Wednesday, January 29, 2014
January 28, 2014
7.30 Miles in 1:10:39
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse GO! / The Truth Podcast / This American Life
In two days, I will be in New York. In four days, I will be at the Super Bowl. I'm having trouble concentrating on anything else. I'm super excited, and I can't wait, and I just hope the Broncos win to make this crazy whirlwind of a weekend the best ever.
I'm listening to comedy and general interest podcasts because I just can't listen to people talk about the Super Bowl right now. I just can't. Even then, I still find my mind wandering unless the comedy is really funny or the topic very interesting. As I'm running, I'm stopping to take pictures of anything Bronco related that I see. Sometimes that leads me to stopping several times in a row and completely ruining the flow of my run, but I'm compulsive at this point.
I'm trying to decide if I can fit in a run in New York. Originally, that wasn't the plan, but I'd love to be able to have a NY run in the resume. We shall see. If I can't fit it in, It'll be awhile before I pound the pavement again. GO BRONCOS!!!
January 28, 2014
7.95 Miles in 1:15:05
Soundtrack: Lord Huron "Lonesome Dreams" / Bon Iver "Bon Iver"
With the trip to New York coming soon, and the Super Bowl almost at hand, I'm getting nervous. I'm super excited for the trip, and even if the Broncos fall short, it will be an awesome memory, but I can't help but think how much cooler this whole thing will be if they win. The stakes have literally never been higher in my sports fan life, and I get all spider-webby inside every time I start thinking about it.
I know sports are just entertainment, and that I shouldn't take them as seriously as I do. Fundamentally, I understand this in my brain. The trouble is, in my heart, I'm a big wobbly mess of sports angst. I can look at myself and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but I can't shut it off. I'm invested in this thing. A lot. Too much, really.
Anyway, running is a good way to shake off the angst, and even though it was a cold afternoon, it wasn't too chilly to chase me away from the streets of Littleton. It feels like even more Broncos gear is up this week, which would make sense as we inch closer to the big game. This type of sign in my picture is my favorite...the homemade sign that isn't quite right, but shows so much more team spirit than a commercially produced flag purchased at a sports store. The do it yourself ethic applied to sports fandom always makes me smile. This particular homemade banner is quite lovely, and I salute the maker. This house also had a flag that was bunched up. I wanted to get a picture with both the banner and the flag, and I even went so far as to walk up to their porch and briefly try to untangle the flag, but it was bound too tight for a sheepish little tug to unstick. I quickly retreated from the porch, as I felt a little like I was invading their private property (perhaps I was, but it was with honest intentions). I settled for a pic of their awesome banner from the lawn.
Man, I need the Super Bowl to come. I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out in this silly state of apprehension. Go Broncos!
Sunday, January 26, 2014
January 26, 2014
7.14 Miles in 1:06:32
Mood: Calm before the Storm
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show
It was another Sunday road trip run. I went even further West to start this one than I went last week, although I did hit some of the same places I ran last Sunday...including the light rail station which was significantly less busy with no Bronco game this week.
I was running on trails with hardly any homes or businesses, which made me think I might have a hard time keeping up my streak of finding new Bronco related items to post. The first guy I passed on the trail was decked out in a Broncos hat and bright orange jacket. In desperation, thinking this might be the only Bronco related thing I could find on my run, I stopped running and pulled out my phone to take his picture. This is really weird, I grant you. The guy turned around to look behind him to try and figure out what I was taking a picture of, and remained dumbfounded. As I got up next to him, I said I really liked the tree behind him and was taking it's picture. Both true statements, as I did think the tree was pretty cool and I technically was taking a photo of it along with him. He seemed dumbfounded, and I totally understand why he would feel that way. I'm clearly a weirdo.
Fortunately, he was not the last Bronco related item I ran across. Just a few miles down the road, I came across a trailer park subdivison, and the entryway to it was decked out in orange and blue ribbons on every sign and fence post. It looked really cool, and lured me into running through the trailer park. I took far too many pictures of the ribbons. This was my favorite one, although it does a terrible job of showing exactly how many ribbons there are...someone went nuts with the ribbons. It was amazing, and a cool way for their community to celebrate the Super Bowl.
