Friday, February 28, 2014
February 27, 2014
9.81 Miles in 1:34:51
Mood: Determined but Slow
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show / 99% Invisible
I was going to get to 100 miles for February with this run...which meant I needed to do about nine miles. My determination was matched only by my heavy legs which couldn't keep up much of a pace. So slowly, I crossed the triple digit threshold for the month, and felt remarkably proud for achieving such a random accomplishment and keeping my dreams of the 12 by 100 alive for 2014. (2 months down, 10 to go.) It was definitely a longer run that I probably should have attempted, but the weather was beautiful, and I just felt like accomplishing my goal that day, and not leaving it up to capriciousness of the last day of the month.
The episode of 99% Invisible that I was listening to as I ran was all about buildings that used to be Pizza Huts and are now something else...a strangely captivating listen. I kept thinking about all the places I've seen that were clearly once a Pizza Hut and now are Greek or Chinese restaurants or some other type of business. Apparently, there is even a police station housed in one of these buildings somewhere in America. Roman Mars, the host of 99PI is one of my internet radio heroes. Dude does amazing work. If you're a podcast fan, you should totally check out 99% Invisible.
As for today's picture...there is so much I love about it. The guy's confidence to pronounce that his wood art is AWESOME. The fact that the sign sits in his yard and points directly to his house's front door. The fact that the M in Awesome is a different color than the rest of the letters in Awesome. The complete randomness of the whole thing. Just so much goodness in a front yard sign. I can't tell if he has a woodworking business or he just thinks that both he and his art are awesome and he wants to share said awesomness with you. I can't prove it, but I'm assuming that the creator of this glorious yard art is a guy, because I have a hard time seeing a female being so brash about their self-proclaimed awesomeness.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
February 25, 2014
7.31 Miles in 1:11:37
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse, Go!
It was cold. Not unbearably so, but it was cold enough that it definitely had me thinking about NOT running. I was weighing the merits of freezing my tail off or not, and eventually decided I needed to run. It was a close call, though, and that indecision led to a ton of further indecision. I was as much a wreck of poor decision making as I get...which is not terribly bad, as I tend to be fairly decisive at all times...probably to my detriment sometimes, but still. I rarely am indecisive, so this run was a lesson in poor decision making.
I couldn't decide which way to go, and once I did decide, I ended up doubling back on several different occasions, and changing my mind and my direction. I think my brain froze up with the cold. It wasn't my favorite run...plus at one point, my body started displaying some fecal urgency...always a bad time for a runner. Fortunately, I wasn't too far away from the local rec center, which I entered like I owned the place and destroyed their bathroom. As Jim Carrey says in Ace Ventura, "Do NOT go in there!"
The goofiest thing I did on this run was try to run in a pattern in a parking which would spell out my first name on the map of my running app Endomondo. Since I wasn't thinking about which way was up in a global since, I ended up doing it backwards and upside down, but the results were interesting, even if they were mostly indecipherable. The main thing that I noticed is that all that doubling back confused Endomondo and killed my lap pace. Oh well. It was an interesting experiment to me. Here is what it ended up looking like...You can kind of make out the upside down C on the left...the rest of it looks like what you'd expect a jogging signature to look like.
The picture for this run comes from a small subdivision of mini-McMansions, I think the lion statues (there are two of them on either side of the entryway) are there to lend some gravitas to the home. I'm not sure they work in that manner, but I did like the way they looked...they were pretty quality home lions, not your run of the mill K-Mart blue light special lawn lions...Now that I type that, I'm pretty such a thing does not exist. Anyway, a big thumbs up to these lions. Big Fan. Here is the big map.
Monday, February 24, 2014
February 23, 2014
8.35 Miles in 1:20:15
Mood: Foggy but Sunny
Soundtrack: The Film Vault
It was a gloomy foggy morning, but I was in a terrific mood. It was a Sunday without much of a plan, which sometimes are my favorite sorts of Sundays. The fog lifted and the weather warmed dramatically as I ran, and by the time I got home, the loveliness of the day matched my mood. Plus, I ran into this old Dodge truck with a completely random photo of a goat in it's rear window. So glorious! I tip my hat to whoever made this piece of joy drop into my lap in the middle of my run.
