Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Hundred Seven

December 21, 2014
8.02 Miles in 1:14:16
Mood: Merry Merry Whatever.
Soundtrack: Miscellaneous Adventures from the World of Mike Carano / The Decemberists "The Crane Wife"

It had been awhile since I'd gotten in a good Wash Park run, so it was nice to spin around the park a few times. Naturally on my first lap, I went a little further North so I could go say hello to the Weckbaugh Mansion, and then I circled the park a few more times. Although the temps were in the 30's, it was sunny and I felt warm enough despite not being all that bundled up.

The park was surrounded by homes decked out for Christmas, including the home that was today's photo...oddly it was the second Flamingo Christmas decoration I had come across this year. Apparently flamingoes and Christmas is becoming a thing as the hashtag #flamingochristmas surprisingly has over 50 photos attached to it on Instagram. That surprised me a bit.

Wash Park in winter is much less populated with runners than it will be in a few months when things start warming up in the spring, but there were still quite a few people running around. I think the energy I get from seeing so many people running is one of the things that I like about the park. It gets me going and keeps me moving in a way that I just don't get when I'm running around a trail or neighborhood and only see a few people on the move. My times usually always improve when I'm running at Wash Park...part of that might be the synergetic energy of other runners (and probably part of it is the fact that it's a flat place to run, so I have fewer uphills to navigate.) Still, it feels like a home away from home for me to run, and I always enjoy when I get a chance to go there.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Two Hundred Six

December 20, 2014
7.31 Miles in 1:11:45
Mood: Slow and Draggy
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show / 99% Invisible

I had no oomph on this run. I felt like I was dragging an invisible weight everywhere I went, and couldn't get a good pace up. The end result was a really slow pace and a somewhat unsatisfying run, but at least I got a few miles in on a Saturday morning. This run was really like pulling teeth, though. I couldn't get going.

The photo for today's run had me perplexed at first, as it's weird to see both a Steeler and Bronco flag hanging from the same house. As I was taking the picture, a guy in a bright orange Broncos sweatshirt came out the front door. I chatted with him awhile, and he let me know that his roommate is from Pittsburgh, and he is a big Broncos fan. Suddenly, it made more's a house divided situation. Also of note, the roomie also had an Audi with a personalized Colorado license plate that read, "Yinzer" (For those who don't know "Yinzer" is a slang term for a person from Pittsburgh.)

Two Hundred Five

December 18, 2014
9.45 Miles in 1:33:28
Mood: Wanting to run forever
Soundtrack: Serial / The Film Vault / Jordan, Jesse, Go!

I felt great on this run, and felt as though I could run forever. I ended up running to a Kmart, which is sort of like running forever, even if Rain Man thinks my destination sucks. Sadly, all the trails are snow packed, which meant I was mostly limited to streets on this run. I went home at the 9 mile mark because I needed to call it quits, I felt like I had another five miles in me, but it was pitch black and time for dinner. Still, there was a part of me that could have kept on going.

There weren't a ton of good photo ops on this run, but I did enjoy this fence. The American flag appears to have been made out of wristbands or something, they all had names on them...I assume the names are kids at this school. Not sure why it was created, or what purpose it serves, but it looked cool on this Thursday enough to have no competition for today's photo, anyway.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two Hundred Four

December 16, 2014
8.79 Miles in 1:30:09
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse, Go! / The Internet! With Scott the Pool Boy

My goal on this run was to push further North into an area I've never really explored before...thus it feels appropriate that the picture would be of the North Pole's most famous resident...albeit in a rather nontraditional biker gang style. I enjoy that Santa has a Reindeer Rule tattoo. Who would have guessed? My favorite part of this holiday scene is the fact that there is a reindeer in a sidecar in a hip hoppish pose. So ridiculous and wonderful.

Turns out, as you can see from my map, that trying to head due North in the neighborhood I was in is a bit more difficult than I imagined that it'd be. My first three miles were rather labyrinthine, as I was foiled in my Northbound quest by streets that flat out refused to allow me to continue North. I ended up in the area I wanted to be by about mile 4, and it turns out that that new neighborhood I wanted to explore is filthy with gigantic homes. My favorite part of the entire run was when I passed about six older people running very slowly in the opposite direction as me. It was cold, and they all looked miserable, but the kind of misery where no one wants to admit that they aren't having a good time, so everyone keeps on pressing on so as not to ruin everyone else's time, even though if any one of them had suggested they stop, the rest of the gang would have gladly relented and gone home. This dogged determination to stick to the plan amused I'm rather used to being out running in bitter temps, so I wasn't nearly as non-plussed to be outside as they were.

