Today's Mighty Oak


The world is awful, and there’s a lot going on, but let’s see what we have. First up, let’s calm down a bit with a beautiful exploration on Canon in D:

Dumb Runner (The Onion but for running) had two great articles which made me laugh a lot recently. The first, local runner receives photos from his virtual marathon and one that is so true locally, ‘without the marathon, residents scramble to find something else to bitch about.’

Brass players (and percussionists, opera singers, etc), be the change you (and hero) you want to see in this world.

Feeling down? Here’s Chris Hemsworth to tell you, yes you, how awesome you are!

We’re getting a new Star Wars Holiday Special! Which….that is news, but this time it’s Lego!

Also, here’s how we should swap the titles of the Star Wars movies around.

Okay, buckle up, getting to politics. First up, the Mass Dem party coordinated with the College Democrats of Mass to try to levy false sexual abuse accusations at a gay candidate in the primary. The whole thing is dirty and reeks of homophobia, as well as a misunderstanding of the dynamics of gay relationships.

AT the DNC, Michelle Obama was immaculate (transcript here):

Likewise, President Obama set out in the starkest of terms what is at stake (transcript here):

On the final night of the convention, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was extremely funny, and since I enjoyed VEEP so much, a nice touch!

Pete Buttigieg had a moving moment talking about his marriage as he was introducing Biden.

And then finally, the acceptance speech:

Since then, of course, things have gotten worse, with more stoking of hatred and violence, but in a stirring move, the Mets and Marlins left their game and left a BLM shirt draped over home plate.

And finally, the NBA has come to agreement to turn their arenas into voting sites!

That’s it for today. Have a great one, wash your hands, wear your mask, double check your voter registration and make a plan to vote!



Virtual race week is here! And of course, the weather went bonkers.

  • Monday: Rest.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 2 miles. Got through two and a half miles before the skies opened up and I had to call it due to lightning. Was supposed to do three, so not a big loss.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Pink Lightning virtual 50K: Full race report coming up!
  • BWF/Core work: More yoga! And I signed up for the next block of yoga in September and October!
  • Stretching: More stretching, this time, with the aid of Galavant!
  • Virtual Races coming up: Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K and 5K

I’m working on my race report for Pink Lightning, hopefully I’ll have that up later this week. For now though, taking this week off and getting back at it next week.



Second to last week of this training block, let’s do this!

  • Monday: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: 5 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 7 miles. New (to me) shoes! Got some green Ghosts!
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: Woke up and was supposed to run 10, but my stomach was all kinds of not cooperating so I made the good decision to put off those miles to the next day.
  • Sunday: 25 miles. Catching up on miles from yesterday, and sadly, Strava lost my data! Not a huge deal, but I had wanted to see my pace, as I felt faster in the new shoes and wanted to really see that difference.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: More yoga! And I signed up for the next block of yoga in September and October!
  • Stretching: More stretching, this time, with the aid of Galavant!
  • Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K and 5K

Next week will be the end of this training bloc, and my Pink Lightning virtual. It will mostly be a day of decision how much I run based on the weather and how I’m feeling. I think I have a sub 6-hour 50K in me, but I don’t think I have a sub 6-hour virtual 50K in me (although I certainly have the radical self-reliance and Leave No Trace principles covered!). So it will be between just a casual 50K or a 50M. We’ll see what happens, especially in the spirit of immediacy!



Shuffling some days around, but it all worked out. Lots of early morning miles on the Westmoreland Heritage Trail! This is also my peak week (would have been one of two), and my second time at or above 60mpw!

A note on my mileage, I always round to what I was supposed to run. So even though on days when I run a mile or so more than I’m supposed to, I don’t log it below. I figure it gets added in to wherever I’m missing a few tenths somewhere or something like that, even though I’m consistently running more than what I write. Strava says I actually ran 62 miles this week, although if you follow my math below, it’s only 60.

  • Monday: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: 4 miles. Tiny loops after yoga.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: 5 miles. Was supposed to do more, just not feeling it, so I added the mileage to my Saturday run.
  • Friday: Rest.
  • Saturday: 21 miles.
  • Sunday: 20 miles.
  • Long run fuel: Tailwind, Gatorade, Gu, Bobo’s bar.
  • BWF/Core work: More yoga!
  • Stretching: More stretching, this time, with the aid of Galavant!
  • Virtual Races coming up: Pink Lightning 50K, Mario Lemieux 6.6K, New Holland Lightpoint 5K, The Great Race 10K


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.

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