I decided to rest my heel by swimming: 500 yards (11:00!), 500 of strokes (200 side, 100 back, 2 x 100 IM), 10 x 50 on the 1:05, 200 drill, 100 in 2:05. 1800 yards, easy. Well, that was my first swim in several months and it didn’t go that poorly. I’ll probably do more of this while my heel bruise “heals” up.
I did get in the treadmill and after a step or two said “nah…give it a rest”. It wasn’t that painful but right now is not the time to risk it.
Weather: still snowing. Yuck.
Entitlement My favorite basketball team finished with a 16-16 record. But, because the NCAA takes 68 teams, the NIT takes 32 teams, the CBI takes 16 teams and the CIT takes 32 teams. So that is 148 teams in “post season play” out of 347 Division I teams. My team is ranked 170 but got in the CIT anyway (thanks to people who show up to games) and won their first two games; both at home.
I enjoyed the games, but was a bit “outraged” (at first) when I found out that the 3′rd game was on the road. I wondered “why didn’t we get a third home game?” when I should have been happy that we had ONE, much less TWO home games. Sure, the upcoming opponent swept us in the regular season and beat us by 30 the last time we traveled to their place. But hey…*I* enjoyed the home games!
After yesterday’s 5K, a youngish (30 year old) woman told me: “this time you got ahead of me and stayed ahead of me; I tried to catch you but couldn’t” . We chatted cordially but I couldn’t place her.
Then I looked up the results: I did remember her but didn’t remember her face. I did pass her at mile 1 of a race two weeks ago and then she got me at the very end; but I only remember her from behind! Why? Well, let’s just say that most women who run ahead of me are skinny; she is one of the few ones with a normal size butt (yes, it is curvy). So, she stands out. But I didn’t even recognize her from the front!!!
Today: I attempted the Cactus Classic marathon; at least that is what I signed up for. Yesterday, it was confirmed that the trails were mostly (not completely) snowed under:
“I’m f**ked” I thought….then I thought that it might not be that bad to run on snow that the faster folks had packed down. After all “Weather.com” had predicted dry weather (ROTFLMAO). I should have remembered that weather.com is about as useful as a horoscope.
This morning I woke up to my weather radio alarm: “rain all morning long; possibly ending in the afternoon”. It was in the high 30′s-low 40′s F (3-4 C) and yes, it rained…except when it sleeted. I knew that there would be no way in Hades that I’d finish a marathon under these conditions.
I thought about just rolling over and going back to sleep; instead I made myself show up.
The Cactus Classic bills itself as a tough race on mostly sandy trails. It isn’t really hilly; there are a few rollers.
I’d say that it is tougher than beach sand as there is not much of a “hard pack” to it; it is loose, deep sand that just sucks the life out of you. There WAS some of that…but today’s challenge was mostly long stretches of very wet, very loose, slushy snow.
I’ll have nightmares about this scene.
Anyway, this is what I said yesterday:
I am worried about the piriformis or being too slow to continue the second loop. Then again, a 15 mpm pace might be enough to allow me to continue. We’ll just have to see.
The good news:
1. The faster runners might pack it down for the rest of us. And I’ve had good luck with packed snow with these shoes.
2. If I get in even one loop, that will be a decent training run.
Hopefully one of my favorite milf/gilf’s will wear her tightest, shiniest spandex without that dreaded “long shirt” that covers what I want to look at.
I was out there for 3:45 (not a misprint). That included the course, plus an extra .7-.8 miles or so.
My piriformis didn’t bother me at all. Not a peep; it, and my knee, were non-issues. That IS good news. And no, I took no pain killers or medicine of any kind.
This snow: not capable of being “packed”; this was like trying to run in a “slushie”.
Spandex: yep, there were pretty ladies in spandex but, well, read on. I wish I had stayed a bit closer to a couple of them (it would have saved me 15-20 minutes, at least.)
I was supposed to follow the green/blue dot (part shared with the 10K course) plus the solid blue. I did, but I also added the arrow (and back) toward the end of the loop. %$#$!!!! Yes, that turn was well marked…I’ll tell you why I missed it.