The best news of all is that the days are about to start getting longer. The sun set at 4:37 while I was on this run, and by the time I got home, it had been down for around three quarters of an hour. The darkness isn't so bad, as it allows me to see some cool Christmas lights, but I still prefer running with the sun. Feels safer and warmer.

One last thing, I discovered on this particular run that running to classical music isn't so bad. It feels kind of sweeping and epic. Thanks to a goofy podcast I was listening to (The Internet! With Scott the Pool Boy) I ended up listening to a few moments of Bach, and it actually made some decent running music. So much so that I pulled up some Bach on Spotify and tried to see how long it would remain compelling. Turns out, I needed to go back to podcasting after about 5 minutes, but was a solid five minutes of running to Bach...5 minutes longer than I would have anticipated enjoying such a thing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Two Hundred Three

December 14, 2014
6.84 Miles in 1:07:19
Mood: Snowy and contemplative of the shortcomings of capitalism
Soundtrack: The Because Show / 99% Invisible

I'm starting to get used to running with a hurt rib. I've learned that you just have to fight through the pain for the first mile and eventually things limber up. It's not a great way to start a run, and I hope I heal quickly, but at least I think I've learned that I can do if I can handle the first bit of uncomfortableness. This is also assuming that I'm not doing permanent damage to myself, something that most of my medical research seems to make me think is not the case. Granted, my medical research is 100% powered by Google, so I'm not going to pretend like it's not possible that I am in error.

The forecast on Sunday called for lots of continuous snow. I debated if I'd even be able to get a run in, but when I woke up at around 7, it wasn't even snowing. After a quick bowl of cereal, I changed into warm running gear and scooted out of the house before anyone else woke up. I plowed through that initial tough first mile, and then found a slow but happy pace as I meandered through the streets and trails of the neighborhood.

About ten minutes into my run it started snowing, and it kept getting heavier throughout. The roads were still dry, and I wasn't really all that cold, so I just kept moving. There wasn't much interesting to see, but I was listening to a 99% Invisible podcast about a light bulb that had been in continuous use since 1901. Apparently, the technology to create light bulbs that never wear out exists (and existed in 1901, even) However, the light bulb companies created a cabal to universally make bulbs with planned obsolescence because you can't make money if your product never wears out. People buy one and then never buy another one, and you go belly up.

While the financial sense of creating a market of people who need to continuously buy your product totally makes sense, something bothers me about making a product intentionally not as good as it can be just for money. That kinda stinks. How great would a 100 year light bulb be? Sometimes good enough is better than the absolute best it can be, which is sort of a sad commentary on capitalism. Anyway, this is what I was thinking about as I ran through the snow.

Today's picture came as a result of not really finding anything magical and new of which to take a photo. In the final mile of my run, I passed a white SUV that I see quite often. It is easy to recognize, as it's owner placed pink eyelashes on the headlights. This is kind of hideously wonderful, as I wouldn't be caught dead with pink eyelashes on my car, but much like many of the things I end of taking pictures of, I'm glad there are people who want to do this. Also, this photo shows the fallen snow and falling snow to prove that it was, in fact, precipitating.

Two Hundred Two

December 12, 2104
7.52 Miles in 1:13:04
Mood: Felt like I was being stalked, because I sorta was.
Soundtrack: Passenger "All the Little Lights" / Peter Bradley Adams "Leavetaking"

Less than two tenths of a mile into this one, I was about to give up. My rib injury was screaming at me. I stopped running for about ten seconds and seriously considered turning around and forgetting the whole thing, but something pushed me forward.

I'm glad I kept moving, as after about the first mile, I was loosened up and felt pretty great. It was a beautiful afternoon. We have entered the part of the year where the days are the shortest, so the sun starts to set well before five o'clock, so I had to hurry to enjoy the last few bits of daylight. There was some magic in the dusk this evening for whatever reason. I decided to loop around Ketring Lake, as despite the goose droppings, it's still one of my favorite local areas. The lake seemed extra beautiful tonight, so I pulled out my camera and started snapping pictures, and then this big goose started flying away from me. I really liked how that shot turned out, so that's how I ended up with today's picture.

