Friday, March 27, 2015

Two Hundred Fifty-Six

March 27, 2015
7.34 Miles in 1:06:47
Mood: Touring Arizona
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show / Tim Berry "Rivanna Junction"

Today's run involved a bit of adventure as I was running through an area in which I was wholly unfamiliar. Tucson is an interesting and beautiful place, but not necessarily the greatest city for running. My mom just bought a brand new house in a development that is built by the company I work for, and it's pretty nice. There are two builders in the area, and since it's a newer area, it appears that they finally realized in Tucson that sidewalks are a good thing. I've spent time here before, and large swaths of this city have no good places to walk or run...perhaps that is because a lot of the time it's hotter than the surface of the sun down here, and no one in their right mind would ever run or walk anywhere.

Today at 6 AM, however, it wasn't too shabby. The heat of the day hadn't yet arrived, and it was comfortably in the 50's when I set out. I quickly discovered that while Pulte Homes (the company I work for) builds great places to live in (my Mom's house is great) and they are a nice company to work for, their neighborhoods are a little dull to run through. Everything is the same color, and the streets are all straight lines, making running through their developments a bit of a snore. There is another builder nearby which built their homes with all sorts of wild colors, and their streets are circular and interesting. I cannot speak to the quality of their workmanship or if they are good to work with, but they do make more interesting streets to run up and down...for whatever that's worth.

Today's photo came from the rival builder's neighborhood. They have a nursery built into the area along with several small businesses. I can't imagine they get a ton of business, as they are somewhat hidden away inside the development, but it sure did make the scenery more interesting. I love the signpost.

Two Hundred Fifty-Five

March 24, 2015
7.43 Miles in 1:09:39
Mood: Preparing to trek to Arizona
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / TV on the Radio "Dear Science"

Mere hours before embarking on a long trip Southwest towards Arizona, I was pretty much preoccupied with thoughts of vacation, but I wanted to get in a good run prior to spending the entire day in the car. I think running is easier on the body than 10 hours in a car.

I didn't put too much thought into where I was heading, and defaulted to heading West...which is the direction I probably favor over all others when beginning a run from home. It was early, it was dark, and I kept thinking about all the things I needed to pack last minute when I got back...including the running shoes I was wearing, which is the one thing I was most worried about. I did not want to end up in Arizona and not have my most crucial running equipment be left behind. (I managed to remember them.)

Today's photo was a donkey who didn't seem to regard me as anything worth paying too much attention to. I'm not sure if a donkey can be haughty, but it did feel like he thought he was better than me as he gazed in my direction with contempt. I might be reading more into what happened than was actually there, though...because, after all, it's just a donkey.

Two Hundred Fifty-Four

March 22, 2015
6.53 Miles in 1:00:56
Mood: Curiouser and Curiouser
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Magpie and the Dandelion" / Lupe Fiasco "Lasers"

Thanks to plans that began at noon, I didn't have as much time as usual on a Sunday morning to drive up into Denver and run in a more exotic place. Still, I had more time that I usually would have on a weekday morning, so rather than run near my house, I drove a few miles east and decided to investigate a neighborhood that I have logged very little time running through.

What I discovered is that this particular neighborhood is unreasonably hilly. It felt like I was running uphill the entire way...while I realize that is physically impossible, Holy Geez...HILLS! I began at an elementary school which I have started from one other time. That time, I headed south and encountered one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. This time, I decided to head north, and found mostly nondescript suburban homes. After winding my way through the neighborhood a bit, I realized that I was exceptionally close to Fiddler's Green Amphitheater, so I decided to head that direction. This seemed like a good first chapter to the bookend of my afternoon plans, as we were going to hike at Red Rocks, so I was hitting up Denver's two biggest outdoor music venues in one day.

The hike uphill had worn me out, and the neighborhood had been a little boring, so I was beginning to think that this was going to end up as an unmemorable run with no great discoveries. Then I circled Fiddler's Green, and on the north edge is a sculpture garden. It's pretty excellent. The first thing I noticed was a rather angular and interesting statue of Saint Francis of Assisi. I saw it through a fence, and took some pictures of it through the fence, because I thought that that statue was inside of Fiddler's and surely I would be locked out.

Then I turned a corner and realized that the sculpture garden is permanently open. This pleased me greatly, and I spent a good fifteen minutes just walking around and looking at everything. A great number of the statues were centered on Alice in Wonderland. There was a dopey looking Tweedledum and Tweedledee, a somewhat sinister Cheshire Cat, a nervous White Rabbit, a comically angry Queen of Hearts, and an appropriately mad looking Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Dormouse. I'm a fan of the Alice in Wonderland story, and these statues captured the characters well.

