Workout notes: it was 8 F and there was snow on the roads, so I opted to run indoors.
First treadmill session: 6.72 miles in 1:05; 6.21 at 1 hour plus 5 minutes cool down. I started out slowly and then increased the pace to 6.6 mph, which I held for the final 25 minutes or so. Elevation: 0 for the first 5 minutes, .5 for the next 55, 0 for the final 5 minutes.
Then .3 miles at 10 mpm on another treadmill (0.5 elevation).
Then I got on a treadmill next to Tracy and did 3 miles in 31:45; 5.5 (10:54), 5.6, 5.7 then 6.0 mph (10 mpm) Total: 10 in 1:08:45.
This got me to thinking: my spring half marathons were much better than my fall ones; perhaps it is the “faster” 10-12 milers on the treadmills that did the trick?
She is recovering from a broken foot and has Jones fracture; no weight bearing for 8 weeks. And she lacks the upper body strength to use crutches.
And yes, we have stairs and our ramp down the “outside” stairs is too steep for ADA purposes; she can’t do it alone.
BUT: while going up the stairs by “sitting, using the arms and good leg” is helping her upper body strength and when she can walk, the stairs ARE good exercise for her.
So, at some point (5-10 years from now) we’ll probably have to move but for now, the stairs are helping to keep her healthy by getting her to do what she wouldn’t ordinarily do, so ….if we move too soon that might hasten her physical demise.
Where is the balance? It is hard to tell.
Today’s workout: weights only.
rotator cuff, Achilles, Hip Hikes, McKenzie,
Abs: usual 3 sets of 10: twist, sit back, crunch, vertical crunch
planks (90 seconds front, 30 seconds each side
pull ups: 2 sets of 15, 2 of 10
bench press: 10 x 135, 10 x 170 (recent best)
dumbbell military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
barbell military; 8 x 90, 7 x 90
dumbbell rows: 3 sets of 10 x 65
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
curls (machine) 3 sets of 10 x 70
Note: the bench is a “recent best” (this semester)
Note: this calculator gives something similar.
This one: closer but still a bit high:
The most I’ve done is 205 over the past 2 years or so, and that wasn’t easy. That is slow-twitch muscle fiber for you.
Note: I weigh just under 190 and am 54 years old; yeah, I am weak. But I compensate for my weak body by being a slow runner.
It is a list of 20 tips for interpreting science articles that appear in the media. Many of these tips involve “how to understand statistical studies”. Here is one of the tips; the others are good too:
Regression to the mean can mislead. Extreme patterns in data are likely to be, at least in part, anomalies attributable to chance or error. The next count is likely to be less extreme. For example, if speed cameras are placed where there has been a spate of accidents, any reduction in the accident rate cannot be attributed to the camera; a reduction would probably have happened anyway.
I stared my walk in chilly temperatures (18 F (-8 C)), flurries) and turned around after 1 mile as I had some pain on my right instep. My guess: the past few days I wore double socks and didn’t loosen my shoe laces. The 2.05 took 29 minutes.
So I went inside, changed shoes and did 8.57 hilly miles in flurries. I was somewhat slow (hills do that) and it took 2:09.
It passed from “light flurries” to “outright snow” by the time I was done.
House to the start of Bradley Park: 1.02.
House to the bottom of the hill in lower Bradley park (where my loops start) 1.41
Out and back from the bottom of the hill, to Cornstalk, down the hill and across the bridge: 1.12
Full Cornstalk loop (NOT the “classic” loop): 1.38
Lower Bradley loop past the softball field, across the bridge then back around the median: .70
Lower Bradley loop past the dog park (small hill): .75
Now I can mix and match spurs, loops, etc.
Note: the only people I saw: a couple of dog owners and the Bradley men’s XC team which was running as a group. My goodness, those guys are fast.
Economics Austerity: does it work? Evidence is scant.
We are adding jobs. All isn’t rosy but things are somewhat better:
Still, unlike some other months that presented decidedly contradictory signals, many of the underlying factors identified by government statisticians at least pointed in the right direction. Hourly earnings, as well as the length of the typical workweek, both increased. The overall labor participation rate, while still low by historical standards, rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 63 percent.
At the same time, jobs were added to a broad range of sectors, rather than restricted to a few, lower-paying areas.
Manufacturing, closely watched because its ups and downs serve as a bellwether of the overall economy, added 27,000 workers. Besides that jump, Mr. Gapen of Barclays said he was also glad to see that the construction sector gained jobs for the third month in a row, indicating that housing continues to rebound.
Protons, of course, are made up of subatomic particles. It turns out that the total mass of a proton doesn’t change over a superlong period of time. One might ask: “well, why would it?” But this is one of those fundamental questions that should be asked.
Lots of times, authors of pop-science articles and books will take a routine fact, loudly proclaim that this fact “kills well known theory/hypothesis/metaphor X” (even if all it does is kill a simplistic caricature of it) and then get blistered by other scientists. Here is such a case; here someone claims that the “Selfish Gene” metaphor is dead. Richard Dawkins says: “Really? I think not.”:
Over at Richard Dawkins’s own site, he’s responded to Dobbs’s misguided critique of the “gene-centered” view of evolution as described in The Selfish Gene. Richard’s piece is called “Adversarial journalism and the selfish gene.“ He’s remarkably polite for a man who’s been trashed in such an unfair (and erroneous) manner, and politely though firmly explains that, yes, he knows about regulatory genes and that, as we know, they’re simply selfish genes that regulate other selfish genes. He compares the toolbox of regulatory genes (a simile the biologist Sean Carroll also uses) to the subroutines of a Macintosh. and then notes:
Does Dobbs, then, really expect me to be surprised to learn from him that:
“This means that we are human, rather than wormlike, flylike, chickenlike, feline, bovine, or excessively simian, less because we carry different genes from those other species than because our cells read differently.”
