Monday, August 19, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty-Eight

August 18, 2019
7.19 Miles in 1:11:13
Mood: Wow, look at that grass.
Soundtrack: Vampire Weekend "Father of the Bride"

It was a cloudy morning, and somewhat cool for an August day. There was another run happening at City Park for the second Sunday in a row, although it was ending as I arrived at the park, which is weird, because I got there early. I began just a little after 7, and runs don't usually end so early in the morning. It's rare in my experience for them to begin before 9, and this one had packed up and almost entirely left by 9, which was weird.

However, the most memorable thing about this run occurred while I was running north of the park. I came across a lawn that was insane. It looked like it was maintained by a team of garden professionals 24 hours a day. It was thick and short and luscious, and would not have looked out of place in a professional baseball stadium. It was jarring because I was passing yard after yard of normal grass, and suddenly this one lawn exploded into my consciousness. You couldn't help but notice it is was so stunning. And this is coming from me, a guy who does not care about lawns in the least. It was amazing.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty-Seven

August 16, 2019
6.20 Miles in 1:01:06
Mood: None shall pass.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "The Beatles"

I had a final destination in mind, which was Newton Middle School. Today was Luke's first day as a Middle Schooler, so I wanted to be there to wish him well as he transitioned into the new world of Middle School. I did the same thing for Ellie two years ago on her first day of Middle School, and two years ago I barely made it, so I was motivated to get there in plenty of time, but even still...I was running a bit behind schedule. That was when stupid male ego intervened for my benefit.

I was on the trail, and thought I was getting dangerously close to the pace that allowed me to barely make it in time for Ellie (and I was taking the exact same route) when I stopped to examine something on my phone and a woman that I would estimate to be maybe slightly younger than I am ran past. I finished up with my phone and began running again and I was just a tiny bit faster than she was, so after a few minutes, I passed her. We exchanged a few pleasant words, and then I ran ahead. I hate to pass people and then have them pass me back up, so now I was locked in to put her in my rear view, but she just kept coming. I ended up running almost 3 miles without even taking a break (which is a lot for me at a single stretch) but since I kept looking back and seeing her not too far behind me, I just kept pressing on. That bit of dumb pride actually got me to Newton about ten minutes before Luke would show up. So it all worked out. Also, I'm very proud of my son.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty-Six

August 15, 2019
7.33 Miles in 1:15:25
Mood: Using my run as basically a real life Google Maps request.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Let It Be"

The night before this run, I got involved in a conversation about our friend's son walking to his new school. We started wondering just how long that walk would be and we didn't come to the same conclusion, so I had a mission on this particular run. I would run to our friend's house, and track how far it was to travel by foot from their front porch to the school. The answer? 1.84 miles. It's nice to be able to use my run to answer very concrete questions, and that doesn't happen much. I'm basically a scientist, now.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty-Five

August 13, 2019
7.17 Miles in 1:11:41
Mood: Appreciating the flowers of August.
Soundtrack: Manchester Orchestra "A Black Mile to the Surface"

Certain phenomena I see as I run in my neighborhood have months associated with them, and August has sunflowers. I never see them most of the time, but come August every year they are suddenly everywhere for a few weeks. Giant wild bushes with gorgeous yellow flowers just leap to notice in people's yards. And bees. There are always bees. (I even caught one in the photo above.) I enjoy this hallmark of August, even as I realize it means the summer is beginning to end. I even felt that as there was a fall like crispness to the air for the first half hour of this run. I'm not sad about the onset of fall, as it is easily my favorite season, but summer is pretty dang good, and I'll miss a lot about it.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty-Four

August 11, 2019
5.71 Miles in 57:04
Mood: Lucky geese are lucky.
Soundtrack: Bon Iver "i,i"

I went running at City Park for a change of pace from my usual Wash Park Sunday. A few weeks ago the city rounded up and killed several hundred Canada Geese because they were overcrowding the park and there were just too many of them for the overall health of the park. Many people were upset at this, and as I ran around the park, I thought to myself that they might not have gone far enough. Anyway, these are some of the lucky ones who survived the culling.