I left with that positive feeling that accompanies an opportunity to view quality art, and I knew that I'd have something good to post for the blog as well. Plus I was armed with the satisfaction of discovering something new that I never before knew existed. That feeling is one of my favorite things about running in new areas. I love finding something on a run that I would never discover if I were driving a car.

I began the return to my car through the dull neighborhood with no expectations that anything else interesting would happen, but I still managed to uncover one more notable thing before I was finished. I had plotted my return using Endomondo, my running app. It uses Google Maps which makes it easy to plot the best routes back to my destination when I'm running through unfamiliar areas and suits me well in those times when I am eager to not run around in circles but rather actually arrive where I'm trying to go.

As I followed the map, I was expecting to see a normal neighborhood street ahead, but I turned the corner and was greeted by an enormous ditch. I'm not sure why they were digging up the street, but whatever the task at hand, the crew was digging deep in order to do it. The entire street had disappeared. In it's place was a trench deep enough to almost completely obscure the full sized digging tractor. (I'm sure that piece of equipment has an real technical name that sounds much more official than "digging tractor", but I'm about as ignorant about heavy machinery as a man can possibly be.) It looked as if some insane billionaire had decided to begin building the world's largest canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic, and the work crew decided to begin the task in this suburban Colorado neighborhood. I doubt that connecting oceans was actually their aim, but safe to say, it was a big hole.

I doubled around and found a detour that took me past the canal diggers and back to my car. I was now armed with photos from Wonderland and memories of big ditches in small I considered it a successful run.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Two Hundred Fifty-Three

March 20, 2015
7.35 Miles in 1:08:55
Mood: Making Mateys with Mustangs (Sorry about how far I stretched for that alliteration)
Soundtrack: Judge John Hodgman / The Film Vault

Egad, So much darkness this morning. I tried running on the trail that begins in the park near my house, and it was so dark that I kept running off of the trail. I'm thankful that the days are rapidly getting longer, because soon I will be running start to finish in glorious light, but on this first day of spring, I had to abandon the trail for a better lit path. And yes, I'm the same guy that last post was mocking people for wearing headlamps...I do not suffer under any delusions of consistency.

I didn't really get any decent sunlight until I was over three miles in, and I was beginning to worry that I wouldn't get anything good for today's picture. Then I met my new friend Super Friendly Horse Guy! Granted, his eyes look a little crazy, but he was very pleasant and came right up to me. I've mentioned before on this blog that I'm a sucker for a friendly horse, and today was no different. SFHG walked right up to me, and I started cooing in the way that people speak to puppies or babies. "Who's a pretty horse? You're a pretty horse! Hello pretty horsey!"

Theoretically this is embarrassing to admit, yet I feel no shame. I really like this horse. I petted his head a few times and then continued on, and I'll admit, It has put an enduring happiness in my soul that has lasted all day. So if you're wondering what it takes to put me in a good mood, apparently I just need a affable equine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Two Hundred Fifty-Two

March 18, 2015
7.50 Miles in 1:09:31
Mood: Wait, is that the White House?
Soundtrack: Modest Mouse "Strangers to Ourselves"

On weekday mornings when I run, I wake up way too early in the morning. Today, I woke up 10 minutes earlier than way too early. With this extra time, I formulated a plan in my mind...which is where most of my plans are formulated. I mean, occasionally I formulate a plan on the back of a cereal box or in a 1950's monster movie, but for the most part, they happen in my mind. My plan was devious: I would drive five minutes away to a grocery store parking lot and run further into a neighborhood that is too far away for me to reach in a typical jaunt that begins from my home. I know, I know...I'm basically a criminal mastermind developing such an insidious plot.

Driving north for five minutes placed me in a magical land where rich people build homes that look shockingly similar to the White House. I ran past this amazing house on the Highline Canal Trail at about 6:45 in the morning, and had to circle around via a very exclusive and foreboding dead end street so that I could see it from the front. I couldn't believe how much it looked like the White House, and I honestly wondered if the study was perhaps oval shaped. It was surrounded by a black wrought iron fence and was decidedly unwelcoming in appearance, but I didn't care. This was something I needed to poke my camera over the fence at and snap a picture. The situation demanded it. I live by very few credos, but one of them is that if you see a house that looks remarkably like the presidential residence, you stop and take a picture. It's a code I live by that has served me well...even if today is the first day that it ever actually came into practical use.

