Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety-Eight

February 28, 2017
6.83 Miles in 1:08:41
Mood: Feeling rebellious.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / The Gist / The Memory Palace / The Long Winters "Putting The Days To Bed"

After two consecutive runs where I had to put on long johns to stay warm, it was nice to have temps hovering in the 30's for most of this run. It was mostly a gray day, but it wasn't unpleasant. Plus, I was able to embrace my rebel ways and use a new bridge that was not yet officially open for business. The construction is pretty much 100% complete, but the path leading up to the bridge still has some work left to be done, so I had to duck under a rope to use the bridge, but it was solid as solid can be. I'm certain they just don't want people using it yet because of the path leading to it still being half ditch, but it was nice to be able to cut over to DeKoevend Park without going a half a mile out of my way. I'm such a rebel.

Today's photo comes from the Littleton Museum farm. I took the picture by raising my arms over the fence surrounding the park to get a picture of the replica one room schoolhouse in the background. It wasn't one of my all time great photos, but I didn't go too nuts on pictures on this gray morning, so it was all there was to choose from apart from a picture of a leprechaun door decoration that had a very shiny screen door in front of it.

Five Hundred Ninety-Seven

February 26, 2017
6.33 Miles in 1:03:41
Mood: Adventuring to new places in search of Pokes.
Soundtrack: The Hamilton Mixtape / Chance the Rapper "Coloring Book"

One of the greatest things I can say about Pokemon GO (and I really like it so I can say a lot of positive things), is that it has introduced me to a TON of parks that I would otherwise never have visited. Pokemon "nest" in certain parks, and those nests get shaken up pretty regularly, usually at intervals of every two weeks. There are whole websites that track these changes and allow the community to group source where the Pokemon are currently gathering.

I was using such a website on Saturday night, trying to locate a Horsea Nest, and I discovered that the only one in the entire Denver Metro area was in a park in Lakewood called Addenbrooke Park. I decided to drive up there early Sunday morning and check it out and hopefully load up on Horsea while I was at it. I am pleased to report that it's a very lovely park with lovely baseball fields, a nice lake, and this interesting statue smack dab in the middle. The statue features several kids sitting on a bench doing kid type things, but my favorite part is what I have shown in the photo above, which is actually the backside. It has one smaller kid...likely someone's little brother, who is pouting...I can only assume because he is being left out. I enjoy the grumpiness of this little kid quite a bit, which is why he made today's photo rather than a picture of the front of the statue which would have also featured the lake in the background.

It was super cold when I started out on this run, but it warmed up very quickly. I was quite happy to have the warmth, as the first 20 minutes were pretty icy, but it was downright pleasant by the time I finished. Oh, and I did get all the Horsea that I needed and then some, so it was quite a successful Sunday morning.

Five Hundred Ninety-Six

February 24, 2017
7.58 Miles in 1:26:10
Mood: Getting snowed on is not my thing, but at least next time I'll remember to recharge my earbuds.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness "Zombies on Broadway" / The sound of snow falling, as my wireless earbud batteries died.

After an extended early spring had temps into the 70's in February, winter returned with a vengeance on Thursday. A decent amount of snow had fallen, and it was cold. As I awoke Friday morning, the temperature was a balmy 11 degrees, and snow was falling. Undaunted, I bundled up and headed out into the icy cold. The roads were slick, and I didn't feel like sludging through piles of slippery snow, so I went to the one place I knew would be MOSTLY cleared.

The Streets of Southglenn almost always do a great job of getting their sidewalks snow free to aid their stores in having customers arrive without falling or having to navigate slippery surfaces. However, on this particular Friday morning, they were NOT working that hard to get it clear...I only saw two or three guys shoveling instead of the usual cadre, the snow was falling rapidly, and as a result, there were significant patches of really slippery terrain.

I managed to stay upright the entire time, although there were definitely some close calls. I used my confinement within the Streets of Southglenn to load up heavy on Pokemon supplies, and when I was finished, I had a massive amount of good stuff to use and even picked up two special evolution items...which are extremely rare to get. So although my times were very slow, it was a productive outing.