My trail shoes with screws plus gaiters did the job ok; I was maintaining what I thought was an easy lope plus planned walking. I still had dreams (ha ha ha ha) of doing the two loop marathon so I was holding back. As I had to work harder and harder, I eased up on the effort and subsequently many of those who were around me early got away. I didn’t care at that stage; I still..in my mind…was “saving it”. Near mile 2 (27:30) we had some runnable trail; that kept me from just following the 10K course and calling it a day early. I was to later realize that this runnable trail was to be the exception; most of the course was like the photo.
I more or less settled into what positon I was to be in (for a while) at around mile 5. That came at 1:11, which was 4 minutes off of goal pace. I knew that I wasn’t going to be doing two loops then, but I didn’t care to push it at all.
A lady in black tights and five finger shoes had passed me earlier; then I saw her walking around with her head down, on the side of the trail. I asked if she was ok; it turns out she had made a pit stop but then had dropped her car keys. Fortunately she found them about 30 seconds after talking to me; she remarked that we were near mile 6 as she disappeared into the distance. I caught a glimpse of her later but only a glimpse.
As I trudged toward mile 9 a woman in a bright jacket and black tights yelled at me; she was wearing headphones and had the tunes turned up a bit. I was a bit startled but she looked energetic. We were to pass each other back and forth for the next 4 miles or so; another lady in a blue jacket, water back pack and black tights (obvious vpls) caught us and I traded with her too. She was much quieter.
And so it went over the next few miles; Mile 9 came at about 2:10 and 11.4 came at about 2:50. It was sloppy and my mood was falling. The last I saw of the last two ladies was at the 11.4 station; they were getting ahead of me and so I wanted to catch them. I wish I had made more of an effort:
the constant snow/slush was really breaking me mentally but as I went further, a turn came and there was a long clear shot with little snow. I figured that I’d make up time (while dodging the puddles), but I couldn’t find my ladies! Hey, they had gotten a bit ahead of me but this trail was straight and I could see in the distance….did I slow that much???
Then after slopping around for seemingly 10-15 minutes (perhaps it was less time than that?) I came to an intersection; there were 3 trails and NO markings telling us which one.
I knew that the RD’s were competent; this meant…..there was a reason I didn’t see those ladies.
Then I noticed: no foot prints other than mine….and so I slowly walked back to backtrack. Sure enough…EVENTUALLY I saw the trail markers. But…which way to turn? I didn’t want to backtrack!
Fortunately Beth was moving along; she stopped when she saw me and I yelled “you are going the right way; I got off of the trail”. And so, it was close to 3:25 and we kept each other company for most of the way; she’d jog and get ahead, and I’d do the same. Finally, finally, I got slightly ahead of her, took a turn….AND SAW THE FINISH LINE. I stopped and yelled at her; a couple of seconds she got to me and we jogged to the finish line side by side.
Afterward, I got to chat with some of the other runners; only the marathoners were still out there.
One thing I learned: I think that one of the reasons I suck at trails is because I don’t train on them much. For me, trail running is a type of cross training; I just don’t get the turn over on the trails that I need to run well on the roads.
Also, weather is a wild card. I had a streak of good luck with weather on the trails (2002 to 2005) but I now have a “miserable weather” streak of 3 trail events in a row. I’ll probably still do these, but NOT as “goal events”, and I’ll probably stick to the 10K to half marathon range (mostly).
After I finished, I went home, showered, immediately put my dirty clothes in the wash and caught the second half of a women’s basketball game. Bradley trailed 33-18 at the half, rallied to cut the lead to 1 a couple of times, but fell short 58-53. Like me: they put themselves in too deep of a hole early.
For the second consecutive game, the Bradley men’s basketball team won 69-66. The first time, they beat Southern Illinois University and used hot 3 pont shooting to pull it off. They had a 3 point lead with 14 seconds left and held it.
This game, they beat Missouri State. BU had a 35-20 half time lead, based on 6/11 3 point shooting and strong defense. But in the second half, at least for the first 19:55 of the 20 minute second half, BU got outscored 46-31; Missouri State sliced up Bradley’s interior defense and also hit a few threes. They tied the game at 66 with 4 seconds to go; BU inbounded the ball and got off a desperation 3 point shot…which…banked in (off of the glass). The shot was clearly released before the game ended so it counted.
