Friday, December 27, 2019

One Thousand Fifty-One

December 27, 2019
7.52 Miles in 1:16:19
Mood: I'm fast! Oh wait, no I'm not.
Soundtrack: Of Monsters And Men "Fever Dream"

I felt a little like I was being toyed with this morning. (I wasn't, but it felt that way.) There was a couple running ahead of me quite a fair ways ahead, but they were running much slower than me, so after several minutes, I caught and passed them. I'm not a speed demon by any means, so passing people is somewhat unusual. Not unheard of, but unusual. About a minute after I passed them, all of a sudden they flew past me like I was standing still and quickly disappeared into the distance. It was almost like they were waiting for me to pass them so they could smoke me.

The sunrise was also pretty cool, and with the new phone, I my picture quality has improved just a bit, so I was glad I had something cool to snap on my first day with the better camera.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

One Thousand Fifty

December 24, 2019
8.27 Miles in 1:23:51
Mood: Pretty festive despite the unseasonable warmth. Go Christmas!
Soundtrack: Jack Johnson "In Between Dreams"

I had Christmas Eve off work, so while I would normally run bright and early on a Tuesday, I slept in a bit and started my run around 9:00. It was unseasonably warm out, although I tried running on a segment of the Highline Canal trail between DeKoevend Park and Broadway, and unlike where I ran on Friday, this segment of the trail was still super ice packed to the point that I abandoned the trail and went a different route than I had been planning.

I passed by this house on the way home and I was amazed that they had a Christmas flag flying. This house almost always has a flag flying, but it's usually for the Virginia Cavaliers, not a generic Christmas tree flag. I thought it felt reasonably festive for Christmas Eve, so I took a photo of it. It became my post because the cloudy weather meant that there wasn't a lot of good light to get good pictures, and most of the pictures I took were disappointing.

This run is also notable as the final run taken with the iPhone 7, as that phone became my daughter's Christmas gift (her first ever cell phone), and I upgraded to the iPhone Xr. I am curious to see how the new phone does on runs, should be interesting.

Monday, December 23, 2019

One Thousand Forty-Nine

December 22, 2019
8.51 Miles in 1:21:33
Mood: Happy to be alive and feeling good!
Soundtrack: Rich Mullins "A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band"

It was three days until Christmas, so natually the weather was 20 degrees warmer than usual. I didn't even need to wear my hoodie, which is generally a staple of all winter runs. It was just nice out, and Wash Park was beautiful. I listened to Rich and ran three and a half loops around the park while just enjoying being alive. It was truly a fabulous morning.

One Thousand Forty-Eight

December 20, 2019
7.45 Miles in 1:14:07
Mood: Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas Tree!
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Zombies On Broadway"

I felt much better Friday morning, and with a few warm days having passed recently, I had a feeling that all the ice on the Highline Canal Trail might finally have melted. I was mostly right, as there were still a few icy patches, but for the most part it was highly usable. Nothing much to worry about as far as slipping or twisting an ankle. It hadn't been clear since before Thanksgiving, so it was good to get back to my favorite trail.

I was so very happy to see as I ran along the trail that someone had made the rather peculiar decision to make a living tree into a Christmas tree. It looks really weird to see a tree that hasn't been cut down being decorated with ornaments and tinsel. It was a little slipshod, but still enjoyable.

One Thousand Forty-Seven

December 18, 2019
5.53 Miles in 55:41
Mood: Cautious
Soundtrack: Grouplove "Never Trust a Happy Song"

I rarely run on Wednesdays, but I ended up skipping my Tuesday run. I did so because on Monday night I played basketball with my boy and went pretty hard for about an hour, and I think I dehydrated myself because in the middle of the night I went to go use the restroom and ended up passing out in the bathroom because my blood pressure was so low. I felt woozy and wrong for the rest of the night, so I decided to get some extra sleep and postpone the run a day.