As I left the lake, I started following a woman in her late 40's or early fifties as I ran along Caley Ave. She was running ahead of me, but at just a slightly slower pace than me, so it took me awhile to catch her. I caught up with her right around Broadway, and as we waited for the light to change, we exchanged pleasantries. We both headed towards the east on the Highline Canal, and I figured that since I had been moving faster than her, that I'd pull ahead of her and leave her behind. However, I appeared to have motivated her, as although I was maybe 20 yards ahead of her, she kept up with me for several miles along the trail. Always just slightly behind me, as I could hear her footfalls each time a song ended and I could catch her out of my peripheral vision every now and then. She was actually pushing me to keep going strong, and I appreciated her for it.

When I arrived at the place where I leave the Highline Canal trail to head on the trail towards my home, I turned to see her continue following me. I said almost involuntarily..."You've gotta me kidding me!" which probably sounded like I was annoyed, as she immediately apologized. I wasn't annoyed, just amazed that we had followed the same trail for over 3 miles, and now she was leaving it at the exact same spot. Although the only contact we previously had were a few pleasantries waiting to cross Broadway, for the final six or seven minutes home, I chatted her up.

I learned that she has a 16 year old daughter that she shares a car with, and on some days when her daughter takes the car, she runs home from the light rail to her house that is near Arapahoe and Holly. She loves running, but hates snow and despises how poorly snow is removed in the area. I learned that she doesn't usually run as fast as we were going, but was using me as a way to pace herself. I laughed, as I told her that she was pushing me too. She seemed very nice, and I was glad to meet another person who enjoys running like I do. Conversations like this are few and far between, as it's rare to have someone keep pace with me for so long and run in the same direction at the same time long enough to chat. It's a pleasant feeling, and I wish it happened more often...even if it's a little weird that it felt like she was hunting me down for about a 2 and a half mile stretch.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Hundred One

December 11, 2014
7.69 Miles in 1:16:09
Mood: Trying to work through the pain.
Soundtrack: Serial / The Mediocre Show

It happens occasionally that an athlete gets hurt and they provide an improbable story as to the circumstances occurred that resulted in that injury. The official story is so ridiculous that you know it can't be true, but no one ever pushes for the "real story" and as a result either it goes down in goofy injury lore or whispered stories and rumors arise in conpiratorial circles as to "what actually went down".

It is in such a vein that I present the obviously false story of how I hurt my ribs. I was in a horrific boating accident on Tuesday and cracked a rib. That story is false...and no, I'm not telling you what actually happened, but the fact that my ribs are killing me is absolutely true. They are either bruised or broken, but either way, they hurt a lot.

This run began with trepidation, as I didn't know how my body would react to running after my "boat accident". I quickly found that it would react with severe sharp piercing pains in my side, which is not great. About a quarter of a mile into the run, I saw my family, as my wife was picking up the kids from school when I left, and we both hit the park near our house at the same time. It was good to see her and the kids, and I expressed to Jen my trepidation, and I wasn't certain how long or far I'd get.

I would have probably abandoned the endeavor entirely, but I am in the final month of my quest to run for at least 100 miles every month of 2014, and I'm really hoping that I can still make it happen, as I'm so close to my goal to give up now.

Since I have this goal in mind, I pressed on through the pain. I found that once I got going, it wasn't too bad as long as I tried to keep my footfalls as even as possible to reduce jostling. I'm sure I looked a little stiff as I went, but amazingly, my pace wasn't slowed dramatically from normal. Every time I stopped and then started again, the pain would come back pretty strongly, which meant that I was't stopping nearly as much as normal to take photos of things.

I tried to push through and hoped that the few stops I made would provide something decent. The sunset photo I settled on was decent, although I was a bit bummed that the picture that I tried to take of the coyote that crossed my path didn't come through. (It ended up just being a dimly lit picture of what appears to be an empty field, though I promise there was a coyote there!)

