Friday, April 27, 2018

Eight Hundred Five

April 27, 2018
6.18 Miles (Biked) in 40:48
Mood: Super happy, until a flat left me flat.
Soundtrack: 99% Invisible / Beef And Dairy Network Podcast / The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night"

I'm slowly getting adjusted to this biking thing, but still haven't really NAILED it. After riding on super flat tires on Wednesday, I pumped up my tires last night. Apparently, I over-pumped them, as my back tires blew out just after I hit six miles, and my wonderful morning ride was abruptly ended. Fortunately, I wasn't too far from civilization, so I walked my bike to Trader Joes, aobut a third of a mile away, and called my wife to ask her to pick me up. She did so graciously, and I was thankful, but also annoyed. Not at her, but at the fact that my ride was cut short and I now had to get my tire fixed.

Prior to the flat, I was doing much better on the bike. I was moving faster. I wasn't hurting nearly as much as I had on Wednesday, and in general things were moving great. My mood was positive, as for the first time using my bike seemed like it was actually going to be an acceptable temporary substitute for running. Then the bike betrayed me. (That's dramatic, I just got a flat.)

Move to this afternoon, and the tire is all patched up and ready to roll again, and I shall attempt this biking thing yet again on Sunday morning.

In non-bike news...I have finally posted a pink tree pic! I've seen a bunch of them over the past few weeks, but with not a ton of runs happening lately, I haven't been able to post one until today. I'm hoping I can get a few more on the blog before the pink goes away.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Eight Hundred Four

April 25, 2018
11.12 Miles (Biked) in 1:30:32
Mood: I'd rather be running, but it was good to be doing something.
Soundtrack: Westworld 'Cast / The Beatles "Beatles for Sale" / Arctic Monkeys "AM"

Well...I'm in a walking boot. At least most of the time I am. The doctor believes I have a stress fracture in my foot. (We couldn't get a firm diagnosis because X-rays often have a hard time picking up these types of injuries, but all the evidence points to stress fracture.) This means that I cannot run for a while. I'm aiming to be back running by June, but we will see how the healing proceeds. In the meantime, I'm not going to just sit around and be lazy, so I pulled out my bike and hit the trails this morning.

I may have to rename this blog "Ride and Shoot" or at least recognize this (hopefully brief) era as the Ride and Shoot era beginning with post 804.

Biking is a different animal than running, and I learned just how much different this morning. I did not come close to sweating nearly as much as I do when out on a run. I felt almost dry when I got home. However, I clearly used different muscles, as my legs felt like wobbly jello when I dismounted my bike to walk inside. It might be beneficial to pump up the tires of my bike, as it felt like I was riding through mud a lot. (To be fair, with all the rain and snow from yesterday, there were a good many sections that actually WERE me biking through mud, but even when the ground was dry, the flat tires made the going tough.)

The biggest issue that I was NOT a fan of was the fact that when I arrived home my two feet felt like bricks of ice. When running, your feet stay warm, as you're using them a ton. On a bike, they just hang out on the pedals and get cold. (It was chilly this morning, but thankfully we are heading out of the cold wintry season and into warmer temps, so hopefully the frozen feet of this morning will be a biking aberration.)

I was using Endomondo to track my distance, as the Nike Running App logically doesn't cover bikes. It has been awhile since I used Endomondo, and in a very Craig move, I went a good section, perhaps as much as a mile or two while the app was paused, so I definitely biked further than 11.12 Miles, but I only report the miles that actually get tracked, so hopefully I'll do better next time.

The final thing of note is that a bike is less comfortable than just being on your feet. Your feet turn into ice bricks, your hands get weird lines in them from holding the handlebars, your wrists can get aggrevated from the weird angle of holding those handlebars, even my elbow felt weird. Worst of all, my butt has been sore all day since I finished, as bike seats are notoriously non-comfortable. I'm griping a lot, but honestly, I'm super thankful that I have a way of getting out into the world and exercising that will still allow my heel to heal. Although I have some uncomfortable side effects from using the bike, I am extremely grateful to have had a chance to get out there and ride. I am hoping that I'll get better at this whole thing and more adapted to bike riding as I continue to give it a shot.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eight Hundred Three

April 18, 2018
7.28 Miles in 1:11:48
Mood: Hurting and a little worried that an unwanted running break is approaching.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Help!"

