Today's Mighty Oak

So it’s been a minute since I’ve done these, and I partially forgot how much work they are, but I’m back at it, and here is my 2018 year in review! These are the big events from the year, the things I did and the things that made me smile! There’s always so many pictures that I initially pull that don’t make it in, which is always sad, but I’m still pretty happy with how this one turned out!

Another rough week with low temperatures and more snow. When it’s in single digits (with wind chill below zero), I just noped out, which again, trying to refocus on enjoying the running and not hurting myself. It’s looking like a lot of this block, and probably a bit of the next, I’ll be contending with these temperatures and snow, but I’ll do what I can. Thankfully, this plan is long so I’ll have time to ramp up once again when I can finally get back to my normal trails. In the meantime though, at least I’m incorporating a few more hills, but I’ll have to modify my speedwork when I can.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 7 miles, modified tiny loops
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 7 miles, modified tiny loops.
  • Friday: 4 miles, modified tiny loops.
  • Saturday: Rest.
  • Sunday: 12 miles, modified tiny loops. A neighbor called me crazy for running in the cold, which, I mean, she’s probably not wrong.
  • BWF/Core work/Yoga/Meditation: Did the BWF routine once this week, so staying on track with that! Two more times shoveling snow also added in, again.
  • Stretching: Stretched after each run!

This was a rough week. Woke up Monday and shoveled the rest of the heavy snow, and then went out for what was the third time for that snow event, later in the day, to scrape up any ice. All of that left me sore all week and scrambling. Only about half of the homes in my neighborhood shoveled their sidewalks, so I spent the week in the road, dodging piles of snow where cars had been parked (but thankfully, no incidents with moving cars).

With more snow predicted on Sunday (and the city pretty much failing at keeping roads cleared), as well as residual soreness from shoveling and just a couple really bad mental health days in a row, I skipped my long run. Ended up sleeping way more than normal, which was a nice bit of a reset so we’ll be back at it this week (although more snow is coming, so more scrambling!). It’s also a good reminder that this is supposed to be fun, and aiding my mental health, and not being so rigid with my training every now and then is okay.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles, modified tiny loops
  • Wednesday: 8 miles, modified tiny loops.
  • Thursday: 8 miles, modified tiny loops.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 6 miles. Modified tiny loops. Frigid. Even though I waited
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • BWF/Core work/Yoga/Meditation: Did the BWF routine once this week, so staying on track with that! Two more times shoveling snow also added in.
  • Stretching: Stretched after each run!

Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, a neat animation showing the world’s tallest statues. I was blown away!

A small island is looking for a bartender (and innkeeper and groundskeeper), which also makes you the king, by custom!

National treasure Jeff Goldblum, reacting to Jeff Goldblum impressions:

Here is a sentence I never thought I’d read, but honestly makes a lot of sense: Jason Mantzoukas is voicing Tommy Lee’s penis in Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy”

The Washington Blade is the first LGBT+ publication to be given a permanent seat in the White House briefing room!

A new comedy pirate show from HBO is coming in March, and it looks fun (and has Leslie Jones)!

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series finally has a name: The Rings of Power

The famously celibate, and chose his own name after the saint renowned for speaking with animals, says not having kids and instead raising animals is selfish. I just cannot.

And finally, the trailer for Moon Knight dropped:

Hard to believe this is already the end of one block of training, five more to go! Week 5 is going to be rough based on the snow and my ability to find safe places to run, so I might be doing some substitutions instead, we’ll see what I can figure out.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles, tiny loops
  • Wednesday: 7 miles, tiny loops.
  • Thursday: 4 miles, tiny loops.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 14 miles. Super cold once again, ended with an ice beard and a frozen, unusable water bottle.
  • Sunday: 5 miles, tiny loops.
  • BWF/Core work/Yoga/Meditation: Did the BWF routine once this week, so staying on track with that! Had the first of three snow shoveling sessions from the storm (followed by a walk through the neighborhood with some hot cocoa!)
  • Stretching: Stretched after each run!

Alright, first up, Reddit did some great work when they spammed (and then automated) Kellogg’s systems when they were trying to hire scabs during the strike.

Stephen Colbert celebrated The Fellowship of the Ring’s 20th anniversary with an amazing rap tribute!

New images of a binary star system!

Carl Nassib used his cleats to fundraise for The Treavor Project!

The (red band) trailer for The Legend of Vox Machina dropped:

Colton Haynes shares his experiences being gay in Hollywood. Spoiler: it’s not great.

Goldfish are driving! Kind of.

The James Webb Space Telescope successfully launched (and now deployed). It will take about six months to get to it’s location, but it was so cool waking up on Christmas to watch the launch!

And just remember, life is precious, unless it’s not. A video from one of my favorite drag queens:

That’s it for now, have a great one!

One of the scheduled runs for this week got shifted back to last week due to the Van Gogh exhibit, but otherwise, still on track with everything!

  • Monday: Rest. Went and saw the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, which was really cool!
  • Tuesday: Rest.
  • Wednesday: 7 miles, tiny loops.
  • Thursday: 7 miles, tiny loops.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 16 miles. Super cold, started out about 10 degrees, with a real feel down in the single digits. Ran loops around the Highland Park Reservoir, with an out and back down to Penn. Managed well, but was dodging a lot of snow and ice, especially when I was on Penn.
  • Sunday: 6 miles. Tiny loops between the worst of the rain.
  • BWF/Core work/Yoga/Meditation: Did the BWF routine once this week, so staying on track with that! Also had an early morning of waking up to shovel snow, which I always half consider a strength workout, although this wasn’t heavy (or all that much) snow this time.
  • Stretching: Stretched after each run!

