Back at it…in Peoria

First my workout: I didn’t dare weigh myself; though I ate 3 meals a day and ate within my foodplan, I didn’t eat the usual fruit and yogurt stuff I usually eat. So I felt as if I gained 30 pounds over the weekend.

2 mile jog outside (neighborhood)
2 miles on the track: 5 x 400 with 200 walk/jog, 200 run
runs: 1:54-1:52-1:54 (9:12)-1:52-1:53-55 (19:13)
rests: 1:43-1:47-1:47-1:47-1:44

quick breakfast, then 6 mile walk in Bradley Park: modified cornstalk 4.2 (lots of cars at the theater), lower 1.2 loop, lower .6 loop, then extra (Past Markin to Bradley Ave.)

total: 4 run 6 walk. I did have two “soft” knee spikes in my left knee (not the one with the 2010 surgery). This is looking as if …oh 3-6 years I’ll probably have to have this knee done as well.

Mano Singham: discusses a different kind of migrant worker. This is the older 60+ person who lives out of a RV and drives to seasonal jobs; they can’t afford to retire. I hope that isn’t me, of course. But if I CAN do this and don’t HAVE to….who knows?

But yeah, I imagine this is no fun for those who are trapped in this manner.

you might be hearing about one really low poll number for President Obama (37 percent). In fact, most of them have him in the low to mid 40′s. Personally, I am glad that we don’t have a President that is rushing to get us into new wars.

Still, the Senate: ugh…we’d be lucky to hold it to 50-50. The 95 percent confidence interval for Republican seats looks like 47-55 with perhaps 51 being the most likely outcome.

Right now, the polls for us in Georgia and Kentucky are probably fool’s gold.

Note: I was more confident about the 2012 Presidential election because we had a LOT more polls.

Locally: To the surprise of no one, Tea Party IL-17 candidate Bobby Schilling has the support of our “let’s send the police after someone who hasn’t broken the law Mayor Ardis”. I am shocked. I wonder what dirty tricks Mr. Schilling has up his sleeve this time?

July 21, 2014 Posted by | 2012 election, 2014 midterm, Aaron Schock, political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Steady state run

I don’t think that I’ve done enough steady state runs. Today was a great day for it; sunny and 65 F with 78 percent humidity at first; 69 F with 68 percent humidity at the end. It “almost” felt like air conditioning.

So today I started off with the intention of doing 10K and mid way changed it to 8 miles. Of course, during the first 4 mile segment I got internally whiny with respect to the course: I wanted to avoid having to do that last “from the bottom to the top of Bradley Park” hill twice.


I did it anyway; it wasn’t as bad as I had remembered it. 43:23/43:01 for 1:26:24 for 8.1 miles. Yeah, it was slow but I have regained only half of my missing red cells yet. I tried to pick it up a little on the way back, and as you can see, I didn’t pick it up that much.

Off for a weekend in Cincinnati; I might get in a couple of 4 mile workouts there.

July 18, 2014 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Reading too much into it: personal stories (light hearted)

A running friend of mine ordered some race shoes; they were due to come in today. She didn’t want the UPS driver to ring the bell and wake her sleeping kids. So she waited outside for the driver and recalls:

UPS finally arrives with my running shoes. I meet him outside so he doesn’t ring the bell and wake the babies. He sees me coming with a big shit eating grin on my face and kinda giggles.

Me: Sorry, you have my running shoes, hehe.

UPS guy: That’s cool.(gives me the once over) You look like you’ve been waiting for me.

Me:(feeling myself kinda blush because he’s kinda cute[okay, he was VERY attractive] and I’m not sure what he means but it’s coming off as flirtatious) Um, yea. It’s been a while.

As soon as that comes outta my mouth I think to myself “OMG why did you just say that?!” and my face turns red.

UPS guy:(turning BEAT red) Hhe, hhe, Well, I’m glad I could help you with that. Hope you enjoy.

