Training: On “doing it anyway”

I really didn’t want to swim and lift today. Part of it: just mental laziness.

Swimming: I decided to just “do what I want” so:

1000 free (moderate pace). Ok, I tried my best to keep from getting lapped by that young woman…couldn’t do it. :-)
Then: I remembered seeing how terrible the old farts look in the pool (the ones that just swim straight laps) so I forced myself into some intervals:

5 x 200 on the 4: 3:24, 3:24, 3:24, 3:22, 3:21 The last two were ok; I raced that young woman again..and got whipped. :-)
Note: when I was swimming my best (PR for the 5K), I was doing these in 3:10-3:13. I am a bit off of that.

Then 4 x (25 fly, 25 back) with fins. Hey, 2200 yards is better than 0 yards.

After class: weights. Note: prior to swimming, I weighed in 180.0 lbs.

rotator cuff, Achilles, hip hikes, McKenzie, planks.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (painful and difficult, but I got over that bar each time)
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 180, 2 x 180, 9 x 160 (mental block about 10?)
military: 10 x 40 lb. dumbbells (standing), 2 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbells (standing), my elbows didn’t straighten. So at the end: 10 x 85 barbell (full reps)
rows (Hammer): 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160

note: my right forearm/elbow was too sore to do curls, seated military presses or upright rows. The other exercises were ok.

April 23, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Politics and Policy

I understand that politics is rough and tumble, and when it comes to elections and when it comes to getting policy ideas into law, there will be partisanship.

And yes, it is my opinion that everyone (Democrats and Republicans alike) LOVE Democracy until they lose an election. Just watch: when one side passes a bill into law by getting enough votes, the other side ALWAYS says that it was “Rammed through”. Both sides do that.

But once a new policy becomes law, I think that governing becomes the priority: try to help the law work. Yes, I said that when President Bush was in office too.

Unfortunately: tribalism takes over; one way to get Republicans to try to stop something is to label the idea as a “liberal one”. One such idea: solar energy. Sure, if you want to debate (on science and engineering grounds) how much of the mix we should aim for, fine. But why oppose something just for political spite?

Then there is Obamacare: the Republicans appear to be terrified that this idea is starting to work. My goodness; why can’t the Republicans just admit that Obamacare was their idea to begin with?

Note: policy partisanship is also bipartisan. Just watch the GMO debate.

April 22, 2014 Posted by | politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

California women in prison, tube tying and “eugenics”

I recently came across reports of what happened in California: basically, some have claimed that some prison women were “coerced” into having tube tying procedures. Of course, by law, the prisoner isn’t allowed to be coerced and there has to be a medical board review to approve of the procedure, and evidently the latter didn’t happen (though the prisoners had signed off).

Then, of course, the “eugenics” claim was made (example)

I have a few things to say:

First of all, I think that a healthy, controlled sex life is good for people’s emotional and mental health. This is one reason I support the birth control mandates in the health care law and for programs like Medicaid. Having the state perform these sort of procedures on BOTH men and women in prison, IF the prisoner wants it, isn’t a bad idea. And, IMHO, there is nothing wrong with “reasonable counseling” and persuasion.


According to former Valley State inmate Christina Cordero, 34, the institution’s OB-GYN doctor pressured her to have a tubal ligation.

“As soon as he found out that I had five kids, he suggested that I look into getting it done. The closer I got to my due date, the more he talked about it,” she said. “He made me feel like a bad mother if I didn’t do it.”

Cordero, who spent two years in prison for auto theft, agreed, but said, “today I wish I would have never done it.”

Hmmm, someone has 5 kids and goes to jail for auto theft. She worries about being called a “bad mother”? Oh dear. Sorry, I don’t find this convincing. This sounds like an “after the fact” regret from someone who doesn’t exactly have great judgement to begin with.

Now, as to the “eugenics” issue: I’d invite people to look at the numbers:

The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that doctors at two women’s prisons in California sterilized 148 women between 2006 and 2010 after they gave birth, with as many as 100 more in the years before that and without following proper procedures.

How in the world is this even going to make a blip in the demographic mix of a state the size of California? “Eugenics”? Oh please.

Besides, think of it this way: if you really believed that one either should reduce the Mexican-American population of California or someone had a goal of doing so, HOW IN THE WORLD WOULD THIS PROGRAM BE EFFECTIVE IN DOING THAT?

