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.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

One Thousand Thirty-One

November 14, 2019
7.46 Miles in 1:16:28
Mood: Goin' to the dogs.
Soundtrack: Neutral Milk Hotel "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea"

The thing that sticks in my mind from this run is dogs. Particularly two dogs. One was very old and was walking next to his owner without a leash very slowly and he looked to be struggling with walking as old dogs sometimes do. What made him particularly memorable was the fact that on his two hind legs he was wearing boots. They looked like moon boots similar to what I wore as a little kid in 1981. I've never seen a dog in boots prior to today.

The second dog was out for a walk, but was definitely not walking. His owner was wearing a child's rainbow colored backpack, and wearing it backwards so that it was covering her chest, and inside the backpack was a medium sized dog. It's hard to describe exactly how silly they looked, but let's go with this...they looked very silly.

My biggest regret from this run is that I didn't take a photo of either dog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

One Thousand Thirty

November 12, 2019
9.01 Miles in 1:33:09
Mood: Cool things happening! Yay!
Soundtrack: Twenty One Pilots "Trench"

The moon setting can happen at any point in the day, it just so happened that today it set about ten minutes before the sun rose. Something that feels like it should happen more often than it actually does. Watching it go down as the pink rays of dawn were flooding the world in a majestic warmth was pretty awesome. The moon going down behind the mountains was incredible to look at, and (as always) a photo does it no justice. It was just this moment of zen about a mile and a half into my run.

I wasn't done with cool memorable moments on this run once the moon disappeared over the horizon. About twenty minutes later I was right near Littleton High School when a fox suddenly appeared along a knoll that was covered in snow. It was maybe 25 feet away from me, and I just watched its bright reddish orange fur as it contrasted against the white of the snow. It was spectacular. Then, after it had wondered quite far away, I finally thought to take a picture. I was able to get it in the photo, but it was very small looking and far away by then...nothing close to how magical it seemed when it was RIGHT THERE! Still, it was an extremely cool moment, even if I missed capturing it with a camera.

The last thing I need to mention is that I got 9 miles in on this run. Nine! I can't remember the last time I ran that far. It wasn't fast (I looked at my mile splits and didn't run a single mile in under 10 minutes), but I felt good the whole time and put in a great effort. Things are looking good for me hitting 100 miles for the 4th consecutive month, as I'm at 47.77 miles run on November 12th.

Monday, November 11, 2019

One Thousand Twenty-Nine

November 10, 2019
7.46 Miles in 1:13:45
Mood: Happy to see someone decorating for the best fall holiday.
Soundtrack: The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour"

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, but finding actual Thanksgiving decorations is almost impossible. This is why I was so excited to see this pumpturkey on a fence as I was running through the Denver Country Club neighborhood. ACTUAL THANKSGIVING DECORATIONS! Wow! It looks like a squirrel was also happy to see it, as you can see on the right side evidence of rodents digging into the squash.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

One Thousand Twenty-Eight

November 8, 2019
8.01 Miles in 1:22:24
Mood: Woah, early!
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "A Carolina Jubilee" and "Closer Than Together"

I woke up half an hour earlier than my usual before dawn wake up call for this run. I knew I needed to leave work early, but I still wanted to get in a run since I hadn't run since Tuesday, so the best option seemed to be to get up in the middle of the night. I actually woke up even before my alarm went off, and I flew threw my morning routine and so well before six in the morning, I was off and running.

I arrived at DeKoevend Park so early that the lights on the shelter were still on (pictured above), I had never seen these lights before, and mixed with the extreme frost that was covering everything, I thought the glow of the lights seemed particularly warm. I really like this picture, even though it isn't of anything all that extraordinary. I just like how the light works in it.

I also see this couple that I would estimate to be in their late sixties almost every morning when I run north on the Highline. They are more regular than a fiber factory...walking EVERY day (Or so it feels) along the same path. I saw them much earlier in the morning this time, and they were much further north on the road...which makes sense as I was running way earlier than normal, and surely they were on their normal routine, but it still felt weird to not see them in the same general locale that I always see them...even if it was my change that caused it not theirs.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

One Thousand Twenty-Seven

November 5, 2019
8.24 Miles in 1:24:51
Mood: Who can remember?
Soundtrack: The Head and The Heart "Living Mirage"

It's been two days since I ran this run, and even in that short time, I have forgotten anything memorable that happened. This was a quality run with very little of consequence for posterity. I do remember that when I took this picture, in the distance it looked misty and hazy and kind of spooky. So that's something, I guess.