We both awkwardly walk away and it’s then that I realize what he meant by looking like I’m waiting for him: I’m wearing HEAD TO TOE running gear complete with shoes, capris and a race shirt


Here is my “sort of similar” story:

I was running on a hotel treadmill; this was a large hotel that had a very large health club. There was a row of steppers/elliptical trainers behind the treadmills and a woman was on one of them; she was wearing headphones.

As I got cranked it up I heard her say (in one of those voices one uses when one thinks they are talking to themselves but they are speaking aloud):

“Shake it BABY!!! Nice butt!”

I kind of grinned and started to crank it up a bit.

Then I looked at the TV screen; there was a professional athlete (male) on the screen…rear view of him.

D E F L A T I O N. :-)

July 15, 2014 Posted by | human sexuality, humor, running | , , | Leave a comment

In denial

Workout part I:

22 minute jog outside (high 50′s…really)
inside: 5 x 400 with 200 walk, 200 run

I used lane 2

runs: 1:54-1:51-1:52-1:51-1:52-54
rests: 2:13-1:55-2:03-1:57-2:04
miles: 9:48/20:32

Then: 2:26 walk then an 8:59 mile (lane 2)

Total: 31:58 for just over 5K (counting all of the walking laps)

Interval totals: 12:40 of the time was walking (.75 miles) , 19:18 was running (2.375 miles)

After I finish this, I’ll go for a short hike.

This is day 15 after blood donation; some of “it” is coming back.

Denial: My wife is retired, and though she is older than I am, it is difficult for me to think of her as being elderly, though she is (by any reasonable definition).

As for me: yeah, I see that my times are slowing and that I can’t lift as much weight as I once could. I could once do 27 pull ups without stopping; now even doing a single set of 15 is a chore (typically it is 5 sets of 10 with short rests, and that isn’t easy for me).

But I remain in denial. My slowing times aren’t reflecting my age; they reflect that I am just “not in shape yet”. But I’ve been trying to “get in shape” for 9 years now and it hasn’t happened yet. :-)

Here is the effect of increasing entropy on my body over the years….you can see the steady loss of definition in my arms in these photos.





Enough of that. Time to hit the trails and then do some math.

July 15, 2014 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Very humid 5K

I’ve done this race a few times before. (2012) (2013)

Screen shot 2014-07-12 at 9.21.13 AM

Straight comparison:
2012: 26:07 8:28, 8:49 (17:18) (?), 8:49 for the last 1.1 (70, 88 percent humidity) 30 days after blood donation
2013: 26:32 8:03, 8:12 (16:15) 10:17 for last 1.1 (cool) 26 days after blood donation
2014: 27:41 8:39, 8:39 (17:18) 10:22 for the last 1.1 (73 F, 87 percent humidity) 12 days after blood donation.

The real difference: 12 days after blood donation this year.

Upside: Barbara went with us (Tracy and I) and walked the 2 mile. This is the first time in a while that Tracy went with me to this particular race.

I didn’t warm up as much as usual (1.3 miles today) and I found it hard to breathe.

I lined up further back than normal and we were off. I kept the effort way down…or so I thought. Mile 1, mile 2: even splits. So I thought “ok, in mile 3, go after people” and that thought lasted all of 3 minutes ….I started to feel bad and so walked a bit. I walked perhaps 2-3 times total in the last 1.1; I wasn’t in the mood to hurt AND I was still spooked at almost going down a week or so ago.

Hence, the loooooong last 1.1; similar to last year, really. The difference between this year and 2012 was really the last 1.1; two years ago I had my red cells back. The analogue between this year and last year would be the 4′th of July races in 2012-2013, and my time under similar heat and humidity conditions was similar.

Tracy finished and won an AG award; Barbara walked about 2 minutes faster than she had in practice.

Trivia: on the way there, we got a great look at a coyote crossing the road; they keep their tails down and have a very “non-bounding” gait.

July 12, 2014 Posted by | Friends, running | , | Leave a comment

Workout rule: don’t panic too early

Today I had a goal of running 10K and at the start (first mile), I felt bad, even though the day was cool. I cursed myself for giving blood last week, but that turns out to only be part of it; part of it was that I was merely stiff from yesterday.

