blueollie

30 August 2012: 53’rd year and…

Workout notes
AM: 52:23 for my Cornstalk 5 miler; 9:22 last mile (picked it up from Main to the house). Saw Melody; couldn’t catch up to her.
PM: weights. Felt stronger on the bench (4 x 175, 3 x 175, 8 x 155) and pull ups (4 sets of 10 were easy). I used the pulley for curls and used 60 pound dumbbells for my rows. Machine for the military (3 sets of 10 with 90) and skipped the incline press. I did vertical lifts and crunches for my abs and a bit of headstand and stretches.

Afterward I did my PT, and I started doing squats to loosen up. It really, really helps. I only do 2-3 sets of 5, but I go all of the way down (as far as I can go anyway):

I know; that isn’t much, but it has taken me TWO YEARS to get down this far.

Next: get down all the way, and straighten all the way.

Other stuff
A female friend thought (correctly) that I’d like this photo. Why? :)

This was taken during a very long relay race that had a walking division, which they won.

Politics
Yes, Mike Huckabee recovered from morbid obesity to run a marathon:

From the marathon:

Respectable time too!

But now…

Come on Mr. Huckabee! Less Chick-Fil-A and more running! Or…walk. Walking a marathon is a good thing to do too. Or…walk a half marathon instead.

August 30, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, big butts, huckabee, injury, knee rehabilitation, racewalking, running, spandex, training, weight training | Leave a comment

Run to Remember 5K

The facts: time: 24:34 (7:55 mpm), splits: 7:54, 7:45 (15:39), 8:04 (23:44), 0:50. The finish was slightly net uphill, though the course was out and back. This was my fastest time since September 2009 and an improvement over my times earlier this year and a major improvement over last year’s time. Weather: perfect (62 F). Place: 5 in the Age Group, 66 of 272.

Total run: 2 mile warm up, 1 mile walk to cool down.

The event itself: I had thought about doing the Lake Run (the flagship event of the Bloomington-Normal Lake Runner’s club) and while that race (a 1/4 marathon or a 12 K) IS an excellent event, I chose this one because it was in town and it made it possible to make a 10 am political event in Peoria (I’ll talk about that in another post).

It turns out that The Run to Remember is a nice little race; I am planning on doing this one on a regular basis. It is a fund raiser for a group that supports the families of law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty so there is some ceremony (10-15 minutes worth). Hence I was glad that I took a longer warm up than normal (over 2 miles actually) and that I used the bathroom late. But the ceremony was fine and touching.

The course itself is an out and back through some beautiful little neighborhoods; it crosses Prospect on Grandview drive and does one of those park-like loops for an out an back. I’d call the course “gently rolling” with a few micro-hills (20-30 feet?) and it is all on what I call “soft pavement” (tarmac rather than concrete).

My race Though I was a bit alarmed at how heavy legged I felt during the first part of the warm up, I was feeling great toward the end of it (21-22 minutes of easy running). I knew that I’d do fine if I kept the early pace under control.

I lined up at about where I was to finish and we were off. I was a bit surprised that I got passed so much in the first 1/2 mile or so, but I was to see most of these people again. :)

I stayed steady and paid attention to effort; I was pleasantly surprised to be under 8 minutes (7:54) at mile 1 but that included some downhill. I gradually started to pick things up a minute or two later and found myself starting to move up. Then I saw the leaders on their way back; that is ALWAYS humbling. :)

I kept moving up and, after seeing many people on the way back (some I would see again!) I rounded the little parking traffic circle on Prospect. I got to yell for some ahead of me (e. g. Jim David, Kevin McGuire) and some behind me (e. g. Theresa Shultz, Shelia Hansen) which meant that I wasn’t running too hard. My yelling is, in part, an effort check.

I saw that I was at 12:xx and figured that I might FINALLY break 25 and so picked it up again.

Mile 2: 7:45 and I was rolling; now I started to look for people to race (and there were plenty). I aimed for a well built young man, a tall guy in a yellow shirt and a young woman in cropped spandex shorts; I was to finish ahead of none of them though I caught the lady only to be outkicked by her at the end and I got outkicked by the young man starting at about mile 3. But they kept me from getting too lazy.

The uphill mile slowed me a bit (8:04) and I knew that sub 25 was mine; I didn’t have the mental courage to attempt a sprint in the last .1 miles though. I have to practice that.

