Monday, August 29, 2016

Five Hundred Eleven

August 28, 2016
8.04 Miles in 1:16:55
Mood: Being given mythical time restraints and just rolling with it.
Soundtrack: Father John Misty "I Love You, Honeybear" / Counting Crows "Somewhere Under Wonderland" and "Recovering the Satellites"

I ran past the articulated wall on this run, and noticed how cool it looked reflected in this building's mirrored artifice. The big yellow thing is still there, and still pretty cool. It looked like it had been painted since last I visited, as it seemed slightly less worn down, which was nice. It's a Pokemon Gym, which I thought was fun, so I took five minutes to topple the Team Valor Pokemon that stood atop the structure and claimed the gym for Team Mystic. In the time that I was doing this, a security guard drove up to the statue and she informed that there is a fifteen minute limit for hanging out by the art. I was certain this was an entirely made up rule, but I informed her pleasantly that I had only been here for about five minutes. It might have been slightly longer, as before I assaulted the gym, I also took several goofy selfies with the art, but what she didn't know wouldn't hurt me, and I was still pretty sure that I hadn't been there any longer than the mythical 15 minute time limit, anyway.

I also passed by two dumpsters on this run that were both overflowing with rotting watermelons. This made me a little sad, as it's always a bummer to waste watermelons, but it also looked so funny. You're not supposed to fill up dumpsters with watermelons...that's a rule.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five Hundred Ten

August 26, 2016
7.63 Miles in 1:15:35
Mood: Lacking in imagination, but enjoying my morning all the same.
Soundtrack: TV on the Radio "Seeds" and "Dear Science"

It was warmer than yesterday, but this morning, I ran in jogging pants instead of shorts. Mostly due to laziness, as it was chilly last night as I was getting in bed, so I put on jogging pants to keep warm, and rather than change out of them for shorts, I just kept them on. Honestly, I could have gone either way and been fine, as it is one of those wonderful cool late summer mornings that are comfortable no matter what you're wearing.

I wasn't feeling super creative today. Just took the trail to Ketring Park, and then ran back the same way. What my route lacked in originality it more than made up for in beauty, as the trail was lovely, and Ketring Lake looked amazing today. The clouds were layered, and then they reflected on the still surface of the lake to create a lovely photo op at my tried and true photo op location. I decided to take the picture from a different angle for variety sake and to get the best possible view of the cormorant that was chilling out on the rock.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Five Hundred Nine

August 25, 2016
7.87 Miles in 1:16:53
Mood: Rooster and Chicken...that's a mood.
Soundtrack: Middle Brother "Middle Brother" / Delta Spirit "Into the Wide" / The Long Winters "Putting the Days to Bed"

If your backyard has no fence to create privacy with people walking by on the street, I think it's really important to get a metallic rooster and chicken. That way people will know to not mess with you, because you're the kind of person who shows no fear in the face of putting large artistic representations of barnyard animals on your property, and no one is messing with that.

I was faced with the reality that summer is ending, and soon my morning runs will be dark and cold. It was only 45 degrees as I left the house this morning. I briefly debated with myself on whether or not wearing shorts was the way to go, but I didn't feel like changing and it didn't feel too cold as I stepped outside, but I had to sigh and realize that before too long, I'll be wearing hoodies and jogging pants and the glorious running days of summer will have ended. On the plus side, there will be regular season football happening at that point, so one good thing good thing begins. It's a glass half full life I'm living, here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Five Hundred Eight

August 23, 2016
8.14 Miles in 1:19:50
Mood: Stop going the wrong way, man.
Soundtrack: The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast / The Allustionist / Panic! at the Disco "Vices & Virtues" and "Pretty Odd" and "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out"

At one point in this run, I was running the wrong way. I was trying as hard as I could to convince myself that it wasn't the wrong way, and ran for an extra two or three minutes in the wrong direction making myself even later than I already was. Then I stopped and realized that while I could press on going in the direction I was going and eventually get home, it would make more sense to just cut my losses, acknowledge my mistake, and turn around. Sometimes momentum gets you going in the wrong way, and even when you know it's the wrong way, it takes more than it should to stop and go in the right direction.

