Monday, November 25, 2013
November 24, 2013
7.47 Miles in 1:06:44
Soundtrack: The Film Vault / 99% Invisible / The Avett Brothers "Magpie and the Dandelion"
Woke up early, feeling pretty good to go. Looked at the thermometer, it said 22 degrees. I decided to wait. The sky was dark gray and I knew it'd be miserably cold if I went so early. Hung out at home until 8:30, the temps rose all the way to 26, and I realized that if I was planning on waiting until it was comfortable, I wasn't going running. I put a hoodie over my running shirt and decided to head outside.
Usually, I just start from home and go. I felt like getting a different view on my run, so I hopped in the car and went a few miles south to Highlands Ranch. Generally, I find HR to be about the most generic and boring place, but it does have one benefit...it's higher elevation provides great views of the mountains. I was excited, because I was going to get a great picture for the blog. Then as I was driving, I remembered that dark gray clouds mean no good views. So I was stuck in the Ranch, unable to see it's one redeeming quality, and jogging on paved park paths through treeless fields. It was a big bowl of meh.
There was one glorious moment, though. A moment that I have commemorated in the picture above. I saw a field just littered with Canadian geese. There were hundreds of them. I immediately knew that I was going to scare them away, then I thought...I'll do that AND get a picture of it. So, as a 37 year old man, I was running at ducks, and photographing their flight of fear. Yeah, I'm a grown up. Still, there was something darkly satisfying that soothed an itch in the reptilian side of my brain about it. It almost made it worthwhile to run in the Colorado headquarters of The United States of Generica.
Also, I was running in a parking lot, and a Geo Metro almost killed me. It turned violently onto the side street I was minding my own business running on, and the idiot driver practically accelerated and drove towards me. I turned on the afterburners and barely got out of the way. (Fortunate, since my afterburners are not exactly jet fueled.) I'm happy to report, I lived. And since I lived, you get a map...
Sunday, November 24, 2013
November 22, 2013
8.05 Miles in 1:14:21
Mood - Confused
Soundtrack - Welcome to That Whole Thing / The Film Vault
I should have prayed harder to the smurf angel on this run. After passing up the cerulean seraphim a mile into my run, I pounded the pavement a little longer and harder than I intended. I went through a mostly familiar neighborhood in a different way than usual, and as it was starting to get dark and I was in a section of streets that were unfamiliar, I took a wrong turn.
That wrong turn extended my run about 20 minutes longer than I wanted. I appreciated the extra 2 miles to my cumulative total, but it was starting to get COLD. I wanted to get home, and I was ready to be back in a warm house. Terrible time to get turned around, but then, I guess this WAS the 13th run for the blog, so I was due for some bad luck. Fortunately, I wasn't TOO lost, and I was able to eventually get home...albeit a bit later and chillier than I had hoped. I'm not a big fan of this winter business, what with it's getting dark early and freezing cold temps. Oh well, spring will eventually spring, until then, I'll just work through the chilliness. Cue the map...
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
November 20, 2013
7.39 Miles in 1:06:53
Mood: Trying to cram in a run on the last nice day for awhile
Soundtrack: Snap Judgement / Avett Brothers "I and Love and You"
Do I know these people? Nope. Still, I was standing on their lawn taking a picture of their Broncos flag because I liked it. An unexpected side effect of this blog is that I find myself always trying to find new places to run, and that exploring leads me to new areas that I've never seen. This flagged house was on a lovely middle-class residential street which I found charming. I have never realized until lately how many people have flags hanging from their houses. I find A LOT of them on my runs.
As I was running, I was listening to a podcast from Snap Judgement about The Great Outdoors. In it, they interviewed a woman who lived with her husband in remote Alaska for over 10 years, miles and miles from any other people, just living off the land. She said something that I found interesting, "I never found being alone lonely...Being lonely is being in a group of people that don't need or want you there." I find this true. I've only run with someone else on a handful of occasions. I've enjoyed it, but there is also something nice about being alone on a run that is freeing. It's not lonely, it's a great place to find out about yourself. I dig it. Anyway...here comes the map.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
November 19, 2013
8.14 Miles in 1:12:32
Mood - Slightly Jealous
Soundtrack - Dawes "Stories Don't End" / Ben Folds Five "Whatever and Ever Amen" / The Moth Podcast
Hey, I'm a sucker for a sunset. Especially one with lots of fluffy clouds. This one was super spectacular, a camera doesn't really do it justice.