Lucky? Yes. But this year, Bradley was in a position to benefit from luck; last year they weren’t close enough. All of the lucky shots in the world wouldn’t have let them win. This year, Bradley is good enough to be close enough to an opponent to benefit from a friendly bounce.
I just got back from a university basketball game between the Bradley University and Wichita State women’s teams. It was exciting; the Shockers had a 12 point lead but the Braves battled back and pulled to within 2 within the last 4 minutes or so…but the visitors hung on to win.
While at the game, a young woman on the court caught my eye; “what a hot young woman” I thought.
She was…the visiting teams coach. The head coach.
I am getting too frigging old…
Ok, back from a basketball game (exhibition); Bradley played Upper Iowa (NAIA-II team) and won by 14; they lead by 3 at the half. 3 point shooting in the second half lead the way; these shots won’t be so open in Missouri Valley competition. My guess: the team will improve though it might not be a huge change in the win column.
Intrade and Iowa Electronic both have Obama at 62 percent (roughly).
Low 70 percent range.
Nate Silver: roughly the same:
So, what about other sources? Today I’ll talk about Electoral Vote.
This is how they see it:
They see Obama at 280 (strong, likely and leaning) and 23 toss ups.
How did they do in 2008? A week plus a day earlier (October 27, 2008) then had it 375-167; the difference is that they had Obama winning Missouri which he lost narrowly; also they didn’t show NE-2.
In 2004, (October 25) they had it Bush 285-247 with 5 tied; it ended 286-252 (faithless elector turned it to 286-251). The difference: Colorado and Wisconsin were flipped; Bush got Arkansas (?) and Kerry won Hawaii (still don’t understand that late poll…must have been an outlier).
So the track record isn’t that bad for Electoral Vote.
Romney might win, but he’ll have to draw an inside straight to do it.
I scanned through the yahoo college football webpage and found this article which talked about “empty seats at football games”:
Maybe not everyone was as excited as The Dash for the start of college football season. Judging from attendance figures, there were some surprisingly soft tickets for the opening weekend of 2012.
There was exactly one announced capacity crowd in eight Southeastern Conference home openers. Before the Labor Day Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game, six out of seven Atlantic Coast Conference schools had smaller crowds than their openers last year – some of them much smaller. Attendance was down at six out of eight Big 12 home openers from 2011. Five out of eight Pac-12 schools had smaller crowds as well, and Oregon’s 13-year sellout streak was in jeopardy until game day.
[Related: Georgia Tech’s uniforms are a mesmerizing honeycomb of awesomeness]
The Dash has some theories on what’s going on. The main one: Fans are increasingly less likely to pay higher ticket prices for mismatch games against bad opponents – especially when more games than ever are on TV or online, and the home viewing experience has never been better. The Saturday stadium experience is a wonderful thing, but getting fans to shell out for Elon, Murray State and Chattanooga is a tough sell.
P.T. Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute, and a whole bunch of them grew up to become college football fans. That’s the only explanation for why we’ve put up with the bowl cartel and lousy scheduling as long as we have.
But the public is showing signs of wising up and realizing it has a choice. If the games aren’t good enough, don’t go. Maybe that’s what happened the first weekend of the season. If so, the sport’s greedy power brokers had better take heed.
Looking at the big-six conferences, the following attendance figures stood out most (list complete with whiny fan excuses for not showing up):
Then they went through the conferences and Illinois got a mention:
The bad: Illinois (5) fans were so excited for the debut of Tim Beckman that they left more than 17,000 seats empty in 60,670-seat Memorial Stadium. Their crowd of 43,441 for the Western Michigan game was down 1,713 from last year’s home opener against Arkansas State. Presumptive whiny fan excuse: It was supposed to rain buckets. Dash response: It didn’t. And even if it did, ponchos are six bucks at Walmart.
Well, remember that this was from Isaac and it wasn’t just rain that was forecast but severe thunderstorms. I went anyway because I was excited about the season for a long time…and because I am an idiot. And no, it didn’t rain.
But about the fans: well, Illinois football just isn’t that big of a deal. Frequently, fans show up late and leave early, even if the game is competitive. Though some are knowledgeable and follow football, many haven’t a clue as to what is happening on the field..and frankly don’t care.
On the other hand, a win is not the best thing ever and a loss is a “oh well…it got away from us.”
