Monday, November 28, 2016

Five Hundred Fifty-Three

November 27, 2016
9.37 Miles in 1:26:51
Mood: No nonsense
Soundtrack: Hamilton Original Cast Recording

I needed 9.2 miles to get to my 100 mile goal for November, and since every day is potentially ruined by snow this time of year, I wanted to attain that target and not have to rely on a Tuesday run that may or may not come. I decided to get serious. I went to Wash Park and decided that I would loop it four times and keep the Pokemon app off. The resulting run was faster paced than I've gone in quite some time, and I managed to hit my goal and still get home early.

I was also fortunate in that I saw the only moment of the day where the sun shone. It happened shortly after dawn, and I took the above photo of a tree. Shortly after this moment, the clouds rolled in, and it was mostly gray and gloomy for the rest of Sunday. It even briefly snowed on my as I began my fourth lap. It wasn't a highly memorable or amazing run, but it sure was efficient, and I even pulled out my Hamilton music to make it more enjoyable.

Five Hundred Fifty-Two

November 25, 2016
7.54 Miles in 1:13:32
Mood: Lacking in flow, but in the best possible way.
Soundtrack: Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything / The Memory Palace / 99% Invisible / The Allusionist / The Gist / The After Disaster

This was the run where I cleared out my podcast queue of all the little short pods that were lingering in the queue. I jumped from topic to topic including such items as invasive surveillance, a strange 18th century failed artist, Mary Shelley's inspiration for Frankenstein, a Chinese city which seems to exist solely to supply the world's dollar stores, and the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. There wasn't much flow to the topics or to my running pace, but it was a lovely morning with no clouds and beautiful trees, and the seven and a half miles flew past. There was one section where I could feel my blood sugar dropping, and I had to take a brief break to eat and recover, but in general, it was an inconsistent yet enjoyable outing.

Five Hundred Fifty-One

November 24, 2016
8.20 Miles in 1:21:14
Mood: Thankful and Meandering
Soundtrack: Walking Dead 'Cast / The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast / Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness"

Thanksgiving is a pretty great holiday, but this was one of the weirder ones I've ever had. Usually, I spend it with extended family eating turkey and watching football, but this year it was just my family of four, we had a chicken instead of turkey (which is actually a tastier bird), and I barely watched any football all day. Instead, I found myself sleeping in, and then going on a meandering jog through downtown Denver.

I went a little overboard on catching Pokemon while running, and ended up on an extended run that took many diversions into catching them all. I felt zero sense of urgency, which was perhaps a mistake, as I caused our chicken dinner to be postponed a bit due to the fact that I was home later than expected, but while I was downtown, I was enjoying an absolutely beautiful day. The only downside was that it was pretty chilly as I left home, so I wore a heavy hooded sweatshirt on my run which became unnecessary about 15 minutes into my run, but which I refused to just abandon on the side of the road and therefore I was hot and overdressed.

The weirdest moment of the run came when this random girl walked up to me and asked where she could get a cup of coffee. She said she forgot it was Thanksgiving, and everything was closed and she was dying for a good cup of Joe. She was overly a mind-programmed cult kind of way and she had a really strange name that I cannot remember. Still, she didn't really creep me out, I was more amused at the odd nature of the entire conversation. Sadly, the best suggestion I made for coffee was hitting up a 7-Eleven, which I'm certain does not qualify as a "good" cup of coffee, but if it's Thanksgiving and everything is take what you can get.

Today's photo comes from a new art installation which is located right next to the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. I like the bike, but I'm not sure why the back half of it is covered in sheet metal. Is it still being unpackaged, or is this the finished product? Unclear. Either way, the fact that the State Capitol Building is peeking around the back of the building in this photo makes me extra happy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Five Hundred Fifty

November 20, 2016
7.60 Miles in 1:17:43
Mood: Overdressed for downtown.
Soundtrack: Passenger "Whispers" and "Young as the Morning Old as the Sea"

As I left the house, the temps were in the low 30s, and I made a critically bad decision. I put on a heavy hooded sweatshirt to stay warm on my run. This made sense for the first ten minutes of my run, but as my body temps rose and the sun came up, it became way too hot and sweaty. Still, unless I wanted to just ditch my sweatshirt somewhere in the heart of Denver, which I did not want to do, I was stuck wearing too many clothes. It wasn't unbearably uncomfortable, but I felt overly hot and sweaty...which never feels great.

The run itself was actually quite nice, though. I was able to get an early morning view of Cheesman Park and then run through downtown to Confluence Park and back. After snow had fallen on Thursday, Sunday was the first day where it felt like the snow had fully melted and it was easy to run again without weather concerns.