Feeling a bit adventurous, I journeyed into a Richie Rich neighborhood in Greenwood Village today. It felt super insulated, and I was struck by many an odd thing as I rambled between these enormous and beautiful homes, but the two weirdest of the odd things both revolved around dogs. First of all, I guess rich people all install invisible fences in their front yards, because that neighborhood was filled with unattended dogs just chilling out in the front yard. I saw at least five yards with dogs just barking at me, but never leaving the grassy areas of their homes. It was unnerving. The even weirder thing to me, but apparently not weird to my wife, is that there was a lady in a little mobile dog wash trailer washing some rich person's dog. I had no idea there was such a thing as a mobile dog wash, but apparently, that is a thing. I'd never heard nor seen this concept before, but my wife assures me that Denver is filthy with these things. Looked weird to me.
Also, there is an old folks home on Orchard with a big statue of an Elk in front of it. Sometime over the past two days they decorated it for Christmas, as it now has lights all over it and a big red nose, and it's pulling a sleigh. Perhaps I'm just a Scrooge, but November 19th feels too early for Christmas. Bah Humbug, says I. I'll try to post a picture of it sometime soon for Run and Shoot, but the sunset won out today. Until next time...here's your map.
November 17, 2013
9.25 Miles in 1:28:23
Mood: Biting off more than I can chew
Soundtrack: The Film Vault / Lupe Fiasco
We were invited to a party on Saturday night at which I imbibed a few more adult beverages than usual (which was only like 3 beers and a glass of wine, because I'm a lightweight.), this plus a lingering cold had me feeling a bit groggy Sunday morning. I'd like to note that running is a tremendous hangover cure. I ran all toxins out of my system and felt great for the rest of the day.
There is a special kind of fear that comes from knowing your wife has made plans, and you have gone on a long run expecting to have enough energy to easily power to the finish, only to flat out run out of steam two miles from home. There are two legs logged on this run. Leg 1 was when I still had strength and beautiful stamina...Leg 2 is when I was desperately moving homeward with dead legs, dead lungs and zero energy. I'm not particularly proud of Leg 2, but I managed to get myself home in time to shower and not be late for the family photo. (Which turned out great, thankfully!)
The picture was taken with my phone at the top of a fence surrounding the Little Public Schools stadium. I think I would like the picture more if it didn't include soccer goals and soccer lines on the football field. Soccer has it's place, but I'd prefer it didn't violate the sanctity of football. I may be a gridiron snob, this is a real possibility. Cue the map...
Leg 1 - The Leg of Power
Leg 2 - The Leg of Fear
Friday, November 15, 2013
November 15, 2013
7.14 Miles in 1:05:57
Soundtrack: Welcome To That Whole Thing / The Film Vault
Sometimes running is a majestic, wonderful, spiritual thing that puts you at one with the universe like some kind of zen warrior. You can practically put yourself into the lotus position and hover around the room when you're done with a run like that. Then other times, you just ate pizza for dinner and feel like going for a run to make yourself feel less gross and also to allow yourself to have a little taste of that unreal mocha flavored ice cream with oreo bits and cookie dough in it later on that night. Seriously, if you haven't already discovered Turkey Hill Ice Cream's Double Dunker, you owe it to yourself to taste it. You get that same zen fueled lotus position hovering thing without having to run eight miles first. (Caveat: The running is probably better for you than inhaling mass quantities of the frozen treat, but darn if it isn't tasty.)
While I'm still here...a little love for the Colorado flag is in order. It may not have the abject glory of having a bear prancing on itself like California's flag and yes, it lacks Maryland's abject flaunting of the rules of corresponding colors, but the Colorado flag is pretty tight, as the kids like to say these days.* I feel like we should appreciate the Colorado flag more, and not just on nights when I'm trying to find something cool to take a picture of that will come out in the abject darkness of 10:15 PM in November. Pretty cool picture for a guy desperate for a shot, though. Two great flags, an outdoor mall posing as classic architecture, and even the moon thrown in for good measure. I may have gone running out of obligation, but that picture was inspired. I think I'm going to double the salary I take for this blog. Done and done! Double of nothing is still nothing, after all...Screw it. TRIPLE my salary. I'm feeling saucy. Anyhow...queue the map.
*I have no clue what the kids like to say these days.
