Thursday, March 30, 2017

Six Hundred Thirteen

March 30, 2017
7.28 Miles in 1:11:40
Mood: Nostalgic for two years ago and for terrible meals from my childhood with people I loved.
Soundtrack: Passenger "All the Little Lights" / The Mountain Goats "The Life of the World to Come" and "Transcendental Youth"

Running in Santa Fe is tough. The altitude is 7200 feet above sea level, and man was I ever feeling it on this run. I was excited to be in a mostly unfamiliar land getting my run in, but that elevation will kick your butt. I pushed through as best as I could, and got in a decent run, but I clearly was affected.

This run had a bit of nostalgia for me, as it was one day shy of two years ago that I went running for the first time in Santa Fe. I was staying in a different hotel, but it was relatively in the same area and my destination was once again downtown Santa Fe, so I ended up briefly retracing some of my steps from that previous run. In so doing, I once again ran down Don Gaspar Avenue and once again ran into this glorious door. I remembered it from two years ago because I had posted a picture of it on Instagram that day, and it's a pretty memorable door. It made me happy to see it again, just because it's a cool and random beautiful thing.

I also saw many of the same sights from my previous run in Santa Fe while running around the downtown area. Santa Fe has some really pretty areas, and the old historical adobe buildings are a lot of fun to explore. I was excited about those, but also equally excited to see an operational Furr's Cafeteria in the suburbs. My grandparents ate at Furr's on a nearly daily basis, and I had countless meals there with them. We would always get the all you can eat buffet, eat a random selection of food like spaghetti, burritos, mashed potatoes and lemon meringue pie, and then my grandmother would sit and declare to my grandfather about how great a deal they had gotten and how they'd spend three times as much to get this much food anywhere else. They have both since passed away, but to see a Furr's still open for business (even if there was no chance I would eat there) brought back a thick slice  of my childhood. It made me so happy that I had to text a picture of it to my brother who also is VERY familiar with the Furr's experience so that he too could reminisce.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Six Hundred Twelve

March 28, 2017
7.01 Miles in 1:08:21
Mood: Anticipating vacation and loading up.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / The Gist

With a five hour drive to Santa Fe ahead of me, I wanted to get in some miles. However, I also needed Pokemon supplies, as I was headed out to a new place dangerously low on Pokeballs. (Yes, I realize that is a ridiculous sentence.) My solution was, as it often is, to run around the Streets at Southglenn. In the process, I got a good seven miles in, and went from empty to overflowing on items I need to catch em all. I even got a pre-April pink tree in for good measure.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Six Hundred Eleven

March 26, 2017
7.41 Miles in 1:08:01
Mood: Dreamlike stupor of a morning, with a smile and a Lapras.
Soundtrack: Hamilton Original Cast Recording

The morning was gray, and at times a tiny bit of rain fell. There was little in the way of color...apart from the first signs of pink trees starting to peek out, but I was in a good mood. After skipping Friday's run due to wind and rain, it had been too long and I was ready to push it. My pace was pretty fast (for me), and it felt good to be in Wash Park and pushing myself.

The morning had a dreamy quality to it, and the dark gray clouds most definitely enhanced that vibe. Little of note happened the entire morning, other than a super rare Lapras popping up on Pokemon Go on my way to Wash Park which had me flipping a u-turn on University and scouring the University of Denver to track it down and capture it. After that moment, most of the rest of the morning was a pleasant blur...not much to remember other than a general happy vibe.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Six Hundred Ten

March 23, 2017
7.32 Miles in 1:13:46
Mood: All over the place despite running in circles.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / 99% Invisible / The Beef and Dairy Network

Yet another warm morning leading into a 70 degree day, and yet supposedly we will be facing a blizzard here in Denver tomorrow morning. Hard to believe based on how nice it was this particular morning as I spent the majority of this run circling the Streets at Southglenn to get Pokemon supplies and catch water Pokemon which are suddenly everywhere as Niantic launced a "Water Festival" event yesterday which is as wonderful as it is nonsensical. Who ever heard of a Water Festival which occurs in late March? Whatever the reason for this odd season, it's effects are that unusual Pokemon are everywhere, and I need Pokeballs and Berries to catch them, which is why I spent a huge chunk of my morning running around an outdoor mall.