It was the first time in the history of my running that I have ever seen a coyote, even though there are signs everywhere on the trails stating that they are active in the area. My initial reaction was one of excitement and pulling out my camera rather than of trepidation. This cavalier attitude might not have been the ideal, but something told me the coyote wasn't going to attack me, but rather run away. (Which is exactly what it did.) Seeing actual wildlife in the midst of the city is always exciting, and that was easily the best part of this painful run.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Hundred

December 9, 2014
5.39 Miles in 50:02
Mood: Endings, Beginnings, Disappointments and Polar Bears.
Soundtrack: The Marty Riemer Show Podcast / Welcome to That Whole Thing

The "Endings" portion of this run was that I was listening to two podcasts that were airing some of their final shows, as both The Marty Riemer Show and Welcome to That Whole Thing are coming to a close this month. In this case, I was listening to the penultimate Marty Riemer show and the final Welcome to That Whole Thing. I've followed both of these shows for years, and am a little bummed that they are concluding, so there was some melancholy to this outing.

The "Beginnings" portion is rather simple...I'm beginning the 200's in blog posts.

The "Disappointment" was that I entered Target looking for a very specific gift for my son, a soft football to replace the one that he loves to play catch with in the house but is starting to wear out. It something that I have seen in Target before, and we have even bought one as a birthday gift for one of Luke's friends, but they have apparently sold out of the item. Fortunately, I was able to find it on the online gift shop at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, of all places, and it cost less there and they were doing free shipping, so all is well that ends well.

The "Polar Bears" portion of this run is what you see pictured above. This is one of my favorite homes anywhere near my has a circular drive that is protected by stone polar bears, because why wouldn't one want their home to have polar bears standing sentry? It's glorious in it's randomness and is the kind of thing this blog exists to document...and yes, I did post about this same place once all the way back on post 30, but this photo was different enough that I figured I'd use another picture of this place just due to it being an awesome house with polar bears guarding it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

One Hundred Ninety-Nine

December 7, 2014
8.79 Miles in 1:20:39
Mood: Distressed and attempting to put down a Canadian Geese Uprising
Soundtrack: U2 "Songs of Innocence" / U2 "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"

And now...a few good words about Koreans. I love Koreans. LOVE THEM. This is a new found love, but it is strong nonetheless. I was exactly 2.74 miles into my Sunday run. (I remember this detail specifically as strong emotional distress tends to cement minutiae into your head.) I had circled Wash Park once, and was headed Southeast towards Observatory Park when it hit. I had to poop. This was one of those moments where your body gives you little time to prepare as I went quickly from calm to code red...The jostling of one's body from running certainly sped this process along.

I was forced to slow to a walk, as my body would no longer allow for me to both run and also contain the impending disaster from springing forth. I was panic walking in an Easterly direction on E Florida Ave and racking my mind for a solution. I looked to the sky and thought, "From where will my help come?" Then, in the sky, I saw a steeple with a cross at the top. I realized that it was Sunday morning, and a church would probably be open, and the folks inside would probably be Christian enough to allow a disgusting sweaty man to use their toilet.

Walking as fast as my body would allow, I beelined towards the church. As I approached, I realized that I could not read most of the words on the church's sign. However, the words that I could read said, "Korean Christian Church". I saw an elderly looking Korean woman walking towards the building, and I began to pathetically lurch towards her. Although, I'm certain she was terrified of the large perspiring white man approaching her, she graciously directed me to the church's basement where I zoomed through a needlessly elaborate basement labyrinth to find the men's room...thankfully the sign was printed in both English and Korean. At this point, I unleashed hell.

Ten minutes later, I felt like a human again. The toilet paper was a new roll which I happily unwrapped. I was amused to find that the brand of toilet paper was ironically named "Marathon" which seems like a terrible name for that type of paper product, but no matter...I used it. I will now always have a soft spot in my heart for Koreans. Viva Korea.

The other thing I noticed on this run is that Canadian Geese have absolutely no fear of runners. Wash Park is filthy with these Geese right now, and they were sitting on many of the running paths as if they were protesters and all the park's joggers had just failed to indict a police officer. People would be running full speed at them, and they not only didn't move a step...they didn't even flinch. They own the park, and consider all two legged individuals to be not even worthy of being considered a nuisance. I had never before seen wildlife with such a callous disregard for humans. They were basically Galapagos Geese. Then I decided to stop and try and take a picture of this poultry insolence.

Geese may have zero fear of runners, but a dude standing perfectly still with a camera phone freaks them out. They scattered from me at a breakneck pace. These two in the photo above are the only ones of which I got a decent picture, and they were avoiding me like Lady Di's driver fleeing the paparazzi.

