Monday, February 26, 2018

Seven Hundred Seventy-Seven

February 25, 2018
7.32 Miles in 1:10:23
Mood: Over the moon with happiness.
Soundtrack: The Shims "Heartworms"

This weekend was a simply killer one. There was a Pokemon Go Dratini event which was amazing, my basketball boys finished our season with a decisive victory and then we celebrated by eating Dairy Queen, my family took part in a sweet Clue Room game in which we had an hour to decipher the clues to "escape" the clutches of the Queen of Hearts, and I was able to have a fun Daddy-Daughter date getting desert at Old Chicago with my little girl. All in all, just a fabulous weekend, and so I am taking it as a very good omen indeed if a white balloon ever pops up out of nowhere and floats along a field of snow. I think this can only mean good things, as it happened to me on my Sunday morning run, and therefore must mean something. (Probably it doesn't mean anything, but it was a surreal moment in a beautiful weekend.)

It might actually mean very little, but it makes for a cool picture.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Seven Hundred Seventy-Six

February 23, 2018
6.76 Miles in 1:11:23
Mood: Motivated by odd things.
Soundtrack: Modest Mouse "Strangers To Ourselves" / The Oh Hellos "Dear Wormwood"

It was cold outside, and I didn't feel like running that much today, but two things got my out of my warm bed: 1. February is super short and I needed to logs some miles to comfortably reach 100 before it ends. 2. I needed Pokemon supplies for the Community Day event on Saturday. Without those two factors, I might have slept in, but thanks to them, I spent a mostly uninspiring morning circling Southglenn and a little bit of DeKoevend Park. It wasn't an inspiring run, but a meh run still counts and I was glad I went by the time I was finished. My supplies are now topped off and I'm only a few miles away from from my 50th month in a row of 100 miles run.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Seven Hundred Seventy-Five

February 22, 2018
9.01 Miles in 1:32:26
Mood: Meandering through neighborhoods of large homes.
Soundtrack: Broken Bells "Broken Bells" and "After the Disco" / The Mountain Goats "Beat the Champ" and "All Eternals Deck"

I ran through a McMansion neighborhood this morning, and it was stunning just how big these houses are. You could fit entire third world villages in each of them. I don't begrudge people who have made a good living to be able to spend that money on a nice big home if they like, but I do wonder what it'd be like to live that sort of life. I don't imagine it makes life all that much better, honestly.

I headed in a different direction than the usual, and I still ended up spending a little time on the Highline Canal trail, although right now, it's still buried under snow from Sunday, so I didn't spend too much time on it, but it amused me that even when I run in an entirely different direction, I still found my home, just a different section than I usually hit up.

I didn't really intend to run 9 miles this morning, but I took a few unorthodox turns and ended up spending a bit more time than I meant to pounding the pavement. It actually felt pretty good, despite the super slow pace. Part of that slowness is due to snowy and icy conditions, and part of it is that I'm getting older and slower, I guess? I feel okay, as I was crushing it indoors on the track on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Seven Hundred Seventy-Four

February 20, 2018
7.60 Miles in 1:08:09
Mood: Surprisingly happy to be running indoors.
Soundtrack: Manchester Orchestra "A Black Mile To The Surface"

There was a healthy blanket of snow on the ground and the temperature was a balmy zero degrees. I had to resort to the Rec Center track today because I just couldn't bring myself to tramp through a desolate winter wasteland this morning.

The down side to this decision is that I was forced to traverse the same tenth of a mile seventy six times. It was as boring as a NASCAR race and I turned left just as often. The good side to Rec Center running is that Goodson is warm, so I was able to run in shorts and a t-shirt, and after I was finished, I was able to take advantage of both a hot tub and a steam room, both of which are super amazing after a run.

The track is a tenth of a mile, and I ran it seventy-six times. I kept count all morning. Therefore, I refuse to accept the Nike running app's finding that I only ran 5.76 miles. I'm not great at math, but seventy-six laps at a tenth of a mile each results in 7.6 miles. Plus, I was HUSTLING today. I stopped maybe three times the entire time and didn't walk at all. I was pushing it, and my pace was significantly faster than the 11:49 per mile the app calculated. I'm pretty sure the internet was spotty resulting in horrific distance tracking.

I have to say that although I usually despise running on the indoor track, It felt SO GOOD this morning. I'm not planning on making a habit out of it, but it was pretty sweet this morning and now I am only eighteen miles and change away from hitting my 50th straight 100 mile month.

Seven Hundred Seventy-Three

February 18, 2018
7.03 Miles in 1:09:46
Mood: Nothing exciting, just getting the miles done.
Soundtrack: Arctic Monkeys "AM"

It was a strange morning, because it was super warm for early on a February morning. I headed out at about 6:30 and it was already 45 degrees outside despite the fact that the weather was decidedly gray and gloomy. I wanted to stay close to home for this run, so I ended up spending most of my time in or near DeKoevend Park.

