday: 5 miles.
  • Core/strength: I’m the worst and didn’t start his up again, trying again!

Race reports owed: Jackpot. Spring Thaw

Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, Randy Rainbow is back with the Cell Block Tango:

The new president of Nintendo of America is named…Bowser.

A puppy gets emotional over the death of Mufasa in The Lion King.

Kim Davis must pay the victims of her bigotry, a court has ruled.

I had no idea there is a new biopic about JRR Tolkien coming out! See the trailer here.

Postmodern Jukebox takes on Pinky and the Brain.

And finally, the trailer from the Super Bowl for Avengers: Endgame:

On my long run this weekend at Jackpot, I made sure to try out two new bits of fuel! First up, I tried Tailwind. Normally I run with Nuun, which has basically no calories (especially since I use half a tablet, not a full one), so having Tailwind was way different. I liked it, although I could tell I was consuming calories. I believe we had some kind of mixture of all the flavors, and I have a sample of the orange to try on another run, so that’s good!

For chewable fuel, I could not be more excited for a PRorER tradition: Nuggies! We had a nug run and I made sure to set aside a box for myself for later. Every two laps (so every five miles), I snagged a few, and honestly, even cold, they were amazing. Good amount of salt (I didn’t take any salt tabs), easy to eat, would highly recommend!

Race week! Or at least, race week for an ultra I crewed! The official 2019 r/running Meetup took on the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival in Las Vegas under the name PRorER: Paces Wild.

I’ll have a full write-up about it, but it was a fantastic weekend and I loved it so much. To accommodate travel and the race, I moved some things around, but still got everything in!

  • Monday: 5 miles.
  • Tuesday: 4 miles.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles.
  • Thursday: 6 miles with speedwork: Intervals, 4 x 400. Ran in the morning then grabbed my flight to Vegas.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: 14 miles. I ran at night, pacing various team members and trying some new fuel! Full recap coming!
  • Sunday: Rest day. Although most of my 14 miles were on Sunday, I just happened to start before midnight.
  • Core/strength: Plan is to get back to this this week!

I was lucky that this down week coincided with the meetup race, and I’m so lucky we had enough awesome crew that I could step away for a bit and run/pace. Anyway, back at it already with another big push this week!

From what I’ve read and learned from my team, fueling for an ultra is much different than fueling for a marathon. The constant stream of fuel your body needs turns it into an eating contest with running thrown in.

I’m a strange case, but I actually like Gu. Most of it is that I’m highly allergic to dairy, and all of their energy gels are vegan (unlike Honey Stinger, sadly), and it gives me a chance to get some chocolate in my life, something that otherwise, I have very little of. So for marathons and training runs 22 miles and shorter, I know what works for me and how to space out fuel.

But I also know that after so many hours on my feet, I’ll need more than just energy gels. So now begins the fun work of figuring out what I can stomach while I’m running!

Like all good Yinzers, I made a Sheetz run!

I’m sure I amused the clerk after wandering the aisles reading nutritional labels for things that were dairy free!

This past weekend I ran 18 and started trying things. After my first loop I had the RX Bar, which was really good and sat well. My only reservation is that further into a race, it will be hard to chew. That was also about 200 calories, which is what I think I should be aiming for, although I’m used to 100 calorie Gus. Something to think about I suppose.

After my second loop, I grabbed two Oreos. Oreos are wonderful because they’re vegan. They shouldn’t be, there should be some dairy in that filling, but thanks to those sweet, sweet chemicals, I can always have an Oreo! Anyway, those were no problem to gobble down, although they sat a bit uneasy in my stomach, which surprised me.

Anyway, the plan, whenever possible, is to keep trying new foods on runs and seeing what works. Having a looped course works for this, as I’d rather not use a vest or anything like that and having my car as a mini aid station works perfectly. I need to try to find some jelly beans and some non-dairy Pringles (Sheetz only had flavors with dairy), and I want to try some boiled potatoes as well. From there, I’ll be scouring what races list as their offerings at aid stations and see what I haven’t tried yet, and continue to train my stomach to eat solids as I run!

All right, let’s see what we have today. First up, Billy Porter delivers the Queer State of the Union:

A great piece over at Pittsburgh Lesbian Corespondents about the fractions of the local community and how seemingly good causes can actually be a detriment. Also, a reminder that Jackie Evancho sang at the last inauguration: she and her family can be safe, but ignore the plights of other minority communities, and that’s not okay.

The situation is getting worse in Chechnya, and it continues to be horrifying.

Some happy news, a neat queer take on a favorite show of mine, Critical Role!

Why yes, Fox News, that is in fact what racism looks like. Your hosts.

Health and Human Services has granted a waiver to an adoption agency to discriminate because “Jesus.”

Brazil’s only gay member of Congress had to flee the country for his safety.

Can we please just be done with Bernie. Please?

USA Hockey has an great new trans and non-binary policy, they seem to always be out in front of the other major sports.

Related, why is the current administration obsessed with erasing trans people?

Alright, sorry for most of the sad and infuriating news. Only up from here, I hope!

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