And I wish I had stayed on the treadmill…


I went down to the Riverplex to run with less traffic. There is still some construction on the trail/bike path past Glen Oak Cemetery so I ran on Harvard to Bishop hill.

Total: 1:32:47 for what turned out to be 8.45 (ok, really 8.5 miles) and the wind just killed me.


That is typical spring weather here; pleasant temperatures and not bad to look at but WINDY. Yes, it is worse in Chicago. :-)

April 24, 2014 Posted by | Peoria, running | 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

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

Progress and regression

I decided at the last moment to do a least a race billed as a 5K.

Day: crisp (40′s, breezy, sunny), though I felt warm when I started my warm up.
Course: flat; some wind. But it was a bit short; the Garmins that I saw got 2.96 to 3.02 miles; I’ll go with 2.96 though I might believe 3 miles. Garmins tend to read short.

Splits: 7:38 (wind aided), 7:55 (realistic), 7:55 (realistic for 1 mile, NOT for 1.1). Total: 23:27 (chip), which grades to 24:41 for 5K. Pace: 7:56. How I knew that I was doing better: I actually had a small lead on Dianne who got me back at the very end and she is usually 24:xx for this distance (around 24:30) and I was drawing a bead on Jerry Kolb; I could close on neither. Still I finished 37 out of 257 overall, and 25 out of 104 men.

The course did feature several hairpin turns (I counted 4 total) that slowed you down a bit.

When we started off, I told myself to calm down and enjoy the light show (the sun was behind us and the feminine spandex just shimmered…:-) )

I was unprepared to see people on their way back so quickly, but you do arrive at the first hairpin turn fairly quickly (half mile/800 meters?). I was even more shocked to see people behind me.

As we passed mile one we came to an intersection and I could see runners off to the left. We were told to “go straight” and so we did; we followed the signs. It turns out that the group in front of us had gone the wrong way (no direction) and evidently they went in a loop(?)…full loop…opposite direction.


I was gaining on people who were fading and picked out Jerry and Dianne. I didn’t get them at mile 2 (15:33); the wind was now in our face. It wasn’t bad, but it was noticeable.

I finally moved on Dianne but she was to get me near the finish line. I was feeling “bad” but within reason; once again I didn’t attack the pain.

Afterward, I chatted, went to a path to walk a cool down, drove home, got a quick bite to eat and then hit the weight room.

There seems to be a rule when I lift after a 5K race: the better the race, the worse my lifting.

I did the following (more machines than normal)

pull ups: 5 sets of 10; first sets were weak; latter ones were better.
rotator cuff
rows: Lifefitness machine: 3 sets of 10 x 90
abs: 3 sets of 10 of twist, sit back, crunch
bench: 10 x 135, 9 x 160, 7 x 160
military: I couldn’t even swing the dumbbells into position, so I used the Hammer Machine: 3 sets of 10 x 140 (70 each arm)
curls: machine: 3 sets of 10 x 70
pull downs: Lifefitness machine, 3 sets of 10 x 150

I did NOT do upright rows (sore forearm/elbows)

This year’s 5K-ish distance results:

19 April: 23:27 2.96 (24:40 5K, or 23:45 3 mile)
5 April 22:31 (2.8 miles) 25:05 5K
29 March CIDA 25:09 5K
1 March: 27:27 for 3.25 miles: 26:10 5K.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | running, time trial/ race, weight training | | Leave a comment

On getting “Girled” or “Chicked”…..


The following Facebook meme made me chuckle. I’ve heard it called “getting girled”. Basically: this is what happens when a male track team member gets beaten by a female.

In sports like swimming and track and field (e. g. “athletics”, which includes running and race walking), this concept really only makes sense for the stronger male competitors.

There WAS a time in my life when, on rare occasion, I might finish ahead of the first female. This only happened at small, local races. It isn’t that much of a surprise; after all, if one looks at the results of high school track meets, sometimes, in a dual meet between small schools, the girl’s mile is won in a time over 5:30. That is a time I could run…a long time ago. So could many other in shape “workout bros”.

But now that I’ve gotten older, when one takes into account age and sex, I can compete on even terms with females in the 36-40 year old age group. Hence my natural advantage is gone and I don’t even think about trying to mix it up with the faster women; about the only time I notice them is when they are cooling down on the course and I am finishing up.

Frequently, even the older ladies beat me (example:)


Now sometimes, a woman will show up at a local race and beat everyone; this happened at the Galesburg Half Marathon in June 2012.

And in the longer events: ultra walker Sandra Brown has frequently beaten the entire field in a 24 hour walk; she did that in 2004 at the Wandelweekend in the Netherlands.
That was merely one of many “outright victories” for her.

In ultra swimming: Peggy Lee Dean and Lynn Cox both held the human record for the English Channel Crossing (at one time).

But in the vast majority of races where there are no outliers (e. g., an elite showing up at a non-elite race), the male winning time will be better than the female winning time.

And the concept of getting “girled” or “chicked” has never applied to me in running, walking or swimming. I simply am not good enough for it to have ever mattered.