As is usually the case when I run in an area in which I am slightly unfamiliar, I got a certain rush from discovery. A good portion of this run was done under cloak of darkness, but there were still plenty of cool new things to see. I am more engaged with an area I run in if it's something new, as there are some streets near my house that I have traversed so often that my mind goes into autopilot. I enjoy the engagement of the new and interesting.

This neighborhood is also apparently the home of goofy headlamps. In the first forty minutes today, I saw about 5 different people wearing those silly straps with lights on them. This seems to be the domain of old people, as the median age of these people with headlamps had to be about 78 year old. It was dark, but not THAT dark. The ambient city light lit up the trail perfectly well for me to see quite well, but perhaps as you get older, you need more light. Either that or the elderly enjoy impersonating miners.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Two Hundred Fifty-One

March 15, 2015
4.60 Miles in 41:29
Mood: Fraternal
Soundtrack: Freelance Whales "Weathervanes" played very quietly while I chatted with my brother-in-law Jeff.

A week ago, I was opining that I wanted to start a running tourism business where people would run with me as I showed them the sites of places that I have grown to love. This run was probably as close as I'll ever get to that, as my brother-in-law Jeff was in town and he and I decided to get a run in on Sunday morning just ahead of a day of family fun.

I managed to drag Jeff along for four and a half miles of a run, plus probably another mile and a quarter of walking as we talked and enjoyed the beautiful Colorado morning. We hit up the Catholic seminary I discovered last week, and we also made our way up to the Weckbaugh Mansion as well as enjoying Wash Park and swaths of the Wash Park neighborhood. Jeff doesn't usually run quite as far as I do, so we cut it a little short by my standards and stretched the length out a bit for him so that we met in the middle at a comfortable 4.6 miles.

Every time I run with someone else, I am reminded how it can be super fun and that running doesn't have always be done in a mindset of solitude. As much as I enjoy my alone time, it can be pretty cool to have conversations while running with people you honestly like but don't get that much time with. In fact, this run led to a Run and Shoot first, in that the photo posted for today's run was not taken by me. (Rather obviously, as I am in the picture.) I enjoyed Jeff's picture of me taking a picture of the door to the chapel at the Saint John Vianney Seminary as I don't usually get to see what I look like when I'm doing my Run and Shoot thing. So there I am in all my glory...taking a picture of a door. That door is quite cool, by the way. Very intricate.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Two Hundred Fifty

March 13, 2015
8.02 Miles in 1:17:42
Mood: Attacking Geese
Soundtrack: TV on the Radio "Seeds" / Rich Mullins "A Liturgy, A Legacy, and A Ragamuffin Band"

Because sometimes I'm not as mature as a 38 year old probably should be, today we open with a photo of geese that I aggressively ran at to scare them into flight so that I could take their picture. I don't really like Canadian Geese, the major reason being that they are disgusting disgusting animals that ruin things. Therefore, I occasionally take a modicum of revenge by terrifying large groups of them by running at them...sometimes I will also yell. Yes, I'm a grown up. (Allegedly)

This photo doesn't do a great job of showing just how many birds there are. I scared a great deal many more geese than you can's just that a large number of them had already escaped to the lake. The greatest thing about this moment is that about thirty seconds after my act of avian terrorism, I passed an older man on the path you can see in the photo. He was visibly laughing at my deed, and while perhaps I should have felt a smidgen of shame or at least a tiny bit of sheepishness, instead the overwhelming emotion was pride. I took great satisfaction in scaring a flock of stupid birds, not an iota of remorse. This was a righteous cause.

In fact, my delight at engaging in geese frightening behavior may have even kept me from posting what probably would have been a better photo for the blog. The sunrise this morning was briefly glowing and glorious, and I took a LOT of pictures in the six minutes that it shone in all it's glory. There are probably a handful of more beautiful shots that I could have used for today's post, but I really wanted to use the picture of fleeing fiendish fowl.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two Hundred Forty-Nine

March 12, 2015
8.15 Miles in 1:16:58
Mood: Angry at Moose Negligence
Soundtrack: Bright Eyes "Casadaga" / Burlap to Cashmere "Anybody Out There?"

The positive side to leaving the house with the world submerged in utter darkness is that you slowly get to feel the world come to life. Very early in the sunrise process this morning the world took on a dark purple twinged glow. Then it slowly exploded into bright pink, the kind of sunrise that gives the world a rosy glow for about five minutes before turning into a normal sunny day. I love sunrises like that.