After a night of insane winds, I was jogging down the Highline Canal to find this tree fallen completely over and blocking the trail. I was able to get around it, but it was definitely an obstacle. It's somewhat symbolic of this entire run that this happened, because this was a rough run. It was even more appropriate than it should have been that I was listening to an album named, "Help!"

First off, halfway through, my wireless earbuds simply stopped working, so for the second half of the run, I just turned up the volume on my phone's speaker and listened to the music that way. That is not an ideal way to listen to music, but it worked in a pinch.

The earbuds not working was irritating, but the issue with my heel flared up to the point that my foot was genuinely hurting. Foot pain stinks. I still pushed through and got my seven miles, but it was a pretty miserable experience. It led me to start googling stress fractures, and I have now scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist because I'm worried that I might have one. This is a major bummer, because if that is truly the issue, it will quickly put an end to my consecutive 100 mile month streak, which stands currently at 51 straight months and is something I'll be quite sad to see come to an end. Also, it might mean I can't run for up to two months, so I'm going to have to figure out SOMETHING for exercise, because I'm not going to stop doing all things physical for two straight months...that would be awful.

I'm going to talk it over with the foot doc and find out what is up and what will be allowed as I recover from whatever is causing the pain in my foot. My hope is that biking will be allowed, as it doesn't have anywhere near the pressure put on my foot as running creates, and this blog would theoretically be able to continue in a slightly adjusted form. I'll have to see, but there will DEFINITELY not be a post on Friday, as I'm not going to keep smashing my foot prior to see the doctor, as there is a chance it has broken bones in it, and that is bad.

So, with all that bad news, and the potential that I will be on a running hiatus for quite some time. I leave you with this bit of news..."Help!" by the Beatles is really good.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Eight Hundred Two

April 15, 2018
7.21 Miles in 1:06:32
Mood: Slow internet and a longing for pink trees.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Help!" and Blind Pilot "3 Rounds and a Sound"

Thanks to a mobile phone family plan that's data allotment was gutted by every member of the plan, I was down to the slow motion internet that AT&T gives you when you have blown through all of your high speed data before the month ends. This wasn't a huge deal, except that trying to stream a Beatles album on Spotify with slow motion internet simply doesn't work. Every 15 seconds the stream would pause and I'd have seven seconds or so of silence before the song continued. I tried to make this work hoping that it would get better for about three songs, but eventually I grew irritated and remembered that I have some music on my phone in a permanent form for just such an emergency as this. So I was forced to abandon my all Beatles all the time format from the past few weeks and pull out a little Blind Pilot for the simple reason that it would actually continually play rather than starting and stopping like a game of Red Light Green Light.

This was a hard run to dress for, because as I left the house for Wash Park, the temperature was at 27 degrees, but after one lap around the park, I had to abandon my sweatshirt due to heat. Spring can be a bit nutty, but anything which requires less warm clothing due to far less snow is my friend.

I almost picked a photo of the first pink tree of the season, but the photo was rather lackluster, as the pink tree barely qualified as a pink tree. A few pink buds were definitely present, but the explosion of color with which I associate late April was clearly not there yet. It has me worried that this year may have a bad pink tree season, which would make me sad. Although I'm not giving up hope just yet.  Still, I decided to go with this lovely photo of spring loveliness over an anemic pink branch. Hopefully the pink tree photos will be coming soon.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Eight Hundred One

April 13, 2018
5.19 Miles in 51:40
Mood: Unreasonably lazy.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Revolver"

I did not give full effort for the first half of this run. I didn't feel super tired, nor were my legs dead, I just was kind of randomly lazy and distractedly looking at Pokemon quests a bunch. By the time I realized that I had been this lazy, it was too late to give a full effort, but the final couple miles were pretty intense with hardly any breaks apart from when I went into the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread. Then I intensely ran home carrying a bag of bread, because I needed it for my lunch today, so I figured I'm make my miles mean something.