It wasn't a terribly exciting run, as I've combed over DeKoevend so many times that I know it like the back of my hand, but I was happy to not have to be wearing a sweatshirt for the second consecutive run. I had a bout with low blood sugar towards the end of this outing, so by the time I was finished, it was a struggle to get myself up to a full seven miles, but I made it. This was one of those workman like runs where I just put the miles in, but I was very glad to have done so by the time I finished.

Seven Hundred Seventy-Two

February 16, 2018
7.19 Miles in 1:07:25
Mood: A little freedom takes me to Wash Park
Soundtrack: Moon Taxi "Let The Record Play" / The Avett Brothers "The Second Gleam" / Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip "Angles"

I had the day off from work, and had several hours to myself as my kids were in school and my wife was driving to Kansas, so I did what I usually do when I have unusual free time...I went running at Wash Park.

The weather was lovely, but it had snowed a few days previously, so I was thinking that the gravel trail along the outside rim of the park might be unusable, but much to my surprise, the snow had been trampled down nicely and in a way that wasn't icy, so I had no troubles taking the trail all the way around. I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of my favorite park with dirty grimy snow, so when I approached Smith Lake on the northern end of the park, I looked up and saw a bunch of seagulls spinning around, and they looked awesome with the bright sun shining on them, so I took five or six photos of them, hoping I'd get a good one. I was quite pleased with how it turned out, and even more pleased that I got a cool picture with ZERO snow in it!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Seven Hundred Seventy-One

February 14, 2018
6.43 Miles in 1:05:59
Mood: Starting Strong, then falling apart, as sometimes happens.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "The Second Gleam" and "The Gleam" and "Live, Vol 3"

Scheduling issues necessitated a Wednesday run, and I was actually pretty jazzed about it as the temps were already over 40 degrees when I woke up. Things started out solidly enough, but at about the five mile mark, I started getting a low blood sugar, and had to eat my emergency peanut butter and then walk slowly to a Gas Station to buy an Arizona Iced Tea to get me all the way back to where I should be. This meant I had to walk for well over a mile on this run, and ended up with a much shorter running distance altogether than normal, plus I just felt odd and out of sorts since I was recovering from a low which can really mess you up for awhile.

The good news is, I got home and my lovely wife had made me a blueberry pancake in the shape of a heart for Valentines day, which definitely put the spring back in my step. Still, this run felt like a big disappointment. We'll get back at it on Friday, hopefully with better results.

Seven Hundred Seventy

February 13, 2018
7.70 Miles in 1:18:06
Mood: Cool Dragon!
Soundtrack: Moon Taxi "Let The Record Play"

I was mostly running through neighborhoods chasing down rare Pokemon on this run, which is why my map is a jumble of changing directions. However, as I criss-crossed throughout Littleton, I came across this little dragon statue which I have never before seen, and of which I approve heartily!

Seven Hundred Sixty-Nine

February 11, 2018
8.20 Miles in 1:22:29
Mood: Benefiting from low expectations.
Soundtrack: Portugal. The Man "Woodstock"

It snowed all day Saturday, so when I awoke on Sunday, it was to a world of which the White Witch of Narnia would have approved. There was a big part of me that considered just staying home and sleeping in on a Sunday morning, but the fact that February is so short and achieving my 100 mile goal is hardest during this month and I don't want to miss out because I didn't run on a day I could have, I put on long underwear and an extra layer and headed out into the 11 degree morning chill.

About 45 minutes in, the sun had risen to a point that I was actually getting hot. I was slightly overdressed, and though it was still quite cold outside, it doesn't take too much to be over dressed when it's super sunny. I was at Wash Park, and had to run on the paved rounds on the inside of the park rather than the outer gravel track, because that nice gravel trail which I prefer was buried under snow. Still, I had some nice tunes (Portugal. The Man's new album is great.), and I wasn't uncomfortable, and the snow had not yet turned icy, so I wasn't slipping. It was actually a pretty nice morning, and I got the above photo which is pretty cool...even for a guy who hates snow, sometimes it looks nice.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Seven Hundred Sixty-Eight

February 9, 2018
7.43 Miles in 1:13:39
Mood: Suddenly thinking about sharks.
Soundtrack: Ben Folds Five "The Sound of the Life of the Mind" and "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner" and "Whatever and Ever Amen"

I had run for five and a half miles, and I wasn't thinking about sharks. Not even once. Then I passed this on the ground, and suddenly I was thinking about sharks. It's funny how you can go from not thinking about sharks to thinking about sharks so quickly when you're on a freezing cold foggy morning in February. Shocking, really.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Seven Hundred Sixty-Seven