So, today's lessons: If you really need to poop...find a Korean church. If you want to scare a goose, stand perfectly still. These are the things I learn by running.

One Hundred Ninety-Eight

December 5, 2014
4.87 Miles in 44:45
Mood: Discovery
Soundtrack: Serial

The family had Friday night plans, so I didn't have much time. I still wanted to get in a few miles, so I hurried out the door to get in a short run. I didn't expect that this would be all that special of a run, as it was going to be short and sweet. I definitely didn't expect to see something new on paths I've ran a multitude of times. I was kind of planning on taking a picture of a Christmas decoration that I saw the previous night as my photo for the blog and being good with that.

Then at about the two and a half mile point in the run, I turned onto the Highline Canal Trail and much to my surprise, about fifty yards into running on the trail, I saw something amazing. I don't know if this face on this tree is new, or just new to me. I may have run past it hundreds of times without noticing it. However, for whatever reason, I glanced over and suddenly noticed that someone had subtly created a face on one of the large trees that lines the path. It blends in so well that it's easy to miss, but once you see it, it's unmistakably the job of some creative artistic type who did a small project to make the world a tiny bit better.

In my mind, that is what Art is: Small steps to a better world. With a smile on my face I finished up my run while listening to the tenth installment of the amazing Serial podcast. For such a short run, it sure turned out well.

Friday, December 5, 2014

One Hundred Ninety-Seven

December 4, 2014
7.69 Miles in 1:13:32
Soundtrack: Judge John Hodgman / Mumford and Sons "Sigh No More"

Something about Christmas makes people put giant inflatable penguins in their yards. The best thing about this house is that this penguin was the sum of their Christmas yard decorations. You could see the tree that was inside the house, but there was not another outdoor decoration other than this giant 8 foot penguin wearing a scarf. I have to say, I enjoyed the minimalism of it.

"Hey, penguin!"

This run began with a clunk, as my blood sugar went low about a mile in. When that happens, I lose all momentum and concentration and energy and I'm basically a human slug. It's the worst, I hate it so. I felt better after stopping in to get a little Egg Nog froyo (44 cents after coupon) and shortly thereafter the run improved drastically. It also helped when I switched over from my podcast (the humorous Judge John Hodgman pod) to a little Mumford and Sons. I know that a lot of people find Mumford and Sons to be hokey or ridiculous or obnoxious, but I love em. Turns out that this music was exactly what I needed to get moving much quicker and feeling much better. At some points in the music I even got uncharacteristically emotional as I was running and started flailing my arms about in a ridiculous victorious manner.

I'm often a ridiculous human being. I get that.

Final thing about this run...Holy geez, the Christmas lights are already out in force. I guess we're only three weeks away at this point, so it makes sense, but wow are there a lot of Christmas lights and decorations everywhere. I have a feeling that might be a theme in the upcoming weeks on the blog. We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Hundred Ninety-Six

December 2, 2014
8.34 Miles in 1:19:39
Mood: Morose
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse, Go! / Ben Folds "Rockin' the Suburbs"

For some reason, I was gloomy on this Tuesday afternoon. It wasn't full on depression, but I was definitely not feeling all that cheery. I listened to an episode of "Jordan, Jesse, Go!" but the lighthearted humor wasn't helping so I leaned full into the mood by listening to Ben Folds...a musician that I love, but who's music definitely heads a little in the pessimistic direction. Sometimes listening to sad music when I feel sad makes me feel better. That has always seemed a little weird to me, but it's true.

By the time I got home, I was feeling mostly better with a combination of some time spent with sad music and the endorphin rush that accompanies exercise. Running is a good way to work out the mental bugs in your life, and since I hadn't run since Friday, I was overdue for a session. Running as therapy.

Today's picture was something so overt and in my face that when I saw it, I had to take a picture of it. I get being irritated at those able bodied people who work the system and live off of other people's taxes. I don't get being so annoyed at it that you obnoxiously use your vehicle to advocate for the elimination of services so necessary for so many. I'm guessing the guy who drives this vehicle has a bit of an anger problem.

Finally, I think the map for this run looks kind of like a gun.