Another weird week schedule-wise due to the holidays, as well as having to pull one run from next week into this week due to shifting schedules to see an art exhibit (the Van Gogh experience)

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles, tiny loops. I’ve found my watch overcounts if I go counter-clockwise (also, as I just learned, known as widdershins) around my neighborhood, and undercounts if I go clockwise. Trying to figure out what’s going on.
  • Wednesday: 7 miles, tiny loops.
  • Thursday: 5 miles, tiny loops.
  • Friday: 7 miles on the trail. Had the day off so headed to the trail for my speed work: 12-15 (ended up ~14) minutes VO2. Certainly I lost speed since my last training cycle, but that’s to be expected, but not as much as I thought at least!
  • Saturday: 5 miles, tiny loops.
  • Sunday: 14 miles. Hit up the Westmoreland Heritage Trail. It was chilly, but great running weather.
  • BWF/Core work/Yoga/Meditation: Did the BWF routine once this week, so staying on track with that!
  • Stretching: Stretched after each run!

I’m actually not one for new year’s resolutions. Typically I set out some very manageable goals for me at my birthday, and work on those for the year. So what did I do this year? Set some more new year’s resolutions.

A lot of these are continuations of what I was working on last year, and that’s fine, I’m happy with that! Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on:


I wanted to restart the Wheel of Time series, as well as finish a few other books. Here’s what I read:

  • Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks. Great read about surviving a Sasquatch Massacre.
  • You Suck at Cooking. An amazing cookbook and YouTube series!
  • How to Wash the Dishes by Peter Miller. A friend bought this for me and I’m so glad she did, a meditation on washing the dishes.
  • Welcome to Nightvale by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink. The first novel from the world of Nightvale, companion to the podcast.
  • New Spring by Robert Jordan. Prequel to The Wheel of Time.
  • Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft. A great resource and turned out to be a great inspiration for NaNoWriMo
  • The Eye of the World. Originally I wanted to read the first three Wheel of Time books, but I only got through this one (plus the prequel above). I forgot how much these books can be a slog at times. When they’re great, they soar, but sometimes they just drag.

Other books and audio books

So, I’m not counting audio books for this challenge (hot take: it’s not actually reading. Not saying it’s not great, it’s just something else), or a couple other books that were very short:

  • Mostly Water by Sam Pittman. Collection of poems from a friend of mine from the Frontrunners!

Clean spaces

In a general sense of decluttering and cleaning, I’d like to clean or organize 12 small spaces, one a month. These are things like closets, bookshelves, dressers, etc. I had a couple spaces identified ahead of time, the rest I chose as I saw they needed attention. I got to 10 this year, and that’s pretty good! I’ll be doing this again next year!

  • Hall closet
  • Belt rack
  • Shower head and kitchen sink sprayer nozzle
  • Glove box
  • Bathroom countertop
  • Clean the exterior doors of my kitchen cabinets
  • Good scrubbing to kitchen counters
  • Dusting/cobwebs in stairs (I have floating stairs so this can be a problem if I forget about it, ha)
  • Nightstands
  • Running clothes dresser

Watch some TV and movies

I’m behind on some media I want to watch, so I’m going to try to get a bit caught up. This was all on top of things like the MCU series that came out, Survivor, and a few other movies and things:

  • Restart Arrow, two seasons
  • MCU phase 1 (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers)
  • Get caught up on Critical Role (at new years I’m less than 20 episodes behind, starting at Campaign 2 Episode 101). As of April 14 I am caught up! There will be times I’m a week or two behind, but I made it!
  • Three seasons of Supernatural

Well, I’d say I was successful! Didn’t do quite as much as I wanted to do, but that’s okay! The trick for me is to set reasonable and attainable goals, then I gain momentum to do more! (Side note, just surviving this year is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you differently).

I have some ideas for what I’ll be working on in 2022, including a lot of cleaning those same spaces again!

Here’s to a great year!

Oh boy, back at it! At this point, I’m training as if I’ll go to Eagle Up (had to use my registration), but with the pandemic, I will be playing that by ear as we get closer. I also had to use my registration for O24, which is the month before EU, but it’s also much, much smaller, so much like Miakonda (at least right now), I feel comfortable going there.

Either way though, back at it, after a fall of not much running. It’s nice to be back on a schedule, although I’m already sick of running in the rain, and it’s only the first week! This week, and next week are also a bit strange due to the holidays, so while I got all my runs in, the days they happened was all over the place, and will be again.

And of course, I still have my notes from Miakonda that I need to turn into a race report. It was a tougher race than I expected in a few different ways, and I’ve had trouble finding all the right words, but I am still working on it. Anyway, back to it, here’s what I did this week:

  • Monday: 7 miles, tiny loops.
  • Tuesday: Frontrunners Holiday Light Run! Joined everyone downtown as we ran around looking at the lights! Always a great time, and I’m so glad we did it this year after not having it last year.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday: 7 miles, tiny loops.
  • Saturday: 5 miles, tiny loops. Then headed to my parents to celebrate Christmas all day.
  • Sunday: 13 miles. Hit up the Westmoreland Heritage Trail. I just have to be careful with this, as they pulled all the port-o’s from the trail, so I have to plan things around the bathrooms at Blue Star (and there might be port-o’s at the parking lot in Duff Park, I’ll have to check). But nice to have a long run on the trail again.
  • BWF/Core work/Yoga/Meditation: This time around, I’m going to be mindful of doing this type of cross training, but I won’t let myself feel as guilty for missing it as I have in the past. I did do the BWF routine (on Festivus, for the joke about feats of strength), but I also need to make sure I’m giving myself a break and some grace to take care of my mental health as well.
  • Stretching: Stretched after each run! This will be super important, especially these first few weeks as I’m a bit creaky and my hips (just like always) are very uncooperative.

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