Thursday, September 29, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty-Six

September 29, 2016
5.88 Miles in 1:03:59
Mood: Enjoying my supply run.
Soundtrack: The Beef and Dairy Network / The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Gist

This was less a run and more a Pokemon supplies mission. I was dangerously low on Pokeballs...because apparently it's dangerous to not have enough. So I decided I would use my run this morning in an odd manner and loop around the Streets at Southglenn nonstop hitting up Pokestops. The result was a laughably slow run and a very odd looking map, but a bag full of Pokeballs, so I regret nothing.

Best part of this run was the moment that a Lickitung showed up on the street. For the uninitiated, a Lickitung is a pink Pokemon with a giant tongue that is super rare in Pokemon Go. In the three months that I have played the game, I have seen exactly three of these monsters before this morning. The last time I saw one was two days ago when I caught it for myself, then caught it for my daughter, and finally tried to catch it for my son. Sadly, it had stopped spawning when I tried to catch it for Luke, and he was super bummed that he didn't get one. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to catch it for Luke. Thankfully, I was able to corral it for him, and he is now the proud owner of a Lickitung.

Today's photo was of some of the amazing flowers that can be found all over the place in the Streets of Southglenn. They really do a good job making that place look and feel nice, and the entire morning as I was running, my only other fellow human beings who were at this particular outdoor mall were the crew of gardeners plying their trade in an effort to make it continue to look nice. They work HARD early in the morning to keep up appearances, and it shows.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty-Five

September 27, 2016
8.11 Miles in 1:23:33
Mood: Getting older and slower and giving approval to a logo design even though no one asked me for approval.
Soundtrack: The Gist / The Dan Lebatard Show Podcast

I felt like I was running at a decent pace today, but it turns out I was NOT. I think this is me approaching age 40 and slowing down way too quickly, as if arriving at such a significant milestone of age is making me old at a geometric rate. Oh well, I still felt good today, even if my miles took embarrassingly longer than ten minutes per.

Today's photo is of an awesome sign on the gym of the Littleton High School gym. They are the Littleton Lions, and I don't know how to feel about their logo. On the one hand, their logo is pretty cool. On the other hand, it's a blatant ripoff of my beloved K-State's Powercat, and that feels kinda cheap. Although, they did a good job turning the wildcat into a lion, so I'll allow it.

Five Hundred Twenty-Four

September 23, 2016
7.61 Miles in 1:18:55
Mood: Taking the "Pre" engagement photo, falling like a dingus, and then catching all of the Pokemon I could eat.
Soundtrack: TV on the Radio "Seeds" / The Head and The Heart "Signs of Light" / First Aid Kit "Stay Gold"

I had taken the day off work, so it was the first of a three day weekend. I had nowhere to be until 1:00, so I decided to take an extended run into the bowels of Downtown Denver and Pokemon Go like there was no tomorrow...and also run. I am the last of the truly wild people. I mean, I know how to party. (Pronounced: Par-tay)

I began at around 8:30AM in Cheesman Park, and as I approached the iconic one hundred and eight year old Cheesman Pavillion, I noticed a huge bundle of roses and petals strewn about as if someone was trying to REALLY up their romance game. I decided to take some pictures when I was quickly approached by a woman in her 50's who looked very happy and mildly worried that I would screw up her morning. She proceeded to tell me that her son was about to propose to his girlfriend, and they were lurking in the shadows to take photos of the event as it was happening. I think what was left unsaid was that I should get my sweaty butt out of there pronto, but she seemed nice, so I didn't linger. I told her congratulations and headed out on my way. I hope everything went well for the happy couple.

I made one loop around Cheesman, and then decided to go back to my car to retrieve my mobile phone battery charger, as I figured there was a good chance that I would drain my battery super quickly playing Pokemon and would need a little backup juice. (This turned out to be a good decision, as I definitely needed additional power.) As I was heading towards Civic Center Park, my right foot clipped a jagged edge of sidewalk and I went sprawling awkwardly to the ground. I landed on my elbow and the battery pack slammed into my quadriceps, so I was hurting for a sec. A guy that was painting, whom I had just passed twenty seconds previously stuck his head out to look at me, but didn't ask if I was okay or head in my direction. He just stared at me as I lay in pain on the ground, so that was weird. I gathered myself and got up and after walking a few blocks, felt good enough to continue the journey towards downtown.