Today's photo happened rather late in the run...I had just completed my 7th mile and I saw a wooden moose on a doorstep. No better way to get me to stop than putting a wooden moose by your front door. This moose made me happy, something about the little beady eyes. Then I got a little sad, as I noticed that his left antler was damaged. Looks like these people don't use their front door all that much, as the damaged antler was just sitting there a step below the moose. So either they don't use that door, or these are horrible non moose-fixing people...People capable of walking past their own fractured moose without a modicum of pity. Frankly, these people disgust me. Tend to your moose, folks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Two Hundred Forty-Eight

March 10, 2015
7.43 Miles in 1:11:05
Mood: Calmly traversing the darkness
Soundtrack: Grouplove "Never Trust A Happy Song" / Ben Folds Five "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner"

I have previously been a giant proponent of Daylight Savings Time, but that was prior to becoming a ridiculous morning person who rises at 5:30 AM on purpose just so I can go running prior to work. As I am now that crazy morning person, the fact that the sun rose an hour later than it was rising last week is slightly problematic. It's not enough for me to completely write off DST, but it has soured it a bit in my estimation. Add the fact that I'm now running on an hour less sleep than usual, and I'm almost out on the whole endeavor. Fortunately for me, we are in a time of glorious day lengthening, so this is but a temporary problem, and soon the sun will be rising even before I awake.

Today, however, the sun was decidedly NOT up as I left to go running. It was decidedly dark, but even though there was a lack of light and a dearth of photo worthy items in the first forty-five minutes of darkness, I was in a positive mood as I rambled along. Then my mood lifted as I came across this magnificent tree structure just as the sun was beginning to peak out over the horizon. I immediately knew the photo that was going to lead today's blog post on Run and Shoot.

I think technically that this should be called a treehouse, although when I hear the word treehouse, I think of something less grandiose. To me a Treehouse is a tiny box a few feet up in a tree in which small children hold meaningless meetings of The He-Man Woman Haters Club. This treehouse is more like a nice extension to the house that happens to be in a tree. It looked more like a comically elevated deck. It seemed like there should be a nice Weber grill up there and a guy in a chef's hat grilling brats with an apron that says "Kiss the Cook". This structure was very large, looked to be extremely sturdy, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that a very large part of me was tempted to climb the ladder to check it out from above.

Fortunately, I was able to keep temptation in check and avoid trespassing charges. Although, I gotta say, that is one tempting ladder trip that I still want to make. Perhaps I can make friends with the homeowner for no other reason than being able to legally check out the view from his sweet treehouse.

Two Hundred Forty-Seven

March 8, 2015
8.01 Miles in 1:11:47
Mood: Happily discovering spots for my mythical jogging tourism business.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Live, Volume 2" and "Live, Volume 3"

I love when all the best parts of running meet in a confluence of wonderfulness and I experience a run that is close to a perfect. These zen like moments of transcendence tend to happen on Sundays more than any other day of the week, and this Sunday was one such experience.

The ingredients to this souffle of awesomeness included nearly perfect weather, a route that mixed favorite spots with some strong moments of discovery, and a fast pace that remained consistent and pleasant through the entire outing.

I sometimes dream of a world of tourist joggers looking to me as their guide as together we traverse a fun and interesting trek through a carefully crafted route that is both fun to run and beautiful to look at.  I realize that tourist joggers is probably not a thing (although it should be), but if it were, this route might be on the menu. I hit up some of my favorite locales, like Observatory Park, Wash Park, and Weckbaugh Mansion, but also discovered St. John Vianney Theological Seminary...which has immediately become one of my new favorite places.

After briefly scouring the interwebs, I've been able to determine that this Catholic seminary is relatively began in 1999. However, it is housed on a location with a lot of history behind it. The campus used to be home to the Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary. The details on what happened to Saint Thomas are slightly unclear (which means I couldn't find out what happened after spending five minutes on Wikipedia), but it appears that it went out of business and then was bought out in a hostile takeover by the Saint John Vianney people. Actually, I doubt it was all that hostile, but since I am perplexed by the politics of one Catholic institution making way for another Catholic institution to take over it's property, I'm going to go ahead and pretend that it was a hostile takeover, as that seems more deliciously absurd and fun than going to the trouble to find out what actually happened.