It was an odd morning of listening as well, as my podcasts went from reviewing a zombie television show to discussing the influence of Vladimir Lenin on Ukraine to a comedy podcast about a fictional guy who started a cult centered on a hard to kill bull. My brain was kind of running circles just as much as my body was. Yet in the end I was exercised, entertained, and full up on Pokeballs, so mission accomplished!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Six Hundred Nine

March 21, 2017
7.73 Miles in 1:15:09
Mood: Jars listening, Grateful Dead decor photographing.
Soundtrack: Jars of Clay "Good Monsters" and "The Shelter"

For the third straight run, I listened to Jars of Clay's "Good Monsters" this morning. I have never really listened to it all that much, and that was my mistake, as it is AWESOME. I seriously cannot get enough of it right now.

Today's photo only happened as a result of a very random change of course. I was on the Highline Canal Trail, and suddenly decided to make my own off ramp by running through someone's backyard towards the street. I felt I needed to shake things up, and while I love it...staying on my beloved Trail Road was definitely NOT shaking things up. I ended up passing this home which I have photographed before thanks to its Grateful Dead topiaries, but today those bears were holding giant Easter Eggs. So naturally, that is today's photo, because how could it NOT be??

Six Hundred Eight

March 19, 2017
6.50 Miles in 1:00:57
Mood: Great timing, followed by an up and down run, on a beautiful morning in Denver.
Soundtrack: Jars of Clay "Good Monsters"

Although I remain against the concept of Daylight Savings and the artificial manipulation of our circadian rhythms for God knows what purpose, it is not without it's advantages. The daylight lasting longer in the evenings is nice, but I've really been enjoying how I've been able to see some AWESOME sunrises on my morning runs.

This particular sunrise was one of the best I've seen in awhile. It helped that I was at Sloan's Lake and was able to watch it rise over the lake with Downtown Denver in the background. My timing could not have been more perfect, as about two minutes into my run I was able to capture the photo above. It was awesome, and while it only lasted for about six or seven minutes, I was in exactly the right spot to take advantage of these colors. I really adore sunrises.

I struggled a bit at the beginning and end of this run, as I had a slight headache during the first lap around the lake and my blood sugar cratered a bit at the end of my run during the third lap, but that second lap was pure perfection. I hadn't felt that good in awhile. I suppose it helps that the trail at Sloan's Lake is almost as flat as Kansas, but I was zooming. I was a little bummed when a low blood sugar crushed my groove, as I was feeling it, but briefly it was perfect.

Six Hundred Seven

March 17, 2017
7.56 Miles in 1:13:11
Mood: Great sunrises even if I am not wearing green.
Soundtrack: Jack White "Blunderbuss" / Jars of Clay "Good Monsters"

I wasn't wearing green as I left the house...unless you count the underside of my hat, but I felt safe that no one was going to pinch me at 6AM on this Saint Patrick's Day. I spent a good portion of the morning circling the Streets at Southglenn to garner some Pokemon supplies, but still managed to get some amazing photos despite being in such a familiar place. That was possible thanks to a very beautiful sunrise which had me snapping multiple photos and at one point the Streets of Southglenn looked like a movie set to me because of all the glorious vibrant colors in the sky. Despite all those awesome sunrise pictures, I ended up deciding to use this picture I took in Dekoevend Park from when the sun had come up a bit more because I loved how the sun breaks through the clouds in it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Six Hundred Six

March 16, 2017
5.31 Miles in 53:18
Mood: Surreal and pink.
Soundtrack: Fall of the House of Sunshine / Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

The above photo has no filter. The world actually was this pink for a few minutes this morning. Kind of amazing, really. This much pink has me giddy that we are only weeks away from the start of pink tree season!