There was also a running event happening in the park, and it may have been the most disorganized thing I've ever seen. There were people all over the place. I saw some people warming up very vigorously, I saw some people that looked like they might be running the course before the event officially began, I saw large swaths of people who were walking the course with their bibs on, but it appeared that the runners hadn't yet gone, which is a weird order to do these things. (The walkers usually go last.) There was a DJ at one of the turns blasting music loudly and there was literally no one else around except for him, so it looked like he set up giant speakers just to listen loudly to music he likes.) Perhaps this event was more organized that it appeared, but it did not look like that to an outsider such as myself. Oh...and the name of the run was "The Donut Dash" because nothing goes together more than running and donuts.

Nine Hundred Eighty-Three

August 9, 2019
5.86 Miles in 59:32
Mood: Yay clouds!
Soundtrack: Modest Mouse "Strangers to Ourselves" and "The Moon & Antarctica

The clouds were very dramatic as I started out on this run. I love a dramatic cloud. I had been up relatively late the night before, and it was a bit of a struggle to get out of bed for this one, but I managed to get up and get myself on the trail. I felt really good the first half, and then had another one of those dreaded low blood sugars hit and render me useless for running for the final few miles...which I pretty much ended up walking. Unlike the clouds, the low blood sugar was extremely was just annoying.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty-Two

August 6, 2019
7.01 Miles in 1:12:50
Mood: Nice horse.
Soundtrack: Jack Garratt "Phase"

I got a little ambitious and decided to run more on streets and less on the Highline Canal this run. Then I got into a good groove and ended up further away from home than I usually get. I would have probably gone over eight miles total with relative ease if I didn't get one of those energy sucking low blood sugars towards the end of the run. This was a very good run that was just shy of being a truly great run thanks to the annoyance of diabetes.

I also found this very large carousel horse hanging out in someone's front yard on this run. That is quite a significant rocking horse and a substantial statement for a yard decoration. I'm not sure what the statement is, but it is a statement to be sure.

Nine Hundred Eighty-One

August 4, 2019
7.46 Miles in 1:12:07
Mood: I remembered!
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "A Carolina Jubilee" and "Emotionalism"

I didn't forget to take a picture this time at Wash Park! I was getting close to the end of my run when I finally remembered, but it happened. This bird was flying right at me, so I was hoping to get a cool picture of it flying right above me, but he veered to the side just as i took the picture. It still came out pretty cool, but I guess it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. The important thing is that I didn't have to swipe a picture off Instagram this week.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Nine Hundred Eighty

August 2, 2019
7.23 Miles in 1:13:50
Mood: Slow and damp wins the race.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Today was a good day for very fast skinny people to fly past me like I was standing still. The first time it happened it was this rail thin girl in her twenties who passed me so quickly that I was legitimately startled, and she ran to where I could no longer see in in a matter of moments. She was super fast! Then about three miles later, it was a guy wearing those really tiny runner shorts without a shirt...also insanely skinny, also blowing past me light lightning. I get passed on a fairly regular basis, as I am far from a speed demon, but these two did it with style and panache...and speed. Don't forget the speed.

Today was also the most humid I can ever remember Colorado being for a run. It felt almost like I was in Mississippi. By the time I was finished I was drenched in sweat, even though it hadn't really gotten all that hot out, just the humidity made everything feel super wet. It rained last night, but this was something super unusual. I can't remember a wetter summer in this state. It's been nuts.

Nine Hundred Seventy-Nine

July 31, 2019
7.58 Miles in 1:19:55
Mood: Going a little off the normal path.
Soundtrack: The Shins "Port of Morrow" and Robert DeLong "In The Cards"

Sometimes if you go just a tiny bit off the beaten path, you find something totally new and cool. I was running a very familiar course which included a bit of the Highline Canal at both the beginning and end of my run with a little bit of Littleton city streets thrown in for good measure when I deviated just a tiny bit to a little bit off where I would normally go. (This can be seen on the map as the westernmost spot there is just a little tick to the left.) Just that tiny little deviation allowed me to find this John Lennon mural on the side of a brick wall, which I really enjoyed. So occasionally deviating can be a good thing!