Friday, February 28, 2020

One Thousand Seventy-Eight

February 27, 2020
7.81 Miles in 1:23:55
Mood: Making my target on a lovely day.
Soundtrack: Jack Garratt "Phase" and "Love, Death & Dancing (Vol. 1)"

I have been loudly criticizing the horrific weather of February all month with vile feelings in my heart, but I have to give this particular Thursday a pass. It was lovely. The sun was out, the sidewalks were dry, and I had good thoughts in my head about the whole affair. I enjoyed the weather, but I could tell that I have been pushing myself to get to 100 miles in a short month, as my legs felt pretty heavy and sore at the end of this one. Fortunately, I reached the 100 mile target on this run, so that makes it 7 straight months, and I can rest for the remainder of February before getting back at it on Sunday. Feels good, man!

One Thousand Seventy-Seven

February 25, 2020
8.29 Miles in 1:24:59
Mood: Nearly literally blown away
Soundtrack: Bear's Den "Islands" and Pandas & People "Pandas & People"

The forecast for this Tuesday morning was really cold and really windy. However, when I left my house a little after 6:30, it was relatively calm. Cold, but not really windy. I started running and for the first two thirds of the run, everything seemed fine. Then at about the time I hit the six mile mark, suddenly I was running with a wind at my back that was so strong that even though I was running uphill, the wind made me feel like I was running downhill. It was pushing me up the hill, and it almost felt like it was going to lift me off the ground a few times. It was a bit insane.

Today's photo comes from much earlier in the run before the wind hit. People must drive way too fast down this road for whoever lives at this home, as they have created their own makeshift passive aggressive speed limit sign to accentuate the several government built ones.

Monday, February 24, 2020

One Thousand Seventy-Six

February 23, 2020
7.39 Miles in 1:12:21
Mood: Resigned to snow bombarding the city.
Soundtrack: Lord Huron "Lonesome Dreams"

This bird was just standing on the frozen lake in Wash Park as the snow pounded the ground in every direction, and he just looked miserable. The February with the most snow in Denver history continued on Sunday morning with...(Surprise!)...more snow.

My first lap around the park the snow was falling so hard that it was creating a thick crust of ice on my glasses making it very difficult to see. I was contemplating quitting, but I needed some miles on this one, so I pushed on, and on the second lap around the park, it actually stopped and I felt better about things. Of course, on the third lap, it started up again, although not nearly as hard as on lap 1, so I finished up and called it a day.

That bird, though. His body language summed up how I was feeling. Basically, "Okay, so this is just how it is now, huh?"

Friday, February 21, 2020

One Thousand Seventy-Five

February 21, 2020
7.77 Miles in 1:20:54
Mood: A pile of disgusting snow is a mood, probably.
Soundtrack: Langhorne Slim and The Law "The Way We Move"

One of the funniest things about the unusually large amount of snow we have gotten this month is this mountain of old snow which keeps growing in the parking lot of Southglenn. They plow the streets, but all that snow has to go somewhere, so they just pile it up in a corner of the parking lot. This mound is growing to some seriously epic proportions, and it is super gross. At the rate we are getting snow, it might melt by May.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

One Thousand Seventy-Four

February 20, 2020
7.90 Miles in 1:21:01
Mood: Last minute change of venue.
Soundtrack: The Wilderness of Manitoba "When You Left The Fire"

I was going to run at Goodson. It was 6.4 degrees outside, and it had snowed last night, and it just seemed like I should run at Goodson. But I didn't want to run on the track, so when I went outside and noticed that there was no wind and it didn't feel too bad, I hesitated, but then got into the car. Then I started driving to Goodson, but decided to check to see how the Streets at Southglenn had been managed to see if they were clear enough to run, and they looked immaculate, and I made the executive decision to bail on Goodson and run around Southglenn, and it was wonderful. Such a good decision. It was cold, but not awful, and running outside is just way better. I didn't spend $5.75 to use the rec center, and I can save the track for another more wintry day.

