Thursday, October 27, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Nine

October 27, 2016
7.19 Miles in 1:11:36
Mood: Sunny
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything / The Beef and Dairy Network

Yellow leaves with sunlight shining through them contrasting with blue skies is unspeakably beautiful! This was the prettiest moment of my run, and while it came through pretty well in picture form, you really had to BE there to see it. I love a sunny day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Eight

October 25, 2016
8.67 Miles in 1:25:38
Mood: Heavily contemplating a television show.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast

It was the morning after a Broncos win, but my mind was on the show I watched after it was over. The season premiere of The Walking Dead, Season 7. That episode had been heavily anticipated since February and it was brutal, and I was listening almost the entire run to a podcast that was trying to work it's way through the heaviness of one of the most intense episodes of television I've ever seen. With that on my mind, coupled with the gloomy semi-overcast skies that made the world feel kind of gray, it was an odd, but strangely beautiful morning.

I posted the picture above on Instagram and said that it felt kind of eerie in a Halloween sort of way. It really was a strange feeling morning, gloomy yet gorgeous. Perhaps that's why Halloween is placed at this time of year.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Seven

October 23, 2016
7.45 Miles in 1:10:40
Mood: Feeling sad for the run with no runners.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Abbey Road" / First Aid Kit "Stay Gold" / Lupe Fiasco "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor"

What if they threw a race and no one ran? This starting line was set up in Cheesman Park, and I saw the lonely registration desk with two people sitting at it, but I didn't see any actual runners. Perhaps the race wasn't going to start until that afternoon, and I was way too early, but it appeared to my eyes to be the most poorly attending racing event in history. At least they had cool orange inflatable guys at the starting line!

My second early Sunday run to make room for church wasn't as picturesque as my first a week ago, but it still was pleasant and I felt good throughout. I traipsed through downtown, and it felt laid back since it was so early and far fewer people were about than I usually see on the Sixteenth Street Mall. All in all, I'm starting to feel okay with this running really early before church thing. Seems like it's going to work.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Six

October 21, 2016
7.53 Miles in 1:18:21
Mood: Rosy
Soundtrack: The Gist / The Allusionist / The Bill Simmons Podcast

Sometimes when you run in the morning, the whole world turns pink for about two minutes. It has something to do with the rising sun and the consistency of the surrounding clouds. It doesn't happen THAT often, but every time it does, it's magical. This morning we had one of those pink moments. Somehow, my camera captured it perfectly, and I enjoyed that brief moment so much that I immediately stopped and took pictures and posted video to my Instagram Story because I love when it happens that much. It was a perfect way to start out a Friday, and left me in a great mood for the morning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Five

October 18, 2016
5.42 Miles in 56:29
Mood: Attack of the human shrubberies.
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Gist / The Memory Palace / The After Disaster

If you arrive early enough at The Streets at Southglenn, you'll see the gardeners doing their thing and being the shiny happy elves that make it so lush and beautiful with flowers everywhere. On this particular morning, I saw several of them walking with fresh hanging flower pots like the one above, taking them to their destination within the outdoor mall to hang. These plants are quite beautiful, but also very large. When men walk with them on their heads, they appear to become walking bushes. Seeing several human bushes emerge from around the corner and walk down the sidewalk was hilarious to me, and I had to take some pictures.

This run was a bit of a disaster, though. I fell on my run last Thursday, and I think I may have injured a rib, as I have definitely had some aches in my midsection ever since. They were particularly troublesome yesterday, and I had a hard time getting into a good groove. I had to stop and walk for long stretches, and never really got my pace up to a respectable running speed. I managed to run five or so miles, but I had to walk a lot more than I prefer. I'm hoping I heal up fast, because it makes it much harder to run, and whenever I sneeze it feels like I'm being stabbed, which is unpleasant. It's not THAT bad, but having a cold right now is more painful than usual.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Four

October 16, 2016
7.16 Miles in 1:08:31
Mood: Trying something new and enjoying the dawn of a new Sunday.
Soundtrack: Lord Huron "Lonesome Dreams" / "Tarzan Original Soundtrack"