I struggled a bit on this run. Daylight Savings time is wearing me down, and it's going to take just a little longer to adjust. I awoke in a fog this morning, and it never really fully lifted. To top it off, I was listening to a surreal podcast called "The Fall of the House of Sunshine" which is a musical podcast theater kinda thing about a children's television show host being murdered by shots fired from within a wormhole and the subsequent investigation performed by a film noir style private detective. It's a comedy/musical podcast, and its several steps beyond weird. Still, I enjoyed it for it's off the wall sense of humor and decent music. It just didn't really help wake me up, as it felt like something that would happen within one of my odder dreams.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Six Hundred Five

March 14, 2017
7.15 Miles in 1:11:03
Mood: Trying to corrall a pup and enjoying the sunrise.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / 99% Invisible / The Allusionist

About a mile into my run a very excitable dog came running and jumping up towards me. It was a medium sized dog, and very friendly. It didn't worry me in the least, but it did somewhat overwhelm me with it's enthusiasm for leaping and wagging it's tail. I tried to just keep running, but the dog was right on my heels, and I thought I should probably figure out where this mongrel belonged. Then I spotted her...the dog's owner stood on the sidewalk with a helplessness on her face that can only be experienced by someone incapable of corralling their canine. I tried to direct the dog towards her, but this dog was very good at staying close to me without letting me get close enough to corral it. I saw a car heading up the street, and I got a little worried for it's safety, so I ran in a way that it would follow me towards a neighbor's lawn. I tried to lead the dog back towards it's owner, but the dog was enjoing it's freedom, and knew that heading back towards it's house meant the end of all this fun. I probably spent two minutes trying to assist this exasperated pet owner. Eventually, she got hold of him, and she thanked me for my assistance. As I ran away, I laughed at how ridiculous dogs can be sometimes.

The rest of the run was less dog care related, but still nice. I'm not a big fan of daylight savings time and the accompanying hour plus of darkness that comes with it during my morning run, but I can say that it provides me with a wonderful opportunity to really enjoy the sunrise. This morning was accompanied by scattered pink and purple clouds which lit up the sky beautifully. I passed by this tiny stream at just the right moment to make the most of the reflective water surface. The thing I like most about sunsets and sunrises are the endless varieties and how they can make super familiar places seem new and special. Plus, each one is a one time only event, so I hate to miss one in case it's spectacular, because it'll never be the same.

Six Hundred Four

March 12, 2017
7.18 Miles in 1:07:50
Mood: Sneaking one in
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies on Broadway" / Mumford and Sons "Sigh No More" / Of Monsters and Men "Beneath the Skin"

My wife and daughter left early in the morning to head up to the mountains to go skiing, and so I figured that I would just have to skip my Sunday run. I spent the day with my boy, and we had a great time, but I was still a little bummed out about not running. The girls got back in the early evening, and I picked everyone up some dinner, but decided to not get myself any food. I dropped off dinner, and decided to get in an impromptu run.

I headed west with no real idea of where I'd end up, but with the idea that I needed to push myself because I didn't have too much time until the sun would set. I ended up running faster than I have in quite awhile, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset to boot. It felt weird to have it getting darker as I went, as usually I get going early in the morning and run from darkness into light. It made me appreciate my morning runs, although it was a practically perfect evening for a run. I thought a little about how I used to run in the afternoon a few years ago, and how there are things I miss about that, but mostly I'm glad to have the schedule I have now.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Six Hundred Three

March 10, 2017
7.72 Miles in 1:16:16
Mood: Focused and enjoying the early light.
Soundtrack: TV on the Radio "Dear Science" and "Seeds"

As I stepped out to start this run, I was made a little sad by the fact that this was my last chance to enjoy the early morning light for awhile. This is my final run before daylight savings time begins this weekend, which means that the next time I step outside at 6AM, it will be significantly dark outside. The good news is that the days are going to keep getting longer, and before long it'll be bright and warm, but for the next several weeks, it's going to be darkness city.