One Thousand Seventy-Three

February 18, 2020
7.19 Miles in 1:19:17
Mood: Contemplating rodent murder.
Soundtrack: Nada Surf "Never Not Together"

It snowed Monday night, not a ton, but enough to make my Tuesday morning run a bit treacherous. I keep having the scene from Groundhogs Day where Bill Murray announces that the winter is never going to end unless he kills the groundhog, and I can very much relate. I feel like I would gladly murder a groundhog in cold blood if it would speed spring along.

One Thousand Seventy-Two

February 16, 2020
8.66 Miles in 1:25:59
Mood: Not slipping, either on the street or the frozen lake.
Soundtrack: AJR "Neotheater"

Last Sunday I ran pretty much the same track I hit up this Sunday, and it was much less enjoyable. This time, there had been enough snow melting to make the entire street pretty much non-icy all the way around Wash Park, and that small change was enough to ratchet my enjoyment way up. Life is more fun when you are not worried about slipping. I even did a very rare fourth loop of the park to get in more miles as I am trying to pack them in to get to 100 during the short month of February in which I took a few days off at the beginning. I feel like I'm going to make it to 100, but it's gonna be close.

I also was able to check in on the Denver Fire Department practicing rescuing people who fall into frozen lakes. At least, that's what I think whey were doing. It's amazing how often this takes place during the winter on Sunday mornings. This is the third time this winter that I've seen these little training sessions taking place. I'm always amazed that people ever walk out on frozen lakes. Not a thing I am all that interested in attempting. 

One Thousand Seventy-One

February 14, 2020
8.04 Miles in 1:23:06
Mood: I heart snowmen.
Soundtrack: The Decemberists "The King Is Dead" and "Long Live The King"

Snowmen are great. I hate snow in almost all forms, but when a kid takes the time to stack snow on top of snow on top of snow and then sticks a broom and a 2x4 into it, it transforms into something great. All snowmen are great, just like all dogs go to heaven. The more deformed and melty and ridiculous looking they are, the better.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

One Thousand Seventy

February 12, 2020
8.02 Miles in 1:26:53
Mood: A pox on the unshoveled houses.
Soundtrack: AJR "Neotheater"

I rarely run on Wednesdays, but the forecast called for snow on Wednesday night, since the forecast was pretty good for Wednesday morning, but Thursday was going to be tough, I decided to hit the road despite Wednesday having some scheduling difficulties making it harder to run and do the things I have to do. (It all worked out, so it wasn't THAT difficult.)

Tuesday was an icy mess, and while there was still a massive amount of snow on the streets, at least not everything was icy. I decided to run over to Ketring Park and back which sounded much more fun than running in a four tenths of a mile rectangle like I did yesterday.

The terrain was varied, and I have to say that I would like to give a big thanks to people who actually shovel their sidewalks and a bit of a raspberry to the people who don't. The only places that felt slick and dangerous were the places where people just didn't bother to remove the snow. Otherwise, almost everywhere had at least a little place where it felt safe and dry to run. There were enough icy patches that my pace was pretty slow as I took it easy in the danger spots, but for the most part, it was nice. The weather was cold, but there was enough sun to make it feel good.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

One Thousand Sixty-Nine

February 11, 2020
7.42 Miles in 1:19:01
Mood: Watching a mall slowly die in real time, as measured by ice removal or lack thereof.
Soundtrack: Bebo Norman "Ten Thousand Days" and Vampire Weekend "Father of the Bride"

After a day on Monday where it looked like things were going to melt a little bit, it started snowing Monday evening into Tuesday, and the world was covered with snow as I headed out. I knew I wasn't going to go far because there was a lot of snow and ice everywhere, so I headed to Southglenn because I knew it would at least be shoveled.

The times are starting to leave the outdoor shopping mall behind, I'm afraid. A few years ago, there would have been a team of six people out scraping the snow and putting down salt and making the ice disappear. This morning, it was evident that someone had come through and shoveled the snow, but the ice removal and care to make sure that all available sidewalks were perfectly clear is now missing. I also noticed for the first time this morning that the Victoria's Secret that had been a staple for years on one of the corners had closed down within the past week. Looks like the outdoor mall is slowly dying. That makes me sad, but I can't say I'm totally surprised.

