Runnin’ Dahntahn…with a little help from Mikey. Week 12.

Yinzer word of the day:

 “Dahntahn” – downtown

"Walking to the Sky"; awkward sculpture installed during my senior year at Carnegie Mellon


  • 10 miles
  • Not even sugar coating: 2 solid hours.
  • Tune of Choice: Arabesque #1 by Mikey
  • # of tour stops (Polaroid moments): 3
  • # of familiar faces: 1 (Greg Lehane! Senior year acting professor…and I must admit, my fave :))

 The Run

I was back in Pittsburgh for the first time since finishing my degree and I couldn’t wait to do my 10 mile run down memory lane. I have to say, the beginning of the run was unbelievable. It was so strange for me to run the streets of Pittsburgh remembering that only three years ago it was a chore just to walk them. It was cathartic; each mile a memory.

  • Mile 1: the church parking lot where I peed my pants on Halloween. (I’ve nothing to hide. It’s in the past.)
  • Mile 2: The Frat Quad. Freshman year, a frat guy asked me to sing a song in the middle of the group. I did. And I still cringe with embarrassment to this day.
  • Mile 3: CFA. Maggie Mo. Trucks. Library…watching movies in the media room with Maria. Every day.
  • Mile 4: Buggy course. Sad that I never woke up early enough to catch a race live during Carnival.
  • Mile 5: Hemingway’s. I got kicked out once for taking a sip of a friend’s drink (when I was 20). And an old Jamaican guy proposed to me at the bar and asked me to go to Jamaica with him to meet his parents.
  • Mile 6: Soldiers & Sailors. Greek Sing! Delta Gamma. My friends.

And then came mile 7. Fairfax Apartments and Filmore street. I couldn’t help but remember my last happy moments at the Filmore House with Jackie, Maria, Jeff and Mikey. A really bad homemade bottle of wine, a pair of crutches, a cowboy hat, and somehow we were happy as clams! I grew sad remembering my friend. Carnegie Mellon was where I’d met him. And Carnegie Mellon was when I’d lost him.

It must have been at this point when the pain in my legs seemed to become more real. Emotions had taken over and I began to notice all of the aches and pains and lack of energy I had in order to sustain 2 and a half more miles. I was 7.5 miles in, and I had to stop. My body hurt and so did my heart, and I couldn’t go any longer. I was close to my hotel; all I had to do was walk a block, and there would be a comfy bed and a tv awaiting me. I knew I needed some sort of inspiration, so I turned to Facebook: “‎7.5 miles in. I feel like giving up. Feeling defeated.” I was not just hoping for motivation to continue. I was desperate.

But then, the most amazing thing happened. 8 responses to my Facebook post popped up, pushing me to continue. And as I finally registered the sound coming through my headphones, I could not believe my ears. Mikey’s recording of “Arabesque #1” sounded brilliantly through the speakers as if he were orchestrating this overwhelming response for me to keep going. Without hesitating, I ran 1.25 miles in the OPPOSITE direction of the hotel, so I had no choice but to run all the way back. I forced myself to complete my distance. I thought to myself, if I go back to the hotel right now, I will be consumed by regret. And now instead, because I finished, I am filled with the utmost pride.

Early in my run, I had stopped to take a picture of an ugly sculpture they’d installed on campus during my senior year, “Walking to the Sky” (pictured above). I’d stopped to make fun of it. But now, I look at the picture and it looks oddly inspirational…