Thursday, February 28, 2019

Nine Hundred Fourteen

February 28, 2019
4.47 Miles in 48:18
Mood: Holy moly, nice sunrise!
Soundtrack: The Walking Deadcast

Two days after taking a photo of the sun rising at Cherry Knolls Park on a foggy day where you could hardly see it, I took another picture of it which was wildly different. This time, the sunrise was spectacular. Crazy what a difference two days time can make.

This run took awhile to get going, because I was distracted and slowly walking through Southglenn for a good 20 minutes before I finally decided to get myself in gear. It then turned into a pretty decent feeling run, although my attempt to run on the Highline Canal trail was very short lived, as it was too icy and treacherous to run on without the threat of turning an ankle. I decided against that and resigned myself to running on the streets, which was fine, but I do miss the Highline and haven't really been able to hit it up property since making my return to being a two legged exerciser rather than a two wheeled one. Spring is coming, so I can wait, I guess.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Nine Hundred Thirteen

February 26, 2019
4.51 Miles in 49:36
Mood: Watch out, someone is mangling toys!
Soundtrack: Fleet Foxes "Helplessness Blues"

It is hardly ever foggy in Denver, so waking up to this scene is kind of awesome. I was able to stare at the sun as it rose, because there was so much fog, it was only giving off a warm glow. Turns out, the sun comes up pretty dang fast when you can watch it rising. It looked particularly cool from this vantage point overlooking the park.

This run was once again circling Streets at Southglenn. The theme for this particular day was mangled toys, as I came across a mangled lego minifigure and a strange monster toy with it's head chopped off. The lego man was a police officer, and he was scratched up badly and missing a leg, and all I could think was someone yelling into their radio, "Officer Down!" The monster toy was sitting atop a trash can, and it looked menacing. I didn't care for that.

Nine Hundred Twelve

February 24, 2019
4.75 Miles in 49:32
Mood: Warmer than I expected, despite all the ice.
Soundtrack: Mumford & Sons "Delta"

Once again, Wash Park was a snowy mess. At least they do a good job of removing snow from the street that loops the park. So while I wasn't able to run on the trail that goes around the outer edge of the park, at least I could still run there.

I was bundled up in way too much clothing for this run. I thought it might be freezing, so I was wearing three layers and long underwear, and it turned out to be a decently warm (by February standards) morning. There was still a lot of snow and a lot of ice, but at least I wasn't freezing cold, and with the layers I put on, I was actually a trifle too warm.

The best thing I saw on this run was this tree pictured above which looks exactly like the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter movies, and I really really liked it.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Nine Hundred Eleven

February 22, 2019
5.35 Miles in 58:27
Mood: Feeling good on a Friday.
Soundtrack: The Walking Deadcast / Slaid Cleaves "Sorrow and Smoke"

My calves were aching so bad when I finished this run, but in a good way. As if they were thankful for having been pushed so hard. You wouldn't recognize it by my distance or speed, but this felt like a very strong run, and I was very happy with it when it was over. I find myself staying at Streets at Southglenn when I run lately for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it allows me to load up on Pokemon Go supplies, which is very helpful. Secondly, I can get in miles, but if I suddenly feel wiped out, I will not find myself miles away from home, which is a bad feeling when you have no choice but to meander back home feeling wiped.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Nine Hundred Ten

February 20, 2019
4.21 Miles in 48:51 (Although I think I got 5 miles)
Mood: Forced indoors, but making the best of it.
Soundtrack: Jack White "Lazaretto"

It was six degrees outside this morning. I prefer to not die of hypothermia, so I drove to the rec center to run circles on a track. Track running is a little boring, but it still beats a treadmill, plus I get to become part of the rec center track ecosystem which is interesting. It mostly consists of elderly people walking around the track, although there was younger guy who was faster than me running around for the first half of my run...he quit after about 2 miles, so I say I won.

I forgot to take a picture at the rec center to use for this run, so this photo is a picture of the ceiling at my work the same day as my run. It seemed sufficiently boring to express just how dull running around in a tenth of a mile circle can be. Speaking of which, this track is a tenth of a mile, and I counted very specifically that I ran 50 laps, so my distance should be 5 miles, and yet I only registered 4.21. I chalk that up to GPS struggling when you're not running in straight lines, but rather tight circles. At least my map looks cool.

There are some interesting things about running the track, which include the little room just off the track where older people do their stretching classes. I think it might be pilates. I'm not sure, but that would be my guess. It's fun to watch them exercise as I fly past their room, and their body heat makes that one little section of the track much warmer than the rest which is honestly a little chilly. Also, a great thing about running on a track in February is that I was able to run in shorts, which is something I won't get to do outdoors until late April or early May.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Nine Hundred Nine

February 17, 2019
3.51 Miles in 36:12
Mood: Brrrr....
Soundtrack: Counting Crows "Somewhere Under Wonderland" and "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings"

It was 12 degrees outside, and I left the house in three layers and long underwear. The cold didn't feel too bad once I got started, but I didn't have too much in me for this one. I felt happy to get three and a half miles in, and even better, I got to watch a goose walking on ice. It was obviously very slippery, because the goose looked super silly sliding along the surface with his legs flipping out in every direction. It was the highlight of my freezing morning.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nine Hundred Eight