Monday, December 1, 2014

One Hundred Ninety-Five

November 28, 2014
6.94 Miles in 1:08:07
Mood: Avoiding Bears and Billionaires
Soundtrack: Waterdeep "Sink or Swim"

It was Black Friday, and while much of America was camping out at Best Buy to save money on electronics, I was getting up to run the streets of Aspen. We were staying on the outskirts of that most ostentatious and oddly charming mountain village, and while the family slept I snuck out intent on checking out the town.

Weird thing about Aspen...they have a wide network of wonderful trails surrounding the city which they manicure meticulously, but their sidewalks appear to be largely free from having to deal with shovels scraping them. Running in town seemed to be a somewhat foreign subject, as my speeds dipped severely while there as a result of gingerly scampering on large plots of icy ground. What it lacked in sidewalk maintenance, it made up for in interesting things to see. This is the first run in the history of the blog that included an operating ski lift. When I went to the bottom of the ski hill to check it out, I was amused that I was clearly the only person not in ski boots, and felt quite odd in my running shoes that close to the gondolas.

This run also took me past a restaurant with a bear statue on it's roof (which I rather enjoyed), past a quirky store that named itself the "Aspen Emporium & Flying Circus" and of course, past the Aspen Art Museum (seen above) which is a very cool looking building hosting a VERY pretentious collection of Art. We visited the museum later on this day, and one of the docents tried to explain a piece by telling me that a piece (which was a hood ripped off of a hoodie and nailed to the wall) was more about what wasn't there than what was. If you go the jazz apologist route and tell me that I have to listen to the notes the artist ISN'T playing, you have lost me. I can listen to the notes someone isn't playing by staying home. At some point, I want art to be about what the artist IS saying, not what he isn't saying. Still, I enjoy a smug pretentious art person, so I found the Art Museum to be endlessly entertaining in a way that I'm pretty sure they weren't intending.

The last half of this run sped up a bit as I found the Rio Grande trail leading me out of town and on a round about way back to the house where I was staying. I had walked with one of my hosts on a similar trail the day before, and he told me a story of a time when a bear crossed his path. I was enjoying the well shoveled dry trail and hoping that at no point would I cross a bear unless it was another statue on top of another restaurant. I saw very little wildlife, but I did see some homes that the word extravagant doesn't even begin to cover. People in Aspen have some money, and they aren't afraid to throw a lot of it into building large homes. Wow, I was speechless at the preposterous size and luxury of these "residences". These huge palaces were basically out in the middle of the woods. It's disorienting to see such opulence in such a rustic setting. I oogled a few giant houses as I ran the trail, until I had to cross a bridge which led me back toward a more reasonably housed segment civilization. The downside to this was that not only did I have a lot fewer crazy homes to view, but I also had a gigantic hill to run up. This slowed me quite a bit, and at about five miles into the preceedings, it quickly wore me out. I was quite happy when I finally made it back to the house.

It was an eventful and interesting run, but it's safe to say that the city of Aspen itself is not designed for runners. Nice place to visit for a run, but I wouldn't want to live there as a runner. Those trails, though...pretty nice.

One Hundred Ninety-Four

November 25, 2014
9.07 Miles in 1:25:33
Mood: Determined, Chilly, and slightly freaked out.
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse, Go! / Needtobreathe "The Reckoning"

It wasn't too chilly when I started, but I started later than normal in the afternoon. By the time I was done, it was bitter cold. We were heading up to Aspen for Thanksgiving, and I needed almost nine miles to get to 100 for the month. I wasn't sure if I would get a chance to run in Aspen or not, so I decided to push on to make sure that I finished up my November goal and didn't leave it to chance in the mountains. By the time I got home I was still feeling pretty strong, but exceptionally cold. The warm shower was most welcome.

The oddest thing about this run happened as the sun was setting. You can see it in the picture if you look closely. There were about four or five men standing in a field, each with a large dog. They were milling about, and one of them headed down the hill towards me as I was running. He didn't say anything to me, but he just kind of glared at me while holding his dog. The rest of these men stayed off in the distance at the top of the hill. Let me tell ya, strange men standing in a field with dogs for unknown purposes at dusk on a freezing November night is extra creepy. I had to take a picture, 1. For evidence if something weird happened and 2. Because the clouds were pretty excellent. I did wait until the glaring guy was far enough away where he couldn't see me clearly anymore before I took the picture. I ran extra fast after that, and was pretty pleased when I pulled far enough away to be out of range of that whole weird scene.