February Catch-Up

It has been a few weeks or so since I last blogged. Sorry about that! As it is mid-way through March, I’ll just post all the February runs I’ve missed.

Run all the streets 0023

Run All The Streets 0023

This was a run with Pro Bike from Church Brews Works, which was unfortunately closed that Monday. Nice run with fun folks.

Run all the streets 0024

Run All The Streets 0024

Wednesday Night Run with Pro Bike

Run All The Streets 0029: Praying Mantis run

Map of South Squirrel Hill with running path traced on it.
Run All The Streets 0029: Praying Mantis Run

This was a short run in time and distance. I slugged up and down the broad hills of Beechwood Blvd, coming across a 25ft spruce snapped off a few feet from the ground by recent winds. It was still windy and on the cooler side. The itch to explore got the better of me and I finished off Phillips Avenue as it plunges toward Frick park, ending in a cul-de-sac. Then it was up to Beechwood and down into Forest Glen Road, another little hide-away making inroads into Frick Park. Both of these housing spurs had fairly nice houses, almost suburban, mid-70’s styles nestled down into the Park. As the trees and hills rise above you, it’s easy to believe you’re in the mountains somewhere.

Run All The streets 0030

Run All The Streets 0030

This was another Wednesday run with Pro-Bike. I was very slow at first, but eventually gathered steam and picked up speed.

That’s all for February, folks! Thankfully, temperatures will start to warm up and it will be light later.

Catching Up in Squirrel Hill

One of Pittsburgh’s larger neighborhoods – Squirrel Hill South
One of Pittsburgh most beautiful neighborhoods – Squirrel Hill North

Today’s run was another group run. This time with Pro Bike and Run. It is a friendly group with neighborhood runners mixing with graduate students and Pittsburgh running stalwarts. Squirrel Hill is a large area, with rolling hills and relatively big houses. Squirrel Hill North has magnificent houses with stained glass, large porches and nice yards. Squirrel Hill South houses are typically smaller, but still relatively large. There are also many three to five story block-wide apartment buildings in Squirrel Hill South. Then there are people, lots of people. Walking on Murray Avenue, you will likely see young Chinese students and large Jewish families while hearing Russian, Spanish, and other languages spoken. I love this neighborhood.

For this run in particular, I was a little late. The group had already done their run preview and taken their picture and gone out in pace groups from faster to slower. OK, perhaps I was very late. Nonetheless, I got a map and made sure my GPS was ready then took off. It was already dark, but I knew the route and felt safe. Down one hill, up Beechwood Blvd to Forward, I was pouring it on to catch up with some of the runners. Then, as I’m passing the side of Taylor Allderdice High School, I see some blinking lights ahead. (BTW, if you want people to see you, check out these Tracers .) I eventually approach a group of runners as they’re turning onto Wightman from Pocusset.

And I stop here to mention that even if you’re pretty quick, the difference between you and a slower runner isn’t that much in real time. If someone is running a average pace of, say 10 minute/mile, and you running a very quick 7 minute/mile pace, but happen to show up ten minutes late, it’ll be over three miles before you catch them. These are all hypothetical numbers, of course, but the real point is, don’t be a pace snob.

So, I did finally meet up with some of my friends. They were chatting and making sure a slower newbie felt welcome. I caught up with their news, the new job, the work woes, the latest ski trip. But then, the hills relented and my legs took me away. Something was on my mind, pushing me on. I passed a couple of other runners before making it back to the store, our starting spot. In the store, Kim, the leader, the indomitable Kim, laughingly said she never sees me at the beginning of a run, but always afterwards. I like to catch up.

Run All The Streets 0004: Squirrel Hill