Allentown Bowl
RATS run #00149

Today’s run started in the heart of the Allentown business district. The section of East Warrington Avenue between Arlington Avenue and Beltzhoover Ave. I kept it simple today, just going back and forth in the alleys and streets on the lower side (south) of East Warrington. This area is like an open ended bowl, topographically speaking. Beltzhoover Ave is the open side and East Warrington, Arlington and Lillan St form the upper lips of the bowl. This area is busy, but a little on the rough side, at least as far as the housing stock goes. Moderately sized houses were stacked against each other. Impressive church spires rose above the bottom of the bowl.

I had actually mapped out this run beforehand, and kept to the plan. Coming back along Knox Avenue, I was a bit surprised that the UPMC building and BNY Mellon building looked so close. They are about a mile and a half away, as the crow flies. A pied, you would cross some pretty rough, steep terrain and swim a wide and cold river before you could get there!

Looks like those towers are just beyond those houses.

Scaring Crows Away
RATS #00148

This was a short run on a chilly, misting, gloomy night. As I ran around North Oakland, my light and clinking keys kept disturbing hundreds of crows from their roosts. Perched in the tops of spreading oak trees, they would start to flap and shimmer as I approached, leaving with a mass rush of wings when I was right under them. Caw, caw, caw!

Call me at “1-800-Disperser-of-Crows” if you want to get all those noisy, pooping, black birds out of your life.

Two short miles. Only, my second RATS run this November. What’s going on? Early November included tapering for a marathon, then running that marathon. Mid-November was a combination of recovering and getting used to the earlier nightfall and colder temps. Here I am, in late November, with Thanksgiving looming. My trail running is starting to pick up and by the time this gloomy November is over, I will be back on the streets, covering new ground. (And perhaps scaring more crows away.)

Upper Lawrenceville on a Chilly Saturday

This is my first RATS run since the Indianapolis Marathon. It was through the streets of Upper Lawrenceville on a sunny, but chilly, Saturday morning. Here, there is a mismash of small, older, row houses and fabulously renovated houses. Even the alleys have houses opening up on them. Towards Butler Street, the area is flat, but rises quickly when you go up the numbered streets; 52nd, 53rd, 54th. At the top of 54th Street is a moderately long and winding stairway which leads to Stanton Heights. In the shadows, the light dusting of snow we had earlier in the week persisted.

Flats of Upper Lawrenceville from the 54th St Stairs
RATS #00147 – Just a few miles in Upper Lawrenceville

October 2019 Catch Up

aka Blog of the Off Course Runs

RATS #00137 with PBR

Usually running and beer is my thing. However, for this PBR Beer Exchange run, I just made the run. I suppose I had something pressing to do, like vacuuming the house? At any rate, we started off from Millvale Riverfront Park, dashed across the 40th St Bridge and gasped up 45th St into Friendship. I did have a few moments to chat with Gina and Keirstyn, who also were training for Indy. Then, in Friendship, I chatted with another runner about the various marathons he had run, including one that had been cancelled due to the heat. What a nightmare!

RATS #00138
Off the beaten path #00138

PBR run gone wrong…. The official course was the same one Kim made up for my 100th run. I went off course and explored cul-de-sacs off of Beechwood.

RATS #00139

This was a run and event to benefit Pumped To Run. It is a great organization with a mission to help residents of homeless shelters through running. Instead of dreary loops through Allegheny Center, I did High St in Spring Hill and explored Troy Hill. It was an early evening run, as dusk was settling in. People were walking dogs, and sitting on their porches in Spring Hill. One of them, a teenager perched high on a porch full of chairs shouted down “You’re Late!”. Of course, I was. But, how did SHE know?

RATS #00140
Exploring Perry Hilltop in RATS #00140

Ah yes, this started as a Steel City run. See that little rectangle on the bottom right? Those were three quick miles with Steel City. The remainder of the run was an urban exploration up Perrysville Avenue. This was all new territory for me. Large, four-square houses are plunked into small yards. Many houses have seen better days, but some are renovated. There are side streets which look like Squirrel Hill. There are side streets which look like Homewood. I found my way across the Milroy St Bridge which crosses high above I-279 N and came back across the East St Bridge.

Looking down on I-279 from the East St Bridge

RATS #00141
RATS #00141

A little run covering a few Bloomfield streets.

RATS #00142
RATS #00142

A short and steep run through Hazelwood and Greenfield. Managed to slog up Tesla St. However, running on Susanna Court and Parade St earned this run the RATS badge.

RATS #00143

Keeping with the theme of running off course, I met up with George after Sami’s run had taken off. Instead of Sami’s nice flat run, I led George up 45th Street and up Stanton Ave. I believe he is still talking to me. Of the five miles we covered, Blackberry Way at the start earned this run the RATS badge.

RATS #00144
Cypress St in the morning RATS #00144

Nice morning run with Sasha. My only RATS goal was to cover Cypress St, which we did. It winds through lower Bloomfield.

RATS #00146
RATS #00146

I covered a few streets in Squirrel Hill which I had missed. Pleasant, unremarkable run.

New Map

Latest streets only map

Just letting you know I’ve caught up with the map tracing and have put up my latest maps. (Tapering is a great time to catch up on things!)

So, comparing to the previous maps, I’ve filled in much of the “Continental” Pittsburgh between the Allegheny and the Mon, and have started to make some progress in the North and South. Running North up to Venture Street was quite an adventure, but there are many more streets untouched. The furthest South I’ve been is in Hazelwood, almost at the Glenwood Bridge. A spur of Pittsburgh juts out another two miles south of that bridge. On the Western side, I’ve made it to Crafton Heights and Corliss. In the East, I’ve made it to the East Hills. On one hand, I feel accomplished for doing so much. On the other, I feel pretty small in the face of the whole city.