We are giving a new church a try, and rather than going on a Tuesday night, we decided to go with what felt very odd to us...going on a Sunday morning. This meant that if I was going to get my run in, I needed to get up early. I found myself at Wash Park at dawn, and the fall colors mixed with the early morning light led to some beautiful scenery. I found myself going a little camera crazy, and I got some really terrific shots. This one is my favorite, because of the way the sunlight hits the yellow trees. It was a perfect morning, and the only real downside is that I wore clothes that were too warm, so I ended up pulling up my sleeves and putting in a pretty solid Sunday run.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-Three

October 14, 2016
7.01 Miles in 1:14:00
Mood: Reloading
Soundtrack: The Wood Brothers "The Muse" and "Paradise"

This was less a morning run, and more a fueling up mission. I spent the first four miles of this outing circling Southglenn to load up on Pokeballs. My speed was decent given the circumstances, as such a mission invariably will slow me down, but I still felt like I was getting a pretty decent workout. I spent the second half of this run circling DeKoevend Park. It was an absolutely beautiful morning, and the sun shining through the colors of fall was pretty spectacular. I love running in October, as it's a great reminder of just how pretty the place I live can be.

Five Hundred Thirty-Two

October 13, 2016
7.44 Miles in 1:10:01
Mood: Hey, it's a spider!
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything / Barenaked Ladies "Maroon" and "Silverball"

There is a giant spider in this tree, and it's awesome. This is my kind of Halloween decoration, simple and whimsical and not in the least scary. I saw this odd looking witch on this run which was constructed out of what I believe to be a department store mannequin, and it creeped me out. I prefer the cute and oversized spider.

This was the fastest run I've managed in quite some time. It felt good to be moving at a decent pace and taking in the neighborhood Halloween decorations. I also learned on this run that the Barenaked Ladies have a new album...and by new, I mean it came out in 2015. The Ladies used to be one of my favorite bands, and while they are just a shell of what they used to be, I still enjoy checking out their new releases. It's about what you'd expect of a Steven-less BNL album, but I still enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty-One

October 11, 2016
7.08 Miles in 1:10:17
Mood: Tired and Slow, but not miserable.
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Local Strangers "Left for Better" / Of Monsters and Men "Beneath the Skin"

I stayed up too late on Monday night watching baseball, but not as late as I could have. I went to bed around 11 O'Clock when the Giants took a 4-3 lead over the Cubs in the eighth inning of their divisional playoff round game. I decided to bail, as I was hoping for a Cubs win, and that seemed less likely with them losing the lead so late in the game. After I went to bed, the Giants added another run, then the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the ninth, and the game ended up going thirteen innings before the Giants won it. The game ended up being over five hours long, and ended around 1 AM. I was SO glad I gave up when I read the recap in the morning...especially since I had been up since 4 in the morning after an early morning trip to the airport.

This left me feeling REALLY tired on Tuesday morning, but not as tired as I could have been. I woke up and pushed my hardest in my tired state, but I barely exceeded running ten minute miles...something that is occurring more regularly lately. I seem to be slowing down. A year or two ago, I was hovering around 9 minute miles, but the last few months, it's hovering closer to 10 minute miles, which kind of stinks. Either I'm slowing down with age, or I'm staying up too late and running tired. Either way, I hope I can reverse this trend. I'd like to get back to being a little bit faster. Either way, it was a good run, even if it was slow and tired. I especially enjoyed the lake at Sterne Park, which is pictured above.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Five Hundred Thirty

October 7, 2016
7.37 Miles in 1:14:00
Mood: A fan of the sun.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / The Memory Palace / First Aid Kit "The Lion's Roar" and "Stay Gold"

A day after running through a rainstorm, things had changed dramatically. It was COLD. When I left the house it was only 28 degrees. It has been some time since I had to push through temps that cold. I have to admit some trepidation upon leaving the house...which proved unfounded as it was truly a lovely day for a run, even if it was chilly.

The sun played a major role in today's run. It made everything super pretty. I spent the large majority of this run on the Highline Canal Trail, and the changing autumn leaves lit up with a dawning sun are truly something to behold. I was stopping routinely to take pictures of trees. That is something I do regularly anyway, but today even more so.

