Today's Mighty Oak


Here’s the timeline:

  • Signed up for Eagle Up as my A-Race for the spring, goal of 50/50 (81 miles).
  • Built my training plan (combination of two different RFP plans with the speedwork workouts from Pfitz), training started the week of Christmas, 24 week plan.
  • Signed up for both O24 and Get Lucky as tune up races in my plan.
  • Get Lucky became virtual, ran that on the river trails.
  • O24 got delayed until the first weekend in October.
  • Eagle Up cancelled, had made it through 18 weeks of training.
  • O24 became my new A-Race and was exactly 24 weeks out from when we got the news Eagle Up was cancelled.
  • Took a week off, reconfigured my training plan so I wasn’t starting back at week 1 and started up again (eventually sliding back in at weeks 9-11).
  • Signed up for the virtual Pink Lightning as a tune-up (and to support them).
  • O24 cancelled until 2021.
  • Currently, I’m in week 17. I have two more weeks until the Pink Lightning virtual race, bringing this cycle to 19 weeks.

Total, with one overlap week, that means I will have been in a training plan for 36 weeks. It’s time for a break. As much as I’d still love to run 5050 in 2020 (my original plan), it’s just not in the books (I’m not at a point where I could, logistically or mentally, run that much by myself).

Pink Lightning is a virtual 50K, and on my plan, it’s either 50M or 100K (62M). Depending on the weather and how I feel, I’ll play it a bit by ear. Part of me want to run it as a 50M, but I’m also okay not destroying myself for it.

I’ll have to readjust my eating a bit during some off weeks, but maybe it’s good to mix that up as well, we’ll see. And part of me wants to end with something big and exciting (I’ve never run a 50M before), but again, I have to weigh it against what’s smart in the long run, my right leg has what could easily turn into an injury if I’m not careful, so there is a bit of babying that at the moment, anyway.

The yoga I’ve been doing (in the park) has been great, just the right kind of class for me! I also want to get back into my bodyweight fitness routine, I know I’ve lost a chunk of that progress. A ‘down’ fall with less mileage and focusing on some core and strength work I think would be good, and will put me in good position to start training for spring races (tentatively again, Eagle Up and O24).

Through all this, I still haven’t gone back to a gym (I’ll have to change anyway, as mine closed), but I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my neighbors a bit as I do my tiny loops, or at least getting almost all of them to wave back at me. I’ve caught up on most of a podcast series (Critical Role), so I’ll need something epic to listen to again anyway.

I’m so glad I forced myself to run this summer, something I’ve never really done before. I definitely learned a lot (including how much a new pair of shoes really can change in my running), but I’m looking forward to running in the cold once again.

This has been a tough and strange year, and I can see the finish line a few weeks away. Then I’m looking forward to some much deserved time off.

Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K (and hopefully 5K when I sign up for that challenge as well).



Well, O24 got cancelled (which was the right choice). I’ll have another post about what I’m doing next, but I still have a virtual 50K to run at the end of the month, so I’m sticking to this plan for a few more weeks.

Back to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail for my long runs. Getting out early enough to beat the heat (And Ozone Action Days) worked, as this was also Mysterium weekend! I’ve never been able to go, so it was great to attend virtually, getting back in time after my weekend runs to see all the panels and join the Discord! I also reconnected with some friends from the community, and watching so much about URU brought back some really amazing memories!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 6 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: 10 miles. More tiny loops.
  • Thursday: 8 miles. Even more tiny loops.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 22 miles.
  • Sunday: 10 miles.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: Week 3 of yoga in the park! Really enjoyed it, it was lower body focused, so felt really great!
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix, although I need a new show to watch while I stretch, preferable a half hour comedy)
  • Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K


The humidity was high, but at least it felt like we had a break in the temperature, so that helped. I also finished up three different virtual challenges this week!

Was nice having a down/recovery week after the 50K the week before, still have another 50K (or potential 50miler) on the horizon for the end of the month as the fundraiser for Pink Lightning.