When I arrived downtown, I was greeted by a Pokemon smorgasbord. More cool rare and wonderful Pokemon that I usually ever see were popping up everywhere, and I was catching like crazy. Plus, there are roughly ten trillion Pokestops down there, so I felt like I had died and gone to Pokeheaven. I spent WAY too much time hunting down monsters and halfheartedly running. Eventually, after catching a Bulbasaur on the front lawn of the Colorado State Capitol, I realized I really needed to get moving as I was running out of time to be downtown, and I did NOT want to be late to get home, as I needed to take my wife to the airport. So I reluctantly bid adieu to the monster parade and ran back home. My Pokedex was stronger, but my elbow and leg were throbbing. All in all, it was a pretty memorable run.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty-Three

September 22, 2016
7.40 Miles in 1:11:58
Mood: Finding expressionist art in trees and loving the autumn.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / The Allusionist / Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything / The Head and The Heart "Signs of Light"

Tell me this tree trunk doesn't look like "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. You can't, because it looks EXACTLY like that, which is awesome and weird.

I spent most of this run on the Highline Canal trail and found myself surrounded by the beautiful interplay of trees and light as leaves are beginning to turn yellow and some are starting to fall and coat the ground in color, and the morning light was really highlighting it. It's the first official day of fall, and I'm loving it.

One last thing: Today's running map looks like South Carolina.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty-Two

September 20, 2016
8.14 Miles in 1:21:00
Mood: Happy
Soundtrack: The Gist / Dawes "We're All Gonna Die" / First Aid Kit "The Lion's Roar"

It was sixty degrees this morning, even though the sun wasn't even up yet when I began. I saw a gorgeous sunrise and then encountered these plants that look like extras from a Jurassic Park movie. So basically, it was a wonderful morning.

The new Dawes album left me wanting more, but I'll listen a few more times before I give up on it.

I was thinking this morning that we're already two thirds of the way through September, which is a bummer. Why can't September last longer? It's basically the perfect month. Everything is at it's best in September. I wish it was always September.

Five Hundred Twenty-One

September 18, 2016
7.62 Miles in 1:13:13
Mood: Ready to Celebrate
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / Panic! at the Disco "Death of a Bachelor" / The Wood Brothers "The Muse"

Since it was my son's birthday, I decided not to drive anywhere to run as I usually do on a Sunday, but rather just stay close to home. I also got up earlier than normal for a Sunday run, as I knew I would be needed to run errands for the impending party that was scheduled to begin at noon. Despite these limitations, I really enjoyed getting out on a Sunday morning. I had taken Friday as a rest day, so it had been several days since I had the opportunity to get out, and I felt fresh and wonderful. I was excited for Luke's party and also the first Broncos Sunday of the season, and the weather could literally not have been any better. I mean...look how amazing Ketring Lake looked on this day! I was even able to catch Luke a brand new Pokemon for his birthday. (A Kingler!)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty

September 15, 2016
6.38 Miles in 1:02:29
Mood: Diverging and slacking a little.
Soundtrack: Bill Simmons Podcast / 99% Invisible / The Gist / Young Thug "JEFFERY"

I listened to an album by someone named Young Thug. I didn't hate it. It wasn't my favorite thing ever, but it had it's moments. It's exactly what you'd think it'd be.

Anyway, apart from a huge departure from my usual musical selections, I also stumbled across this beautiful yellow bush, which was excellent. I love how it popped, the yellow was exceptional.

I was a little bit tired on this run, so I didn't run as hard or as long as usual, and decided I'd take a break and not run on Friday to rest my legs as I'm in good position to get to 100 miles for September and could use the rest. That said, it was good to be out in the world on a chilly September morning. Even subpar runs are usually the best part of my day.

Five Hundred Nineteen

September 13, 2016
8.20 Miles in 1:19:30
Mood: A little let down.
Soundtrack: The Head and The Heart "Signs of Light"

It was a beautiful Colorado morning, but I was just back from Pittsburgh and a fun weekend, so I was feeling a little bit of jet lag and tired from going hard on vacation. My pace was okay up until the end, and I got a pretty solid run in altogether, but after having a ton of touristy things of which to take photos, being back on my home turf wasn't quite as exciting. Gone was the fun of seeing brand new things and places (and Pokemon), replaced with lovely but familiar territory.

I did get one new thing, which was I listened through the new The Head and The Heart album three times, but even that let me down a bit, as it definitely didn't grab me as much as their previous albums. Their first album is in my pantheon of greats, and their second one is okay, but I wasn't really feeling this one so much. It's okay, but just okay. I'll give it some more listens and see if I come around on it, but so far its nothing to write home about.

Today's photo came from an area a bit further north than I usually run, and I saw it from across the street. I really liked it, and immediately knew this bear was going to be the photo for the day, as nothing else I had seen to that point inspired me. I especially like the eyes of this bear, and as you may know, I'm in the bag for bears.

