Friday, June 22, 2018

Eight Hundred Twenty-Six

June 22, 2018
4.94 Miles in 49:24
Mood: Plum tuckered out from a week of living solo.
Soundtrack: Westworld Cast / Panic! at the Disco "Pray For The Wicked"

My family has been out of town for a week, and I am so thankful they are coming back. 1. I miss them very much, but 2. I sleep better when they are here. Thanks to my fitful sleep of the last week, I was pretty tired as I started out on this one. I didn't have too much energy to sustain any kind of pace, and I ended up walking long stretches of my trek to Ketring Park and back. Still, it was a nice morning as I listened a bit more to my Westworld pod, and then took in the new album from Panic! It was good, but it's such a short album. It feels like it ends six minutes after it starts. (To clarify, In point of fact it IS longer than six minutes.)

I guess I feel like taking photos of flowers this week. This yard was covered in flowers, and I took SEVERAL shots.

Eight Hundred Twenty-Five

June 20, 2018
6.73 Miles in 1:06:40
Mood: Engrossed in TV talk and taking pictures of weeds.
Soundtrack: Westworld 'Cast

So technically, thistles are weeds, and once they dry out and get all prickly and brown, I get it. However, at this stage with they are vibrant pink...I dig em. I spent this run at a much slower pace than Sunday at Wash Park, but it was still a beautiful morning and I felt pretty good for the most part. I was engrossed in a podcast about Westworld, a show which I am currently watching through a second time. I NEVER watch shows twice, but this show is so rich with details and has so many surprise twists and turns that watching it a second time is almost like watching a different show, as I see places where they weave their complicated plot in ways I could not have possibly understood upon first viewing. Listening to a podcast about it gives me even more so chew on, and I dig that.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Eight Hundred Twenty-Four

June 17, 2018
7.09 Miles in 1:07:41
Mood: Back where I belong on a Sunday morning
Soundtrack: The Head and The Heart "The Head and The Heart"

It has been a bit since I got in a run at Wash Park. Specifically, I hadn't run in my favorite place to run since April 15th. I was overdue and excited to get back to it. It felt very good to be back in my happy place. I had biked around Wash Park a couple of times, but that is just not the same.

I was determined to get in at least seven miles this trip. And although I was running on fumes toward the end, I wasn't going to quit. Even though on my final lap around the park, I went about a quarter to half a mile without my tracker on. (See that unnatural straight line on the lower left hand side of the map that cuts through the park? That's the section that I missed out on because I didn't hit "Resume Run" when I thought I had.) So, in actuality, I did even more than 7.09 miles, but the rule is and always will doesn't count if it's not tracked. I was irritated, but kept pushing at the end so I could get my 7. I felt kinda proud of myself when I was done, because although I was not at my best, I still accomplished my goal...and at a decent pace.

I was hoping to get a good photo of the ducks as seen above. The one I got was okay, but they would swim away from me just as soon as I approached with my camera. If I were just watching them from the path, no problem. The instant I took out my camera and pointed it at them, they scattered like roaches when the lights come on. I was getting irritated at the camera shy ducks, but the little ones were too cute to ignore, so I kept trying until I got an okay shot.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Eight Hundred Twenty-Three

June 14, 2018
5.02 Miles in 49:54
Mood: Smoke and a Bear, and yet no Smokey the Bear references (except this one.)
Soundtrack: Arctic Monkeys "Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino" / The Avett Brothers "A Carolina Jubilee"

Sore legs and low blood sugar meant I wasn't quite as productive on this Thursday run as I managed on Tuesday. Still, I managed to get in a decent five miles, with several long walking breaks in between. The sky was smoky and the sun looked red as it rose in the east thanks to seven different wildfires burning in our state. The air smelled smoky, but in a beef jerky kind of way, not in a "I have to cough now" kind of way.

Today's photo comes from just outside the Goodson Rec Center where several new art pieces are on display. My favorite one was naturally the friendly looking bear cub!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Eight Hundred Twenty-Two

June 12, 2018
7.77 Miles in 1:17:49
Mood: Back in the saddle, and it feels so good!
Soundtrack: Daves of Thunder / The Shins "Port of Morrow"

I'm trying to work the kinks out of my running. Hopefully I do a better job of de-kinking that the person who abandoned this slinky on the Streets at Southglenn. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do when you come across an abandoned slinky on the sidewalk, but I decided that I would take a photo of it.

This run marks the first time since my foot injury that I ran a normal running distance (for me) and felt like myself the whole time. It was a bit of a relief, as the first three times I went out, It was a massive struggle and I ran out of steam super early every time. I actually had steam as I finished up this time, and almost made it eight miles. These were both encouraging signs to me, and have me feeling like I will be back to normal very soon!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Eight Hundred Twenty-One

June 5, 2018
6.01 Miles in 1:00:02
Mood: Out of shape, so out of shape.
Soundtrack: Dear and the Headlights "Drunk Like Bible Times"

This was my third attempt at running since coming back from my foot injury, and the early returns are that the foot is doing fine, but my conditioning has fallen apart. This was the longest outing I have tried, and I pretty much fell apart at around four miles, and dragged myself to a rather unimpressive six before just walking the final stretch home.

In addition to being unable to catch my breath, my muscles have apparently softened during my absence from the trails and now I get super sore and tight muscles for days after even the shortest run when previously I could do a good long run and feel mostly great the next day, now I'm feeling it. My plan for now is to continue to slowly work in some runs this month along with some bike rides and slowly build up my endurance so that maybe by July I'll have a shot at once again hitting a 100 mile month.