I listened through Revolver a couple of times as I ran, and I feel like this is a Beatles album that I should like more than I do. It's still very good, and worth listening to, but it has never really grabbed me as much as some of their other work for some reason. After hearing it two more times today, my feelings didn't change that much. I'm glad Revolver exists, and it's a good album, but it will never be in my upper echelon of Beatles albums. Although it is better than the early 60's stuff, which I'm about to embark upon in the coming week to continue my trip through their catalog.

Today's photo is the only one I took, and it does a good job of showcasing the ridiculous weather of the past 24 hours. Yesterday the temps were nearly at eighty degrees, so naturally it snowed overnight. Colorado in spring!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Eight Hundred

April 12, 2018
7.88 Miles in 1:18:36
Mood: The overlook is completed!!!
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

The overlook is finished!! I mean, it was almost entirely finished last week when I ran past, but this week all of the horse panels are in and there are even benches, and the best clue that it is finished is that there was no longer plastic warning signs blocking entrance to it. You can stand inside it and look out into the horse field! The view is almost exactly the same as it was before this overlook was built! It's all very exciting!! I can't stop using exclamation marks!!!!

In addition to the wonderful new architecture overlooking a field, I also spent some time with was is almost certainly my favorite Beatles album this morning...Sgt Pepper's is so stinking good. It also features problematic lyrics about hitting women in the song "Getting Better", but I'll forgive it, as 1967 was a long time ago, and it was a different time. I really dig this album, and was happy to give it a spin a few times as I ran this morning. We'll see how much longer this Beatles thing can go, as I am not the hugest fan of their early stuff. They got better once they started doing drugs, clearly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Seven Hundred Ninety-Nine

April 10, 2018
7.23 Miles in 1:12:48
Mood: Apparently I am now a Beatles critic. Four straight runs of this stuff with no signs of stopping.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" and "Magical Mystery Tour"

It was soundtrack day on my tour of the Beatles anthology. I was trying to listen to just one album per run, but I just couldn't keep listening to Yellow Submarine. For the uninitiated, Yellow Submarine is six actual Beatles songs (some really good ones, too.) and then seven instrumental songs which were the score of their Yellow Submarine film. I listened completely through the entire album once, then listened to the actual Beatles music one more time, but I couldn't bring myself to keep listening to the instrumental stuff written by George Martin. It's not terrible, but it is definitely not The Beatles.

I switched over to another movie soundtrack, which coincidentally might be the best Beatles album ever. Magical Mystery Tour, unlike Yellow Submarine, is entirely Beatles music, and it has some of the absolute best stuff on it like the title track, The Fool on the Hill, I am the Walrus, "Hello, Goodbye", Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, and All You Need is Love. Top notch stuff. Almost certainly in their top 3 albums for me.

Apart from the now customary Beatles music, I was greeted by exceptional light and shadows and was inspired to take a shadow photo for today's pic. I enjoy my confident long shadow as it stretches along the Highline Canal trail in this picture. Very appropriate for how I felt today, which was quite good apart from a slightly irritated left heel which was bothering me a little, but not enough to make me have to stop.

Seven Hundred Ninety-Eight

April 8, 2018
7.27 Miles in 1:09:53
Mood: Not all Beatles songs are still good. (But to be fair, most are.)
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Rubber Soul"

Okay, so it looks like I'm working my way through the entire Beatles Catalog now. Rubber Soul...quite good, but not quite on the level of Abbey Road or the White Album. It has some greats like Norwegian Wood, In My Life, and Nowhere Man, but also some real clunkers like Girl and Run For Your Life. Girl sounds lecherous and the lads make a sound that can best be described as uncomfortable many times throughout the song. Run For Your Life is basically a threat to kill a girl, which hasn't aged well and sounds positively barbaric in 2018.