When it comes to football: in some ways I prefer the southern fans; at southern games many more fans get into the game and will carry on a conversation about what the team should or shouldn’t be doing. That happens SOME at Illinois games, but not as much.
But, well, there is that perspective thing. And there is less “competition” between fans; in fact it is common to see fans wearing opponent shirts sitting with their friends in Illinois gear; in fact twice I’ve taken a dear friend and Ohio State fan to the Ohio State-Illinois game.
Bottom line: Illinois is a basketball school.
Workout notes AM: 2200 yard swim: 500 free, 10 x (25 fist, 25 free) on the 1, 10 x (25 fly, 75 free) on the 2; fastest 2 were 1:44, 1:45; the rest were 1:47-1:48. 200 cool down (side, back); had someone to push against.
PM: 5 miles plus (really about 5.5) including 4 with the group on the steamboat course.
I’ll be glad when the NBA season is over; staying up to watch the Celtics is making me sleep deprived. But it is a lot of fun; most of their playoff games have been close. My guess is that the next game against the Heat; possibly the next two..will be close. The Heat are far from finished.
Note: Paul Pierce is being guarded by LeBron James; that is a tough person to shoot over.
Jerry Coyne displays some reader shots of the Venus transit; one of them shows the sun setting over buildings with Venus in the disk of the sun.
Think that we are hot stuff? Compare the size of the moon to other things:
This afternoon, I went to the Riverplex to help my “Building Steam” group train. But I did an easy 3.2 mile run (31:26) on my own.
Early into the run, a young woman wearing very tight, shiny spandex shorts (bright blue) blasted past me at what appeared to be at least a sub 7 minute per mile pace. These were the “almost bun-hugger” cropped shorts.
I HATED myself for being so slow.
Other sights made up for it later though; there are advantages to being slow.
Oh yeah…the group: we started a bit too quickly as I was warmed up at the very start. Still the group hung in well and the slowest person averaged 14:20 minutes per mile (supposed to be the 14:00 minute per mile pace group). It was the best workout of the year, IMHO.
Total miles: 6 (3 run, 3 walk).
I did miss the first 3 quarters of the Celtics-76′ers game, and when I picked it up, the Celtics were up by 20 and went on to win 107-91. So, at least I’ve watched the competitive games.
(image from Yahoo)
I just watched the 76′ers beat the Celtics 82-81; the 76′ers out hustled the Celtics for most of the game and deserved to win. Then again, the Celitcs scored 13 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third; you aren’t going to win many games that way.
The last 4 Celtic games (I’ve watched them all): lose by 1, win by 3, win by 1, lose by 1. At least these are not boring games. It doesn’t matter that much though, in that the winner of the Heat-Pacers will win the East (IMHO).
Teamwork of a different sort
There are social spiders that support each other and hunt in packs:
(hat tip: Conservation Report)
Can Paul Krugman stand a Ray-gun in the hands of an “Austerian”? Go to his blog to find out!
Hot Gas Planets
Why are astronomers interested in star planetary systems which have large gas planets that orbit the host star from a short distance?
These are Jupiter-sized planets that have an orbit of only about three days. The scientists looked at 63 hot Jupiters to see if they could find evidence for any nearby Earth-like planets. They found none.[...]
The current theory is that hot Jupiters formed and then migrated in towards their stars. The researchers say that the migration might have “disrupted the formation of Earth-like planets.” Good thing our Jupiter kept its cool.
In short, a “hot giant gas planet” might mean that there is no use looking for an “earth” in that system.
Hot ancient women
Via Scientific American:
Since their discovery in 1994, the spectacular paintings of lions, rhinos, and other animals in southern France’s Chauvet Cave have stood out as the oldest known cave art, clocking in at about 37,000 years old.* But there have been occasional sightings of other cave art that is equally ancient, although its dating has been more uncertain. Now a team working at another site in the south of France claims to have discovered what appear to be engravings of female genitalia that are as old as or older than Chauvet, possibly making them the world’s most ancient cave art.
Men have been interested in such things for a long time, it seems.
This has to be one of the worst technical foul calls that I’ve ever seen.
Check out this cluster of galaxies
Chimps Even chimps have differences between societies: here is a case in which tool use differs between groups.
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