Five Hundred Eighteen

September 11, 2016
6.72 Miles in 1:06:58
Mood: Happy to be hanging with my brother in a beautiful city.
Soundtrack: Talking with my brother

This was an all time great run. Well...the run part was mediocre at best, but getting to hang out with my brother for a few hours while getting exercise and catching Pokemon was great great fun. I also added a 12th state to the blog. Pennsylvania joins Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida as places I've run and then wrote about.

This run took place up and down the Three Rivers area of downtown Pittsburgh. I was amazed to find how beautiful Pittsburgh was. I was expecting an industrial wasteland, instead I found a thriving city with beautiful rivers, gorgeous bridges, beautiful skyline and rolling hills. I really liked the city, and liked it even more as we ran up and down the river and found science centers, art installations, a beautiful baseball stadium, a football stadium (Heinz Field is home of the Steelers and about as boring looking a stadium as you can find. Fortunately PNC Park, home of the Pirates, more than makes up for it.) We also found the old Heinz factory which has been repurposed into condos, and looks exceptionally cool. Near the end of our run we found ourselves in a park with a beautiful fountain and it was right at the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio river. It's a GORGEOUS spot, and I might have appreciated it even more if I hadn't been so obsessed with trying to find a Squirtle for my son that showed up on the nearby Pokemon list.

Bruce is almost as into Pokemon Go as I am, so the two of us found ourselves running up and down the river and catching all sorts of Pokemon that we can't find very easily at home. The first few miles were packed with stops as we marveled that we were catching Margicarp, Dratini, Goldeens, Tentacools and Psyducks at such astonishing rates. Our speeds were ridiculously slow through this first stretch, and we only just ran fast enough the final mile to bring our average mile speed under ten minutes per mile.

I love running in new places, especially when the new places are cool. I have about 50 pictures I'd love to post, but I ended up using this one of the Clemente Bridge just in front of PNC Park, as it seemed to best sum up the run. I'd love to spend more time running in this area.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Five Hundred Seventeen

September 9, 2016
5.22 Miles in 51:26
Mood: Anticipatory
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Film Vault

Mere hours away from flying to Pittsburgh, my mind was more on my upcoming travels than it was on my run. I was a little tired from running the day before, and just wanted to get a few miles in before starting a mini vacation. My pace was slow, and I didn't care. I was excited. I decided to run almost exclusively on the Highline Canal, so my photos were limited to pictures of trees for the most part. This was a halfhearted effort, but one I was glad I took part in, as the exercise calmed me for the trip. A nice run, but certainly not a great one.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Five Hundred Sixteen

September 8, 2016
7.55 Miles in 1:13:37
Mood: Contemplating squirrels and fair weather fans.
Soundtrack: Bear's Den "Islands" / The Avett Brothers "True Sadness" / Fleet Foxes "Helplessness Blues"

Squirrels have many faults, but I gotta hand it to them on their balance. They can run across a powerline like nobody's business. I stopped to take a picture of this one because the morning light looked cool on it's fur as it ran. As soon as I stopped and pulled my camera out, he stopped and stared intensely at me. We stared each other down for a few seconds, and then he continued scampering his way down the line allowing me to get this picture. Odd but true that I stopped running to take a picture of a rodent running. Squirrels are the worst, but there are a few things about them that I like. I enjoy listening to German people try to say their name, I enjoy when they are a little bit crazy and hop about like someone escaping a mental institution, and I enjoy when they run on wires in the sun. Other than that, they can go spit.

Today is opening day for the NFL, and everything begins here in Denver with the Super Bowl Champs taking on the team they vanquished in February to win the title. I was excited for tonight's game as I ran, even though my expectations for this season are not high. Hope I'm wrong.

Being a longtime Bronco fan right now is kind of like being the guy who knew and loved the indie band before they became popular. Suddenly the thing that was just your thing is now everyone's thing, and as I'm sitting at work, walking around town, or going on a run, I see a lot of people donning the orange and blue that I have a hard time accepting they are anything other than Johnny-come-lately's. We have a very solid fanbase that is hard core, but after winning a title, we also have a whole bunch of fair weathers on board (for the time being) as well. I guess the more the merrier, but I already dislike these folks who will be throwing their brand new Broncos gear in the recycling pile if they start out 1-3.