O24 is still working with Cleveland Metroparks, we’ll see what happens. Right now, all events in Metroparks are cancelled through September, and the race is the first weekend of October. I’m not confident I’d feel safe and not sure what all the race would be able to provide, but waiting for official word either way is harrowing, I’d just like to make a decision!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. First of my four virtual legs of the GAP: Leg 1, Southside to Homestead
  • Wednesday: 9 miles. Finished Runnsylvania 283 and GAP: Leg 14, Ohiopyle to Ramcat
  • Thursday: 7 miles. GAP: Leg 22, Frostburg to Woodcock Hollow
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 9 miles.
  • Sunday: 15 miles. Finished GVRAT 1000K and GAP: Leg 12, Connellsville to Brunner’s Run

    I headed down to the GAP to do my last run on it (we had teammates across the country doing this, so it was neat to do one run on the actual trail). It’s been a while since I’ve run on it and there’s a lot m ore benches and picnic tables now, as well as a lot of erosion control put in place. But otherwise, it’s the same: a decent trail where the cyclists are really rude to runners (at least, just in the city part, along other parts, it’s always been fine), but a good, and soupy run.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: Week 2 of yoga in the park!
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix, although I need a new show to watch while I stretch, preferable a half hour comedy)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 647/634 miles – DONE!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 291/283 miles – DONE!
  • GAP Virtual Trail Relay progress: 4/4 segments – DONE!


The heat continued to be horrible this week, getting up early and running late worked, but after tomorrow at least, it’s supposed to break a bit.

This was also the first week of (a five or six week) outdoor yoga class I had signed up for in February. There’s about 15 of us in the class, all spread out and it was the perfect yoga for me. Bit of flow, but mostly stretching. I think I’m learning that ‘beginner’ yoga is really what I like (although I still want to try Yin). We did some balance work, which I was happy I had not lost a lot of skill in after having not done any in so long, and the instructor is very nice. I’m one of two new people to the class, everyone else seems to carry over each time which is both intimidating and speaks well of the instructor!

This is also the week of training after which I stopped my training for Eagle Up. I finished this week, took a week off then dove back into my modified program at week 1 to get me here. I’m feeling less and less confident about O24 each week (both in it happening, or if it does, my comfort attending), so we’ll see. I hope there is a deferral option, but I understand if there isn’t. The training is also wearing on me a bit. I still have one more virtual 50K next month, and finishing up my virtual runs across Tennessee and Pennsylvania, but then I’m looking forward to a break.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 6 miles.
  • Wednesday: 8 miles.
  • Thursday: 4 miles.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 31 miles. Hit the trail super early after bad night’s sleep, and by the end, was roasting. Ran with Steve and Liz for my middle loop (and a bit of the third) and the company was amazing, I forgot how much better I run with friends. The last loop especially was tough in the sun-exposed areas, and I tended to walk those, but I finished really strong despite the bad conditions.

    I also grabbed the Strava title of “Local Legend” for one of the segments. Had to look up what that meant, but it means I’ve run that segment more than anyone else in the past 30 days, so that was pretty cool! Arbitrary (and a weird segment in terms of where it starts/ends), but still cool nonetheless!

    I have in my head a goal of a sub 6 hour 50K, not an impressive goal, but since I’ve never raced a 50K (just ran them as virutals/training runs), it’s been on my mind. Ran today’s miles in 6:09:XX, so I think with the right weather and a bit more focus, it’s totally doable!

    I wasn’t as hungry as I thought I would be after (although Sunday was a different story), and I’m only a bit sore. My one knee was bugging me at the end, and my Achilles’ didn’t give me problems like I thought they would!

    I went to the Carrie Furnace drive in cinema that night, and walking around the mini-tour, as well as getting concessions from the food trucks on the ground helped to keep my legs stretched a bit, so that was good, and a very enjoyable way to spend the evening!

    I also forgot, but was reminded of, what it’s like to sleep after an ultra distance. Bodies and legs do weird things.
  • Sunday: Rest.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: I’m going to count yoga in this category!
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 602/634 miles. Still going, still motivated to run in the heat due to this, so it’s doing its job!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 277/283 miles.


The heat was horrible this week, and it’s just continuing, sadly. I skipped my speedwork this week, it’s too hot and I had so much trouble just getting the miles in.

