Wednesday, December 25, 2013


December 24, 2013
3.88 Miles in 32:19
Mood: So Happy
Soundtrack: Green Day "American Idiot"

It was Christmas Eve, and I was let out of work at noon. I got home feeling alive and healthy and wanting nothing more than to just go running. My leg was completely pain free, and I decided to try and push it a little bit. Not TOO far, but I was definitely going to go more than just a lousy 2 miles.

The weather was amazing, slightly windy, but warm and sunny with beautiful billowy clouds in the bright blue sky. I was pumped, because my leg felt completely normal for the first time in a month. It was all I could do not to run for ten miles, I felt so good. However, I tried to use SOME common sense and not push myself too hard. Although my leg felt great, I could feel the effects of barely exercising in December. My lungs were hurting, and my conditioning had obviously slipped. After 20 minutes, I was huffing and puffing with all the gusto of the big bad wolf, but so happy. I can tell that I'll need to get my conditioning back, and it may take a little while, but baby...I'm BACK! As I write this on Christmas Night, I can feel the slight stiffness of sore muscles, and it still feels wonderful. To have slight soreness from actually running instead of severe pain from obvious injuries is a wonderful feeling, as is not having to limp after trying to run.

I think the thing that I have been taught by my forced hiatus from running is to appreciate it, as it's something not to take for granted. Your body's health can be taken away from you at any moment, and being able to get out and exercise is a gift. It's one of my favorite Christmas gifts this holiday season. I'm so glad to be back to pretty much normal. Hopefully, I'll get back into stronger running condition quickly, and get back to running slightly longer distances again. But no matter, I'm feeling so good right now.

Part 1

Part 2


December 22, 2013
1.79 Miles in 17:03
Mood: Tentative, but hopeful. Also grateful for perspective
Soundtrack: The Head and The Heart "Let's Be Still"

It was 9 days since a school shooting at the High School right by our house. On the day before this run, the girl who had been shot in the face by the shooter lost her fight with her injuries and passed away. I had just been told by Dr. Dan that I could attempt a run, but that I shouldn't push it by going too hard or too far. I knew I was going to head down to Arapahoe High on this first run back.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. A little chilly, but warm enough to allow me to run with just jogging pants and a long sleeved dri-fit shirt and be comfy. I ran for about eight minutes down to the school, and immediately went to take a picture of the school sign displaying "Warrior Strong" which I thought was pretty amazing. I then walked down to a makeshift memorial which has been erected along a fence on the south side of the school. The entire length of the fence is covered with signs of encouragement from students, other schools, and concerned citizens. There were flowers, stuffed animals, and all manner of items left in love for and by the student body. No one can quite make sense of the tragedy, because it was senseless, but there was a living testament to the strength of this community and to people pulling together in love. It was pretty cool. I stayed and read signs for about 15 minutes, and then with a sad but full heart, I walked back to the corner, and then ran back almost the exact route I had come.

My sadness over having missed three weeks of running seemed small and stupid next to this enormous loss. The perspective provided slapped me in the face with gratitude for all the great things and people in my life. That, coupled by a run that was quite short, but almost completely free of pain left me feeling grateful and hopeful. It was the best I had felt in some time. My mood was strengthened. Life was good, and I had a duty to recognize that.


December 10, 2013
1.78 Miles in 16:54
Mood: Discouraged, but ready to seek help.
Soundtrack: Don't remember

This was a picture of the sunset. At the time, I was thinking the sun might be setting on my running career. Again, I was over-reacting. However, I was bummed. I had waited 5 days, and felt decent. The first five to ten minutes, I felt great, but then my leg started to hurt badly. I was limping with an aggravated hamstring, and not sure exactly what was wrong with my body.

The funniest thing about this particular trip, is that the weather perfectly matched my mood the whole time. When I first left the house, it was pretty nice and I was feeling upbeat thinking that I'd be able to get in a decent run. However, instead of being wise, and staying near the house so that if my leg acted up, I would be close to home...I took off as far away as I could get from my home almost immediately. That 17 minute run away from the house turned into a limping 45 minute walk back to the house in temperatures that dropped severely along with the heat from my body no longer keeping me warm because I was now slowly hopping along rather than running.