The biggest bummer of this particular outing was the fact that my earbuds batteries died on me about halfway through. I'm still new to this having to recharge my earbuds thing, but it's a mistake I don't plan on making again. I had gone three straight runs without recharging, and clearly, the batteries won't last THAT long. I briefly considered heading back home to pick up a corded pair of buds, but decided that with the cold and snow that was falling, if I managed to head home...I likely wouldn't come back, so I just sucked it up and kept sliding/running.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety-Five

February 23, 2017
6.77 Miles in 1:10:25
Mood: Annoyed at snow, but relishing ignoring big orange signs.
Soundtrack: My Brother, My Brother and Me / 99% Invisible / The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Gist / Judge John Hodgman

In the past two weeks, the weather has been outstanding. Temperatures have routinely hovered in the 60's, and occasionally into the 70's. This is not normal for February and I am trying feel worried about climate change, but mostly I've just been super thankful for the warm weather. That hot streak ended abruptly this morning. It is not that it was cold outside, it was around 30 most of my run, but 30 with bouts of getting dumped on by light snow feels much more acutely arctic when you've been used to t-shirt weather. Man, it was chilly. The snow was more like tiny pebbles than actual snow, and was quite dry which I appreciated, but I was still annoyed that it was snowing on me. I'm hoping that this cold snap doesn't bring any snow accumulation with it.

I posted the above photo of the "Detour" sign blocking the way of the Highline Canal trail only to state that I (and MANY others) have been routinely ignoring this sign and using the trail anyway. Mostly because the only thing that is happening is pedestrian bridge work on one tiny section of the trail, and although they have put up netting covering most of the trail, it is still remarkably easy to squeeze through on the 10% of the trail that is not blocked. Plus, since I have not yet seen a single worker working on any of these bridges that are alleged to be under construction, I feel that my lack of a hard hat and construction training does not put me in any greater danger than the average bunny who also can be found all along the trail. Basically, every time I see these Detour signs, I get a surge of pleasure from embracing anarchy and completely ignoring them. I love to break inconsequential rules.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety-Four

February 21, 2017
7.47 Miles in 1:18:31
Mood: Making people wait.
Soundtrack: The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast / Robert DeLong "Just Movement" and "In The Cards" / The Hamilton Mixtape

Some days I see tons of photo opportunities as I run, and I stop a ton of times to shoot them. Then there are days like this where I end up with exactly two photos. One, which was of a burgundy truck with the vanity license plate "DRPEPER" and the above photo. The license plate photo was mostly just because I feel obliged to take pictures of ridiculous vanity plates, which meant that THIS was the photo I was going to use. Not terrible, as it's kind of pretty, but it is made so much better by the story of the photo.

If you look at the shadows in the foreground of the picture, you will see a large lanky shadow clearly taking picture, and then you will see the a shorter statue of an older woman who was waiting for me to take the picture. I did this weird thing where I had stopped running to find something new to listen to on my phone as the podcast I was listening to had ended. She came around the corner from behind me while I was doing this and had gotten about 20 feet ahead of me. I then started running again, passed her, and then saw this view which I immediately knew I wanted to take a picture of.

So her experience was to pass some guy fiddling with his phone, have that guy immediately pass her running and then stop and pull out his phone to take a picture of trees which she then had to wait for me to complete because my phone was taking it's sweet time opening the camera app. I have to feel slightly sorry for random strangers who get to experience me in public. It's gotta be difficult.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety-Three

February 19, 2017
7.75 Miles in 1:17:03
Mood: Sunny on the inside, and briefly on the outside too.
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / Lupe Fiasco "DROGAS Light" / Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Angles"

I think the photo above was taken during the ten minute period where the sun shone on this particular Sunday. For most of this day the weather was gray and windy and while still unseasonably warm for February, not especially bright and welcoming. However, as these geese flew over City Park, you'd think that this day was perfect. It didn't last, and in fact most of this run was cloudy. Still, it was an awesome day to run in City Park.

I felt really good this particular morning, and it was nice to spend most of my run within the limits of a Denver Park, as this city has some lovely parks and I was in the mood to stay of streets for the most part. I did several loops around the park and around the lake and by the time I was done my soul was refreshed.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety-Two

February 17, 2017
7.03 Miles in 1:16:35
Mood: Excited for new Pokes.
Soundtrack: The Gist / The Memory Palace / 99% Invisible / Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies on Broadway"

The new Pokemon are here! The new Pokemon are here! 80 some new Pokemon were released in Pokemon Go, so I spent a good portion of my run looking for new ones as I ran this morning. This is more exciting to me than it probably should be. I did stop long enough to take a few photos of some really great clouds this morning, as the sky was pretty sweet before 7 AM today.