Part of the reason I signed up for the GVRAT was to make sure I was doing my miles over the summer, usually I don’t do much running in the heat. However, I’ve found I have to be real careful about when I run and really pay attention to my hydration. I messed up a bit, but hopefully I’m doing better now.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 10 miles.
  • Wednesday: 5 miles. Planned to do more, but the heat just zapped me.
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Planned to do more, but again, the heat just destroyed me.
  • Friday: 9 miles. Had the ‘crazy’ idea to carry some Gatorade with me as I ran, which was a huge game changer. Not sure why it took me this long to think of that, but because it’s shorter runs close to home, it just never crossed my mind, but with this heat, it’s essential.
  • Saturday: 9 miles. Early morning miles to beat the heat, this became another Ozone Action Day.
  • Sunday: 15 miles. Again, up super early to try to beat the heat. I’m amazed by how humid it is, and how dry all the creeks are, there are a couple that just aren’t there anymore. Ran into a friend and teammate while I was between ‘loops’ at my car, so we got a socially distanced photo together!
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: Nothing this week, heat zapped me, I’ll try some more Zombies Run, The Home Front this week, and my yoga in the park class starts this week!
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 553/634 miles. Still going, still motivated to run in the heat due to this, so it’s doing its job!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 228/283 miles.


The heat stuck around this week, without GVRAT and the hope of O24, I wouldn’t be running at all.

I keep wavering back and forth as to whether or not O24 will take place. I’m hopeful, but also have no idea what the state of the world will be in and if I’ll be comfortable going to it. If it does take place, and I go, I’ll be talking with my boss about working from home for two weeks after, just out of an over-abundance of caution for others.

But who knows what I’ll be comfortable with and what will actually happen.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 8 miles. Tiny neighborhood loops with a friend!
  • Wednesday: 7 miles.
  • Thursday: Rest day. Ozone action day, so I decided to take it off and stay inside, better to be safe than sorry!
  • Friday: 10 miles. Speedwork: tempo: 18min/4R/12min. My last tempo run of this cycle!
  • Saturday: 3 miles. 5th annual Pittsburgh Frontrunners back of the pack Fourth of July run and brunch (observed), this year celebrating Bastille Day.

    So years ago, the Frontrunners cancelled their Fourth of July run because it fell on a Saturday, and the group of us in the back decided to run together anyway, and we did a potluck brunch. We’ve continued this tradition, although this year we did a socially-distanced run and only met outside (spread out at three picnic tables) due to the pandemic. It was a bit bittersweet on top of the pandemic, as two of the group will be moving, but as always, a wonderful time.
  • Sunday: 16 miles. Actually ran over 17, miscalculated my route a bit. Still a good run, although was much more humid than I expected, and got sunny by the end.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: Nothing this week, heat zapped me, I’ll try some more Zombies Run, The Home Front this week, and my yoga in the park class starts next week!
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 500/634 miles. Still going, still motivated to run in the heat due to this, so it’s doing its job!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 175/283 miles.


The heat came in this week, and there’s no sign of it breaking. So all my running has been late in the evening or early in the morning. Thank goodness for things like the GVRAT and the hope of O24, otherwise, I wouldn’t be running at all.

I did also take time on Sunday to finally buy a membership to the trail I do a lot of my miles on. I’m happy to support it and with the pandemic, it’s getting a lot more use (and there have been two fallen trees in the last week, just on the sections I frequent). Hopefully I can also get out sometime to help with cleanups and whatnot, but happy to start supporting something that’s been so awesome!

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 10 miles. Virtual Race for Pride, put on my a race management company that does a lot of awesome races here and in Cleveland. I will give them props too, I e-mailed them about this asking if they were going to be making a donation to a queer cause, and they actually decided to do that!
  • Wednesday: 8 miles. Speedwork: tempo: 18min/4R/12min.
  • Thursday: 5 miles.
  • Friday: 10 miles.
  • Saturday: Rest. Spent a good portion of the day in a pool, which was very nice!
  • Sunday: 22 miles. Got up as early as I could (after trying to sleep through the fireworks that everyone seemed to have purchased) and knocked this out on the trail. First half wasn’t too bad, although the humidity was awful. As soon as the sun came out, because it’s so cloudless, I was just baking. Got it done though, and faster than I thought I would.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Skratch, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: Nothing this week, heat zapped me, I’ll try some more Zombies Run, The Home Front this week.
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 456/634 miles. Still going, still motivated to run in the heat due to this, so it’s doing its job!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 131/283 miles.