Does Dobbs really think the existence of genes controlling the expression of other genes is either a surprise to me or remotely discomfiting to the theory of the selfish gene? Genes controlling other genes are exactly the kind of genes I have in mind when I speak of “selfish genes” as the “immortal replicators”, the “units of natural selection”.
Jerry Coyne (a biologist) says more here.
Larry Moran (a biochemist) mostly likes Coyne’s critique, but has some quibbles with it.
The upshot: a biochemist looks, of course, at the molecules and is apt to characterize evolution (a change in the frequency distribution of alleles with time) at the molecular level; the biologists tend to look more at the bodies, organs, etc.
In this case, Moran is more from what I’d call “pluralistic mechanisms for evolution” camp (assigning heavier weight to thinks like random genetic drift, in which neutral mutations (no effect on reproductive success) account for much of the variation) whereas Coyne has been called a neo-Darwinian (Natural Selection is the overwhelming factor, though other factors (such as drift) influence evolution).
This is the type of thing smart accomplished scientists argue about.
Speaking of evolution and biology This is an interesting result in cancer research.
The rough idea is this: cells use something called a “replication fork” when they reproduce. Sometimes this fork breaks. Healthy cells use one mechanism to repair a damaged “replication fork” whereas cancerous cells use a different one.
This might provide insight on how to fight some cancers.
Conditions were brisk, to say the least.
It was 12 F (-11 C) and clear; slight breeze (7 mph; 11 km/h); wind chill 2.7 F.
But this race begins at 10 am; hence I got to the Riverplex early and used the treadmills to get miles:
First, 1:04:30 for 6 miles; I stayed at 5.5 mph (just under 11 mpm) for 20 minutes then upped it to 5.6. After 5 minutes, I changed the elevation to 0.5 then at 30 minutes did a 2 minutes at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2 minutes at .5, then 2 minutes at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, then 1 minute at 4, 2, 3, 2, 1, .5 then sped up to make 6 miles in 1:04:30.
Quick break for water, then 2 miles at 0: 10:35 for the first mile, 9:15 for the second mile (8:57 pace for the last .5 miles)
Then I went downstairs to change into my cold weather gear.
The race started on grass and went through a gate; the cold kept the crowding near the start down, hence we (toward the front) were through quickly.
That was a mistake for me; my legs were suffering and 3-4 minutes into it, I pulled to the side of the course to walk.
Then I saw Jennifer running past me, so I sped up to catch her and run behind her for the next few minutes.
We were then side by side at mile 1 (9:06) and went up a slight uphill and against the breeze. I managed to go a bit faster (8:48 for 17:54) and then I was able to pick it up.
I got passed some (I really wanted to stay with the bespandexed woman with a ample backside but couldn’t). I passed some.
I was getting after it the best I could and hung in; I was a bit surprised to see the finish line come up when it did. But I was moving faster than I was in mile 2.
About 600 meters from the finish “Jennifer” passed me! Well….hair, gait, shape…looked like Jennifer but there was a difference: she was missing her “skirt” and had taken off her white jacket….she changed clothes and still caught me!
Well…no. I wasn’t her. But I lose about 20-30 IQ points when I am fatigued.
Bottom line: not my best race BUT I got in 11 miles total, a lot of them (the hills, the 2 tempo-like segment) were good quality, by my current standards.
I did see several old friends and a facebook friend.
As far as my performance:
304 out of 1128 is ok, but 10 out of 20 among my peers: not so great. I suppose that mostly the most motivated old guys were out there.
5K (or close)
As I said before my wife suffered a “Jones Fracture” in her foot; she isn’t allowed to put any weight on that foot, at all (no walking boot, for now). Since she doesn’t have the strength to use crutches we need to use a wheel chair to get her around outside of the house (getting down the steps is a challenge).
Fortunately, she is NOT a heavy person; I say this because our house features a lot of steps on the front porch. Hence I have to wheel her up and down a ramp; this ramp is too steep for ordinary handicap use.
Ok, it isn’t THAT steep and a strong man (not me!) would have zero trouble. But alas, I am not exceptionally strong, so when I push her up and slowly walk her down, I have to concentrate. But, yes, at times, I ham it up and make fake grunting noises, masking my personal embarrassment that this is, well, not a hard challenge, but a “concentration needed” task for me.
I’ve got to work on my leg strength!!!!
But this mini-adventure (not a big deal in the large scheme of things) reminded me of this cartoon….which makes me grateful that I don’t have a morbidly obese wife:
Supplemental PT: hip hikes, Achilles, McKenzie, planks (90 seconds forward, 30 seconds side), rotator cuff (dumbbell and pulley)
Superset: pull ups and barbell military. pull ups: 2 sets of (3 x 5), 2 sets of 10. military: 10 x 80, 10 x 85, 10 x 90
Superset: seated supported dumbbell military: 12 x 50, dumbbell rows: 3 sets; 2 sets of 10 with 65, 1 with 70, pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160, one with shoulder friendly grip.
Superset: dumbbell curls (3 sets of 10 x 30), abs: 3 sets of 10 x (crunch, twist, sit back, vertical crunch),
incline: 3 sets of 10 x 140.
Of note: standing military: I go just past my nose on the way down, and 10 x 90 is a “recent best” for me.
What I am puzzled by: doing pull ups in batches of “3 sets of 5 with supershort rests, changing the grip between sets” is actually harder for me than just doing a set of 15, keeping the same grip.
Running: I played around with this “age equivalent calculator” and found that I can compete on even terms with a woman who is 39 years old; that is, a time of 25:10 (a typical time for me) grades the same way for me (60.3) as it does for a 39 year old woman.
Put another way: the younger women are SUPPOSED to beat me.
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