What I was able to determine is that the campus has been around since 1907, and it appears that many of the buildings on site are nearly that old themselves. The architecture is stunning. It's a really amazing place to gawk about in for a few minutes, especially if you're into cool old buildings. I snapped several pictures as I toured about, and even chatted up a guy wearing a priest collar. I don't know if he was a priest or a student or just some guy on his way to a weird Catholic costume party, but he was friendly to a stinky runner who was gaping in wide-eyed awe at the pretty buildings, so he's okay in my book no matter what type of collar wearer he was.

I like today's photo, as it shows some of the smaller buildings in the seminary in a cool light with the tallest tower on campus in the background while also featuring the beautiful blue sky that helped make the day so lovely. This campus is slightly off the beaten path, which explains why I've never seen it before, but now that I've discovered it, I imagine this will not be my final trip to check out it's loveliness...and who knows, perhaps it'll become a regular spot on the tour once my jogging tourism business gets up and "running". (Sorry about the pun, but not too sorry.)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Two Hundred Forty-Six

March 6, 2015
7.27 Miles in 1:10:01
Mood: Cute Elephants, Creepy Mannequins, the last days of light, and blister madness.
Soundtrack: The Film Vault

This window display always gets me. It takes you in with the friendly elephant, and then freaks you out when you notice the creepy mannequin inside the elephant suit. I can't fathom how this is supposed to help sell insurance.

Thanks to daylight savings time, when I go for a run next week, the sun will have abandoned me. It'll be another month before the lengthening days get us back to sunrises that happen this early, so I figured I'd enjoy being able to see where I was running for the final time in March. I've enjoyed the early sunrises, and while they'll be back and even earlier in a few months, the momentary return to darkness has me not looking forward to daylight savings for the first time that I can remember. Of course, losing an hour of sleep is no picnic, either.

I'm working in a new pair of shoes in March, and while I like them, I'll be glad when they are a little more broken in and a little less giving me blisters.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Two Hundred Forty-Five

March 5, 2015
7.24 Miles in 1:12:35
Mood: Feeling under dressed compared to frogs
Soundtrack: Judge John Hodgman / The Mediocre Show / This American Life
Last night my phone's weather app was forecasting a morning temp of 9 degrees. After freezing my face on Tuesday's run, I was giving serious consideration to just skipping running today. Thankfully when I woke up and ambled into the kitchen, the thermometer showed an outside temp of 15. It's a weird psychological phenomenon in which you are excited for the warmth of 15 degrees. It still sounds cold, but somehow that six degrees of extra warmth got me unreasonably excited for "warmth" and convinced me I should head out.
Turned out, it was a great decision. This run was a perfect and remarkably comfortable start to the day, and also...frogs in formal wear. Seriously, how great are those frogs?
The only other point of note from this run that I must bring up is extensive icicle madness. The past week of heavy snows followed by quick warmings has produced icicles in a way I cannot remember Denver ever producing icicles before. It seemed like every house I passed this morning was in the midst of being transformed into Superman's Fortress of Solitude. I have seen multiple five and six foot long ice swords dangling precariously from the rafters. It seems like it's only a matter of time until multiple news stories break of humans being pierced to death from above. It's a frightening time to be alive. Be safe out there.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Two Hundred Forty-Four

March 3, 2015
7.57 Miles in 1:14:22
Mood: So Cold. Perhaps Dangerously Cold. Brrrr...Hey look, a balloon!
Soundtrack: Jordan, Jesse, Go!

I don't know what I was thinking. The thermometer read 23. I've gone running in colder temps, but today for some reason, I decided that I could get by with just a long sleeved running shirt and no jacket or sweatshirt. That was a mistake. The temps dropped as a ran, and by the time I was three miles away from home, the wind had picked up tremendously, and I was getting numb. It was too cold to not have at least a hoodie on. My arms, hands and face were losing feeling by the time I was getting close to finished. It was chilly, but I wasn't too concerned.

Then something weird happened.

I had just completed my sixth mile, and I was running down a residential street (E Panama Dr) when all of a sudden, a helium balloon floated through the intersection ahead of me. It was about 150 feet up in the air, and looked like it had seen better days. It was partially deflated, and clearly was on it's way down eventually but it still had enough helium in it to remain in the air. I believed this to be a balloon that a child had let fly the previous night, and after climbing high into the stratosphere, it was on it's descent. I've never seen a balloon make it back from that moment, so there was definitely a sense of wonder about it. The way it floated silently across the sky felt magical, as if it had been placed there just for me to see. I took a picture of it, but surmised that a picture wouldn't show up, so I proceeded to take a video. As I narrated the video, I realized that my cheeks were a little was serious enough that I had a hard time talking. Rather than frightening me, this amused me to no end, as I sounded ridiculous. I watched the balloon float out of site, and hurried home, as after getting a late start on this run, I was running late and figured if I didn't hurry, I'd be severely late for work.