Injury update: early on, I felt just a small twinge in my non-operated knee (left) but paying attention to stride length helped that to go away.

May 5, 2012 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, running, time trial/ race | 15 Comments

Consistency…sort of…Bradley U 5K run.

Workout notes I decided to run the local campus 5K (put on entirely by students) and…being a student oriented run….started at 10 am. :) Hence I did my lifting before the run (7:15 to 8:15 am) at the Riverplex (public gym that I belong to). I did only upper body; no legs, no sit ups.

Bench: 10 x 135, 9 x 165, 3 x 175, 4 x 175
rotator cuff: pulley (3 sets), dumbbells (3 sets)
rows (dumbbell): 3 sets of 10 with each arm (55 lbs.)
incline press: 2 sets of 6 x 135
curls (3 sets of 10 on the machine, 1 set of 6 with 30 lb. dumbbells)
pull downs: 7 x 162.5, 10 x 150, then 4-4-4 (162.5, 150, 137.5) with no rest
pull ups: 3 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5 (the shoulder friendly grips here are a tiny bit lose; makes it tough to hold on to)
military press: 2 sets of 15 x 45 lb. dumbbell (supported, seated)

It was enough to make me sweaty. I saw Peggy there, working as a trainer.

Then I drove hope, walked to the university gym, picked up my number, went upstairs and ran 2 miles in 21 minutes on the track to warm up. I was stiff when I started and the knees ached slightly (weather? mostly my LEFT knee)

I felt ok prior to the start of the race though I started with Mat before he took off. He was to finish in 24:07; he gradually pulled away from me. I passed people throughout; the day was cool (high 40’s), overcast and breezy.

Finally on what I thought was “mile 3″, I gained on three students (guy, two women) and passed the women. They sped up a bit to stay within striking distance and with the finish line in sight, I could hear them moving up behind me. I could not hold them off.

My final time: 25:41. Yes, the last mile hurt; it was an effort.

Then I remembered 1998; I ran the Eureka race in 25:41. The difference? The 1998 race was a 4 mile (6.4 km) and not 5K (3.1 miles). The time was the same, the effort felt the same but the speed was very different.

Mat: 24:07 for 13 out of 41. Me: 25:41 for 19 out of 41. Oh well. :)

Total miles for the day: 5 +; I did walk about a half mile to cool down, and then did abductor, push backs and leg raises (vertical; 2 sets each). I felt a bit too queasy to do sit ups.

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Friends, knee rehabilitation, running, time trial/ race, training, weight training | 14 Comments

Dead Legs, sort of

Yoga then a slow 6+ mile run (about 10K); my timed segments: 2 miles in 20:25, last mile (against a slight breeze) in 10:29; saw a couple of bunnies and lots of geese.

The knee was slightly sore (weather changes?) and I was tired (perhaps the harder walking miles yesterday evening).

Posts
Disabilities: the “service dog” person at the work place meets the person who…is allergic to dogs. :)

Politics

April 19, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, knee rehabilitation, Mitt Romney, political humor, politics, republicans, running, social/political | Leave a comment

McNaughton FAIL….

Well, things were ok when we started and I got through loop 1 in 2:56; however things were getting slick.

Loop two: 4:19, mostly due to my going down the muddy hills on all 4’s. I got lapped by most of the field during this loop.

Barbara (bless her) got me trekking poles from home; that (plus Naproxen) got me out on loop 3; but 1 mile into it my knee was still barking at me (after 45 minutes of rest). So I retired; the stress and strain of the slippery hills was too much.

This reminded me of last year (here and here). My knee has limitations.

However, mileage on the roads seems to be ok, so perhaps a road marathon or paved bikepath 50K (in the fall) might be a redeeming thing. But technical trail ultras are probably in my rear view mirror (up to half marathon seems ok).

But, I did get one nice compliment: one of the race officials asked me to come back and work as a volunteer, so that is what I will do.

The good news for the others is that the course is clearing up a bit.

April 14, 2012 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, time trial/ race, training, ultra | 10 Comments

My 5K run times: injuries slow me down more than age

On a whim, I decided to plot my 5K running times from 2003 to the present day. This was a good region to plot as it was in 2003 that I switched from “mostly running” to “mostly walking” (in terms of my weekly mileage).

I plotted “max”, “fastest” and “median” times; note that I threw out down hill courses, courses of suspect length, and races that I did after giving double red cell blood donations (2 months time).