As for me, since I am now confirmed to actually GO to the Super Bowl, my enthusiasm continues to escalate. Today marks one week until the big game, and I've only got a few more runs before I'll be leaving for New York. I'm exceptionally pumped for the big game, and getting more and more nervous and excited about it. The storm is coming, today was the calm. I rather enjoyed the calm, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not ridiculously excited for the Storm.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
January 24, 2014
6.38 Miles in 1:00:14
Soundtrack: Welcome To That Whole Thing / The Mediocre Show
This run was delayed by about an hour due to my son wanting to play basketball with me. I was fine with this, because any time your son wants to play with you, this is categorically a good thing. We hung out just outside of his school and shot some hoops with his kid sized basketball. Seeing him enjoy things I love like playing basketball and watching our Broncos fills me with a combination of joy and pride. I was in a pretty good mood as I started this run.
I dropped him off with my wife at the Goodson Rec Center after we finished playing, and started my run from there. I enjoy getting to have different launching points for my runs, it allows me to explore some areas that I don't get to as often. This slightly more Northern start point allowed me to run up Broadway. I knew that there was this car dealership that has been decorated with Broncos pictures for awhile, and I wanted to get a picture of it. The fact that the Dodge sign was also visible made it even more perfect for me. I realize that the Bronco logo in this picture is a bit wonky, but if you've never tried drawing that logo, let me assure you it is much harder to draw than you'd guess. This isn't too bad for a freehand drawing.
On this run, I also was able to check in on the Gremlins on Belleview. They were decked out in Winter hats and scarves, appropriate for late January in Colorado. All in all, it was another good run in the lead up to the Super Bowl, as I continue to search out proof of Broncomania in my running territory.
Friday, January 24, 2014
January 23, 2014
7.47 Miles in 1:08:12
Soundtrack: Barenaked Ladies "Everything to Everyone" and "Barenaked Ladies Are Me"
Colorado is weird. Two days after running in short sleeves on a balmy 60 degree day, I was bundled up in a hoodie to keep warm as I ran the snow covered streets. Officially, snow is not my friend. It limits my routes and it makes me cold with a chance of toppling over due to slipperiness. Plus it makes me type sentences which require me to look up how to spell slipperiness. Lose-Lose situation with snow...
We're a little over a week away from the Super Bowl, and the Broncos paraphernalia is in full bloom. The excitement level is rising every day. I'm basically losing my mind and posting Broncos related pics 20 times a day on Instagram. It's a difficult time, your prayers are appreciated. I am sorry for how annoying I must be right now, I'm sure there will be a sense of relief when it's over. I'm football obsessed. It's a problem.
In non-football related items: The Barenaked Ladies music is hard to run to at first, but then you hit a groove, and you start hearing songs about anonymous people mailing postcards of chimpanzees, and suddenly, you're at one with the running universe. It was a very strong run, aided by the fact that I had to keep moving to stay warm. For the first time since the injury that cost me most of December, I feel like I'm back to 100% full strength. It's a good feeling, and something I hope to maintain.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
January 21st, 2014
7.25 Miles in 1:07:14
Soundtrack: LCS Hockey Show / Snap Judgment
It was unseasonably warm for a January day, so I went out running in short sleeves. This put me in a good mood, because I always prefer less clothing to more clothing. (In moderation...I'm not going to go running naked.) My cheery mood was enhanced by gratitude, as one of the radio stories I was listening to was about a boy in High School who was so susceptible to disease that he had to attend school via a remote controlled robot. This made me feel even more blessed than usual as I jogged the streets of the city in bliss. Basically, I was in a terrific mood.
Since the Broncos are now in the Super Bowl, the city has turned orange. There are pro-Broncos signs everywhere, so in the runs leading up to the Big Game, I'm going to try and take pictures of this pro-Denver cheer, as it makes me happy. I love when the city rallies around one of it's sports teams, and in this city, no team will get rallied around more than our beloved Broncos. I particularly liked this homemade sign. It was a little wonky, as it was bunched up to the point that I never saw the "B" in Broncos, but homemade fan signs are the best. Go Broncos!
First Leg of the run. (It got split up by accident, as I ended my running session rather than ending my call when my wife called me mid-run.)