The photo for this run is a beautiful old stone building which looks like a castle. It looked amazing in the light of dawn. The picture sort of captures how cool it was, but not as well as being there. Also, there was a Squirtle spawning on the front lawn, so it was even that much cooler of a place on Sunday morning.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Nine

November 17, 2016
8.88 Miles in 1:28:21
Mood: Impending doom
Soundtrack: James Germain "Jane Misanthrope" / Hop Along "Painted Shut" / Mutemath "Odd Soul"

After 201 consecutive Denver days without snow, this was the day that glorious streak would come to an end. I knew the vile white stuff was coming, so I tried to cherish this run as much as I could. I hit the Highline Canal Trail because once snow hits, it tends to make the path muddy, icy and unrunable for months at a time. The cold front had not yet hit, so the weather was pleasantly in the 40's, but there were unmistakably gloomy clouds moving in and there was a gray foreboding in the air. I took a picture of these berries which had shriveled and turned black...I can only assume because they knew the snow was coming and were so depressed that they took their own lives.

The actual run was actually quite pleasant, but I couldn't shake the feeling of dread from the impending storm. Even though the forecast actually calls for nice weather in the coming week, I still can't help but feel like winter has closed it's icy grip around me, and it makes me shudder a bit knowing that the warmth of spring is months and months away and the cold and darkness of winter will only get worse. (In case you didn't pick up on it, I don't like winter and snow.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Eight

November 15, 2016
8.27 Miles in 1:25:19
Mood: Purple Mountains have me feeling majestic.
Soundtrack: The Wombats "Glitterbug" / The Decemberists "What a Terrible World, What a Wonderful World" / Pandas & People "Out to Sea" / James Germain & the Grey Gray Days "Criminal Heart"

Yes, indeed, the mountains sometimes look purple. The whole "Purple Mountains' Majesty" thing is not a myth. Nature was conspiring against me to stop and take far too many pictures. There was a super moon setting in the west as the sun was rising, and it was far prettier than it had any right to be, even if I couldn't really get a good photo of it. Then the sun rose and made all the trees and mountains light up in beautiful ways. I'm never fast anymore, but I was even slower than normal due to my many breaks to shoot photos of the beauty.

Considering it's the middle of November, the weather is truly ridiculous. It was over fifty degrees early this morning, and before noon today the temps are going to be in the mid seventies. Snow is in the immediate forecast, so SOON the weather will be seasonal, but right now I'm loving the unseasonableness of the whole thing.

It was truly a beautiful morning to be awake and about in nature, and it's days like this that make me thankful to be a morning runner. We'll see how thankful I am this Thursday when my weather forecast app has a been snowflake on that day on the calendar. It'll be a shame to say goodbye to late summer weather in November.

Five Hundred Forty-Seven

November 11, 2016
8.21 Miles in 1:24:27
Mood: Finishing Friday strong since Sunday wasn't happening.
Soundtrack: The Gist / The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Lumineers "Cleopatra"

After a crazy week at work, my mind was kind of fried. I just ran with abandon and did another longish run knowing that I would be missing my Sunday run since I was going to attend the early Sunday service at Mission Hills so that I could watch the Broncos play an early game in New Orleans. If I wanted to get in some miles, I needed to do so on Thursday and Friday, and after this run was over, I had done over 17 miles in the past two days, so mission accomplished.

I really like the picture for today's run, because I like how the shadows from the fence make it look as if the fence is extending into the trees. This picture would be way cooler if the power lines weren't there, but it still is pretty nice.

Five Hundred Forty-Six

November 10, 2016
9.19 Miles in 1:32:50
Mood: Lingering longer with the threat of no shower.
Soundtrack: The Dan Lebatard Show / Lupe Fiasco "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor" / Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Angles"

I hadn't hit 9 miles in awhile, and this might not have been the smartest day to do so, as they were shutting the water off in our townhouse community at 9AM, which meant that when I got back, I had about 15 minutes to get a shower in before there would be no water, but I still went long because the day was beautiful and there were red berries to photograph.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Five

November 8, 2016
8.22 Miles in 1:24:15
Mood: Watching democracy in action.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / 99% Invisible / The Gist

I passed by a ballot drop box this morning which was being manned by three mild mannered women who were trying to comfort a very confused and angry old man who was yelling at them because he wanted to vote and he thought they wouldn't let him. The problem was that this is a ballot drop off point, so you can only vote there if you had a ballot mailed to you. He didn't have this happen, so they couldn't help him. He kept angrily yelling, "IS THIS WHAT AMERICA HAS COME TO?!?!?" at the women. They kept calmly explaining that he'd have to go to a polling place and if he did so, he could vote there, and he kept on yelling back at them. It was a weird moment, and it made me think that maybe this guy should perhaps NOT vote if he's so thick as to not understand that this whole confusion and all of his anger were a result of his own mistake. I'm not sure I want that guy voting.

Anyway, I dropped my ballot off last week, and as I ran this morning, I did keep thinking about how no matter what happens, this whole ugly election will finally be over tonight, and I won't have to sit through any more election commercials, and that thought alone made me happy. I've done my civic duty, and I even asked one of the ladies working the drop box if I could have an "I Voted" sticker which I am proudly wearing today. I love that little sticker.