The data:
2003: 22:09, 22:54 (22:09)
2004: 23:31, 23:39 (22:30) 1:01
2005: 23:08, 23:46 (22:39) 0:29
2006: injured (piriformis, then knee)
2007: 25:17 (23:01) 2:16
2008: 24:10, 24:33, 24:36, 25:30 (23:12) 1:02
2009: 24:00, 24:07, 24:14, 24:29, 24:45, 25:40 (23:24) 0:36
2010: injured (knee)
2011: 25:35, 25:48, 26:21, 26:56, 27:30, 27:44, 27:45, 27:52, 28:46 (23:45) 2:10
2012: 25:08, 25:14 (23:46) 1:22

Fast, median, slow, () is the age predicted (starting with 22:09) and the last is how much slower than I am that the age grading predicts.

The graph shows that the big, steep jumps in time came through the injury years.
Maybe with patience I can finally get back under 24 sometime this year?
Note: my meniscus tear got substantially worse in 2007 (swimming…flip turn).

Here is a graph that shows how much slower I am than my “predicted time by age” based on my fastest time in 2003. Note that the peaks follow an injury year. A flat, zero plot would show that I am running exactly as my age would predict.

If we look at the local minimums, it appears that accumulated injuries are slowing me down by about 30 seconds (10 seconds per mile) more than aging alone.

Note: in 1996 I ran between 21:30 and 23:15
In 1997 I ran between 20:01 and 22:10
In 1998 it was 19:53 to 21:30
In 1999 it was 20:40 to 21:40
In 2000 it was 20:50 to 22:xx
In 2001 20:50 to 22:xx
In 2002: mostly in the 22-23 range, with one final 5K (21:38) under a 7 minute pace.
But in these years, I ran and didn’t start walking until 2002.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | injury, knee rehabilitation, running, time trial/ race | 2 Comments

On Not Giving up on a workout

Happy April 1!

Seriously, about the blog post title: I went out planning 20 miles of walking on the road. But from the start, my back was sore and the piriformis hurt and by mile 2.25 it wasn’t getting better. So I turned at Sheridan and walked back home; 4.46 miles.

I got home and rolled on the tennis ball and did some piriformis and back stretches. When I stood up, I felt much better. So I set out again but chose a course which kept me within a mile of the house (more or less) at all times. So I walked to Bradley Park and did 4 x 2.84. That, plus the 1.13 mile out and back gave me 13.6 miles, or 18 for the day. This 13.6 was slow (3:30) but this was a constant up and down; I had 315 feet of climbing over 5 hills for each 2.84 mile segment:

I did feel some knee pain on this segment, but this was hilly.

So whereas my goal was 20 miles, I ended up with 18….13.6 more after it looked as if I might have to quit on the workout.

April 1, 2012 Posted by | April 1, injury, knee rehabilitation, political humor, walking | 1 Comment

Dirt paths, running and my knees (no politics)

Today I went running at the Rock Island Trail (crushed limestone path along an old rail line). Weather: somewhat breezy (it is Illinois), humid but high 60’s to low 70’s; beautiful weather.

The numbers: 1:24 (trail head to the mile 0 marker), then
Out leg: 9:37, 9:39, 9:59, 9:16 (short, turn around) 8:51, 9:36, 9:59, 9:59
then 1:29 back to the trail head.
Note: mile 4 and mile 5 are about 45 seconds short, so the trail head to the sign almost makes up for it.
Total time: 1:19:53, or 39:57 out, 39:56 back. Call it about 1:18:30 for 8 miles.

Main reason for this post: my knees didn’t hurt at all; the combination of the slightly quicker pace and the dirt was MUCH easier on my knees. I’ll have to make it out here at least one run a week.

Other observation: there is a huge difference (for me) between running 9:10 mpm and 9:40 or so; the former is only semi-comfortably sustainable for 4 miles or so whereas the latter is far easier on me. My current LT effort must be somewhere in between these (very slow, for now) paces.

Not much spandex sightings to report; what I notice is that trail traffic exists between miles 0 and 1…and then almost non-existent after that.

March 17, 2012 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, running, time trial/ race, training | 2 Comments

On gettting old and soft

I ran (sort of) a 4.11 mile out and back course in 42:28 (21:53/20:35); it was somewhat hilly. But I used to run a 3.55 mile sub-segment of this course in 26-28 minutes when I was in high school (in the mornings prior to school); today, about 35 years and 5 knee operations later, that segment would have been about 36 minutes.

