Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Nine Hundred One

January 20, 2019
22.43 Miles (Biked) in 2:11:19
Mood: Yeah, that used to be just a regular hearse.
Soundtrack: Mumford & Sons "Delta" / The Avett Brothers "I and Love and You"

With a gorgeous morning in January with streets that were clear, I knew I needed to make the best of this Sunday. It had been a little bit since the last sojourn to Wash Park, so I figured it was about time to ride the bike up that way. I decided to take Lincoln north, a route I have never before taken, and luckily that decision led me to seeing a hearse decked out with giant guns, a skull for a hood ornament, and what I suppose are bat wings? I don't know what motivates people to do things like this, but thank God they find the motivation. Makes like more interesting.

Nine Hundred

January 17, 2019
13.93 Miles (Biked) in 1:25:08
Mood: Anti-Jazz, as always.
Soundtrack: The Shins "Port of Morrow"

Another sunny day, and the roads finally had melted to the point where I could venture out into the streets on my bike without fear of sliding on the ice to my death. I still had a few slippery moments of fun, but for the most part, I was able to enjoy a cold but sunny morning in the neighborhood.

As for "Slow the Funk Down", It's nice to know that there are people out there trying to stomp out jazz music. About time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Eight Hundred Ninety-Nine

January 15, 2019
6.93 Miles (Biked) in 56:20
Mood: Admiring huge piles of dirty snow.
Soundtrack: Mumford & Sons "Delta"

First off, it was Ellie's birthday, so Happy Birthday Ellie! I celebrated my daughter turning 14 by heading out to the only place where the snow has been cleared enough to ride my bike...The Streets at Southglenn! I say that they clear the snow, when really what they do is create a giant dirty pile of snow in the parking lot. This mountain of frozen water and dirt is truly enormous...I'm not sure the photograph shows the full scale of it's hugeness.

This was kind of a weak attempt at exercise. I spun around Southglenn for awhile (technically longer than the 6.93 miles and 56:20 miles listed, but the Endomondo App crashed on me yet again.), but I wasn't pushing myself all that hard and mostly was loading up on Pokemon supplies and enjoying a very cold morning outdoors.

Eight Hundred Ninety-Eight

January 10, 2019
13.15 Miles (Biked) in 1:15:21
Mood: Grumpy dogs are not made cuter with cute signs.
Soundtrack: Cosmo Sheldrake "The Much Much How How and I" / Mumford & Sons "Delta"

Snow was scheduled for this evening, so I knew that if I wanted to take advantage of the clear streets, I needed to strike now. I have been obsessed with a new Apple commercial which features the song "Come Along" by Cosmo Sheldrake, so I decided to listen to the whole album. I didn't hate it, but I think I'm good with just listening to the one song that I was familiar with and not incorporating the entire weird album into my lifestyle.

Today's photo comes from a fancy house that had a dog who was barking at me. The dog on the sign is much cuter and more friendly looking than their actual dog who didn't seem to enjoy my presence.

I went pretty hard on this ride, and felt that good old fashioned post-workout feeling when I was done...which was pretty sweet.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Eight Hundred Ninety-Seven

January 8, 2019
10.75 Miles (Biked) in 1:19:39
Mood: Let's Go! (But not too hard.)
Soundtrack: Mediocre Show and The After Disaster

I was pretty tired on this Tuesday morning, but I decided I needed to ride because the weather was going to be nice, and there are not enough nice mornings in January. Still, I was pooped, so I didn't ride particularly hard. Just a smidge over 10 miles, and most of that within the friendly confines of The Streets at Southglenn. Still, exercise was had. So yay!

Eight Hundred Ninety-Six

January 6, 2019
19.74 Miles (Biked) in 1:59:10
Mood: Holy Moly, time moves quickly.
Soundtrack: Panic! at the Disco "Pray for the Wicked"

After a week of cold and snow, it finally warmed up enough for the snow to melt and the streets be be non-icy enough for me to jump back on the bike. I took this as a welcome development and hopped back aboard my Fuji to get some miles in. The boys basketball team I coach had won a close game the day before, and I was still in a really good mood thanks to the victory, so I headed out early in the morning with a good feeling in my heart and a desire to get in a decent bike ride.

I headed west without too much of an agenda, and I ended up at Columbine High School. This got me thinking about what most people think of when that school is brought up...the shooting in 1999. I realized that this year will be the 20 year anniversary of that tragedy, and that the seniors graduating this year weren't even born yet when it happened. Then I just felt old and moved on.

Eight Hundred Ninety-Five

January 3, 2019
2.10 Miles in 22:12
Mood: Let's try this running thing again!
Soundtrack: Panic! at the Disco "Death of a Bachelor"

I have been avoiding running due to a nagging heel pain. I wouldn't exactly say it's an injury, but it's irritating enough to have me on my bike most mornings that I exercise. The previous night, I did a little Googling and found a potential diagnosis of Heel Pad Syndrome. I have no idea if this is what I'm dealing with, but it sounded like it, and one of the recommended treatments is to tape up my heel to bolster the padding on my heel. 

I did that on this morning, and it made me feel instantly much better. Not perfect, but definitely good enough to run. I hadn't exercised since a bike ride on Christmas Eve, and I was desperate to get back out at it. Due to snow, my bike was out of the question, but I figured with the tape job, I could at the very least get out and do a short run. 