Second Leg of the Run
Sunday, January 19, 2014
January 19th, 2014
7.21 Miles in 1:09:43
Soundtrack: The Film Vault / TV on the Radio - "Dear Science"
This was a bit of a road trip run. I wanted to go further West onto the Highline Canal path, so I drove a bit West and parked at the King Soopers at Mineral and Broadway. From there, I ran further West on the Highline Canal than I ever have before. I ended up running through the Mineral Light Rail station, and passed through a group of football fans waiting to head North to Sports Authority Field at Mile High. I was super jealous, and thoughts of pretending to have a gun in my shirt and holding up the guy in the Brady jersey for his tickets briefly floated through my head.
I ended up running over to Aspen Grove and then taking Mineral back to my car before purchasing food items at King Soopers at the end of my run. I was exceptionally pumped for the AFC Championship Game, and it struck me that one of the best things about when one of the local teams is on a postseason run is that everyone gets into the spirit. It felt like everyone at the grocery store was wearing orange and blue, and cool stuff, too. It was glorious. I complimented an older woman on her Steve Foley jersey, and she proudly told me that she got it for Christmas in 1986.
I went home feeling pumped from a really nice run, and a community team spirit which was fun.
January 17, 2014
6.61 Miles in 1:03:13
Soundtrack: Welcome to That Whole Thing / The Film Vault
On a Glorious Friday afternoon, I decided to once again run the path I thought never existed. It was an amazing day to do so, although, I was a bit pooped from the previous days run. I kind of dragged most of the way, although it was a good run just enjoying a beautiful day.
I was anticipating Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Broncos and Patriots in the long term, and in the short term, I was anticipating hanging out at that same stadium that night for my company's holiday party. Smartly, my company pushes our holiday party to mid-January so that we don't have another thing to try and cram into December. This year's party took place at the Broncos' stadium, and it was pretty swank! I was very much looking forward to it on my run...In fact, a big reason I was running was so that I could eat more at the party.
January 16, 2014
8.50 Miles in 1:18:32
Soundtrack: 100% Invisible / Rise Against - "Siren Song of the Counter Culture"
Why wouldn't you put polar bears at the entryway of your house? Yeah. I don't know either. I love this house. Now, I wouldn't want it to be MY house, but I'm really glad that it exists.
This run was a run of discovery. I finally discovered the westward passage of the Highline Canal...specifically I realized that I can keep running west of Broadway on the Highline...something I was certain was not so. Jen had been telling me for months that it was possible, and for some reason or another, I doubted her. On this run, I realized just how obviously wrong I had been. I can be stupidly stubborn sometimes, like a person who thinks it look great having polar bear statues guarding the entrance to their home.
This was a good run, I discovered new trails and also that the screaming style of Rise Against glorious for running...and of course, a run is always better with polar bears.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
January 14, 2014
7.54 Miles in 1:10:02
Soundtrack: The Truth Podcast / Sufjan Stevens - "Illinoise" / Bad Veins - "The Mess We've Made"
I found myself remembering that while Sufjan Stevens made one of my favorite songs ever with "Casimir Pulaski Day", the rest of his music is kind of boring. It wasn't terrible to run to, but I definitely found myself going back to CP Day about five times...such a good song.
I guess if you have an old-timey light blue truck in my neighborhood, chances are, I'm going to take a picture of it. Once again, I found a cool one to post for this run. I guess I'm a sucker for a light blue classic truck.
The white stuff fell from the sky on this morning, and although thankfully it had stopped by the time I went running, there was just enough left on the ground, and the weather was just cold enough that there were abundant patches of slipperiness to navigate on this run. It led me to running like a ninny through the streets of Centennial. I'm so cool like that.
Nothing much else to report about this run except that I finally feel like I have gotten back my stamina from missing December, and I am able to once again keep up with where I think I should be for the most part. I'm still slightly slower than I was before, but at least I am able to keep up a steady pace which is a nice change from the first few runs back. Anywho, here's the map...