One Thousand Twenty-Six

November 3, 2019
7.76 Miles in 1:16:36
Mood: Trippy van, much?
Soundtrack: The Hold Steady "Thrashing Thru The Passion"

This run had many memorable moments including a squirrel that had zero fear walking right up to me and freaking me out a bit because it almost felt like he was going to run up my leg like I was a tree. I think he was just looking for a handout, and had been fed enough times to believe I might have a snack to feed him. Creepy squirrel.

The true moment of this run, however, was when I came face to face with this van. Goats should never have eyes like a humans, and this is why. This van is both amazing and a crime against humanity. I feel better knowing it's out in the world.

One Thousand Twenty-Five

November 1, 2019
7.28 Miles in 1:17:22
Mood: Look at that dog driving that car!
Soundtrack: The Shins "Heartworms"

The snow had stopped, but the streets were still quite icy, so I decided to remain in the friendly confines of the Streets of Southglenn for this run. It was cold, but the crews had rid the ground of most of the slippery stuff, so I was able to run in circles without slipping even once.

The greatest moment of this run came when I went past this car and immediately had to stop to take a picture. The glare on the windshield makes it harder to see than it was in real life, but it sure looked like this dog was driving this car. The idea of a golden retriever driving a car will never not be funny to me. I am a simple man.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

One Thousand Twenty-Four

October 29, 2019
7.24 Miles in 1:22:56
Mood: Slippin' and Slidin' away!
Soundtrack: Blitzen Trapper "Furr"

This run was ridiculous. Probably shouldn't have done it. It was snowing the whole time, and for a good portion of the time, it was snowing HARD. There were guys with shovels, probably about 12 of them, trying to clear the snow from around Southglenn, but they were just going in circles as by the time they had reached the other end of Southglenn, their shoveling had mostly been rendered useless by fresh snow. On top of that, they were not putting down any ice melt, so all the removal of the snow did was expose the very slippery ice underneath. I slipped at several different times while doing these seven miles, and I had to be careful which meant that I was running at a ridiculously slow speed to keep from falling.

Still, once it was all over, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Partly for running the seven miles, partly for surviving running the seven miles. I'm thankful that tomorrow is a rest day. I've had quite enough snow for the month of's starting to get out of hand.

One Thousand Twenty-Three

October 27, 2019
3.15 Miles in 29:47
Mood: Pride in the lad.
Soundtrack: Chatting with my son

Luke had never run a 5K before, and while he is in pretty good physical shape, I wasn't sure how he'd do. He wanted to sign up for this one a little over a month ago, so we did. Day of the race it was snowy and cold...not exactly ideal weather for a run. Still, we bundled up and went out to Ketring Park where the race was scheduled to take place. The first 45 minutes as we walked around the registration and other various booths was a little cold, but then the race started and we warmed up quickly.

I was hoping Luke would be able to walk most of the way, but he did even better than I anticipated. We did have to stop one time for about 15 seconds for him to rest, but apart from that, he ran almost the entire way. We chatted throughout the course, and I kept encouraging him that he could do it, and when it was over I was so proud of my guy! Plus we managed to run at a pace of under 9:30 per mile, which was outstanding! My first ever run with my son was great, hope there are many more to come!

Friday, October 25, 2019

One Thousand Twenty-Two

October 25, 2019
7.27 Miles in 1:21:41
Mood: Exercising and pondering death by tree while seeing dead people exercise.
Soundtrack: Barenaked Ladies "Maroon" and "Everything to Everyone"

My run actually tracked this morning! Yay! The first half of this run I visited the Highline Canal Trail which was the site of many trees falling to the ground due to the weight of very heavy snow the day before. There were a few huge trees that fell right on the trail, and it made me think that how if anyone would have been standing there, that would have been the end of them. I don't often think about being smashed to death by trees, but it was hard not to give it a slight bit of thought this morning. These trees are huge, and I imagine when they fall, they fall hard.

The second half of this run was through a bunch of neighborhoods, and I found two skeletons engaged in exercise. (Or at least posed as if they were exercising.) My favorite is the one in the photo above of the skeleton who appears to have run himself to death on the treadmill. I also found a skeleton riding a bike. Halloween is weird, man.

One Thousand Twenty-One

October 24, 2019
6.48 Miles in 1:06:25
Mood: Annoyed at technology failures.
Soundtrack: Robert DeLong "Just Movement"

I was actually mad at the Nike Run Club app just now. It just lost my run that I did Thursday morning. It was really cold and snowy, and all I did was run laps around Southglenn, but it totally didn't keep a record of the run. I remembered my pace and total mileage, though, so I was able to recreate it in the log, although the map is lost forever. This one was chilly and a bit rough, so I wanted credit for it. At least I now have a map that is blank and is covered with a circle made out of lines, so not all is lost.