In addition to running to yet another Beatles album, I also ran in a totally new section of Denver to which I have never before ventured.  I hit up Bear Creek Trail for the totally obvious reason of needing to catch as many Magikarps as I possibly could. (I am uncertain if Magikarp is already plural or if it needs an "s" at the end.) Pokemon Go is what got me to Bear Creek Trail, but an awesome running trail is what will likely bring me back some day. It's basically a three mile long park that is very short north to south and very long east to west. I also ventured into the Bear Creek Greenbelt a bit and saw a few cool little lakes. It was a glorious spot to run in which had the added benefit of being a Karp nest.

Seven Hundred Ninety-Seven

April 6, 2018
7.12 Miles in 1:10:34
Mood: Just enough cracks in the clouds.
Soundtrack The Beatles "Abbey Road"

We had some killer clouds as I was just leaving my house. Clouds are the key to a good sunrise, and this one almost had to many, but there was JUUUUUST enough cracks in the facade to let the light through and make it impressive.

I actually had more energy on this run than I did the day before, which is an unusual set of circumstances. This run was almost identical to the previous day, which made it very easy to compare, and it was way better. Oddly, I not only ran the exact same route, but also listened to another Beatles album as I was doing it. This is not breaking news, but Abbey Road is a very good album. At some point you realize that almost every Beatles album is a greatest hits album with completely new songs on it. Not a hot take, but turns out The Beatles were a pretty good rock band.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Seven Hundred Ninety-Six

April 5, 2018
7.32 Miles in 1:13:42
Mood: Giving The Beatles a go.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "The Beatles (The White Album)"

Last time I listened through the entire White Album, I came away rather unimpressed. I decided to listen again, and I thought it was much better than I remembered it, but still could use a slight bit of editing. The 9 minute "Revolution 9" track is just flat out hard to listen to, but there were not as many throwaways as I thought from my last listen. I rather enjoyed my time with it this go around, and it made for a lovely morning of running to Beatles music.

Today's photo comes from the still in progress construction of the meadow overlook last mentioned in Post 789. The progress continues, and I think it's nice that they let an eleven year old girl pick out the paneling. (I'm assuming that is what happened.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Seven Hundred Ninety-Five

April 3, 2018
6.47 Miles in 1:05:14
Mood: Thinking spring.
Soundtrack: The Walking Dead 'Cast / Kench: Ray Moss

Spring is slowing happening. It's April, but it's still early, so still no pink trees, but the photo above shows a promising amount of green happening, so I'm hoping that continues to spread. I'm so over winter, and so happy that we are in the gradual warming process that will lead to runs in shorts and no need for hoodies at 6 in the morning.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Seven Hundred Ninety-Four

April 1, 2018
7.36 Miles in 1:10:19
Mood: Yin and Yang, Easter and April Fools.
Soundtrack: The Barenaked Ladies "Barenaked Ladies are Men" and "Barenaked Ladies are Me"

There is something uncouth about having Easter on April Fools Day. I don't care for it. Still, it happened, and I have to deal with it.

Denver began Easter morning with thick gray clouds covering the sky. Not a smidge of blue was showing through as I started my first circle around Wash Park. It wasn't cold, but it was very gloomy. Easter is usually super bright and sunny around these parts, and I was worried that we were going to have a miserable cloudy day, which is not how Easter should ever be. Thankfully, by the time I was finishing up, the clouds had entirely burned off. It went from not being able to see any blue in the sky to not being able to see any clouds in the sky. I was very pleased with the change as I headed home.

While running around Wash Park, I happened to notice that there were a pair of roller skates just sitting in the middle of a field in the park. There was no one near them for hundreds of yards in any direction. They were just sitting there. So naturally, I went to take a photo of them, because when you see abandoned skates in a park, it's the only sensible thing to do. No clue what was happening, but perhaps it was April Fools related. Very weird.

Seven Hundred Ninety-Three

March 30, 2018
7.43 Miles in 1:14:18
Mood: Wondering why things exist.
Soundtrack: TV on the Radio "Nine Types of Light" and "Seeds"

This very large wooden structure appears to serve no functional purpose other than to be large and create a small section of shade on a little side road. I approve.