So I continued to my 5 mile course (26:30 half way) and added a 1.2 mile “lower” loop to finish 6.3 in 1:06:47. It was a slow pace, but should have been. Then I walked 5K more in just over 45 minutes to finish it up.

Total: 10K run, 5K walk. Total time: 1:52. During the walk, I focused on posture and pushing back.

The day: very nice; weather doesn’t get better than this.

Commentary: right now I am leafing through the book Running Tough by Michael Sandrock.

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 11.28.56 AM

On one hand, it has a nice collection of workouts; it shows how one can do speed work, tempo work, off road running work, fartleck and even long running in different ways.

On the other hand: these are mostly workouts for young, strong runners. But I can benefit in a couple of ways, IF I make adjustments.

1. My staple race is the 5K, which, when I am doing well, is a 24-26 minute event. That is a bit like a 10K for an elite (they go high 26 to mid 28). So, I might look at their 10K training programs.

2. I need to look at their workouts. An elite might do, say, 1K repeats in 2:40. For me, that would be more like a 500 meter repeat, or perhaps a 600. In short, I should do speedwork by duration rather than length. E. G., my 200′s are 50-55 seconds; that is a bit more than 300′s for an elite.

My favorite (which I do by interval length) is the 8 x 400 with “fast float”: shoot for 400 at my 5K pace (say, 2 minutes each) but then run the 200 meter recovery in, say, 1:15-1:20, (10-10:30 mpm), which is my normal training pace. I can’t do that right now (post blood donation) but I can do that on Friday or Saturday when I am not racing. This is a difficult workout for me.

I do a junior version of this right now: 200 in 0:53-55 with recovery 200 in 1:35 (just over 12 minutes per mile) to give me 2 miles in 20 minutes (7:30 for the run segments, 12:30 for the “walk/jog” segments).

Another aspect As I’ve aged, I changed. The mile used to be my best distance (either running or racewalking); now it isn’t. I need to do more short intervals than I used to.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Better than last week

Today: 2 mile warm up on the treadmill: 10:44/19:54 (sped up)

8 x 200 with 200 walk/jog (middle lane) 55-55-54-53-(10:13)-54-54-54-54-(20:13). I felt fine. After walking an easy lap, the “harder mile” was still a no go, so I did a 10:30 mile on the treadmill instead. 5 miles in 50:30.

Then after a quick breakfast, I did an untimed 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic); weather was pretty.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

First 6 months of 2014: athletic summary

My favorite “online running log” is down for the count…probably need to write it off. I have the data downloaded somewhere. I’ll have to figure out where.

So every week, I’ll post a summary on Sunday.

Today’s walk: goal was to get 4 hours plus; I ended up with 17.75 miles in 4:24. I walked 2:10 out, 2:08 back in 2:18 plus 6 more minutes (about .4 miles more).



The weather: mostly high 70′s with humidity in the low 80 percent range, save a quick cooler front. There were rumbles of thunder and it did rain…at times on the course but NOT where I happened to be.

The course: Cooper, Moss, Union, W. MLK, Kumpf, Water to the riverfront, then to Abington, Lower Glenn Oak (trail along Perry) to Springdale, under Route 150 to Harvard (past Affina) and then to the bike path which I took to Prospect, and then to Tower Park. I then walked back and added a Bradley University (Markin) loop to get 4:20+. My pace: kind of slow, but it was warm and sticky.

What I saw: a few cyclists, a group of older runners, a few bunnies and a lot of ground hogs.

I focused on posture.

Afterward: I felt tired upon stopping…but air conditioning, a drink and lunch really, really revived me. I perked right up.

Summary for the week:

Monday: weights, 2200 yard swim, blood donation.
Tuesday: 4 mile run (8 x 200 meter with 200 walk/jog); almost passed out at the end.
Wednesday: 6 mile run (1:03) outside; easy effort.
Thursday: weights, 2650 yard swim
Friday: 2 easy, 5K run (27:06), 1 easy for 6 total.
Saturday: 2200 yard swim, weights, (got 50s for dumbbell military), 4.25 mile walk.
Sunday: 17.75 walk in 4:24.

