June Catch-Up

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RATS Squirrel Hill 00066

This run was specifically to cover some streets such as parts of Aylesboro and Northumberland near Homewood Cemetery which I had previously missed. This area is tree-lined with nice, but not palacial homes. There were lots of people out and about, playing with kids or walking dogs.

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Strava map of a running route through Shadyside and Oakland.
Run with HPRC: RATS 00068

HPRC had an early morning run from the Cathedral of Learning. It was a fun run with a lot of familiar faces, but, oh, so early!!

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Run All The Streets 00070

Another run just to cover some streets and get some miles. The area near the end of Hobart had a surprising number of small alleyways that led to cool houses.

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3ROC Run: RATS 00072

Three Rivers Outdoor Company (3ROC) is an outfitter store on South Braddock Avenue, at the end of the Regent Square business district. While they have cool stuff in their store, they also are big into community fitness events, such as their weekly trail run. This run covered a few new trails and maybe a bit of some streets. It was fun!

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Run All The Streets 00073

A run up to Pro Bike before their Wednesday night run. I got some little streets in which had otherwise escaped by attention!

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Another run to cover some streets. Gotta catch them all!

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Running down a dream in Greenfield: RATS 00075

A double-rarity – a Friday run and an early morning run! As with many of these catch-up runs, this was specifically to cover some streets. I’ve done between 50% and 75% of the streets in Greenfield now.

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Run to the Run on Webster Ave: RATS 00076

Down the wide open streets of the Hill District. It was relatively early and quiet, with the UPMC Building looming over me the entire run.

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How far from Phipps to Hazelwood? RATS 00078

A final run for June. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, but wanted to end in Oakland and go to the library afterwards, so I started near Phipps, ran down into Schenley Park. One route would have taken me over to the South Side, but I choose to go through Hazelwood and cut through Greenfield, so the mileage and time wasn’t too crazy. Thanks to some stairs which connect the two neighborhoods I was successful.

There were parts of the route which were a little stressful, such as running down Irvine Street in Hazelwood. It had the feel of a street which really wanted to be an interstate but never quite made it. Irvine Street was busy and dirty, with narrow, overgrown sidewalks. Going up into the hills of Hazelwood is always a bit surreal. The hills and steps are steep and the greenery is suffocating (oh, maybe that was the heat). There are parts of Hazelwood where the houses are kept up nicely, but on the streets I ran, mostly the houses were falling apart and often empty. Lastly running along Frasier Street and Swinburne Street was pretty scary. There is not a lot of room to drive, much less run, and the streets are curvy and hilly. Nonetheless, I persisted and found my way back to the car.

Whew! This was the last run of June. I covered lots of miles (132) and climbed lots of elevation (13,400) in June.

Denniston, Hastings and Glen Arden

Strava map of run 00065 which was in Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze.
Strava map for route down Hastings in Squirrel Hill: RATS 00065

This run was all about finishing streets so familiar to me I should have done them already. I often cross Denniston or Hastings, but its rare that I actually run the length of these streets. Today was the day!

Denniston has a couple of disjoint segments, one in Squirrel Hill and one in Shadyside. Today I was concentrating on the one that goes nearly a mile from Darlington past Wilkins. This is a nice street in Squirrel Hill, tucked between Shady and Beechwood. The houses are mostly three or four bedrooms on small lots. Everything is well-kept, but kinda close. Denniston is “flat” by Squirrel Hill standards and straight. The street just stops in front of some houses. There is a tiny cul-de-sac, but a van might have a hard time turning around in it. Looking at the map, it’s possible that years ago Denniston went through to meet up with its Shadyside segment, but I that would take it through Mellon Park, and that has been around awhile. Squirrel Hill is rather interesting, being one of the later parcels of land developed in the Pittsburgh area. The Squirrel Hill Historical Society has a wealth of cool information.

Crossing Denniston is the little street, Hastings. If you’re zipping by on Shady Avenue, you might even miss it. My impression was that Hastings was a short little street which didn’t go anywhere. My impression, however, was wrong. Hastings goes from Shady to roughly the intersection of Penn Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Tree lined Tinsley Way and Light Way branch off of Hastings and provide backyard and garage access to the surrounding houses. Hastings itself continues past Point Brugge until flattening out and running into Fifth Avenue. It was fun and peaceful to run here.

Finishing off the run, I headed back toward South Dallas. However, I got a little mixed up and ended up on Glen Arden Drive. Whoa! Whereas Hastings and Denniston were comfy streets with mixed housing, the houses on Glen Arden were definitely more upscale. Instead of three and four bedroom houses, most of these houses looked to have five or six bedrooms. It was also tree-lined with large, mature oaks towering over the brick homes.

Easy Swirl through Squirrel Hill

Strava map of running route
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Good morning! Today’s run was an easy run through the swirling streets of Squirrel Hill. The streets here follow the contours of the hills which makes for a much flatter run than in Greenfield, where contours are ignored and the streets are stubbornly laid out in a grid.

This part of Squirrel Hill has a mix of housing. There are older, huge houses up on Beechwood Blvd, with something like 5 bedrooms, innumerable chimneys, driveways (and likely to have tiny closets). There are smaller, mid-50’s split level houses with three bedrooms. There are a few avant-gard houses, with sharp angles and glass. There’s even a super-insulated passive house on Fernwald Street; apparently one of only 80 such houses in the United States, according to the Trib. There are newer McMansions concentrated on Rosemont Lane, with nicely manicured lawns which are truly loved by deer. One night I witnessed three deer lightly leap across a hedge and feast on the flowers.

This morning, no deer, just a few people running and walking dogs. My running companion had grown up in the area and had a story for every street. “That’s where my best friend in 7th grade lived. This street is pretty much a driveway. We used to hang out there! No, not the HILL!” Lastly was the prudent “No further, you have a big race coming up!” It was so true, too. A 40 miler on Saturday for which I was significantly under-trained. So this pleasant, pre-work run came to an end. This was a very efficient three mile run, covering mostly new streets.