Was nice to have somewhat of a down week. The humidity was ratcheted up, and this upcoming week is looking to be steamy again. I hate summer running. With COVID number spiking again, it’s in the back of my mind that my race may be cancelled, or I may not feel comfortable attending it. It’s sad to think about, and the loss of normalcy and events is really starting to get to me.

A friend recently posted some similar thoughts, or at least something close enough to it that it resonated a lot with me. This is only a moment in time, but it’s still a very stressful and scary time, and that’s not abating, even as we reckon with even larger societal problems.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 8 miles. Neighborhood loops and a new stray cat that likes to hang out near my house!
  • Wednesday: 7 miles. Moved my speedwork to this day to account for weather: Tempo: 18min/4R/12min.
  • Thursday: 5 miles.
  • Friday: 9 miles.
  • Saturday: 15 miles. Got up early to run before my Dentist appointment. Was the most humid I’ve run in in a long time, and that’s saying something. Absolute soup. Also, a tree down and across the trail, so had to adjust a bit on the fly.
  • Sunday: Rest. Spent the morning volunteering with Gay4Good cleaning up Allegheny Commons Park.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: Did one of the Zombies, Run’s The Home Front bodyweight workouts and really enjoyed it. It’s also something different than my normal workout, so it was nice to change it up.
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 401/634 miles. Still going, still motivated to run in the heat due to this, so it’s doing its job!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 76/283 miles.


The last of three big weekends, so it’s nice to get past this and get these miles on the books. I dealt okay with the heat, which honestly, is a big improvement for me! I still don’t feel entirely comfortable going to a gym (and in my case, finding a new gym), so I’m forced to run outside, which in the long run is a good thing, but I hate the heat, humidity dust and sun.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 10 miles. Neighborhood loops
  • Wednesday: 6 miles. Moved my speedwork to this day: Tempo: 18min/4R/12min.
  • Thursday: 7 miles. Yet more loops.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 10 miles.
  • Sunday: 22 miles. Got up super early to get this in before it got unbearably hot. Still had a lot of dust and sun to deal with, but very proud of myself for knocking this out.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Skratch, Bobo’s bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: No workouts this week.
  • Stretching: Slowly getting back into it (with thanks to Netflix)
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 357/634 miles. Over halfway! I also passed the other Crane! I’m heading into a down week, so he might leapfrog me, but I’m super excited to have made up this distance in my fake rivalry!

    I also used this run for two virtual 5Ks, Stride for Pride (so my Strava route turned rainbow colors) and the Saint Vincent College Student Emergency Fund 5K.
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 32/283 miles. Started June 20, so only weekend miles counted this week.


First off, mid-week 10-milers are bullshit. I know I said this before during Eagle Up training, but it still holds true. This week was also super hot, so I ended up splitting some of these runs up. I know it messes the benefits of the plan up a bit, but when it’s 94 and humid, we do what we have to.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. So hot.
  • Wednesday: 6 miles. So hot.
  • Thursday: 9 miles. Speed work: Tempo: 18min/4R/12min. Finally cooled off and I did one of Zombie’s Run!’s new adventures!
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 10 miles. I went up to camp to help with the Pre-Camp Inspection (no full summer program, but still required to do a safety inspection) and afterwards did two circuits of the lake. I picked up different parts of various trails, so it was a really good time!

    This was also the Mostly Harmless Running Podcast’s Festapalooza! I ran, but didn’t compete, as I didn’t want to keep taking my phone out to take pictures of the items on the scavenger hunt, but I still had blast being on the lookout for things and planning a route to hit a couple things on the list!
  • Sunday: 21 miles. My normal parking area is open again after the power lines have been fixed, so headed there and did two out and backs. I added the trail in Duff Park for a nice change, as well as a good way to get out of the sun for a stretch.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Skratch, Bobo’s bar, Gu.
  • BWF/Core work: No workouts this week.
  • Stretching: Not nearly as much as I wanted to, I need to get back into this more seriously.
  • Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K progress (1021K): 302/634 miles. This has really been helping me get out there and running, even on days I don’t want to, which is why I signed up for this in the first place. I’m also secretly racing the other Crane, and I’ve closed the gap to 15.5 miles now!
  • Runnsylvania 283 progress: 0/283 miles. Starts June 20.

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