November 14, 2013
7.82 Miles in 1:07:12
Mood: Annoyed at my phone / Happy to be running
Soundtrack: The Truth Podcast / Dawes "Nothing is Wrong"
A great thing about living in Colorado is that you can just be running along in a city neighborhood, and suddenly a view like this comes along. Despite the fact that your phone is wigging out and acting like Max Headroom trying to play your music, the purple mountains majesty kind of puts you at ease. This wasn't a perfect run, as I witnessed a horse pooping, some girl had plopped herself down on a bench I was thinking about photographing (which could have led to the very awkward situation of me taking a picture of her ON the bench, thankfully I thought better of that), and there was a very crabby lady walking her dog on a path I passed a couple of different times who gave off the, "Screw you for running past me" vibe. Still...this was a glorious run if for no other reason than I hadn't gone in three days, and I have become so addicted to running that if I go that long without, I start getting the shakes from withdrawal. It was good to be out again. And...cue the map!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
November 11, 2013
7.30 Miles in 1:03:34
Mood: Weak but Determined
Soundtrack: The Truth Podcast / "Lisbon" by The Walkmen / "No One's First, And You're Next" by Modest Mouse / "Food and Liquor" by Lupe Fiasco
On this run, I felt a little like Peyton Manning at the end of Sunday's Broncos-Chargers game. Dude had just played almost an entire game, and on the final meaningful play, he hurt his ankle. He wasn't close to feeling normal, but he was determined to finish the game...to the point that he was angrily yelling at the refs to make sure they understood that he had called timeout and he wasn't a victim of an injury time out which would require him to sit on the sidelines for a minimum of one play.
I wasn't hurt like Peyton, but I could tell that I had run a pretty significant bit the day before, and I was not feeling my strongest. Still, I had that Manning determination to play...which for me meant getting in in a good run, so I powered through the first bit of doubt and soreness and ended up turning in a pretty fast (by my standards) final mile (I did the final mile in less than 8 minutes) as I really started to feel good at the end.
As I look at the map of this run, I think it looks a little like the state of Minnesota. This was far from a typical route for me, although it incorporated many routes I've taken many times before, I've never done it in quite this order before. I entered the neighborhood I like to call "The Bermuda Triangle" because I always get turned around whenever I go in there. I've been trying to figure it out, mainly because I'm captivated by their mailboxes which look like tiny fortresses. Tornadoes could blow through, but their mail will remain undisturbed. It's weird, but I love it.
Finally, the picture for today...I'm trying to imagine what type of person decides to engage in minor vandalism by putting a message under a bridge and decides that the message they want to immortalize is their love for Justin Bieber. Is this written by someone trying to be ironic, or is a 13 year old girl with literally NOTHING to say? It just struck me as hilarious that someone went to the trouble to post this message in the concrete...especially since it appears that the perpetrator had to stand in flowing water to make this happen. Still...there it is. "I heart Justin Bieber." Saved for anyone who walks this path to see if they care to notice it. And now it has made "Run and Shoot"...so congratulations, I guess?
Until next time, here's the map...
Monday, November 11, 2013
November 10, 2013
8.04 Miles in 1:11:43
Soundtrack: The Film Vault / The Because Show / The LCS Hockey Show
This house on Belleview has gargoyles on it's brick wall. While I can't prove it, I get the feeling that there is a woman in that house who either thinks they are ugly or really likes giving them costumes. Either way, she (again, it could be a guy, but this seems like a woman move) dresses them up in season costumes throughout the year. I had never run past before, as Belleview is a bit north of me, but I decided to head up that way on this run because I thought I might check out the gargoyle situation. Apparently, she has no veterans in her life, as I could totally imagine the gargoyles being decked out in camouflage for Veterans Day. Sadly, they were still garbed in their Halloween costumes. One was Casper the friendly ghost and the other was some kind of horrible ogre. I plan to keep an eye on this place and pass by from time to time to see how the decorating changes.
I was also struck on this run by how many cool mailboxes there are in this neighborhood. People are getting all artisanal with their mail delivery receptacle, which I enjoy and respect.
The only other thing of note was that as a result of trying to find a new route, I expanded my running territory to include a fourth King Soopers Grocery Store. I believe there may be one or two others within running distance, so I'll try to include them on my resume as well. At this particular one, I bought ham for that day's grilled cheese sandwich lunch...something that is quickly becoming a Sunday tradition during football season.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
November 8, 2013
10.02 Miles in 1:29:56
Mood: Ambitious and Whimsical
Soundtrack: Welcome to That Whole Thing / The Film Vault
Someone thought to either climb that tree or put a ladder up to it to decorate it with a face. It's high enough (probably about 10 to 12 feet up the tree) that it's simple to miss the face if you're just walking past and not looking for it. I'd guess only a tiny percentage of the trail users notice the face as they pass by, and yet someone felt that it was worth it. I'm glad for people who bring art into the world, even when it's largely unnoticed. It turns ordinary trees into magical characters in the world, and this world could use more magic.
I started out this run on a blistering pace this run, and then just kept going. Towards the end, I began to wonder if I really should have pushed myself that hard for that long, but by the end, I was glad I did. My Sunday run will probably need to be a bit shorter, but this extended Friday jaunt felt pretty good.