When I arrived at home, my cheeks were still frozen, and when I tried talking to my son, I still sounded remarkably silly. My son laughed at me, and I jumped into a hot shower, which felt cold for the first two or three minutes as I slowly thawed. I feel fine now, but man, I regret not being appropriately clothed this morning.

Today's photo occurred before the real cold started hitting. I passed by an old Dodge truck which looked pretty cool, but then I noticed the Denver Broncos sticker which very well may have been on that truck for decades. It was weathered, but in a cool way. I immediately knew I needed a picture for Run and Shoot. I had to trample across a snow drift to get it, but I consider that brief inconvenience a small price to pay for a cool picture.

Two Hundred Forty-Three

March 1, 2015
7.66 Miles in 1:13:02
Mood: Missing out on doughnuts and slopping through snow.
Soundtrack: Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Angles" and "Repent Replenish Repeat"

Denver was a snowy slushy mess. After a week with a ton of snow, the melting process was beginning, but slowly. It was a nice day, but the kind of day that unless one proceeded with caution, the likelihood was great that you'd end up with soggy socks after plunging into a three foot deep puddle of murky ice water. I was on guard.

I started out at Wash Park, and briefly considered simply running around the park a few times, as the main road there was dry. That might have proven to be better for my speeds, but I took the road less travelled and headed North. I was considering getting a doughnut at VooDoo, and stuck a few bills in my pocket in case I decided to indulge that fancy. I ran North through some awesome neighborhoods, and then Cheesman park, and finally up to Colfax.

I ran past VooDoo Doughnuts, but surprisingly, there was a line out the door. This was normal the first few months that the shop was open. The first time I bought their pastries I had to wait over an hour, but I thought that a lot of the fervor had died down. Recently I have been able to walk right in and buy doughnuts on several occasions without much of a wait at all. Apparently late on a Sunday morning is when they are at their peak business, as the line looked to be at least a half hour long. I decided against the doughnut, and headed south once again with a combination of disappointment that I didn't have a delicious doughnut mixed with some pride that I was being healthy because I didn't eat a delicious doughnut. It was definitely a mixed bag of feelings, basically the exact opposite of the satisfaction/regret that you feel after indulging in something decadent.

The picture for today came as I was running North. I passed this carving that looked to be made from the remains of a tree that had died. I couldn't confirm that, as the base of the sculpture was buried in snow, but it was quite interesting to look at. I thought that the bottom of it looked a little like Lisa Simpson giving someone a boost.

Two Hundred Forty-Two

February 27, 2015
5.37 Miles in 45:24
Mood: Assuming drudgery was to ensue and instead getting beauty.
Soundtrack: The Mediocre Show / The After Disaster / Judge John Hodgman

It's funny what an arbitrary goal can do for you. After thirteen consecutive months of running for at least 100 miles, I was sitting at 96.6 miles for February. I only needed 3.4 miles, which is nothing for me, but it was the last possible day in February for me to get a run in, and it was freezing (about 3 degrees) and the world was covered in snow. I could either sleep in and forget about getting 100 miles for February (which is a short month after all) or I could plod through the frosty world to reach my arbitrary goal.

Spoiler alert: I got up and ran. I didn't want my streak ending at 13 months, and it didn't. February 2015 was the 14th straight month thanks to this odd outing into frozen Colorado.

Now, Momma didn't raise no dummy...rather than slipping and sliding on snow covered freezing streets, I decided to cross the street and run up and down the parking garage. This served two benefits...the biggest benefit was that the ramps of the parking garage were clear. The second benefit was that it was slightly warmer inside the garage. I was still thankful that I was wearing my cold weather gear, but it was not as frigid as the straight up outdoors were that morning, which was a huge blessing. The downside was that I was running in a parking garage...not exactly a wonderland of beautiful sites. I took a picture of one of the ramps figuring that I wasn't going to get much in the way of anything good to post for this run, and I'd make due with a boring ramp...then the sun rose.

The sunrise on this wintry Friday was incredible. It was even cooler when you're five stories up at the top of the parking garage with no major buildings to block your view. Turned out I picked the perfect spot to get a really awesome picture...something I was completely not expecting when I started out on this run to reach 100. I gawked at the sun for a few minutes, and then after finishing up enough ups and downs on the ramps to get to my goal, I ran home through the freezing cold in a glorious mood. Against all odds, it was a memorable run.