When I got home, I was really cold, and wondering exactly how long I'd be unable to run. I was a bit bummed, but not as bad as I felt the previous time I tried running in the abject freezing temperatures on December 5th. I was motivated to find some type of help to relieve my pain and get me running again. That night, I spoke with some running friends of mine from church, and they directed me to a chiropractor. That wonderful gentleman, whom I call Dr. Dan, has really helped...and now a few weeks later. I'm feeling almost back to 100%.



December 5, 2013
1.24 Miles in 14:13
Mood: Depressed
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show

First of all, it was maybe 6 degrees when I went for this run. Snow was everywhere on the ground, and I was clearly injured. Basically, it was the worst run of my life. I tried to give it a go, but my leg hurt almost immediately. I was angry at my own body by the end. I was hurting, freezing, feeling stupid for trying, and really worried that I was never going to be able to run again. This was clearly an overreaction, but I tend to do that. It was so bad, I didn't even take a picture. Also, between the snow and wind and freezing temperatures, even if I was healthy, I probably had no business trying to go running. It was super cold outside.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


November 30, 2013
5.69 Miles in 49:29
Mood: Discouraged
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show

Even though it was 2 days after Thanksgiving, I went running in the afterglow of opening Christmas gifts. Our family can't get together for Christmas, so we exchanged gifts at Thanksgiving. I had just opened a package that had a brand new Peyton Manning jersey in my size, and I was pretty pumped about it. I was also hopeful, as after two days of rest, my leg was feeling better. Not fixed, but better.

I felt decent for the first two or three miles, but my leg was really starting to bug me after that. I tried to push through a little while longer, but I realized that it was just not healthy and I needed to cut it short. Dejectedly, I returned back to Jeff's house. My leg was really bothering me, and I wasn't sure how much rest I'd need before I could run on it again. It's Sunday night, December 1st as I write this, and while it's feeling a little better, I still am unsure how much longer it'll be before I can give it another go. For someone who starts missing running if I don't go for 2 straight days, this has me worried.

I will say this for running in Sterling...It may be less interesting to run through than Colorado, but I've never seen an inflatable Santa being pulled in farm equipment by a tiny Rudolph in Colorado. The instant I saw this happening on a lawn in Sterling, I knew it'd be my picture for this run. Here is my map of my sad, short, painful run. Hope I can add a new map sooner rather than later.


November 28, 2013
8.01 Miles in 1:10:54
Mood: Thankful
Soundtrack: Conversation with my brother-in-laws / The Mediocre Show

I was thankful, and not just because it was Thanksgiving Day. I was running in Sterling, Kansas with my brother-in-law Jeff and my brother-in-law Marat, and it was a lovely day. I was thankful that I had such good company on my run. (At least for the first half of it, as I wore out my companions after 4.3 miles, and had to do the rest of it solo.) I was also thankful because I live in an area so much more interesting to run in than Sterling. It's a fine small Kansas town, but it's just about a perfect grid, it's as flat as one would expect a Kansas town to be, and you can pretty much run the town from end to end in one run. If I had to run there as often as I run in Colorado, I would get so bored.

That said, it was a very nice outing, and an unusual one, as I rarely get to run with others. The one downside to this run was that I believe I pulled a muscle in my leg, and I was rather hobbled by it. I'm hoping it doesn't keep me out of commission for too long, but I am nervous, as even days later, it's bugging me. The weird thing is, I have no recollection of pulling anything, and only noticed the pain after the run was over.

By the way, the picture in this post is of my bro-in-law Jeff's church that he works. There is a very old and beautiful main building, and you can tell that someone decided to add on to it in the 60's with some horrific 60's style architecture. I tried to capture as much of the good and hide as much of the hideous as possible. Another thing I noticed about the map is that Kansas Farmland is a whole lot greener than the Colorado city scape...


November 26, 2013
8.75 Miles in 1:19:06
Mood: Anticipatory
Soundtrack: The Truth Podcast / The Head and The Heart "Let's Be Still"

I was excited that it was almost Thanksgiving break, and I was feeling strong, so I decided to run up to the top of the parking structure at the Streets of Southglenn. If you run the ramps, it's half a mile up and half a mile down, and from the top level, you get a pretty good view of the mountatins and also of Downtown Denver. The sun was setting, and it was amazing, but I couldn't get a good photo of it, so I decided to use the pic I got of Downtown, as you can't usually see it from Centennial. The whole run was really solid, and when I was done, I was pumped that I was heading to Kansas to see family. Thanksgiving is the best!