February is winding down, and I am fewer than 17 miles away from covering 100 miles in the month despite not running at all for the first week with the combination of the Super Bowl and an arctic snap hitting Denver. My goal is to try and hit 100 miles every month in 2014, and right now, I feel pretty good, because if I can manage to do it in the final three weeks of February, it's hard to imagine I'll have a tougher month to hit the target. One month at a time, though, and I still need to get a few more good runs in to make sure I hit it this month. Still, I'm feeling pretty good, considering I was less than optimistic I'd be able to hit the goal for February three weeks ago.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
February 21, 2014
0.13 Miles in 1:43
Soundtrack: Goal Horn / Fall Out Boy "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark"
This might kinda sorta be cheating, but technically this did qualify as a run...albeit a really short one. On Thursday afternoon, I won four tickets to the Denver Cutthroats game on Twitter. So Friday night, the whole family headed down to the Denver Coliseum The Cutthroats are a minor league hockey team that plays in the Coliseum. It's quite a minor league affair, but still quite a bit of fun. This is my second Cutthroats game, as I took Luke and Ellie to a game last February...however, they were shutout in that game, so I saw my first actual Cutthroats goals at this game.
Here is what I missed by not seeing a goal at the last game: After every goal, a majority of the kids in the arena run a lap around the arena on the main concourse path. The Cutthroats scored six times, which allowed us to see this occur a bunch. Luke watched the first four times it happened, and we kept encouraging him to go. Finally, on the fifth goal, he decided he would give it a go. It was really cute watching him circle the entire area.
Despite the fact that I had already gone running that afternoon, I kinda wanted to try it myself...there were some adults doing it (although, admittedly, it was mostly kids.), so I told Luke that if Denver scored again, I'd go with him. It was relatively late in the 3rd period, and with a 5-2 lead, I figured the Fish would hold back and just play defensively and lock down the win. However, the pushed more more goal into the net, so with fewer than nine minutes left in the game Luke and I hopped up and ran around the arena.
It was a little nutty, and I had to watch my pace and stride so that I didn't inadvertently body check a random seven year old down a row of stairs, but it was a blast. I think Luke enjoyed our little jaunt...his second of the game...and I know I found it to be a lot of fun. I even thought to start up Endomondo so that I could get a map of the run and post it to the blog. The map doesn't make it look I like I completed a full circle, but I assure you that I ran the entire way around the arena, and the Fish beat the league leading Missouri Mavericks 6-2, so all in all, a really fun night. Go Fish!
February 21, 2014
7.28 Miles in 1:08:28
Mood: Urban Chickenish and Batmanesque
Soundtrack: Welcome to That Whole Thing / The Because Show
I had rocks in my running shoe, so I sat down on a bench, removed my shoe to remove the gravel...and I heard the distinctive crowing of a rooster. I thought there was a chance that I was hearing things, or perhaps I had finally just lost it completely. However, I heard it again. And again. And again.
I started triangulating on the position, and within 40 seconds had located the backyard where said rooster was living. This suburban home had a chicken coop in it's back yard. I could see it faintly from across the dry creek bed separating a row of homes from the Highline Canal Trail. I have heard tale of urban chickens being a thing that happens, but I had never before seen it with my own eyes. I determined two things: One, this is a dumb hipster thing to do. Two, if someone ever tries to pull this next door to me, I may become a poultry murderer...the reason being, the darn rooster never shut up. I can foresee myself getting fed up with non-stop clucking and crowing and employing the services of a Red Ryder BB gun until much like the Raven, the rooster clucked nevermore. Point being, I hope no one near me ever endeavors to start chicken farming.