Now in the weight room: When it comes to pull ups and, say, the bench press, there are women who can exceed what I do but they tend to be outliers (e. g. perhaps a shot putter at a Division I university would out bench me…and I mean “real” bench pressing, not that “bench shirt” stuff). And plenty of women can do more pull ups than I can (think: gymnasts) but they also tend to be moderate outliers; you tend to not see them at the places where I work out. You’d see them at gyms that cater to the more athletic crowd.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | running, ultra, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Pondering …

The River City Half Marathon in a month: run it for time or powerwalk it for training for the fall walking marathon?

Today: sunny, breezy, chilly (March weather, really): I did my Cornstalk 8.1 course in 1:23:04 (41:19/41:49) then walked 2.05 more (old course) to get 10 total; added to this is an easy 2.3 walked with the group last night.

I never pushed it at all; the only rough part was dodging the trucks in Bradley Park (in the more gravelly turn off coming down from Cornstalk Hill.

I had balked at doing this course because the hills do cause you to huff and puff a bit. But I needed that.


April 17, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Winter revisits…sort of

We got a bit of snow last night…most of it is gone now.
Still, I went indoors for the run part of my workout:

2 miles in 20:50 (treadmill)
5K on the indoor track in 26:06: 8:36, 8:35, (1:04), 7:50 (call it: 2.1 miles at T, 1 mile at I)
The 7:50 final mile wasn’t easy. I doubt that I could have sustained it much longer (3:57/3:53)

1 mile walk, then 3 more miles outside. It was sunny but chilly; and the usually low-traffic streets had much more traffic than normal due to rerouting from construction.


There I am, finishing up the Heights Half Marathon this past weekend. In the background you can see a guy with a camera; he is T’s long suffering husband. You can also see a woman turning to look at me…she appears to be giving me that “what a train-wreck” look. :-)

I actually AM walking in this photo hence I don’t mind looking as if I am walking. My form is terrible though.

April 15, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Memes and lewd tweets

US Airways: embarrassed about a lewd photo that appeared in their Twitter feed (this was a racy photo sent to them via a “complaint”).

The (very Not Safe For Work) photo.

I admit that it made me chuckle.

Running humor (yes, I slightly altered this meme)

Jon Stewart
Yes, I get his point: Christians are not persecuted in the United States. Not having others as a captive audience for your religion is NOT persecution.



Well, it isn’t quite that simple.

For example: Thomas Jefferson wouldn’t be considered to be a Christian by modern fundamentalists. In fact, he made his own version of the New Testament that mostly did away with the miracles (including the resurrection)

Abraham Lincoln was hardly a traditional Christian either:

Lincoln was not religious for most of his life, but his faith seems to have evolved and progressed during his presidency.

- The letter went up for sale this week for $35,000.

Abraham Lincoln is known for many things. He led the nation through the Civil War, emancipated the slaves and delivered eloquent speeches about democracy and liberty. But Lincoln’s religious views have long been a matter of debate.

Now, a newly resurfaced letter from the 19th century is raising questions once again about the 16th president’s relationship with God. The three-page letter, which was written by Lincoln’s old law partner, William Herndon, and just went up for sale for a price of $35,000, claims that Honest Abe was driven not by faith, but by politics.

Lincoln’s attitude toward religion was clearly complex, and the discussion is far from over, as some evidence suggests that Lincoln’s sense of faith evolved and deepened throughout the war and his presidency. Still, the letter offers a rare view of Lincoln’s inner life from someone who knew him before he went to Washington.

“Mr. Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt; he is or was a Theist & a Rationalist, denying all extraordinary — supernatural inspiration or revelation,” Herndon wrote in the letter, signed Feb. 4, 1866, a year after Lincoln’s assassination.

“At one time in his life, to say the least, he was an elevated Pantheist, doubting the immortality of the soul as the Christian world understands that term,” continued the letter, addressed to Edward McPherson, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. “I love Mr. Lincoln dearly, almost worship him, but that can’t blind me. He’s the purest politician I ever saw, and the justest man.”

John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore and William Howard Taft were Unitarians (denied the divinity of Jesus).

Of course, these were people who served long ago. And no, none of these were Richard Dawkins style atheists (as I am). But it is incorrect to label them as Christian, at least as the word is used in this day and age.

April 15, 2014 Posted by | humor, running, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Oh well…I had my fun

Paid for it today: 45 minute easy run (Cornstalk 4.2 mile course). Pretty weather but the traffic redirection put more cars than normal on this route.

I am still tired.

April 13, 2014 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

Windy season

I was wondering whether I’d attempt to run or walk this Saturday’s half marathon. Today I gave myself the answer: I am walking it and aiming for 2:35 (the pace I hope to maintain for a walking marathon in September)

Today’s workout: 50′s and windy:


I jogged 2 miles in about 20 minutes (10 minutes at 1.03 miles) and then did the 1.23 park loop (small hill) in 9:52 (8:01 pace; 33 seconds faster than last week). Then 6 minutes of jogging, then 4 x 400 on a 5.3 percent grade hill (2:15, 2:23, 2:13, 2:15); I was hampered by going against that 15 miles per hour wind and by the faster 1.23 segment. I jogged one mile back (9:39) and then walked 3 more.

Last night: I walked 2 miles with the group; one mile out and then 1 mile back (23 minutes). I walked with someone, who is working through some serious health issues but is determined to finish the Steamboat 4 miler this year. I found her to be a delightful, determined woman.

April 10, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment


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