Anyway, Go Broncos, not so much squirrels.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Five Hundred Fifteen

September 6, 2016
7.59 Miles in 1:12:27
Mood: Why are police investigating this?
Soundtrack: Bear's Den "Islands" / Family and Friends "XOXO"

I stayed on the Highline Canal trail almost exclusively for this run because it felt great to be on the trail, and I hadn't done an almost exclusive trail run for quite awhile. Plus that way I didn't have to think too much about where I was going, just stay on the beautiful trail. Some mornings you don't want to have to think about navigation at all, and this is a tremendous way to do that. The resulting run was a very good one with an excellent pace. It slowed down a lot in the final mile, because I decided at the last moment to head home through Southglenn so that I could hit up some Pokestops and pick up some supplies...playing Pokemon Go and running pretty much always slows me down, and my splits from this run are hilarious to me: Mile 1: 9:26, Mile 2: 9:37, Mile 3: 9:12, Mile 4 9:23, Mile 5: 9:06, Mile 6 9:33, Mile 7 10:14. (Can you tell when I was running exclusively and when I was also playing a video game?)

I regret nothing about that last mile, though. I found a 1507 CP Weezing, a Pokemon I had never seen before. So great run, followed by a great find. If you're going to run on a Tuesday morning after a three day weekend, this is a great result.

As for today's photo...there is police tape placed around a fallen tree in the middle of the trail. Someone clearly killed a tree and the arbor detectives are still investigating. When I first started to approach this weird sight, I wasn't sure if the trail was closed or not, but since there was a clear path on the right side, I figured I was okay to proceed. I'm still trying to figure out why they felt the need to put police tape on the tree. People are going to notice there is a tree in the way and walk around it even if that is not there.

Five Hundred Fourteen

September 4, 2016
5.40 Miles in 51:15
Mood: Bummed to cut a good run short. Amused that 5.4 miles feels like failing.
Soundtrack: Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip "The Logic of Chance" and "Angles"

This run started out with a bang, but ended with a whimper. I ran up the Platte River Trail, and it was going gangbusters, I felt really strong, but my blood sugar dipped, and I had to cut it a bit short and walk back to my car for the final section. So annoying.

I feel like we need to talk about electrical boxes in the city of Littleton. They are awesome. Not ALL of them, mind you, but once again I found one on my run that had been artistically spray painted. I'm a little weirded out by the half octopus half Guinea pig creature on this particular one, but the colors are nice and if you're going to create some kind of abomination of nature combo of a fish and a mammal, you could find a worse aggregate than those two animals.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five Hundred Thirteen

September 2, 2016
7.95 Miles in 1:15:44
Mood: Getting pushed and staying positive despite a multitude of bad attitudes.
Soundtrack: The Long Winters "Putting the Days to Bed"

Getting chased always helps you run faster. Even if you're not technically being chased, but somehow construct a chase scenario in your head. It just helps.

This morning I stopped to take a photo of some trees, and as I was doing so, two women ran past me. I resumed my run, and they were RIGHT in front of me. I hate being the weirdo who is running right behind two ladies, because that's creepy, so I sped up a bit to get in front of them, and then I HAD to stay in front of them. Then the song I was listening to ended and I heard them talk about how they ran yesterday and it was much now I'm thinking they are going to speed up, so I went into my highest sustainable gear and just kept pushing it. Then I looked down, and a run that had began super slow was suddenly my fastest run of the past few weeks. Being pushed helps.

People were also very unfriendly this morning. Usually when I run people pleasantly nod or wave at me as I run by. Today there was a lot of avoidance of eye contact and even some scowls. The worst culprit were those two ladies that pushed me. We all ran to a crosswalk and I pressed the button to cross as they approached, I have a friendly head nod and one of the ladies gave me a super crusty look. I was TRYING to be courteous and run ahead of them and this is the thanks I get?!?

One last about that sunrise! It makes even a Macy's parking lot look beautiful, eh?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Five Hundred Twelve

September 1, 2016
8.53 Miles in 1:24:35
Mood: Celebrating the definitive "Most Wonderful Time of the Year"...that Christmas song is so wrong.
Soundtrack: The Memory Palace / Of Monsters and Men "Beneath the Skin" / Panic! at the Disco "Death of a Bachelor" / The Avett Brothers "The Second Gleam" and "The Gleam"

The greatest transition between two single days is August 31st to September 1st. It feels the most monumental and ushers in the greatest two month segment of the entire calendar year. September and October are the best and if you disagree, you are wrong. I hate to be so hard core about that declaration, but it's scientifically proven that the Septtooct window rules. Yes, I just made up a word, but it was justifiable to celebrate the season we are currently enjoying.

The flowers at Gallup Park are pretty sweet. I have no interest in gardening, but I greatly enjoy watching other people's gardening's kind of like football. I couldn't have any less interest in playing football, but I'll watch it all day and into the night. (And now that it's September, we are about to enter peak football watching time!)