Friday, December 2, 2016

Five Hundred Fifty-Five

December 2, 2016
4.98 Miles in 52:22
Mood: Not totally feeling it, but putting in the miles.
Soundtrack: The Film Vault

I traipsed out into the freezing cold out of duty more than desire today. I wasn't feeling it, but I won't be able to run on Sunday, and I need the miles. I drug my feet getting out the door, and didn't actually start running until around 6:30, and I felt like taking it easy, so I pulled out my Pokemon app, circled Southglenn several times, and coasted to a very lame five miles. It wasn't fast, it wasn't inspired, but I managed to finish anyway. For the second day in a row the morning was as cold as the 76ers playoff chances, but I put in my time so that by the end of December, hopefully I finish my 36th consecutive 100 mile month...that was literally the only thing getting me out there this morning.

At least I got a good photo of the Southglenn fountain lit up for Christmas in the morning light, which looked pretty cool. I probably won't run again until Tuesday morning, so hopefully I'll be more in the mood by then.

Five Hundred Fifty-Four

December 1, 2016
7.23 Miles in ????
Mood: Cold, focused, and angry at Canadian Geese
Soundtrack: Blind Pilot "And Then Like Lions" / TV on the Radio "Seeds" / Robert DeLong "Just Movement"

December started with a solid run. This one's a little weird, because I'm not sure exactly how much time I spent running because my phone's battery died before I got home, and by the time I had plugged it in and gotten ready for the day, my phone said that my run lasted over 2 hours and I averaged over 17 minutes per mile...neither of those numbers are accurate, as I was averaging under 9:30 per mile almost all of this run and got hosed by not bringing a backup battery with me like I usually do.

Despite the stats being way off, I realized that if I don't play Pokemon while running, I can actually radically improve my stats. I mostly just buckled down and ran this morning, with a few breaks to catch my breath. It felt pretty good to focus, but as December begins, the real cold weather is finally starting to settle into Colorado. The first 30 minutes of this run were wicked cold, thankfully the sun rose and made me think I was warmer, even if the temps didn't significantly rise.

How about this photo? So many geese! Ketring Lake was filthy with them...literally. The path around the lake was littered with more green turds than I can ever remember. Geese are THE WORST. There are signs all around the lake saying "Do not feed the geese, it's bad for them." I may toss them a bag of bread specifically because it might make their survival less likely. I hate this gross birds...even if they are occasionally pretty, they still gross up the place pretty badly.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Five Hundred Fifty-Three

November 27, 2016
9.37 Miles in 1:26:51
Mood: No nonsense
Soundtrack: Hamilton Original Cast Recording

I needed 9.2 miles to get to my 100 mile goal for November, and since every day is potentially ruined by snow this time of year, I wanted to attain that target and not have to rely on a Tuesday run that may or may not come. I decided to get serious. I went to Wash Park and decided that I would loop it four times and keep the Pokemon app off. The resulting run was faster paced than I've gone in quite some time, and I managed to hit my goal and still get home early.

I was also fortunate in that I saw the only moment of the day where the sun shone. It happened shortly after dawn, and I took the above photo of a tree. Shortly after this moment, the clouds rolled in, and it was mostly gray and gloomy for the rest of Sunday. It even briefly snowed on my as I began my fourth lap. It wasn't a highly memorable or amazing run, but it sure was efficient, and I even pulled out my Hamilton music to make it more enjoyable.

Five Hundred Fifty-Two

November 25, 2016
7.54 Miles in 1:13:32
Mood: Lacking in flow, but in the best possible way.
Soundtrack: Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything / The Memory Palace / 99% Invisible / The Allusionist / The Gist / The After Disaster

This was the run where I cleared out my podcast queue of all the little short pods that were lingering in the queue. I jumped from topic to topic including such items as invasive surveillance, a strange 18th century failed artist, Mary Shelley's inspiration for Frankenstein, a Chinese city which seems to exist solely to supply the world's dollar stores, and the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. There wasn't much flow to the topics or to my running pace, but it was a lovely morning with no clouds and beautiful trees, and the seven and a half miles flew past. There was one section where I could feel my blood sugar dropping, and I had to take a brief break to eat and recover, but in general, it was an inconsistent yet enjoyable outing.

Five Hundred Fifty-One

November 24, 2016
8.20 Miles in 1:21:14
Mood: Thankful and Meandering
Soundtrack: Walking Dead 'Cast / The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast / Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness"

Thanksgiving is a pretty great holiday, but this was one of the weirder ones I've ever had. Usually, I spend it with extended family eating turkey and watching football, but this year it was just my family of four, we had a chicken instead of turkey (which is actually a tastier bird), and I barely watched any football all day. Instead, I found myself sleeping in, and then going on a meandering jog through downtown Denver.

I went a little overboard on catching Pokemon while running, and ended up on an extended run that took many diversions into catching them all. I felt zero sense of urgency, which was perhaps a mistake, as I caused our chicken dinner to be postponed a bit due to the fact that I was home later than expected, but while I was downtown, I was enjoying an absolutely beautiful day. The only downside was that it was pretty chilly as I left home, so I wore a heavy hooded sweatshirt on my run which became unnecessary about 15 minutes into my run, but which I refused to just abandon on the side of the road and therefore I was hot and overdressed.