Five Hundred Ninety-One

February 16, 2017
7.55 Miles in 1:16:10
Mood: Discovering culture thanks to a silly app and picking up shovels.
Soundtrack: Lupe Fiasco "DROGAS Light"

The statue shown above is something of which I am only aware due to it's existence as a Pokestop. I have driven past it hundreds of times, but didn't realize that this family of foxes were there until Pokemon Go showed me the way. This is also not the first time I have been alerted to art thanks to this silly game. It has happened on multiple occasions, and I am thankful every time. So in addition to getting people out walking to play this game, it can also be used as a cultural view finder of sorts. Pokemon Go...is there anything it CAN'T do?

Also while on this run, just before I took this photo, I was standing on the corner of University and Belleview and a truck that was turning south onto University from Belleview took the corner too fast and dumped out a shovel from the back of it's truck. I'm still not sure how that happened, but I was thankful that I was not in the path of the shovel. The truck stopped, and to help the poor guy out, I picked up the shovel and took it to him. He was thankful, and I didn't miss the walk signal, so everything worked out pretty well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety

February 14, 2017
4.42 Miles in 46:40
Mood: Kind of foggy brained and lazy.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / The Mediocre Show

I was having weird dreams last night, and although I can't remember what they were about, I know that they were troubling enough to make sleeping more difficult than it should have been. They weren't scary or nerve wracking dreams, but more like stress inducing, as if I were competing on some kind of Japanese game show despite not understanding the language being spoken or the point of the game I was playing. It was very unsettling, and when I woke up, I was still sleepy and my brain was stuck in neutral a bit.

As a result of this rough night of sleep, I never really got fully motivated to push myself this morning, so a large portion of this run was spent walking pleasantly. This is fine until I arrive home slightly later than normal despite only having actually run four miles and change. It was a very pleasant (if slightly chilly) morning, and I don't regret going out, although I should have probably pushed myself a little harder today. I guess we are all allowed a lazy Tuesday every now and then. I'll be back at it with a little more gusto on Thursday.

Five Hundred Eighty-Nine

February 12, 2017
7.41 Miles in 1:16:46
Mood: Doubling down on downtown.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies on Broadway"

After a super successful Friday afternoon downtown two days prior, I decided to double down on running/Pokemon catching downtown. After temps in the 70's on Friday, I had to bundle up as it was significantly colder on Sunday morning. Despite the chill, I had a good run, and saw some cool stuff including the McNichols Building lit up pink for Valentines Day (as seen above).

Five Hundred Eighty-Eight

February 10, 2017
8.33 Miles in 1:26:29
Mood: Handling my Pokemon business like a PRO.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies on Broadway"

When the calendar says "February 10th", it should NOT be comfortable to be outside in shorts and a t-shirt for an entire afternoon. Yet here I was on a Friday afternoon that I just happened to request off from work weeks ago, and I'm enjoying a lovely run in downtown Denver with the temps rising to 78 degrees, and my situation was plush and comfy in my shorts. Twas a happy day!

Not only did I have the day off from work with the weather cooperating, but Pokemon Go was running a special Halloween event which made a certain Pokemon that I had never before seen start spawning like crazy downtown. I had heard rumors that the much sought after Porygon could be found on the 16th Street Mall, so I made my way there post haste to try and catch one. After about forty-five discouraging minutes of running the city streets with no luck, I finally spotted one near Union Station and booked it to the spot where it was spawning like a duck shot out of a cannon. (*That is not actually an expression)

I managed to catch that Porygon and eight others in addition over the course of the afternoon which was pretty awesome, as I had never before seen one, and it was one of only two Pokemon that I still needed to "Catch em all". Even better, I also had a Lapras hatch from an egg...and that was the final Pokemon that I needed. It was a SOLID Pokemon day...as these had been the final two Pokemon I needed for about three months, and I got them both while out on this run.