Eight Hundred Twenty

June 3, 2018
7.62 Miles (Biked) in 58:28
Mood: Pretty tired.
Soundtrack: Kanye West "ye"

I had honest intentions of doing a full scale bike workout on this particular Sunday morning. However, after a long Saturday drive through Wyoming and a late night where I had trouble sleeping, it was tough getting myself out of bed, and while I eventually got up. I didn't have the time or energy to do a major ride, so I basically just circled Southglenn to load up on Pokemon supplies from the plentiful Pokestops and abandoned any pretense of working hard. Still, it was a lovely morning, and it felt good to be home after a long and wonderful trip in Yellowstone, and when I was done, I had all the supplies I could hold, which I had depleted during my trip.

I nearly didn't take a photo on this ride, but at the last minute I remembered to do so, and shot a picture of a Maserati. I am most definitely NOT a car guy, and couldn't care less about the car aspects of what make this vehicle obscenely overpriced, but I do like a good logo, and Maserati's Trident logo is pretty glorious. So while I couldn't care less about the car itself, I dig it's logo a lot, and decided to just take a picture of the grill. 

Eight Hundred Nineteen

June 2, 2018
5.15 Miles in 50:48
Mood: Enjoying a charming town in the literal middle of nowhere.
Soundtrack: The Hamilton Mixtape

With this run, I add a 12th state to my Run and Shoot resume. I already had Colorado, Kansas, Washington, South Dakota, Illinois, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisana, Mississippi, Iowa and Florida. I now add Wyoming to the mix with this run in the quaint town of Pinedale, Wyoming. I had planned on running in Yellowstone, the destination that had brought me to Wyoming, but when I discussed this possibility with the locals, they said that it wouldn't be safe unless I took a canister of bear spray with me. Bear spray is very expensive, and not something I really wanted to run with. Also, I didn't want to run without it and risk becoming a bear snack, so I decided to forego running until I got out of bear country.

The town of Pinedale isn't terribly large, but they do have quite an interest in the arts, as there were murals and paintings and statues all over town. I almost decided to post a photo of a moose statue that is in front of a Chinese Restaurant, but I decided on the much more tasteful elk statues in a park in the center of town right next to the river. I also could have posted a fish collage, a painting of cows on the side of a building, a cool frontiersman statue, or several other murals that I saw all over town. There were a lot of cool objects in a town so small. I think my favorite fact about Pinedale is that it's motto seems to be, "All the Civilization You Need!" A motto which to me does not appear to be based in fact, but perhaps that is a matter of opinion.

Tiny towns are a great place to run when on vacation, as you can get an idea of the entire place in one workout. This place is pretty great, as it has a beautiful river going through the middle of it which one can run along with nice parks, a beautiful path beside the river, and the aforementioned art. I have no interest in living in a tiny town in Western Wyoming, especially as based on my drive through enormous stretches of vast wasteland, there doesn't appear to be another legit town within hundreds of miles in any direction. Wyoming is the least populous state, and wow could I feel that fact driving through it on Saturday.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Eight Hundred Eighteen

May 25, 2018
2.25 Miles in 21:57 plus
9.05 Miles (Biked) in 1:01:19
Mood: A triumphant mini return to running
Soundtrack: Panic! At The Disco "Death Of A Bachelor"

After not running at all since April 18th, I was able to make a limited return to action. The podiatrist recommended I take it slow at first, so I only did 2.25 miles, but it felt pretty good to be back. I could definitely tell that it has been over five weeks since I last ran, as my leg muscles were pretty stiff and I felt pretty badly out of practice, but it did feel pretty good to be on the trail again, even if it were only for two miles.

After my quick run, I jumped on the bike, and did another nine miles. It was a good mix of taking it easy along with several miles of really pushing myself on the Highline Canal. I noticed that I got much sweatier in 2 miles of running than I ever did with nine miles of biking. I am feeling great afterwards, with my foot having zero signs of pain, so I will continue to ramp up the running portions and decreasing the biking until hopefully I'm back to normal. Although, it is nice to have the bike in my back pocket as an alternative, as I have enjoyed that quite a bit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Eight Hundred Seventeen

May 23, 2018
16.62 Miles (Biked) in 1:50:51
Mood: More adventurous that the previous day, for sure.
Soundtrack: The Decemberists "I'll Be Your Girl"

Wednesday is usually a rest day for me, but since I took it super easy yesterday, I figured I'd get up and go a little harder today. I decided to head south, as I hadn't really gone that direction on the bike, and figured I could enjoy some of what Highlands Ranch has to offer in the way of trails.

Highlands Ranch is called that for a reason, as it is basically straight up a hill to get there. So the getting there was a little rough. At one point, I was biking slowly up a hill when a serious bike guy in his serious bike guy spandex flew past me. I was kind of amazed at the kind of speed he had going up a hill that had reduced me to a near standstill. Clearly, I am not a serious bike guy, but the gap between me and them is larger that I figured.

Once I actually got to Highlands Ranch, I headed directly to the very large Sand Creek Park which is basically paved trails weaving their way through natural beauty, surrounded on all sides by single family home subdivisions. It's so big, though, that it feels legitimately natural. I have run there once before, and was pumped to check it out again. I went through it so quickly and found myself headed North again pretty quickly, and before long I was passing by my church, and then like a trout returning to spawn, I migrated back towards the Highline Canal...where I truly belong.

It was only a 16 mile ride, but it felt much more adventurous that yesterday. Plus I got to see this glorious orange flower along the Highline, which was the visual highlight for me of the whole trip.