It must have been a morning for technical difficulties, because about 30 minutes into this run, my brand new wireless earbuds just shut off, so I finished the second half of the run without music. I blame the snow, which fell the night before and as everyone knows, snow makes things worse.

It may have been a technological struggle, but at least my camera worked getting a picture of the snow which while it is not my favorite thing, I cannot deny that this picture is pretty.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

One Thousand Twenty

October 22, 2019
7.24 Miles in 1:12:18
Mood: Training for that 5K!
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Closer Than Together"

This photo does no justice to just how bright and brilliant the morning sky was along the Highline Canal as I paused to take a picture after not stopping for the first three and a half miles of this run. I didn't do quite as well as run 1,012, but I still made this run with minimal stops. I have a 5K to run with my son this coming Sunday, and I want to be ready! (I feel pretty ready.)

One Thousand Nineteen

October 20, 2019
8.04 Miles in 1:18:32
Mood: Passing on football, not something I do often.
Soundtrack: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness "Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness" and "Zombies on Broadway"

After driving across the state in a snowstorm on I-70, I was really wanting to get a run in. I missed my usual Sunday morning run due to being on vacation, and even though NFL football was on, I decided I'd rather run, so I got changed and hit the road. (I wasn't that invested in Bears-Saints, and thankfully the Broncos were not in action thanks to getting smoked by the Chiefs on Thursday night football.) Plus, if I didn't run at that moment, I wouldn't be able to go again until Tuesday, and five days is too long to go between runs.

It turned out to be a beautiful (albeit windy) afternoon, and I decided to take a picture at my favorite photo spot in Ketring Park just to prove that it's impossible to take a bad picture there. I don't get too many chances to post afternoon photos from there, so I just had to post this one. (The light was PERFECT.)

One Thousand Eighteen

October 17, 2019
8.34 Miles in 1:25:29
Mood: Poor shrubs.
Soundtrack: Dawes "Nothing is Wrong"

This run was taken just ahead of leaving on a roadtrip to southwestern Colorado. I needed to reload on Pokemon supplies, and I didn't feel like running too far from home, so I just circled Southglenn almost the entire morning before doing a little jaunt through the park to finish up. Today's photo comes from some landscaping gone wrong. These brown bushes looked nice prior to the very early snow that smooshed em. Even a week later, they have not recovered from the smooshing. Those are some smooshed shrubs. Very unlike Southglenn to let themselves look this bad for this long. They are usually on top of the gardening.

One Thousand Seventeen

October 15, 2019
8.11 Miles in 1:21:50
Mood: Let's see what happens if I turn right instead of left here!
Soundtrack: The Killers "Wonderful Wonderful"

I managed to take a turn I had never taken before and alter my path just enough to make this run feel like a totally new experience. Plus I discovered a new school that I never knew existed. (Eugene Field Elementary) Taking that different turn ended up putting about an extra mile on what I was anticipating running, but it felt nice and it is always good to switch up your usual with something more unique.

Also, that skeleton that is half buried in the Littleton soil looks like it is being robbed.

Monday, October 14, 2019

One Thousand Sixteen

October 13, 2019
7.43 Miles in 1:12:48
Mood: Pleased there are no neighborhood bouncers.
Soundtrack: First Aid Kit "Ruins"

Once again I did the Wash Park to Cheesman Park back to Wash Park relay this Sunday morning. I did this a few weeks ago and saw a very friendly dog. This time I saw an enormous fake cat. Turns out a run through this extremely expensive real estate is pretty pleasant, it is the Denver Country Club neighborhood, and you definitely feel like you're running down streets of multi-million dollar homes. I'm honestly surprised that there aren't bouncers preventing me from moving down the street. It's a pretty area and a nice place to run, and after Thursday's frigid snowy run, the sunny 38 degree weather felt pretty good.

Friday, October 11, 2019

One Thousand Fifteen

October 10, 2019
7.85 Miles in 1:18:55
Mood: Brrrrr
Soundtrack: Lupe Fiasco "Food & Liquor" and "DROGAS WAVE"

When I left for this run, it was fall. By the time I was halfway through, it was winter. Man, this was a rude awakening to cold temps. It was in the low 20s and snowing most of this run, and it was a pretty impressive snow for early October. By the time I got home, I was chilly and ready for the nice fall weather to come back.