February 15, 2019
3.38 Miles in 36:41
Mood: That good old on foot commute.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "Emotionalism" and "Four Thieves Gone - The Robinsville Sessions"

It's been awhile since I commuted to work on two feet. The car was in the shop, so my wife took the van and I took to road for a run that would double as my ride in to work. I was hoping that it'd be more of a run, but I wasn't feeling all that strong this morning, so I only ended up running about half of the time, taking multiple long walking breaks. Still, it counts as exercise, and I arrived at work in plenty of time to hop in the shower and get down to business. I was a little disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to run more and walk less, but I am determined to not get down on myself when my expectations for my exercise abilities don't match up with reality. It's going to take a bit to get back to where I used to be, and I have to be okay with that. I'm not giving up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Nine Hundred Seven

February 12, 2019
4.60 Miles in 50:16
Mood: Excited to see how a second run in three days would go.
Soundtrack: Avett Brothers "True Sadness"

After Sunday's run, which was under four miles, I was remarkably sore. That is the surest sign that I'm out of practice. When I'm in the groove, I feel no stiffness in my leg muscles. Monday morning I woke up and felt like the Tin Man in Oz when he can barely mutter "Oil Can"

The stiffness let up a little as I ran around Southglenn this morning, but it was still noticeable. Still, I was able to go a little farther today and felt a tiny bit stronger. I still have a long ways to go to be back to where I used to be, but for the first time in months and months I feel positive about being able to get out and run, so things are slowly progressing in the right direction.

I stayed in Southglenn because I didn't want to run out of energy too far from home and be forced to walk home feeling super drained of energy, so I decided to keep it hyper local for a bit until I felt like a longer range run wasn't as much of a risk. I felt pretty good at the end, although the stiffness has been settling in as I have moved through my day. I'm going to keep working through this. My biggest worry has been my foot, and while I am noticing it feeling a tiny bit more sore after I'm done, it's nothing major. The comeback continues!

Nine Hundred Six

February 10, 2019
3.69 Miles in 39:30
Mood: About time I get out on my own two feet again.
Soundtrack: Avett Brothers "Magpie and the Dandelion"

A few weeks back I was running around at practice with my basketball kids and realized that I have gotten horrifically out of shape. Biking is decent exercise, but I miss out on doing it too many mornings due to the fact that it's just harder to bike than it is to run when it's freezing cold and icy outside. Plus, riding a bike just doesn't exhaust me in quite the same way, and I really have been missing running. So, despite the fact that my foot is not feeling entirely 100%, it feels good enough to get back out there. To quote the great Jimmy Chitwood, "I figured it's time for me to start playing ball." (Where "playing ball" of course means running.)

I figured the best place to start to truly get back into my running grove was Wash Park, so I did something I haven't done much of in recent months...I woke up early and drove up to Wash Park and ran around. It's going to be slow going at first, clearly. A little over three and a half miles was about all I could muster, but it felt good to be doing it again, even if it was shorter and slower that I used to do it, I was still running.

I'm still going to mix in the occasional bike ride for the time being, but running is definitely back on the table.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Nine Hundred Five

February 3, 2019
16.34 Miles (Biked) in 1:41:56
Mood: Feeling strong, and suddenly feeling windswept and sick.
Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers "The Carpenter" and "Live Vol. Four"

Once again, Endomondo goofed up my total distance, as there is big chunk of this bike ride that is just missing in's just a big straight line. That is mildly annoying, but I'll get over it.

It was Super Bowl Sunday, but the big game I was most excited about had happened the day prior at the Sheridan Rec Center when my undefeated 5th Grade Boys Basketball team the Spartans had faced off against the second best team in the entire league with first place on the line. We were short handed, but the boys played great and pulled out a 26-20 victory and all but assured us of the 5th grade championship. I decided that my goal would be to bike back out to Sheridan, scene of our epic victory. It was a warm Sunday morning, so I headed out in a good mood, and felt amazing the whole way there. However, almost as soon as I turned around to head back home I the winds started blowing ridiculously hard and my blood sugar dropped which kind of sapped me of a lot of my gusto, and suddenly the return trip home turned into a very difficult journey.

I had to call my wife to let her know I'd be late, and I kept of pushing while not feeling all that good. By the time I made it home, I was pretty exhausted, and I felt pretty sick and awful for the next several hours. I felt fine by the time the Super Bowl rolled around, but it was definitely not my greatest morning bike ride ever.

Before I started feeling bad, I encountered this bit of sculpture in someone's yard. I think it's some kind of flying dinosaur or something. Not entirely sure exactly what kind it's supposed to be, but it's pretty cool.

Nine Hundred Four

February 1, 2019
12.97 Miles (Biked) in 1:25:59
Mood: Chill and smiling!
Soundtrack: The Head and The Heart "The Head and The Heart"

I'm a big fan of solo cups being placed in chain link fences to produce sayings. In this case, it's an exhortation to "Smile" which seems nice. This is good elementary school fence use.