I made the most of the extra light, as I was up early and trying to go fast with fewer breaks so that I could get a full run in, but take less time that normal. My motivation for this was the fact that I needed to work an extra half hour this Friday to make up for leaving early Thursday night. (For a great reason) It's amazing how being focused on pushing yourself can actually make the run better. I felt amazing today, and took far fewer breaks than normal, but still managed to run all the way to Ketring Park and back.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Six Hundred Two

March 7, 2017
6.29 Miles in 1:04:23
Mood: Appreciating art on a short road trip run.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies on Broadway" / Ben Folds "supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp" / Blind Pilot "And Then Like Lions"

I didn't feel like trodding the well traveled roads around my house, so I decided to drive just a tiny bit east to get started today, and then run around the Denver Tech Center. I was glad I did, because I was able to see a lot of cool outdoor art and experience some roads that I haven't run a thousand times. I am amazed at how many cool statues can be found near boring office buildings. I found the statues in the photo above which is the centerpiece of this amazing stretch where super reflective windows bounce light off of everything, there are cool checkerboard patterns on the ground, and stark white trees compliment the whole affair, and everything reflects off of what seems to be an excess of reflective surfaces. It's a very cool area. I also found giraffe statues, the Museum of Outdoor Art (which I've been to a multitude of times, so I didn't exactly discover it today.) and other odds and ends. I love it when boring buildings are broken up by a bit of flair.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Six Hundred One

March 5, 2017
7.19 Miles in 1:09:00
Mood: Focused on a gray morning and taking magic pictures when I want Muggle photos.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "True Sadness" / U2 "The Joshua Tree"

It was a strange morning, as it was very warm, but also quite gray. The heavy clouds made for some awesome sun/clouds pictures (as seen above), but it also made it hard to get good pictures of almost anything else. It was really dark, even after the sun had risen. I had JUST upgraded my phone the day before, and I was looking forward to testing out the new more powerful camera, and the lighting was just terrible for it, so I was just a tiny bit disappointed. Although, I was less disappointed when I got home and saw this picture...which I imagine would NOT have look this cool on my old phone.

(Although, as an aside, the new version of iPhones have this feature called "Live Photos" that is the default setting. It makes it so every time you take a photo, it takes a little video as well and as you're looking through your pictures, they all move. I guess this is neat if you're Harry Potter, but I prefer that my photos remain still, and it annoyed the crap out of me. Thankfully, although it is the default setting, it is quite easy to turn off, which I did the instant I realized I could. So hopefully my photos are more muggle style from now on, because I much prefer it that way.)

I decided to really push myself this particular morning, and just focus hard on trying to run without spending much time with Pokemon or photo taking, and the end result was an average pace that is much faster than I've been going lately. It felt good to let loose and move, especially in a place as important to me as Wash Park. I haven't really run at the best park in Denver for awhile, and it was good to get back to basics.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Six Hundred

March 3, 2017
7.23 Miles in 1:14:33
Soundtrack: The Milk Carton Kids "Prologue" and "The Ash & Clay" / Nick Drake "Pink Moon"

I found myself once again just hanging out around Southglenn on this run. Last week it was due to icy sidewalks that left the whole world a skating rink. This week I just needed Pokeballs. Despite mostly just running around in circles, I was given plenty of good photos to choose from thanks to a sunrise that lit up the clouds perfectly. In an odd turn of events, the photos that I took of the sky actually looked more impressive than the sky itself...that NEVER happens. It's not that the sky was ugly, but somehow the light was hitting them perfectly for photos.

I also must have been in a pretty mellow mood, as The Milk Carton Kids and Nick Drake are NOT what most people would use as their exercise music. Still, this chill acoustic suited me on this Friday morning somehow. Plus, I now have a full supply of all the Pokemon Go supplies, so it was a win of a run.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Five Hundred Ninety-Nine

March 2, 2017
7.10 Miles in 1:10:00
Mood: Contemplating the coming darkness.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / The Gist / Lupe Fiasco "DROGAS Light"

I did a lot of thinking about how we are only a week and a half away from Daylight Savings, and how in a couple of weeks that my morning runs will get much darker until the days start getting longer. As much as I love it when the sun doesn't set until much later in the evening, those first few weeks of running for over an hour in pitch black is a little depressing. Oh well, I take heart in the fact that the days continue to get brighter and longer, and soon winter will end and glorious spring with all it's pink tree goodness will explode on the scene.