As a result, I got up on this very windy day and decided to stay close to home running circles at Southglenn in case I wasn't fully recovered. I felt mostly okay during this run, but it was definitely not perfect and the wind was intense and not much fun, so I ended up cutting it a little short. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

One Thousand Forty-Six

December 15, 2019
7.30 Miles in 1:12:03
Mood: Angry at a charging cord.
Soundtrack: One Avett Brothers song, then silence

I absolutely love my wireless earbuds. They were cheap, they sound great, and they work pretty much flawlessly. However...the charging cord they came with is a piece of junk. It routinely fails to charge correctly, and while I usually catch that in time, it bit me on this run. I was able to listen to exactly one song before they shut down with zero power remaining. Therefore I had to run without the aid of music for the rest of my Sunday. It wasn't terrible, but music does make it better.

The weather on Sunday was a little weird. There was snow in the forecast all weekend, but it never showed up. However, it kept seeming like it might snow at any minute. There was an eerie grayness to the whole morning. If the sun was going down, it would be the perfect backdrop for a horror movie. Not quite foggy, but so very close.

Friday, December 13, 2019

One Thousand Forty-Five

December 13, 2019
7.33 Miles in 1:15:17
Mood: Mildly disappointed.
Soundtrack: Arctic Monkeys "AM" and Panic! at the Disco "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" and Vampire Weekend "Father of the Bride"

My wife asked me if I was angry at this morning's sunrise because after yesterday's amazing light show, today's sunrise was about as dull as a sunrise can be. I told her I wasn't mad, just disappointed. Not only is that a very good Dad thing to say, it's also true. I'm always disappointed when things don't live up to what they COULD have been.

So the theme this morning was disappointment. First in the sunrise, but then also in my running app which if you look at the top left corner of this map you will see a very long red line which is a direct line from where it stopped working to where it started working again. I lost around three quarters of a mile of distance tracked thanks to that. I remembered thinking that it seemed off at the time, but didn't realize until later just how off it was. So in actuality, I ran eight miles-ish this morning, but only get credit for 7.33. No big deal, obviously, but disappointing.

I'd also like to understand why there is a giant dog protecting Santa's backside on this lawn. Was Santa too vulnerable to rear attacks, so he needed a little canine muscle to reduce his exposure? Weird.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

One Thousand Forty-Four

December 12, 2019
7.58 Miles in 1:17:42
Mood: Thankful for no knee pain.
Soundtrack: The Decemberists "I'll Be Your Girl" and "What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World"

I skipped my Tuesday run because I did something to my knee on my Sunday run and for a few days after it was a little sore. This worried me because my knees have never hurt like that before, and I hear too many people complaining about their knees, and I want to not be one of them. The rest seemed to do the trick, as my knee felt great this morning with no ill effects, so yay for rest.

The real highlight of this run was the insanely good sunrise. I stopped at about 7 different points to take pictures of it, as it just kept getting better. This photo represents the peak, but it was so good for so long. A real hall of fame sunrise.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

One Thousand Forty-Three

December 8, 2019
7.62 Miles in 1:14:33
Mood: Feeling safe on my own two feet for once!
Soundtrack: Streetlight Manifesto "The Hands That Thieve"

Thankfully the ice had largely melted. After a week of slipping through the streets of my neighborhood, it was nice to have solid footing on the streets of Wash Park. Sadly, there was still too much snow and ice on the trails surrounding the park to be able to run on them, but at least I had a nice place to run without worrying about slipping and sliding.

One Thousand Forty-Two

December 6, 2019
5.32 Miles in 57:50
Mood: Nice chicken, bad ice.
Soundtrack: The Rural Alberta Advantage "Hometowns" and "Departing"

It rained all day on Thursday, and it was very cold as I started out on this run, which meant that the entire world was a skating rink. It was originally my intent to head north on this run, but I quickly abandoned that plan as there was so much ice on the streets that I was going to run on that I feared I would fall multiple times and severely hurt myself. I ended up retreating back to Southglenn where they know how to remove ice and snow properly just so I didn't break my back falling on ice. There were MULTIPLE moments where I started slipping during this run and felt legitimate fear.