As for today's photo: There is a giant pile of logs in front of Republic Plaza downtown, and the ends of them are brightly colored. I believe this to be public art, and I really liked it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Five Hundred Eighty-Seven

February 9, 2017
7.47 Miles in 1:17:54
Mood: Pondering album naming strategies, or rather one terrible strategy to avoid.
Soundtrack: Rise Against "Siren Song of the Counter Culture" / Waterdeep "Heart Attack Time Machine" and "Waterdeep"

If I'm ever a recording artist (which will never happen) I will never EVER have a self titled album. I thought about this as I was listening to a band that I have liked for several years this morning. Waterdeep named their latest album "Waterdeep" which seems like such a waste of an album naming opportunity. It bothers me when creative people punt on something like this. Even the Beatles did it. The "White Album" is just a colloquialism for their self titled album which just happened to have a white cover.

Anyway, the skies this morning were pretty great. Especially the clouds in the western sky which were a swirl of pink and purple and very amazing. You can see a little of this in the photo, but as always, the photo is not as good as the real deal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Five Hundred Eighty-Six

February 7, 2017
8.18 Miles in 1:22:59
Mood: Quite positive, actually.
Soundtrack: The Dan Lebatard Show / The Memory Palace / Passenger "Whispers" / Peter Mulvey "Letters from a Flying Machine"

After the past month which featured me sobbing uncontrollably during a run, fighting through rib pain nearly every outing, freezing my tail off almost every time I ran outdoors, and a run last Friday which was more like being on an ice rink, I was due for a good run. I finally got it today. I was almost entirely pain free...my ribs are finally most of the way back to normal! (Hurrah!) I had weather that started at 40 degrees and then the temps rose so that I was comfortable the whole time, I had good music and a stunning sunrise and I felt really good all morning as I ran. After a tough month, it was good to finally be rewarded again with a totally positive and wonderful run. Even though it's only February, and the Patriots won the Super Bowl...I'm feeling good!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Five Hundred Eighty-Five

February 3, 2017
7.25 Miles in 1:17:29
Mood: Slippery and afraid.
Soundtrack: The Mountain Goats "The Life Of The World To Come" and "All Eternals Deck" and Transcendental Youth"

For the past two days in Denver there has been this odd precipitation. It's not quite snow, not quite rain, but it's somewhat powdery and it falls and immediately turns everything to ice. I spent most of the morning running on trails like the one pictured above, and while on the trail, the running was pretty smooth and easy. The ground was frosted, but this made the world kind of pretty and not at all slippery, and I was able to get a pretty decent pace going.

However, this outing was bookended with icy terror for both the first mile as well as the final two miles. During those sections, I was jogging in fear for my life. Every step was an adventure in bad footing. On more than one occasion I had to throw my arms up in a wild panic of attempting to balance and not go sliding to the ground. It felt like I was wearing skates rather than running shoes whenever I encountered a sidewalk. I'm not sure I've ever had a run that was this slippery. As a result, although I felt really good today, my pace is fairly slow...because when I was running on the paved sections of this run, I never once took a step that I felt confident in, and as a result I was taking the slow measured steps of a man striding on ice. Those slow measured steps do not lead to great speeds.

Fortunately, I didn't fall once, and I was able to get over seven miles logged, so it was a total win. A win despite feeling endangered the entire time I wasn't on a dirt trail.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Five Hundred Eighty-Four

February 1, 2017
6.78 Miles in 1:10:29
Mood: Chilly and Focused.
Soundtrack: The Bill Simmons Podcast / The Gist / The Dan Lebatard Show

I don't typically run on a Wednesday morning, but since my daughter's basketball practice this evening was cancelled, I was able to get to work a little later than usual this morning, which freed me up for a run.

I didn't bundle up too much for this morning's outing, as it was unseasonably warm the day before. Unfortunately, that warmth didn't really show up again today. It was a chilly jaunt eastward today. It was also a no nonsense run, as I forgot to bring my backup battery for my phone, so if I had attempted to play Pokemon Go as I ran, my battery would have died halfway through this run. So instead of having my attention diverted, I focused pretty solidly on my running. My speeds were nothing amazing, but I did feel pretty focused, which was nice.

I was listening to the Bill Simmons podcast as I ran, and they were previewing the Super Bowl. It got me thinking that the percentage neutral fans cheering for the Falcons is probably way higher than usually cheer for a random NFL team in a Super Bowl because unless you're actually from Boston, why would you cheer for the Pats to win this thing? So yeah...Go Falcons. It also got me thinking about how much more focused and excited I was for the Super Bowl a year ago than I am right now.