Also, I'd like to point out that Nike totally redid their app, and it's decidedly mediocre. They have added things, but I have no interest in the new stuff, and they have made things I loved a little bit worse. It's still a fine app, but I liked the old one better. Worst of all, pausing runs seems to be a little bit bug prone, as I had to completely shut down the app on two separate occasions just to get it working again, so hopefully they fix that. I tend to hate all radical app updates to anything, and then eventually get used to them, so I'm sure that'll happen here too, but for now, I want my old app back. Anyway, that's why the map looks different today.

Five Hundred Seven

August 21, 2016
7.17 Miles in 1:09:27
Mood: Anti-Segway and confused about Denver's Scottish heritage.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "True Sadness" / Panic! at the Disco "Death of a Bachelor"

People should never gather in groups on Segways. It's hard to take a herd of Segwayists seriously. This is an invention that the world neither wanted nor needed, and if it were not for overweight security guards, they would have followed the Edsel into history's garbage heap, but against all odds, they hang on. On the plus side, Civic Center Park sure looks pretty on a clear summer's day.

In a surreal and weird moment on this run, I found a statue in City Park of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. I had no idea who he was until I Googled him when I got home, I just saw his last name on the plaque. He was a Scottish poet, and apparently this statue was erected in Denver in 1904 and has stood here ever since. What I can't figure out is what connection a Scottish poet has to Denver or why this statue was erected to honor him. Did Denver have a big Scottish population in the early twentieth century? I don't know, but it seems a little weird.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Hundred Six

August 19, 2016
8.31 Miles in 1:23:15
Mood: Laughing at historical violence reenacted with baby dolls, and being late isn't so bad when there is a Snorlax involved.
Soundtrack: Mumford & Sons "Wilder Mind" / Carbon Leaf "Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle" / Ben Folds Five "The Sound of the Life of the Mind"

There are stories throughout many different cultures of barbaric warlords impaling humans on pikes and placing their bodies along roadways as warnings to others that they are on dangerous grounds. Oddly, this is the very first thing I thought of when I saw the scene pictured above. That made me laugh, and then take a picture, and now it's the picture for this post.

I went south to check out the scenic portion of Highlands Ranch, and I ended up going a bit farther than I had intended, so on the way home, I was trying to hurry...although not so much as to not stop and hit up Pokestops in places where I knew they were located. My hurrying to get back in time stopped very quickly when I saw the following on my phone...

For those who are unfamiliar with Pokemon Go, when you haven't caught a Pokemon, it shows up as a silhouette on the nearby Pokemon radar at the bottom right portion of the screen. That outline is of a extremely rare Pokemon that I have never before seen. Suddenly, I was tracking Pokemon rather than hurrying home. I really wanted to catch the Snorlax. I thought I had lost it, but I as I ran towards home, I kept my app up just in case it popped back up. It did, and then I found it on a road that I had intended to take home anyway. I took a moment to catch it for me and also on my kids accounts because when you see a Snorlax, you catch it for everyone! I ended up being about 15 minutes late to work this morning, and I regret nothing.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Five Hundred Five

August 18, 2016
8.23 Miles in 1:19:41
Mood: Enhanced reality is fundamentally changing my morning workouts.
Soundtrack: Panic! at the Disco "Death of a Bachelor" and "Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die"

Pokemon Go is doing interesting things to my runs. I find myself running to spots where I've had good luck catching rare Pokemon in the past and then stopping and pausing to see if I can find more. Mostly I'm NOT playing on runs, but in certain sections I definitely pull out the game and run from Pokestop to Pokestop to fill up on helpful items and catch the cool Pokemon. I got some good stuff on this run, and hit up enough Pokestops that my item bag was full by the time I was done. Also, I had a great run, but those two things seem to have almost happened at the same time but completely separately. I know this game is basically the 2016 version of the Pet Rock, and someday we'll all look back on this nonsense and laugh, but right now, I'm all about catching em GOTTA catch em all.

Today's photo comes Gallup Park. I dug that the sun was just the right height in the sky to shine through the circle in this sculpture. I also found a picture of this sculpture on the University of Colorado website, and it looks like the photo was taken from almost the same place, but it looks much different, so I was wondering how old their photo was...