The one good thing about the ice is that it forced me to walk on the grass next to a fence at one point, during which I heard a chicken. I looked over the fence to see it and was then so impressed that I then took a photo of said chicken. It's a fine chicken.

Also, the Nike Run App has just updated, and it makes it impossible to get a summary of my run along with a map in one picture, so now I am posting two. Hopefully they upgrade it a bit, but it appears they went and made it more robust which in turn made it more annoying to me.

One Thousand Forty-One

December 5, 2019
7.59 Miles in 1:18:53
Mood: How about that sunrise!
Soundtrack: Passenger "All The Little Lights" and Radical Face "The Family Tree: The Leaves"

This Thursday run was much like my Tuesday run as I went to many of the same places, but with much less snow thanks to two days of melting and pretty warm (for December) temperatures. Plus, there was this awesome sunrise. Still not a fast run, but I managed to go significantly faster than on Tuesday thanks to fewer slick spots to avoid. This run was much more pleasant than Tuesday.

One Thousand Forty

December 3, 2019
7.24 Miles in 1:18:54
Mood: So much dang snow!
Soundtrack: The Milk Carton Kids "The Only Ones" and "All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn't Do"

I don't think I realized just how much snow was still on the ground from eight days ago until I went on this run. There was so much everywhere, that it was legitimately hard to find a non-icy place to run. I had to keep cautiously slowing down over slick patches and walking over tremendously slick spots to the point that my speed was almost 11 minutes a dang slow. I did not think I was going to get anywhere close to a decent amount of distance, but somehow persevered enough to get in a ridiculously snail like 7 miles.

I chose this photo because there is so much going on in it, none of which I understand. There is a giant mound of dirt covered in snow with a retro Broncos flag stuck in it for some reason, and that is surrounded by police tape all around the yard. So weird. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

One Thousand Thirty-Nine

December 1, 2019
7.35 Miles in 1:11:59
Mood: Pleasantly surprised by Wash Park in winter
Soundtrack: Barenaked Ladies "Barenaked Ladies are Men"

It was 19 degrees when I started out, and I had bundled up with long underwear and extra shirts, and it was mostly unnecessary as there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sunlight made everything feel much warmer that it actually was. The outer track at Wash Park was buried under snow, so I had to run on the paved streets inside the park, but in general, it felt much better than I anticipated, as I was somewhat dreading this run as I began in the morning due to the frigid temps. It was a very pleasant morning.

One Thousand Thirty-Eight

November 27, 2019
7.31 Miles in 1:14:43
Mood: Reminiscing about turtles.
Soundtrack: The Wood Brothers "The Muse"

Sterling, Kansas is a small town. On this run, I think I ran on about 75% of it's streets. If I lived here, it would be much harder to get inspired to go for a run, because there is a severely limited amount of interesting places to go. I am not cut out for the small town life, although the photo from today brought up a good memory. We were in Sterling for the 4th of July a few years ago, and every year the town does a big party at their lake (Seen in the background.) In 2016, they erected these two turtle statues to commemorate the annual turtle races. The way the race works is kids find actual live turtles and...I kid you not...they decorate them. Then the turtles are all placed in the middle of a big circle, and the first one to exit the circle in any direction wins. It is way more exciting than you'd think, and fully worthy of a pair of statues.

One Thousand Thirty-Seven

November 25, 2019
5.91 Miles in 1:00:20
Mood: Enjoying a few pre-Thanksgiving drive miles
Soundtrack: The Head and The Heart "Living Mirage"

It was one day prior to a huge snowstorm coming to town, so instead of taking Monday easy as was our plan and then leaving for Kansas for Thanksgiving on Tuesday, we decided to leave Monday morning. I needed to get in some miles to make sure I hit 100 for the month, so I woke up early to circle Southglenn for a bit prior to driving east. It wasn't the most exciting run, but I did get to see a cool sunrise!