Today's picture comes from the tail end of my run, as I was taking photos of the red leafed tree on the right I happened to notice that my shadow was super duper long. I started playing with it, and eventually settled on a goofy super hero pose that I was able to pull off and still take a picture of. It amused me to no end, and it turned out pretty swell...PLUS you can see all the pretty leaves.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty-Nine

October 6, 2016
6.32 Miles in 1:04:39
Mood: Soggy
Soundtrack: Jack Garratt "Phase"

If temps in the forties and driving rain is your idea of a good time, then you would have enjoyed my run this morning. I had no idea rain was in the forecast until I sat down to eat my cereal and pulled up the weather app on my tablet. It was like I was being punked by the weather gods. Rain was scheduled to fall starting right at 6 (When I was scheduled to begin my run) and then fall continuously until a few hours after I finished running. Then it was supposed to clear up entirely.

Going back to bed entered my head, but I knew I wouldn't go back to sleep after spending 15 minutes going through my waking up routine. I was committed to be awake. I finished breakfast and stepped out into the great outdoors. It wasn't coming down all that hard (yet), so I figured I could make a go of it...what else was I going to do???

About half a mile in, it started raining for real. I plowed ahead on the city streets, as I know better than to run the muddy trails when the heavens open up and dampen the world. The greatest moment of the entire run happened when I pulled out my phone to check my Pokemon app at a spot where I know there to be a gym. I was going to see what color team controlled the gym. I was bummed that it was yellow and not blue, but my disappointment lasted for only two seconds, as a Snorlax immediately popped up in the exact spot I was standing. For those who care not for the ways of Pokemon...a Snorlax is one of the most rare Pokemon in the game. I had previously only seen one of them ever before, and by dumb blind luck, I was able to get my second because I just happened to check the app in just exactly the right spot in a torrential downpour. I barely even played Pokemon this morning, but the one time I did, I was rewarded with an incredibly rare monster. It made the whole soggy affair worthwhile.

I ran to Broadway, and decided to turn back and head for home rather than do a longer run because for the first time that morning a combination of street lights and slowly rising sun revealed just how hard it was raining, and I took stock for the first time of just how wet I really was. I figured six miles and a Snorlax was good enough for this day, so I turned around. (By the way, if I'm looking for titles for my Autobiography, "Six Miles and a Snorlax" is pretty good.)

When I arrived at my figurative (and somewhat literal...the Water part anyway) Waterloo, I decided to turn around, but not before I saw the sign in the photo above. "Time to Prep for Winter" is an ominous and ugly sign to read. Especially when you're wet and cold. Against all odds, it was actually kind of a fun run, although the combination of rain water and sweat creates a really horrifying smell. I stunk to myself, which rarely happens. The after-run shower was a blessed event.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Five Hundred Twenty-Eight

October 4, 2016
7.50 Miles in 1:13:47
Mood: Chilly
Soundtrack: The Gist / The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Allusionist / Jack Garratt "Phase"

Man is it getting cold in the mornings. I'm sure I'll look back in three months at a day like this and laugh that I thought it was chilly, but today when I stepped outside it was 37 degrees and it felt legitimately cold. The good news is that it kept me moving. Nothing motivates you to push on running like the desire to get your body heat rising. This was a solid run (even if the pace looks slow), and how beautiful did Ketring Lake look this morning?

Five Hundred Twenty-Seven

October 2, 2016
6.14 Miles in 1:01:03
Mood: Creeped out a little, but enjoying a perfect day.
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Mediocre Show / The Gist

Those weird masks with bird bills are creepy to me, but I have to admit, they make for excellent statues. There are a couple of statues of men with wings and one of those masks on near Confluence Park (one of them pictured above), and they are pretty awesome. They looked even better (and less creepy) in person, but the sun was so bright, it was hard to get a great photo. I'm not complaining, because it was basically a perfect day.

This was my first run in my forties, and it started out pretty fast. I abandoned the idea of running and Pokemon-ing for the first few miles and that alone increased my speeds. Then I hit downtown, and the allure of dense crowds of rare Pokemon milling about was more than I could resist, and I ended up going SUPER slow the rest of the way. When I started back towards City Park, I thought I might speed up a bit, but my blood sugar got a little low, so I had to back off the accelerator and kind of ambled to the finish. It wasn't a real solid run, but the day was so nice that I couldn't help but enjoy myself.