February 7, 2018
7.29 Miles in 1:12:16
Mood: Hey, cool bush.
Soundtrack: The Haunted Windchimes "Out With the Crow" / Grouplove "Big Mess" / The Avett Brothers "Live Vol. Four"

I don't know what kind of bushes these are, but the way they are faded out feels very appropriate to winter. They almost look alien in nature. Very beautiful, even though the chances are good that they are weeds. It was a cold morning run, and although I've seen these bushes many times before under the bridge that connects the two sides of the Highline Canal under University Blvd, I never truly took them in until this morning. They looked very cool, especially on this freezing morning.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Seven Hundred Sixty-Six

February 4, 2018
7.59 Miles in 1:11:03
Mood: Just keep running.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Magpie and the Dandelion"

February is short. The shortest month of the year some might say. (This is not a matter of opinion, but it's sometimes fun to posit facts as opinions, or opinions as facts.) Since it is so short, it is easily the toughest month for me to keep my hundred mile streak alive. The stakes are even higher this February, as if I can hit 100 miles this month, it will be the 50th consecutive month that I have done so, and that feels like a stinking huge milestone, so I am motivated.

I say all of that to preface that when I awoke to this very cold Sunday morning, I wasn't super enthused about heading out into it, but my motivation was strong and I headed out the door. The morning fog hung thick upon the firmament of the earth, adding a foreboding element to icy chill of the world this Super Bowl Sunday. My plan, is it often is on a Sunday morning, was to hit up Wash Park. This particular morning, however, as the snow began falling in waves, my plan was revised. I still hit up Wash Park, but my goal was to finish as quickly as I was physically capable of doing.

This desire to get myself out of the out-of-doors as fast as humanly possible actually helped me turn in a pretty strong performance. I ran over seven and a half miles, and did so almost exclusively running. Often I will take short walking breaks to rest and split up my running, but it was too cold and miserable outside to do that, so I just kept pushing myself. Often times due to the walking breaks, I will end up taking north of 14,000 steps on a seven mile run, but I finished this entire trek in under 10,000 steps (running steps are much longer than walking steps, so the math works out.) Doing 7.5 miles in under 10K steps is unheard of. (for me) It is ridiculous. (for me) I was actually pretty proud of myself for just how much I kept on not stopping, but rather putting one foot in front of another around 9,000 times. I stopped a couple of times to do things such as avoid a literal gaggle of geese, to retie my left shoelace (which I had to do twice because I'm bad at knots), and to take exactly one mediocre photo of the Wash Park boathouse, but that was about it.

It was maybe not the most fun running outing I've had ever, but it was one of the most singular of purpose runs I have ever done, which stands out as something of note. (I have just annoyed myself in the writing of this post, because I had an exceptional word in mind to use here, but although I can feel the concept of the word in my soul, I can't seem to wrap my mind around the word itself and capture it. I was thinking of a word that meant a very specific type of extremity, but I can't find the word. Very frustrating.)

Anyway, the best way I can capture the spirit of the thing is to say, It was very cold and I ran mostly without stopping to finish as fast as possible. This is a weird post.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Seven Hundred Sixty-Five

February 2, 2018
7.40 Miles in 1:13:20
Mood: A tale of two runs.
Soundtrack: The Allusionist / The Avett Brothers "I and Love and You" and "The Carpenter"

This was a tale of two runs. The first three miles were a straight up Pokemon Go supply run through the Streets at Southglenn, and I was moving so very slowly. It was productive, as I filled up my supply bag, but it wasn't a super great run. Then I headed towards DeKoevend Park, and my pace and mood picked up significantly. The snow from 12 days ago is almost entirely gone now, just a few wayward patches of ice here and there, and despite being my second day running in a row, my legs felt pretty strong, so the second half felt awesome.

The first three miles weren't a total loss, besides getting supplies, I also was treated to yet another spectacular sunrise, which is basically what this blog is turning into lately...Craig's latest sunrise photo!

Seven Hundred Sixty-Four

February 1, 2018
7.76 Miles in 1:12:08
Mood: Go hard time!
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Live, Volume Four" and "Live, Volume 3"

I decided to push myself for this Thursday because I was tired of awful times, and figured I was due for a better effort. I was proud that I averaged 9'17" miles and put in almost 8 miles. It's nothing spectacular, but it was definitely a big step up for me in comparison to my runs of late.

I decided to listen to some live Avett Brothers because I am in the middle of watching an HBO documentary about them, and hearing some of their music really got me in the mood to hear more. The documentary doesn't seem to be super groundbreaking as of yet, but it is fun to watch them interact and they seem like the kind of people I'd love to hang out with.

It was an odd morning, as technically it WAS raining, but I don't know that I ever had a single drop hit me. I just saw several random raindrops in my peripheral vision. Very scattered and very large raindrops, but it was almost entirely sunny and I never got wet. Weird.