I also found it interesting that the grass goes right up to the sculpture in this photo, and my photo from today clearly has this sculpture sitting on some type of asphalt. Was the sculpture moved? How old is the sculpture?  Then I googled "Gallup Park Sculpture Littleton Colorado" and found THIS article which told me that the sculpture was made in 1976 and very recently restored.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Five Hundred Four

August 16, 2016
8.08 Miles in 1:18:22
Mood: Positive Pop and a Scaremoose.
Soundtrack: The Dan LeBatard Show / Ben Rector "Brand New"

I listened through Ben Rector's "Brand New" album twice on this run. It's a weird musical anomaly for me. It is unwaveringly positive and while somewhat clever, it's so saccharine that it's almost pandering. There are songs on it such as the unforgivable "Crazy" that just flat out lack any artistic credibility. Normally I'd hate something like this, and yet there is something so appealing about it, even as it's simple and sugary to near the point of insulting. I just dig the album and it's sweet stupid songs.

As for today's photo...What do we call this thing? A Scaremoose? A Moosecrow? A Moose Scarecrow? I like it, but I'm at a loss of what to call it. It's probably too cute to actually scare away a crow, though.

Five Hundred Three

August 14, 2016
7.88 Miles in 1:15:10
Mood: Contemplating long enduring civic art.
Soundtrack: Tyler Stenson "Sometimes I'm a Lion" / Passenger "All the Little Lights" / The Head and the Heart "Spotify Session"

These weird geometrically shaped things have been in Denver's Burns Park for as long as I can remember. We used to see them on our way to Celebrity Sports Center to go swimming and bowling and play video games and Skeeball back when that was still a thing one could do. They have been around since at least my childhood, and potentially longer. I have no idea what they are there for. I suppose they are just art, but they give off a slight "thing for kids to play on" vibe. However, all it takes is about three seconds for any kid to realize they are not fun.

While they serve no known purpose, I'm glad they are there. It give continuity to a tiny section of Denver that has now been the same for as long as I can remember. The city changes constantly, so anything with that kind of staying power is cool, and I suppose they are beautiful in their own weird way.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Five Hundred Two

August 12, 2016
6.14 Miles in 58:49
Mood: Mind over matter. If I don't mind, it don't matter.
Soundtrack: The Memory Palace / The Bill Simmons Podcast / Lupe Fiasco "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor"

The first four miles of this run were a struggle, and I was getting annoyed at myself. Then I decided that the reason I was dragging wasn't due to my physical condition, but rather my mental state. I then decided I was going to push through the final two miles, and I finished very strong after meandering the first two thirds of the route. I think I'm on to something with this mental toughness issue and need to push myself harder than I have been lately. We'll see how that goes.

Today's photo comes from the meandering section of the run when I passed by this bush with these odd looking flowers. They are probably weeds, but man, did they look beautiful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Five Hundred One

August 10, 2016
6.37 Miles in 1:01:23
Mood: Wanting food from a yellow truck, I guess.
Soundtrack: Vaudeville Etiquette "Debutantes & Dealers" and "Aura Vista Motel"

I have no idea if this Columbian Food Truck has food worth eating, but it's truck is delightful. As for this run, it wasn't my finest moment. Huffing and Puffing and walking and dragging myself to jogging speed every few minutes. I need some Columbian Food.

Five Hundred

August 7, 2016
6.98 Miles in 1:09:19
Mood: Exploring unfamiliar areas with a little help from my Pokemon friends.
Soundtrack: Twenty-One Pilots "Vessel" and "Blurryface" / Third Day "Third Day"

I had an opportunity to make my run for my landmark 500th post in a pretty interesting place. Aspen, Colorado is typically considered to be a plastic place. A place where the rich come to do weird rich people things and look "fabulous" while doing it. There is certainly a large presence of those types of people there, I won't deny it. However, the funny thing I learned is that there are also a lot of prickly mountain people. The kind of people who live in a house that looks like an original frontier homestead and have weird bumpy skin and massive beards and talk like a character from Blazing Saddles. I even saw a house that had a mailbox shaped like a fish, so Aspen is not ENTIRELY Rodeo Drive East.