Despite the less than perfect conditions, I still was able to run a decent little .4 mile rectangle that was quite obviously the safest and least icy stretch of the mall. I ran around that rectangle a whole bunch of times and ended up with over seven miles again. Someday February will be over, and I'll be able to go on a run on ground that I can actually trust I won't slip on when I take a step, and that will be glorious.

One Thousand Sixty-Eight

February 9, 2020
7.08 Miles in 1:16:15
Mood: Cold and sick and slippery, but still taking charge.
Soundtrack: The Shins "Chutes Too Narrow"

February is the worst month. The wise sage Garfield called it the Monday of months, and he's right. It is cold. The only holiday it really has is Valentines Day, which is one of the worst holidays. It can't even decide how many days it has, and no matter if it's 28 or 29, it's always the weirdest month of the year because everybody else agrees that a month should either be 30 or 31 days, but February just has to be DIFFERENT. And this year, it's the worst because it will never stop snowing! So before we go any further, I should just say that February can kick rocks.

This particular Sunday morning I woke up early to go running, as per usual, and found that once again it was snowing and cold. I had been suffering from a cold for a few days, but Sunday morning it got a lot worse. Between the snow and the sickness, I contemplated not going running, but due to the shortness of February and the few days I have already missed this week, if I'm going to make 100 miles for the month, I can't be taking days off. So reluctantly, I headed up towards Wash Park, hoping I could get in a decent run.

There was a lot of snow and ice everywhere, and when I first got there, I was worried that I'd only be able to run a mile or two before I wore out, but I kept pushing myself and managed three laps around Wash Park for a respectable seven miles. It was a little tough, because there was a lot of ice, and I was worried about slipping, but I managed to stay upright and finish with a respectable distance, so it was all good.

Then I tried to leave.

I parked in my normal spot on Louisiana Street right next to the park. There was a little bit of ice, but I didn't think it was that big a deal. Then I tried to leave. There was a big enough chunk of ice that my car couldn't turn away from the curb. As I tried several times, nothing was happening except moving back and forth and a whole lot of tire spinning. As I got out to take a look, a guy got out of the vehicle behind me and said he was stuck too. We worked on trying to free ourselves, and then we noticed that the SUV in front of us was also stuck. I then went into take charge mode. I told the young woman in front of us that we would both back up to give her the maximum amount of space to maneuver, then I directed her on how she should try and escape our predicament. I theorized that if she tried to back into the street, it might give her a better angle, so I directed her to basically put her front end onto the sidewalk and the back out. That strategy actually worked, and I got her out, then I was able to repeat it with the guy behind me and then I was able to escape. It's not like me to get super bossy and take charge with strangers, but it worked and I felt pretty proud as I drove home.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

One Thousand Sixty-Seven

February 5, 2020
8.02 Miles in 1:16:02
Mood: Lets run in circles!
Soundtrack: Lupe Fiasco "Lasers"

Two days after the temperatures were flirting with 70 degrees, there was so much snow and the temperatures were so cold that I had no real option other than to run indoors. As is my custom in these times, I headed over to Goodson Rec Center to run in circles for 80 laps. I'm shocked at how many people use the track to walk. The entire time I was at Goodson, about 10 different people used the track, but only one of them ran, and he only ran for about 5 laps. It's a lot of different people of many different ages just walking in circles. I passed everybody about every lap and a half. I wonder if they were annoyed because I was't walking.

Today's photo is of the stationary bikes that are in one room that the track circles. I kept wondering why they put a fake back wheel on the stationary bike. What purpose does that even serve?

Monday, February 3, 2020

One Thousand Sixty-Six

February 2, 2020
7.76 Miles in 1:15:19
Mood: Perfect weather on a Super Sunday
Soundtrack: Colin Hay "Fierce Mercy" and "Going Somewhere"

It felt more like a morning in late April than one at the beginning of February. Temps so warm I didn't even need a sweatshirt and the sun blazing down on everyone left me feeling very happy. Plus it was Super Bowl Sunday, so I had a fun party to look forward to. It was a glorious morning, and Wash Park was just where I wanted to be. I was still hopeful that the Chiefs would remain in a decades long Championship drought (They didn't), and even if they did manage to win (they did), a Super Bowl Sunday is always a fun Sunday...especially when it's warm and sunny.