I passed an elderly couple on the trail. They were walking their dogs and dressed in matching neon yellow safety vests. I found this mostly over reactive apparel to be equal parts endearing and obnoxious. Also on this run, the sun set. It was one of those sunsets with just the right atmospheric conditions to make the whole world look pink for about 10 minutes. There is something magical about a pink world that occurs so seldomly, but always makes you feel like something special is possible in that window of time.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
November 6, 2013
8.72 Miles in 1:18:34
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / Bear Down Podcast / Robot Rabbit / dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip
I ended up using this picture because I loved how it captured those final few moments before day slips into dusk. The past week has stripped most trees of their leaves so the starkness of the trees against the blueness of the sky with a few thin clouds felt pretty cool.
It was a great run with tons of scenic views of the sun setting over the Rockies, but for whatever reason, this was my favorite photo I took. I think it's because of how there is so much sky in the picture.
I listened to several shorter podcasts, and finished up with the song "Thou Shalt Always Kill" which is peppy and upbeat, which is pretty much how I felt at the end of this run. I might have kept going had I not been pushing 9 miles already and had been away from my family for close to two hours, so I thought it would be best to not extend it any further, even if my body kind of wanted to. I got the runners high where you just feel great and you believe you could run forever. I love that feeling. Also, I spent 59 cents on a tiny amount of Pumpkin Pie frozen yogurt. Much like I usually find with actual pumpkin pie, I didn't like it as much as I was hoping I would.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
November 4, 2013
7.29 Miles in 1:07:41
Soundtrack: The BS Report / This American Life
I was getting ready to leave for a run when Jen asked if I wouldn't mind delivering cookies to some friends of ours. These friends live about 2 miles away, so at first I was hesitant. Not because 2 miles is all that far, but running with a bag of cookies is not as good as running without a bag of cookies. Still, I really like these friends, and being the guy who runs to deliver cookies isn't such a bad guy to be. I texted our friends to make sure they'd be around and that it was cool if I showed up randomly at their house at 9:15 on a Monday night.
The run to their house was largely uneventful, although the running route is different than my usual driving route, and their street looks different in the dark. I walked up quietly to what I believed was their house, took off my earphones, and quietly knocked on the door...to which their dog barked loudly and angrily. Small problem...They don't have a dog. I looked at the street address and a number which in the dark sort of appeared to be a 3 when I quickly looked before was now quite obviously a 5. I needed that number to be a 3. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't know if I had knocked loudly enough for the people in the mystery house to have heard me and come to the door, but I also didn't feel like explaining myself, so I sheepishly crept away from the door towards my friends house while keeping an eye on the incorrect house that I had inadvertently disturbed. That door never opened, so I confidently moved on to the correct house and happily delivered cookies to friends that were expecting me.
The other problem that I had neglected to think about when starting this blog was that I do a decent number of runs at night...a time which makes it difficult to get good photos. This is a challenge to which I will need to find solutions, but for my first night run for the blog, I decided to hoof it over to one of my favorite buildings in my neighborhood which looks even cooler at night. Neon signs rule, and so do movies. So this picture combines my love of movies with my love of bright primary colors, I suppose...It's the Hollywood Theaters of the Streets of Southglenn.
All in all, last night was a good run, I felt great both while running as well as when I stopped and chatted with friends. My runs so rarely double as social calls, but it's fun when that happens.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
November 3, 2013
8.12 Miles in 1:15:34
Mood: Slightly disappointed but trying to get over it.
It was an odd Sunday. Everything felt like it should be one way, but was slightly different than it should be. Today's picture reflects that, as it LOOKS like it should be Halloween, but it's actually three days past the spooky high point of the year...making this yard decoration of a creepy baby feel even more creepy. I was listening to Arcade Fire's new album, a band which I generally enjoy, but thus far I am rather unimpressed. So I SHOULD be enjoying it, but in actuality...not so much. Also, I hadn't run since Wednesday, so I should have felt fresh and ready to roll, but this run was a bit of a slog. I was far from my freshest for whatever reason, so as I said, everything that should have been great was slightly off. Worst of all, it's an NFL Sunday, so I should be gearing up for a Broncos game, but it's a bye week for my boys...So NOPE. I hate bye weeks.
All in all, a bad day running still beats a good day without a run. So I'm not too bummed, still, I was hoping for something more, I guess. I'll suppose I'll just enjoy this day for what it is and not let my expectations ruin what actually is. Probably good advice for life, that. Plus, I get to post a picture of a creepy baby. So there's that. I actually had some really cool nature photos that I took today, but the blog rules specifically state that I can only pick one picture, and creepy baby wins.
By the way, I'm not trying to post two maps of my run, but I accidentally ended my run on my app before my it was actually over, so I had to start a new run and hence...two maps. Hopefully I'll be able to post a run with a single map at some point.
Leg 1 of the run.
Leg 2 of the run.