The other interesting sight on this run was the Batmobile...apparently the Batmobile is an Izuzu Trooper. As you can see from the pic, the seats were decked out in the Bat symbol. Not only the front seats, but the back ones also. In addition to that, the front of the vehicle had a Batman symbol, the Trooper had been painted metallic gray, and the back of the Trooper had a Batman logo...also, the wheels were yellow. Somebody loves himself some Batman. Naturally, I found this goofy, but also kinda cool. Batman is without question my favorite superhero...Much cooler than decking your garage out with Captain America, anyhow. I saw the kid come out of the house after I finished taking pictures, and it was a high school boy, which was kind of perfect. Shine on, you Batman, you!
Friday, February 21, 2014
February 20, 2014
8.00 Miles in 1:12:42
Mood: Windswept and Desperate
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show
It was exceptionally windy on this run. Fortunately, it was also mostly warm, but wind can get kind of irritating. Fortunately it died down towards the end of the run. Unfortunately, that is when I really started having to poop. The desperate part of my mood came from me being desperate to get some place that had a working toilet. Egad, the last mile or so was uncomfortable. And it's a catch 22, to get the a restroom faster, you have to run...when you run, the thudding vibrations make your bowels more uncomfortable...however, if you slow down, it takes longer to get to a restroom.
One last thing, I love the sign in this picture. Slow bump ahead doesn't really work as a warning without a comma. It makes it seem like a slow moving bump is lurking ahead and lying in wait to pounce. Bad sign design, but it makes me happy.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
February 18, 2014
7.72 Miles in 1:13:24
Mood: Tired but happy
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / 99% Invisible / The Avett Brothers "The Carpenter" / Jordan, Jesse, Go!
I was in a good mood as I got off work early and was looking forward to going to the Nuggets game right after my run. After a day of sneezing and general Common-Coldery, I was hoping that I could run away the sniffles. Not sure if that is an effective strategy to get over being sick, but it does seem like I feel better the more I run, so I thought it was worth a shot.
A combination of getting a low blood sugar and running while sick left me feeling winded for much of the first half of my run. I was in a fine mood, but my body wasn't cooperating with my desire to run. I had to stop and walk for a bit. However, after 8 ounces of frozen yogurt, some ham, and a Sobe Life Water, I was feeling much more like myself, and the second half of the run went swimmingly.
Most importantly, I decided that it was time for Run and Shoot to get a photo of the Spiderman/Captain America house. I am endlessly amused by the fact that someone is so comfortable in their nerdiness that they just paint their favorite Marvel Superheroes on their garage. I'd be horrified if it were my neighbor, but since it's merely someone who lives a mile and a half away, it's enough distance from me to be humorous instead of embarrassing.
Monday, February 17, 2014
February 16, 2014
8.28 Miles in 1:16:33
Mood: Discovery and Absurdity
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / The Film Vault / Counting Crows "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings"
Some of my favorite runs happen when I jump in the car first and find new places to explore that I have never run through before. I like calling these types of outings "Road Trip Runs" and Sunday morning was a doozy of a good one.
I drove up to Cheesman Park in Denver (I just learned that it was a cemetery that was converted to a park in the late 1800's through early 1900's...an interesting story that includes tales of ghosts. You can read about here...http://www.legendsofamerica.com/co-cheesmanpark.html if you are interested)
From Cheesman, I ran down Colfax and around City Park, completely circling The Denver Zoo, and then I ran down to VooDoo doughnuts, and went from running seven miles to immediately standing in (the admittedly ridiculously long) line for doughnuts.
A few things from this run:
The Denver Zoo opens at 10:00 AM on Sundays, and from what I discovered, there are huge lines that form to get in right when it opens up. Granted, it was a GORGEOUS day, but I still found it weird to have a giant line outside of the zoo, as generally when my family goes to the zoo, we arrive later in the day and just waltz right in. I had no idea that a queue would form.