Sunday, January 12, 2014
January 12, 2014
8.66 Miles in 1:20:47
Soundtrack: Mediocre Show / Welcome to That Whole Thing / Lupe Fiasco "Food and Liquor II"
Twas the morning of the Broncos' first playoff game, and I was pumped for my favorite team. I saw a ton of orange everywhere I went. The good omen for today came as I was running down County Line Road, and randomly, I saw an orange pool noodle. At that moment, I felt like the Broncos were going to win. (And they did.) Sure, it was a silly omen, but believing in omens is a silly proposition.
Friday, January 10, 2014
January 10, 2014
Soundtrack: The Film Vault
Today, the people of my office, and probably 80% of all office workers in this town were encouraged to wear orange and blue for the Broncos upcoming playoff game. As a result, I was amused to see a huge number of drivers in the cars on the streets I was running decked out in Bronco gear. It looked like more people were in orange than were not. So basically, everyone in town was dressed in much the same manner as I dress on a regular basis. This town is pumped for our football team. Pretty fun vibe for a Friday afternoon run.
Also, I noticed this truck on my run. I'm not really a car guy, and I don't think there is anything much particularly special about it. But as I passed it, there was something about how blue it was shimmering in the sun. I really dug the way it looked, so that's why it's the picture of the day. I had intended to take a picture of the knight sitting in front of the house on Grant Street, but sadly there was a big group of people hanging out in the front yard of the house next door, and my embarrassment at potentially being the weird guy taking a picture of the neighbor's house over powered my desire to get the picture of the knight. So, the picture will have to wait for another day.
Last thing for today. Yes, I ran EXACTLY as far as I did yesterday on this run. 6.62 miles. This was totally a coincidence, but I thought it was interesting. Perhaps I'm the only one. Anyway, here's today's map...
January 9, 2014
6.62 Miles in 1:03:38
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show
First off, let me say, I'm not sure it's okay to run through a cemetery. There is a very large cemetery in the middle of my running territory, and even though I may be breaking some type of law, I occasionally run through it.
I don't do this to mock the dead..."Hey dead people, look at me being so alive that I'm running through your final resting place!"
I do it because it's beautiful, plus, I figure that they probably don't get enough visitors, as I never see anyone there.
Cemeteries are nice places. I understand that some people are creeped out by them, but it's a large beautiful area of grass and quiet. The only larger grassy areas I can think of are golf courses. I cut through this peaceful area because it's a good short cut and because I like how I feel when I'm there. It's peaceful and feels remote, even though it's smack dab in the middle of the suburbs.
I took a new route on this run, and I ended up a little further North than I thought I was, and boom, suddenly there was my cemetery. I described my mood on this run as "Workmanlike", because it felt like I was just trying to get my miles, the run was missing my usual joy. After a month away, my legs get a little more sore after a run lately, and they were feeling a bit wobbly after my ridiculously long run on Tuesday. Even so, I still wanted to get out and pound some pavement. By the time I had gotten to my surprise cemetery, I was 5 miles in and my legs were hurting. My run left me feeling less joyful than usual and more like I was simply trying to accomplish a task and check it off my list. This is why I was happy to see the cemetery. It gave me a chance to feel something significant and shake the doldrums.
Near the entrance of this cemetery is a memorial for the people who died at the Columbine shooting back in 1999 (as pictured in the photo for this run). I have no idea if those people are actually buried on these grounds or not, and it doesn't really matter. Either way, it's a reminder to me that life is precious and unpredictable.
I see those crosses, and I remember to enjoy my life and to cherish the gift of family and friends that I have been given. Some might find a trip to the cemetery to be morose, but it makes me happy. I can remember that while I'm not on earth forever, I am here now. That is as good a way as any to break out of a workmanlike funk. I felt kinda happy as I walked into the house and saw my wife and kids. Life (and running) is good.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
January 7, 2014
9.56 Miles in 1:35:28
Soundtrack: Welcome to That Whole Thing / The Dave Dameshek Football Podcast / The Because Show
Sometimes I get carried away. Sometimes I underestimate just how far away things are. Sometimes both occur simultaneously, and I get a call from my wife asking if I'm coming home for dinner, or if I plan to run for all of eternity.
I got a little over ambitious on this run. I had been running for awhile, and I got the idea in my head that I should go visit the Gargoyles on Belleview. This was a poor decision. I already had already put about five miles behind me, and without consulting the map, I thought that going to see the Gargoyles wouldn't add TOO much longer to my expedition. Actually, it probably added an addition two or three miles, and made me late for dinner.