It felt good to be running again, although my conditioning has fallen apart. I was quickly huffing and puffing, and it felt like the initial few months when I started running way back in 2012. I was slow and had to take several breaks, and only ended up notching slightly over 2 miles, but it felt good and I was able to run, even if just a little, and that was a victory.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Eight Hundred Ninety-Four

December 24, 2018
8.63 Miles (Biked) (More really, thanks for nothing, Endomondo) in 55:28
Mood: Merry Christmas Eve!
Soundtrack: The Shins "Wincing the Night Away" / Robert DeLong "Just Movement"

It was a cloudy and chilly Christmas Eve, and I did not have a plan. I was going to ride where the wind took me, and it took me to Westlands Park. I felt much better on this ride than I did on Friday, and despite the chill, I was enjoying myself. I decided to take a picture of the Westlands Park Dolphin statues because what better way to commemorate Christmas Eve than with dolphins?

The only real downside to this ride was that once again I was cheated out of several miles of credit by the Endomondo App crashing once again. I was so annoyed that I deleted the app and then redownloaded it in the hope that it'll work better next time. For now, I was once again denied getting the mileage I should have received by a faulty app. You're on thin ice Endomondo. I don't want to change, but I hear nice things about Strava...

Eight Hundred Ninety-Three

December 21, 2018
29.39 Miles (Biked) (Actually much more, but Endomondo broke.) in 2:45:18
Mood: Grinding out a tough and long one on the winter solstice.
Soundtrack: TV on the Radio "Dear Science / The Avett Brothers "Country Was" / Bad Veins "The Mess Remade" / Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip "Angles"

I had the day off, the kids were at school, and I had a plan. I was going to ride up to the RiNo district to look at the spray paint murals that change there on a somewhat frequent basis. This is a very long ride, but I had a lot of time, and as I left, the weather was gloriously warm for a December day. (Technically, the shortest day of the year.)

I had a slight headache as I pulled away from home, and I gave a split second of thought towards going back into the house and taking some ibuprofen, but I decided it wouldn't be necessary, and I plowed forward towards downtown. A few miles in, and my headache was not really subsiding, and I didn't feel all that great, but I was not diverting from the plan. I kept cycling northward despite the uncomfortable feelings.

I actually briefly felt pretty good as I was tooling around downtown Denver. I saw the murals (including the one pictured above) and they were pretty awesome. I also saw a statue on a rooftop of a T-Rex eating Mickey Mouse. This brief section downtown was pretty great...apart for the time when I tried riding my bike through the 16th Street Mall, which was jam packed with pedestrians and was excruciatingly slow going.

My headache returned with a vengeance once I hit the Cherry Creek Trail. Add to that a feeling that my blood sugar was starting to get low, and I was a bit of a mess. Knowing I pretty much just needed to keep moving forward, despite being about ten or so miles from home, I just put my head down and kept moving. At one point I was passed by an elderly couple on a bicycle built for two, which was not great for my ego, but I didn't care much at that point. I was tired and hurting and I just focused on continuing to move.

Things got better as I got closer to Wash Park. I found a convenience store, and briefly ran in to get a Powerade and a bag of chips. After buying those, I also bought four ibuprofen tablets for two bucks, which is an obscene overcharging, but I happily paid it to help with the headache. I had stopped partially because I was hungry and partially because I needed something to raise my blood sugar. I stood outside the store and ate my chips and guzzled the Powerade as the pills slowly began to do their work. By the time I reached I-25 and Downing, my headache was feeling much better and my brother called me to let me know that our Broncos season tickets had been selected to allow us to go down to the field and help unfurl the giant American flag before kickoff. This would have been awesome if I was going to the game, but we had sold our tickets, so it was more of a thing that could have been awesome, but wasn't.

I then just through sheer determination made it the rest of the way home. Going south at that point is largely an uphill endeavor, and there were a couple of times on University that I walked my bike up a hill because I was tired. It was about at this point that I noticed that the audio updates that announce every mile tracked on my Endomondo app stopped occurring. I was too tired to care too much about it, but when I got home, I realized that I had been shorted several miles because for whatever unknown reason, the app just stopped working. So in truth, I definitely went over 30 miles and this may have been my longest ride ever, I only got tracking credit for 29 miles. This is not a big deal, but it annoys me.

Still, I survived, and got home and rested for the rest of the day, so all in all, it was a win...even if it was definitely not  the most fun ride I have ever had.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Eight Hundred Ninety-Two

December 18, 2018
14.29 Miles (Biked) in 1:18:55
Mood: Trying to avoid having to make navigational decisions.
Soundtrack: The Gist

Having my exercise territory basically doubled in that I can cover a lot more distance on two wheels than I can on two feet has been pretty awesome. It's allowed me to go to a bunch of new places and see new things, but it has also led to an unexpected stress...I have to think harder about where I'm going and how to get from point A to point B. This navigational stress was something I was in no mood to deal with on Tuesday morning, so rather than trying for a new destination, I decided to just hit the Highline Canal Trail and stay on it. I went seven miles out, and then seven miles back. It wasn't overly exciting, but it was a pretty morning and not having to think about where I was going was kind of a relief.