You’d have to believe that a significant percentage of the Mexican-American population is in prison, which is simply not the case. Believe it or not, the vast, vast majority of us aren’t criminals. :-)

Seriously: this is one instance in which this position (held by some liberals) is insulting to me.

That being said: of course, if proper procedure wasn’t being followed, that SHOULD be investigated. But spare the hysterical claims, ok?

April 22, 2014 Posted by | racism, social/political, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ugh…..rough workout

I drove to the Woodruff track to work out; getting there was a challenge, given all of the repair work being done on the roads (it was a rough winter; there are lots of potholes that need fixing)

Very windy (what else is new?) but sunny:
Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 10.42.05 AM

I let the wind get in my head.

24 minute jog
1 mile (1609 m) 7:32 (3:43/3:49) I basically talked myself out of quitting midway.
800 + meter walk
then 4 x (400 m run, 400 m walk): 1:50, 1:52, 1:51, 1:51 (controlled efforts; I was heavy legged from the hard-ish mile.
400 walk
200 walk to the bike path
26 minute run. So, this was roughly 7 miles of running, 1.5 of walking.

My time wasn’t the best, but I got a good workout and ran on a softer surface.

And it WAS pretty outside, even if the wind was tough to run against.

April 22, 2014 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

running on empty…

Workout notes
swim: 2 x 250
5 x 100 (alt fist/free) on the 2 (mostly 1:52
10 x 100 (25 side, 75 free) on the 2:05 (mostly 1:55)
200 (fins, alt fly/back)

After class: weights:
rotator cuff, Achilles, hip hikes
5 sets of 10 pull ups
incline press: 2 sets of 10 x 140, 4 x 150
military press (barbell): 3 sets of 7 x 85
curls: 10 x 30 dumbbell (forearm pain), 10 x 45 bar, 7 x 65 bar, 10 x 70 machine
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160

Classes: I am into the dreary “numerical linear algebra” part and into the “having to push the students” in my remedial class. Two more weeks….

Note: the numerical linear algebra stuff is important. But it sometimes comes across as a bunch of “special cases”.

Upside: though we’ve had rain today, early today: I wore NO COAT when I walked to the gym.

April 21, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Time trial workouts

Note: since my body doesn’t allow me to walk or run as much as I’d like, I have more time to write about training. :-)

And this blog gives me a release: it keeps my long suffering wife from having to be a captive audience to my (boring) monologues about running.

I suppose that if I were truly dedicated, I’d join a speed work group. But it is quicker to do it on my own.
And: for some reason, I do my 400 meter repeats faster if I just run a single mile “time trial” than if I just do them separately.

So that is what I do. The catch: since every mile time trial this year has been faster than the previous one (7:32-7:23-7:17-7:12) I am now reluctant to do another as my “easy improvements” are over…and I am bound to have a “backslide/non-improving” workout here or there.

But these aren’t races: doing these is what has lead to my recent improvement (I think).

So, I’ll deal with my (sports) anxiety and do another; I have to remember that race day is what really counts.

April 20, 2014 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Krugman on Moyers about Capital (24 minutes)

This is 24 minutes well spent.

April 20, 2014 Posted by | books, economics, economy, social/political | , | Leave a comment

This atheist’s take on Easter…..

Of course, I don’t believe in the supernatural stuff. People die don’t come back to life, and there is no reason to entertain the notion that there is a deity that created the universe and has a special interest in human beings.

But I think that at least some parts of the Easter story can have some meaning.

I see the “being reborn” theme as a metaphor for understanding that if one seeks happiness by “doing what one feels like doing at any given time”, then one is unlikely to be happy. Instead, one should understand where one fits in with humanity (and nature?) on the whole and include “service to others” in the mix.

So there is a message there that makes some sense; that is the idea behind the religious myth.

I can see this being helpful to some, especially those who are struggling with things like addiction.

April 20, 2014 Posted by | religion, social/political | | Leave a comment

Easter morning walk…

I walked to the Gooseloop, once around and to the dam and back, plus a 2 mile out and back on the trail. Mostly empty; some traffic. 2:51:19 (28:14 for the out and back). Not hard, but I put some energy into it. The pace was about 14:10 mpm.

Pretty weather; I even took my gloves off and was slightly overdressed.

I am not nearly ready for a marathon.

April 20, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment


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