My original plan was to actually use my Zoo membership to get into the zoo, and do a lap of the zoo as part of my run. I was going to include a picture of the grizzly bears as the photo for this run, but I didn't feel like waiting in line for 20 minutes to get in, maybe some other time. (Although, my wife has informed me that people don't want sweaty people running in the zoo. She may be right. I'm not sure what their running through the zoo policy is.)
City Park is a glorious place to run, which is why I would assume why there are so many runners there on a weekend morning. As I ran around the small lake in the middle of the park, I was engrossed in a story on the podcast 99% Invisible about an rivalry between the architect of the Chrysler Building and the architect of the Manhattan Company Building at 40 Wall Street in 1929. These two architects were as former friends who through their rivalry competed to see which would officially become the tallest building in the world. It was really captivating and interesting stuff, perhaps more so to me since I was just recently in New York, but still, really good stuff. The payoff moment of the whole story is when a normally reserved and even-keeled Roman Mars (the show's host) unleashes on Walter Chrysler. It was a truly great moment that had me smiling from ear to ear. You can find a link to that podcast and the story here if you're interested...(http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/higher-and-higher/)
Finally, this run was interrupted by about a 50 minute break to stand in line and buy doughnuts. Because what goes together better than running and doughnuts? I'm telling you, VooDoo Doughnuts have grabbed ahold of me. I find myself craving them, and since their location is just North of Cheesman, I decided that I HAD to get some. The Bacon Maple Bar was audibly calling my name. So, I indeed went directly from running the majority of this run (seven and a half miles or so...the first of the two maps below) to immediately standing in line for doughnuts. Yes, standing in line. VooDoo is the new hotness in Denver, so you're looking at around an hour wait on a Sunday morning if you want to get their delicious pastries.
That in itself was ridiculous enough, but after I procured my doughnuts, I was about three quarters of a mile away from my car. Now sure, I could have just walked to my car, but I am trying to get to 100 miles run in February...and just because I'm holding a large pink box of doughnuts doesn't mean I can't also run.
I'm telling you, if you want to get weird looks, go jogging through a busy park with a box of doughnuts. One guy just looked directly at me, laughed, and said to me, "Now THAT is hilarious."
So yes, it was a pretty good run.
Map 1 - Pre-doughnuts
Map 2 - The section of the run where I was doughnut laden.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
February 14, 2014
7.47 Miles in 1:11:24
Soundtrack: The Film Vault
When I was running the day before, I saw a dad and his daughter putting together this snow fort. They were using shoeboxes. I've never seen anyone do anything quite like that before with snow. I wanted to take a picture right then and there, but I start to feel a little self-conscious about taking pictures with people right there while I'm running. Makes me feel like a bit of a weirdo. So I went back on this run to get a pic after another day of melting made it slightly smaller. It's still pretty cool, although, I am not quite sure why they were building this odd half wall of a fort in their front yard.
It was Valentine's Day, and when I got home my wife had gotten me a gift and had also purchased a six pack of Shiner Bock and put it in the fridge. This is love! Piling on top of how awesome she is for putting up with all my running, and being home with the kids so I can keep up my hobby/exercise regimen, she also gets killer gifts! I was feeling pretty blessed as I ran, knowing that when I got back, I had a date with my lovely lady awaiting. I was in a terrific mood as I ran.
February 13, 2014
9.09 Miles in 1:25:54
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show
The official sound of this run could come from the end of The Wizard of Oz, "I'm melting!" I saw about 10 to 20 different snowmen on this run that were all melting and starting to look much more interesting than they probably did at inception. I don't quite understand the art style of this one I took a photo of, but it looked almost like a ton of small snowmen bowing down in homage to a larger beheaded snowman. I'm pretty sure that isn't what the artist was going for, but melting snowmen turn into some interesting things.
The downside to this snow melt is that it is making all my favorite trails muddy impossible messes. I can't run any of the trails around here, which are by far my favorite places to run. Need to wait for things to dry up a bit.