I guess the positive thing is that I got to see the New Year Gargoyles, so I hope you enjoy the picture of them...Running to get this picture caused me to eat my dinner after everyone else in my family was long finished. It also meant that my run came dangerously close to 10 miles long...which was probably a mistake as I am still recovering from my hamstring injury which decimated my December. Oh well, apart from feeling a little silly when Jen called and having ridiculously sore leg muscles today, it wasn't THAT bad of a mistake.
One other thing...Running through slush and ice sucks. I didn't have to do so too much, but naturally, as I was trying to hurry home, I encountered a stretch of sidewalk on University Blvd which was basically the ice world Hoth. So that stunk. Anywho, here's the map...
Friday, January 3, 2014
January 3, 2014
6.87 Miles in 1:05:24
Soundtrack: The Film Vault and Welcome to That Whole Thing
On an unseasonable January day when the temps were pushing 60 degrees, I knew I had no choice but to have a great run. My body complied with my wishes, and for the first time since November, I completed a 10K. Felt good to be back at 100%, and even my lungs are starting to get with the program and be able to keep me sufficiently oxygenated to keep running. It's truly a glorious time we live in. (Assuming you think it's glorious that I can run.)
This was a fun run, as I stopped at my friend Deb's house to wish her a happy birthday. I had no idea until this morning that it even was her birthday, but I upon learning that, I knew I had to stop and say hi in person. Also, she had told me at a party the night before that there was a house with a suit of armor out front of it. I have a great desire to find all weird decorations in the neighborhood, so I stopped in to get directions to the medieval decor.
Deb directed me right to the house, and it was just as gloriously weird as promised. I was going to use that for my picture today, but this weird totem pole house trumped the suit of armor. So much odd decorating goodness, but the run and shoot rule is only one picture per run...so perhaps next time. For now, this running fool is back to his foolishness and so happy to be so. As always, I'll keep an eye out for the weirdness to share with you. For now...the map.
January 2, 2014
3.94 Miles in 38:55
Mood: Gassy (Not sure if that's a mood, but it was a problem)
Soundtrack: The Film Vault
It was a lovely day, but something wasn't quite right. My fitness has slipped a bit, but I was fighting something worse than that. I was getting terrible side cramps. As the night would progress, these cramps turned into full fledged gas pains. I was a wreck yesterday. It translated into difficulty running, and me turning what I had hoped to be at least a 10K run into something much shorter. Sometimes you have a great plan, and then your own body gets in the way. I was a little bummed, as it was a beautiful day, but I figured that if I cut it short enough, perhaps I could get in a good run the very next day.
On the plus side, I did see Charlie Brown in a Santa hat to match my New Years Eve sighting of Snoopy. If I can somehow work Peppermint Patty into the mix, I'll be on to something. Even more glorious, I discovered that not terribly far from my house people have an entryway that is guarded on either side by polar bear statues. I think it's safe to say I live in a weird neighborhood, but one that is swell for running. God bless this thin air that makes us all a little loopy.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
December 31, 2013
5.94 Miles in 56:27
Mood: Back to Normal
Soundtrack: The Film Vault
The return to running took another delay as I got sick last week with the flu. However, I was feeling strong on the final day of 2013, so I thought I'd get back out there. My leg appears to be at least 90%, and I feel fine out there. I decided to see if I'd be up to a more normal length run. The leg held up like a champ, my lungs were gasping and wheezing quite a bit, but they didn't slow me down TOO much. I got to almost six miles and decided to call it a run. The greatest thing about this outing was how utterly normal it felt. When something you love has been almost completely removed from your life for a month and you finally get back to it, it feels both familiar and right. Now it's just a matter of stringing together several runs in a week to actually feel completely normal. Good end to a good year, though. When 2013 started, I was still 20 or 30 pounds overweight and unable to run much further than 2 or 3 miles. Now I am at my target weight, and able to go much farther and faster. It was a good year. Now to extend that mojo into 2014.
Also...I saw Snoopy in a Santa suit. How could it NOT be a good run?