The weirdest moment of the run came when this random girl walked up to me and asked where she could get a cup of coffee. She said she forgot it was Thanksgiving, and everything was closed and she was dying for a good cup of Joe. She was overly a mind-programmed cult kind of way and she had a really strange name that I cannot remember. Still, she didn't really creep me out, I was more amused at the odd nature of the entire conversation. Sadly, the best suggestion I made for coffee was hitting up a 7-Eleven, which I'm certain does not qualify as a "good" cup of coffee, but if it's Thanksgiving and everything is take what you can get.

Today's photo comes from a new art installation which is located right next to the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. I like the bike, but I'm not sure why the back half of it is covered in sheet metal. Is it still being unpackaged, or is this the finished product? Unclear. Either way, the fact that the State Capitol Building is peeking around the back of the building in this photo makes me extra happy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Five Hundred Fifty

November 20, 2016
7.60 Miles in 1:17:43
Mood: Overdressed for downtown.
Soundtrack: Passenger "Whispers" and "Young as the Morning Old as the Sea"

As I left the house, the temps were in the low 30s, and I made a critically bad decision. I put on a heavy hooded sweatshirt to stay warm on my run. This made sense for the first ten minutes of my run, but as my body temps rose and the sun came up, it became way too hot and sweaty. Still, unless I wanted to just ditch my sweatshirt somewhere in the heart of Denver, which I did not want to do, I was stuck wearing too many clothes. It wasn't unbearably uncomfortable, but I felt overly hot and sweaty...which never feels great.

The run itself was actually quite nice, though. I was able to get an early morning view of Cheesman Park and then run through downtown to Confluence Park and back. After snow had fallen on Thursday, Sunday was the first day where it felt like the snow had fully melted and it was easy to run again without weather concerns.

The photo for this run is a beautiful old stone building which looks like a castle. It looked amazing in the light of dawn. The picture sort of captures how cool it was, but not as well as being there. Also, there was a Squirtle spawning on the front lawn, so it was even that much cooler of a place on Sunday morning.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Nine

November 17, 2016
8.88 Miles in 1:28:21
Mood: Impending doom
Soundtrack: James Germain "Jane Misanthrope" / Hop Along "Painted Shut" / Mutemath "Odd Soul"

After 201 consecutive Denver days without snow, this was the day that glorious streak would come to an end. I knew the vile white stuff was coming, so I tried to cherish this run as much as I could. I hit the Highline Canal Trail because once snow hits, it tends to make the path muddy, icy and unrunable for months at a time. The cold front had not yet hit, so the weather was pleasantly in the 40's, but there were unmistakably gloomy clouds moving in and there was a gray foreboding in the air. I took a picture of these berries which had shriveled and turned black...I can only assume because they knew the snow was coming and were so depressed that they took their own lives.

The actual run was actually quite pleasant, but I couldn't shake the feeling of dread from the impending storm. Even though the forecast actually calls for nice weather in the coming week, I still can't help but feel like winter has closed it's icy grip around me, and it makes me shudder a bit knowing that the warmth of spring is months and months away and the cold and darkness of winter will only get worse. (In case you didn't pick up on it, I don't like winter and snow.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Eight

November 15, 2016
8.27 Miles in 1:25:19
Mood: Purple Mountains have me feeling majestic.
Soundtrack: The Wombats "Glitterbug" / The Decemberists "What a Terrible World, What a Wonderful World" / Pandas & People "Out to Sea" / James Germain & the Grey Gray Days "Criminal Heart"

Yes, indeed, the mountains sometimes look purple. The whole "Purple Mountains' Majesty" thing is not a myth. Nature was conspiring against me to stop and take far too many pictures. There was a super moon setting in the west as the sun was rising, and it was far prettier than it had any right to be, even if I couldn't really get a good photo of it. Then the sun rose and made all the trees and mountains light up in beautiful ways. I'm never fast anymore, but I was even slower than normal due to my many breaks to shoot photos of the beauty.

Considering it's the middle of November, the weather is truly ridiculous. It was over fifty degrees early this morning, and before noon today the temps are going to be in the mid seventies. Snow is in the immediate forecast, so SOON the weather will be seasonal, but right now I'm loving the unseasonableness of the whole thing.

It was truly a beautiful morning to be awake and about in nature, and it's days like this that make me thankful to be a morning runner. We'll see how thankful I am this Thursday when my weather forecast app has a been snowflake on that day on the calendar. It'll be a shame to say goodbye to late summer weather in November.

Five Hundred Forty-Seven

November 11, 2016
8.21 Miles in 1:24:27
Mood: Finishing Friday strong since Sunday wasn't happening.
Soundtrack: The Gist / The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Lumineers "Cleopatra"

After a crazy week at work, my mind was kind of fried. I just ran with abandon and did another longish run knowing that I would be missing my Sunday run since I was going to attend the early Sunday service at Mission Hills so that I could watch the Broncos play an early game in New Orleans. If I wanted to get in some miles, I needed to do so on Thursday and Friday, and after this run was over, I had done over 17 miles in the past two days, so mission accomplished.

I really like the picture for today's run, because I like how the shadows from the fence make it look as if the fence is extending into the trees. This picture would be way cooler if the power lines weren't there, but it still is pretty nice.

Five Hundred Forty-Six

November 10, 2016
9.19 Miles in 1:32:50
Mood: Lingering longer with the threat of no shower.
Soundtrack: The Dan Lebatard Show / Lupe Fiasco "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor" / Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Angles"

I hadn't hit 9 miles in awhile, and this might not have been the smartest day to do so, as they were shutting the water off in our townhouse community at 9AM, which meant that when I got back, I had about 15 minutes to get a shower in before there would be no water, but I still went long because the day was beautiful and there were red berries to photograph.