I stopped in a few different businesses on this run, and in two separate locations, spent less than a dollar on my credit card. At Yogurtland, I spent 29 cents (after my coupon gave me 3 free ounces) and at a convenience store, I spent 65 cents for a granola bar to help raise a low blood sugar. I should probably feel a twinge of guilt for such ridiculously little purchases on a card, but I don't.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
February 11, 2013
10.01 Miles in 1:34:47
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse, Go!
We have an electronic paper towel dispenser in our office kitchen. The sensitivity is super high on it, so even if you just walk past the counter, it dispenses a towel. I know it's just a mechanical setting, but I find myself anthropomorphizing the intentions of this machine.
"Come on, man! Don't you want a paper towel? Please! TAKE A TOWEL!!!"
It's kind of pathetic how needy it is. I find myself resenting a towel dispenser. I guess the more you want someone to want something from you, the more irritating you are to others. This is even true for inanimate objects.
What does that have to do with this run? Nothing. I'm just annoyed with the dispenser. This run had me pushing myself a bit further than I probably needed to go in hopes of getting to 100 miles for February. I'm at 27.5 now, so it's within reach. Not bad considering I missed the entire first week of the shortest month of the year. Although, I gotta say that ten miles is a long run.
Also, I found a park with a dinosaur in it. There is no scenario in which that is a bad thing. Unless, I suppose it's an actual living dinosaur intent on eating you. Even then, you've got yourself a good story to tell if you somehow survive.
I think it's time for the map...
Sunday, February 9, 2014
February 9, 2014
9.38 Miles in 1:29:43
Soundtrack: The Film Vault
I wasn't in a terrible mood, just a gray one. It's not that I felt terrible, it's just that it felt like the world had been stripped of color. Perhaps part of that is the fact that football season is over, which makes me less enthused about a Sunday, but also the sky was super gray, and I just felt like I was missing the variety of color in my life. Weird thing to try and express, but it was a somewhat weird morning.
I think that part of the reason that I chose today's picture is that the blue of this particular windmill really pierced the gray. One of the few things that really stood out today from a color perspective. I really liked this blue. This house had a ton of windmills in it's front yard. I think one way you can tell that I have moved on from the Broncos crazed mood of the pre-Super Bowl era is that there was a Broncos windmill, and it didn't get picked for today's picture. (I still took a picture of it, I'm not completely devoid of Bronco sentiment.)
After this run, I was looking into what it will take for me to hit my monthly goal of at least 100 miles. Looks like if I don't miss another run, I'll need to average about seven and a half miles per outing if I'm going to hit it for February. Not impossible, but clearly, I've got some work to do. The combo of it being a short month plus the fact that terrible weather and the trip to New York basically killed the entire first week from a running perspective just makes it a tiny bit more challenging. I'm going to do my best to hit that mark, as I'd love to go 12 for 12 in 2014.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
February 7, 2013
8.08 Miles in 1:15:32
Mood: Ready to get back at it
Soundtrack: Welcome To That Whole Thing / The Truth Podcast
9 days between runs feels like a thousand years. So much has happened. New York was wonderful, but the Super Bowl most definitely didn't go the way I was hoping. After so much buildup, this week has been a bit of a malaise. It certainly didn't help that the weather in Colorado has been sub-zero all week, and I couldn't drown my sorrows in a good run. So when the weather finally inched up to the mid-thirties on Friday, I was out the door in a flash to get running. As much fun as I had in New York, I'm still a tiny bit bummed that I didn't find a place to squeeze in a run. I'd love to have been able to post a New York picture of some sort for the blog. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
This run felt like the beginning of moving on. For the first time in several weeks, I wasn't stopping to take a picture of every Bronco item I saw. (And despite losing the Super Bowl badly, I was happy to still see several Bronco flags and signs still waving proudly.) February has officially begun now that I have gotten a run in, and I'm ready for whatever is next.
This run felt like a good time to finally get a photo posted on Run and Shoot of the suit of armor on the front door of the house on Grant Street. Kudos to my friend Deb for directing me to it, as well as kudos to the person who decided that it would be a good decoration for their front door. Felt like a good place to begin February.