Oh well…I am grateful that I can still do it at all, but I never dreamed that a day would come when it would take me this much longer.

Post
It is no secret that I get irritated when I read some of the “science” articles that appear in the mainstream media; the bottom line is that many journalists simply don’t know what they are talking about. Hence, someone in the general public who reads these articles actually comes away dumber than they were prior to reading the article.

Evidently, I am not the only one who has this concern.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the Slate article:

It’s my view that if you put the best scientists, science communicators, and science journalists in a room, it wouldn’t take long for them to agree on the basics of good medical science reporting.

A checklist would look something like the following. Every story on new research should include the sample size and highlight where it may be too small to draw general conclusions. Any increase in risk should be reported in absolute terms as well as percentages: For example, a “50 percent increase” in risk or a “doubling” of risk could merely mean an increase from 1 in 1,000 to 1.5 or 2 in 1,000. A story about medical research should provide a realistic time frame for the work’s translation into a treatment or cure. It should emphasize what stage findings are at: If it is a small study in mice, it is just the beginning; if it’s a huge clinical trial involving thousands of people, it is more significant. Stories about shocking findings should include the wider context: The first study to find something unusual is inevitably very preliminary; the 50th study to show the same thing may be justifiably alarming. Articles should mention where the story has come from: a conference lecture, an interview with a scientist, or a study in a peer-reviewed journal, for example.

Another concern is the sometimes misguided application of “balance” in science reporting. An obsession with including both sides of a story has often obscured the fact that the weight of scientific evidence lies firmly on one side—witness some coverage of climate change and GM crops.

There are a couple of other points: one is that scientists, being human, like recognition. Hence, they are likely to oversell their results. Therefore, a new result should be treated with skepticism. Another thing: results, if reported honestly, often won’t attract the interest of the general public. For example, you’ll often see headlines such as “food X is good for you” followed a few weeks later by a headline “food X is bad for you.” In fact, the studies may have well been of the type: “consumption of food X in population A has been correlated with a rise in a certain health parameter where as in population B it is correlated with a drop in another health parameter.

You also have people badly misinterpreting a statistic; recently I read of a study that was reported to have shown that muscle mass in the thighs was NOT correlated with age (if one studies masters athletes); in fact there was a statistic that had a correlation coefficient significant at p = .12. That is, THIS study (n = 40) did not show a statistically significant correlation (p = .12 means that there was a 12 percent chance that the correlation shown was due to pure randomness; that does NOT disprove a correlation.

Only a small percentage of people reading the article would understand that though.

December 27, 2011 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, running, science, statistics, training | Leave a comment

Medium Walk, Town Lake Trail, Austin, TX

I celebrated Christmas morning by taking a medium walk (11.6 miles, or 18.66 km) from my mom’s house to Town Lake and back; I included some of the Town Lake Hike/Bike trail. I took my time (2:38:18, or about 13:39 minutes per mile). The trail was damp but the footing was fine.

Highlights: heading down to the trail, I saw two large black bunnies. They must have been domestic as no wild rabbit would allow a stranger to get so close; they didn’t seem concerned about me at all. I added a small river loop just past the east side of I-35 to ensure that I got at least 11 miles. The trail wasn’t that crowded though there was enough feminine spandex to give me eyestrain.

My knee held up well and didn’t start to ache at all until about 10 miles into it..and that was a very mild ache that I would ordinarily ignore.

It was in the 40’s, humid and breezy.

On a personal note: I saw my daughter yesterday and enjoyed time with my mom. She turned 85 today.

Unfortunately, I can see why the country might be having financial troubles these days. More people are living longer, but their productive years aren’t that much longer. Hence, there is a larger need for retirement services. Added to that: the parents really start to age just as their offspring (if any) are hitting their peak productive years so, in many cases, it isn’t as if their offspring can care for them full time, especially if their job takes them thousands of miles away.

But it is the end of life when the medical needs increase…..so what to do? As far as increasing the retirement age: that is a perfectly fair thing to do with someone like me (who works in a climate controlled office) but unfair to those who work at physically demanding jobs.

These issues present some tough economic challenges and I don’t know the answer.

December 25, 2011 Posted by | economy, family, knee rehabilitation, time trial/ race, training, travel, walking | Leave a comment

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