Today's photo comes from the Highline Canal Trail. It wasn't terribly original, as I've posted a similar type picture a lot lately, but I barely diverted at all from the trail today, and the colors looked pretty. Soon the trail will be unrunnable thanks to inclement weather, and my photos may be forced to become more diverse, but I'm going to enjoy my Highline Canal Trail as long as I possibly can.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Four

November 6, 2016
8.11 Miles in 1:18:53
Mood: Reflective, whether I want it or not.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / The Memory Palace / The Allusionist / The Mediocre Show / Counting Crows "Somewhere Under Wonderland"

The instant after I snapped this photo, a gruff old man walked up to me and wanted to have a conversation about the reflective levels of the lake. "It's not usually so reflective, you see..."

I feigned interest, and tried to be as friendly as possible while backing away slowly in an attempt to get away. I've never met anyone who was so interested in the various reflective capacities of a body of water. Thankfully after a minute, his wife ambled up behind him and he continued his diatribe about reflection with her. I was able to sneak away and start running south. It's not that he was rude or even insufferable...he just had so much to say about light reflecting off of water that I found him to be overwhelming. I was happy to get away.

Apart from that conversation, and even including it, this was a pretty swell morning at Wash Park. There were wispy clouds, a few yellow leaves clinging to trees, geese everywhere, and did I mention the lake was more reflective than normal?

Five Hundred Forty-Three

November 4, 2016
7.89 Miles in 1:23:35
Mood: Not gonna wander far from home
Soundtrack: Sara Watkins "Young in All The Wrong Ways" / The Walking Dead 'Cast

Twas my final run before the end of Daylight Savings, and so we had reached maximum darkness time before the sun rises on my run. I was in no mood to go traipsing through the dark, and was also dangerously low on Pokemon supplies, so rather than venture off into the dimly lit parks and neighborhoods of Littleton, I went to the Streets at Southglenn and ran loops through the mall while hitting up Pokestops. I didn't see all that much exciting and new, but I now have a full compliment of Pokeballs, I'm all caught up on the Walking Dead 'Cast, and I was able to see the sun rise on this beautiful not all is lost.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Five Hundred Forty-Two

November 1, 2016
8.64 Miles in 1:25:45
Mood: It's beginning to look a lot like the beginning of November
Soundtrack: Hamilton Original Cast Soundtrack / Ben Folds Five "The Sound of The Life of The Mind" / The Head and The Heart "Let's Be Still"

I enjoy Christmas, but prefer that the season last at most a week or two. American culture at large disagrees with me. My wife likes to tease me that Christmas starts the day after Halloween, and these trees seem to agree with her. I laughed as I ran up this sidewalk and saw these trees lit up in red. I think the lights are a garish display to sell cars at a local dealership more than to celebrate the Christ Child's birth, but it still gave me a chuckle today since it was so on the nose with how my wife enjoys teasing me. I have to admit, I enjoy the red light theme that begins with the trees, but extends to car brake lights and the traffic light. We'll get to Christmas soon enough, but I'm thankful that this little display was the extend of the Christmas I encountered on November the First.

Five Hundred Forty-One

October 30, 2016
7.53 Miles in 1:12:41
Mood: Hunting Charmanders in the fog.
Soundtrack: Hamilton Original Cast Soundtrack

Happy Birthday Blog! Run and Shoot is now four years old, and to celebrate it's birthday, I ran in a brand new park I had never before visited. I found myself in Bible Park in Denver, because through my exhaustive internet research, I discovered that this particular park was in fact a Charmander nest. I was intrigued, so I decided to pay a visit. It was a treasure trove of the little fiery orange lizard, as in my hour and a half or so in the park I caught 19 Charmanders, which is insane.

In addition to being a great place to source one of my favorite Pokemon, it also was a gorgeous park, and I happened to visit on a most opportune morning, as the fog rolled in and made everything look beautiful and mysterious (and if I'm honest, a little spooky). It was the perfect vibe for the day before Halloween, and as the sun rose, the park became progressively more beautiful as the shroud of fog lifted. It was a perfect morning for a glorious run in a new place, and I even had a decent pace. Without a doubt this was one of my best Sunday morning runs in awhile.

Five Hundred Forty

October 28, 2016
8.67 Miles in 1:29:16
Mood: Warm even with no sun.
Soundtrack: Bad Veins "The Mess We've Made" / Ben Folds "Rockin' the Suburbs" / The Decemberists "Long Live the King"

With the Daylight Savings Time being extended through to November a few years ago, these mornings in Last October are dark for a very long time. I had been running for at least 45 minutes when I took the picture above, and it was still barely light. The good part of this is that when there is a killer sunrise, I get to see it. This one wasn't that great, but the super early part of it was kind of cool, as it had almost a purple hue to it. Also, despite the fact that I was running in pitch black for a good chunk of this run, at least it was warm, as it was already over 60 degrees when I started at 6AM. It's kind of insane to have 60 degree temps an hour predawn when it's almost November.