Aspen loves a good statue. They have statues everywhere, and some of them, like this metallic buffalo preparing to drink from the stream, are awesome. I discovered that I was able to use Pokemon Go as a cool statue finder, as almost every PokeStop on the game is a gloriously bizarre statue. That app is actually pretty useful for site seeing. I ran around in loops around all the major streets of Aspen and was able to see a lot of cool stuff. Running on vacation, even a short one night vacation, is awesome. I highly recommend it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Four Hundred Ninety-Nine

August 5, 2016
7.07 Miles in 1:08:23
Mood: Starting Strong, Finishing Low.
Soundtrack: Ben Folds Five "Whatever and Ever Amen" / The Avett Brothers "Four Thieves Gone" and "True Sadness"

This run actually started out pretty strong. I was distracted, as I was running along areas where there were a lot of Pokestops for Pokemon Go, and I just kept running from stop to stop for the first mile and a half, and then I was in a good grove and just kept moving, but then around mile five, I was hit with a low blood sugar and I took it slow so that I could get home in one piece. I wasn't dangerously low, but I could definitely feel that I wasn't firing at 100%, so I took a lot of rests on the way home to make sure it didn't get dangerous. Kind of ruined the home stretch, though.

Today's photo comes from a temporary art installation outside of the Goodson Rec Center. It appears to be a peace pipe, and it must be the good stuff, as it sure looks like it's causing buffalo hallucinations.

Four Hundred Ninety-Eight

August 4, 2016
7.06 Miles in 1:07:05
Mood: Pondering the potential energy of trees mixed with gravity.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Angles"

The night before this run, my wife and I were talking about how the parks department is cutting down trees all along the Highline Canal. I am very pro tree, and so my wife was wondering how I felt about wanton tree destruction. I think I surprised her by telling her I was fine with it. This photo is the reason why. As I was running along the trail this particular morning, I noticed this tree and a huge portion of it had fallen off and fallen into the canal. It left the stump looking haggard and more importantly, it violently fell to the ground and ruptured into several pieces.

The reason I'm cool with people cutting down some trees (not all, but some) is that they are looking for the ones that could potentially fall as I am running under them. I am greatly opposed to trees falling on me. This is, and always will be, my position on falling trees. If we have to sacrifice a few to make sure that I stay unflattened, that is a reasonable action on my behalf.

Honestly, I do run trails fairly regularly looking at trees and thinking how they could fall on me. I'm not usually very worried about unlikely horrific events, but a tree giving out whilst I'm under it is a thing I routinely give thought towards. I don't worry about it per se, but I do think about it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Four Hundred Ninety-Seven

August 2, 2016
7.16 Miles in 1:09:30
Mood: Confusion over lots of effort for no comprehensible payoff.
Soundtrack: The Memory Palace / Radical Face "The Family Tree: The Leaves" / The Rural Albert Advantage "Hometowns"

There is a shopping cart in the stream, which mystifies me. There is not a retail establishment anywhere nearby and there is not an easily accessible portal to allow for this cart to be deposited into the stream. This means that someone had to go to the effort to haul an empty cart a significant distance and then lift it several feet in the air to clear the safety rails of the bridge to drop a cart in a small stream for...what reason? It's a lot of effort with seemingly zero reward. Is it an art installation? Is it hooligan kids? Is it the work of a mad genius who is too far ahead of his time to be understood?

I don't get it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Four Hundred Ninety-Six

July 31, 2016
7.32 Miles in 1:12:05
Mood: Sweating it out.
Soundtrack: Blues Traveler "Straight on til Morning" / Jack White "Blunderbuss"

I have to get up early to run in the middle of the summer. When I sleep in even just a tiny bit, I end up on one of these sweaty nightmare runs. The cool of the morning doesn't last long on the last day of July, and if you start out at 9:20 in the morning, you're in for it. It was SO HOT. I wasn't miserable, and there were actual great moments on this run, but the overriding theme was perspiration.

Today's photo comes from Five Points. These goofy statues remind me of playing Atari 2600 games. Overly pixelated boys and girls make for awesome street art. I took a picture on either side of these statues, and both pictures came out cool, but vastly different thanks to the lighting. I ended up going with this one because you could see them just a little better.

I ended up running to music, because I thankfully remembered that I had stashed a spare set of earbuds in my car. I realized I had forgotten my usual running earbuds almost 2/3rds of the way to Cheesman Park, and turning around to go get them would have put me 40 minutes behind schedule. I was going to just run without accompaniment, but thankfully the emergency buds were remembered about 2 minutes before I started out, and a huge sense of relief swept over me, as running with music is so much better than not.