Adventures with Alyssa

Adventures with Alyssa: Run All The Streets 00053

Alyssa is a planner, a runner, and, ugh, a morning person. She delights in running different routes throughout the city, finding cool public art and seeing the sunrise. She also organizes runs, often two or three a week. This is pretty impressive because it requires her to figure out a place, time, a rough route and invite people who are likely to come, and who are likely to get along and have fun. At any rate, Alyssa often invites me to come along. Most of the time, it’s too early for me, or too far away. But this time, it was a special run, several regular runners were going to be traveling for awhile, Rich was going to have surgery in a few days, and it was Rich’s birthday.
So, I dragged myself out of bed and drove in the murky pre-dawn light to Duquesne University. Street parking was free till 8 am, yay! We gathered in a parking lot, nine of us. Everyone was a pretty good runner, often doing trail ultras. Many had run the Pittsburgh Marathon the previous Sunday. Kim and Rich got birthday hats and a personal photo op with Alyssa.
Then, whoosh, we started! There’s no slow start with these guys. We cruised along Forbes up into Oakland, then down steep Bates Hill and across Hot Metal Bridge. As the run group morphed and changed around me, I had a chance to talk to most everybody. Rich was tired, having been celebrating his birthday until late the previous night. John had had a great Pittsburgh Marathon and was looking forward to upcoming marathons. Tim was talking about running while away. Sarah, Tony, Alyssa, and Kim were talking about Glacier Ridge and Thunderbunny, two upcoming ultras. Just as I started wondering where we were going, we paused at a “Just Good Donuts”, which is co-located with “The Pub Chip Shop”. Alyssa got us all doughnuts with a 1,000 calorie minimum. We did a photo shoot and then ran down Carson Street, all carrying little white bags full of deliciousness. It was quite comical, something you might see on Monty Python. Crossing the Smithfield Street Bridge, we came back to our starting point, salty but sweet.

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