One Thousand Thirty-Six

November 24, 2019
8.28 Miles in 1:24:38
Mood: Spending a morning at City Park
Soundtrack: Twenty One Pilots "Blurryface"

City Park on a weirdly cloudy day. You could see blue sky in the distance all morning, but the sun never poked through the entire time. It is very difficult to run the perimeter of City Park, because the trails are all cobblestones and treacherous, but it's a very lovely park to run through. There are nice trails all around, and circling the lake is truly lovely.

Friday, November 22, 2019

One Thousand Thirty-Five

November 22, 2019
8.00 Miles in 1:11:07
Mood: Moving fast and avoiding the drifts
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Closer Than Together"

So much snow. That was what I was thinking as I got out of bed a couple of minutes before my alarm was set to wake up up so that I could look out my window. I turned off the alarm and got back into bed, and might have just stayed there if the fact that skipping this run would put me dangerously behind schedule for hitting 100 miles in November. Then I thought to myself that I can always run at the Rec Center, and I reluctantly decided to get moving in that direction.

I arrived at Goodson, and headed to the track, and just started running. I felt remarkably good. When you haven't run in shorts for a few months, you forget just how much better shorts are than jogging pants. I also don't know what got into me, but I ran 8:53 miles, which is waaaaaaay faster than I usually go. I also managed to do all 8 miles without stopping once, and this was the first time my running app seemed to track my distance on the track just about perfectly. It's supposed to be 10 laps per mile, and in the past, that hasn't always worked out. However, on this particular morning, every time I hit that 10th lap, the app alerted me that I had just completed another mile. It was astonishingly accurate today. 80 laps, 8 miles. (and zero snow that I had to run through.)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

One Thousand Thirty-Four

November 20, 2019
7.07 Miles in 1:12:11
Mood: Enjoying the dark and being confused by construction.
Soundtrack: Twenty One Pilots "Vessel"

Knowing I had to leave work early to pick up my daughter after her basketball practice, I woke up even earlier than normal to hit the trail so I could get in a run and also still be able to be at her school when she needed me. As a result, it was super dark when I left the house. The photo above was taken about two mile into my run, and the sun had barely even begun to announce its presence. That allowed me to see these decorated trees. (I'm assuming for Hanukkah, not Christmas due to the color scheme.)

At one point on this run, I saw a bunch of traffic cones up ahead, and I began to worry that the trail had been shut down. However, it was merely construction being done on a road to create an elevated crosswalk to slow down cars in the place where the street intersects the trail. I'm curious to see what this is like once it's fully completed. I only learned what it was later on in the day when a Highline Canal Instagram feed I follow posted a picture of the area that I had seen that day and explained what was going on.

Monday, November 18, 2019

One Thousand Thirty-Three

November 17, 2019
3.76 Miles in 37:17
Mood: Definitely not feeling it.
Soundtrack: Modest Mouse "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank"

I was distracted, unmotivated, and had a slight bit of gastronomic distress going on. I probably should have just skipped this Sunday, but I decided to give it a go and pretty quickly discovered I was not entirely up to the task this particular day. I still managed almost four miles at a reasonably quick pace, but it still felt a bit like a failure. Funny that running nearly four miles feels like I'm slacking. I've been on a very good run of late, so I forgive myself for one morning where it feels like the world is against me getting in a good run. I'll be back at it Tuesday, and hopefully will feel more like myself.

Friday, November 15, 2019

One Thousand Thirty-Two

November 15, 2019
8.08 Miles in 1:23:52
Mood: My camera seemed to be exaggerating
Soundtrack: Milk Carton Kids "Prologue"

Usually I see these amazing things in nature, but when I go to take pictures of them, the photo does reality no justice. This morning was a weird reversal of that phenomenon. The morning sky didn't seem all that glorious this morning, yet when I took a picture, the clouds showed up in the photo as much more dramatic and pretty than they looked in real life. That pretty much never happens.

I took this photo right as I was about to begin my run, and I thought it looked so cool that I didn't bother taking any more pictures and focused on running hard. I tried to stop as few times as possible, and while I did need to stop a handful of times, this run was pretty intense with very few breaks.