37 miles on foot, 4 miles swimming, 3 weight sessions, blood donation, slow race, longish walk. Weights: ordinary.
Bodyweight: 180.x pre swimming, 178.x after swimming.

5K summary for the season:

4 July: Firecracker 5000 27:06 5K
31 May: Family House 5K 26:50 (fell down)
24 May: River Run 5K (certified) 24:42 5K
10 May: Race For the Cure 25:27 5K
3 May Run to Remember 24:17 5K .
26 April: 26:47 5K (Bradley soccer 5K)
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.

Other comments over the first 6 months of 2014 (athletically speaking)
My mile races: pretty bad but all were in sauna like conditions. I suspect my indoor miles (inside lane of the indoor track) were a bit short by a few seconds; the middle lane is probably accurate. But training for these miles helped my 5K run (I think).

Microbrew: 7:59 (slow, “tour the course 6K” afterward) June 22
Main Street: 7:04 (downhill) June 27
Mental Health: 7:46 (day after Main Street)

I had a decent (but not great) 4 miler 33:25; June 7

And I had a “meh” Steamboat 15K run (1:29:57) June 14.

I also had a couple of ok half marathon powerwalks:

2:25:25 on April 12 (Peoria Heights)
2:19:14 River City Half (May 18).

Weight room wise: 180 for 3 reps is my best bench press performance (or 160 for 10 reps, 170 for 7 reps); most everything else is stagnant.
I did restart swimming and I stayed with it. I use swimming mostly as cross training; once or twice I managed a set of 100s on the 2 with a few under 1:40, but 1:42-48 is more the norm.

My best progress has been in the 5K run.

July 6, 2014 Posted by | running, Uncategorized, walking | , | Leave a comment

Running a race 4 days after blood donation

Today’s race featured an unusually cool day. But I did have a degradation of performance; over Memorial Day I ran a certified 5K in 24:42 and a week ago I ran a (downhill) mile in 7:04. Today, my 5K was a rather pedestrian 27:06; 68 F with 65 percent humidity. That was a slight factor; perhaps 20 seconds by this calculator.

But the bigger degradation was the blood donation from Monday (4 days ago); that impacted what I could do. And, the impact was sneaky. Here is what I mean: normally, during a race, I can predict when an effort will be unsustainable for a given length of time base on how bad I am feeling at a given pace. That is, I have some sort of “time left at this effort” to “how bad I feel right now” ratio. But that ratio changes with blood donation; that lack of red cells just exacts a toll.

I walked at two different times today, mostly because I didn’t want to get into a zone where I would pass out (like I almost did on Tuesday).

Still, today was 40 seconds faster than last year and last year’s race was held under similar weather conditions 15 days after the blood donation. So, there was something positive to take away.

I swear; blood donation didn’t seem to affect me as much when I was younger.

July 4, 2014 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Jaycee Firecracker 5000 2014

This was different from previous years; it was a very pleasant 68 F, 65 percent humidity during the race; far less sticky than it has been in previous races.
But given that I had given blood just this past Monday, I expected it to be rough sledding.

It was.


Atmosphere: it has grown from the previous 300 runners to over 900; this meant quite a few 11-12 minute per mile noobs lining up too far in front. But really not that many.

I jogged 2 miles from my house and did a few strides. I saw Steve Hippler and Cassie at the start…and oh my goodness was it ever a spandex fest. I wish I had one of those little cameras. :-)

I took off at a reasonable pace…or so I thought. 8:31 was for the first slightly uphill mile. I knew that I was working just a bit too hard…I told myself “just maintain”. I saw a lady that I raced at the mile (she beat me by 3 seconds) and was a bit surprised; it used to be that if someone was with me in a mile race, they’d blow me away at longer stuff.

On the river trail…I couldn’t so I got onto the grass and walked until I saw a pack that I could run with…or so I thought. I picked it up slightly and got to mile 2 in 17:25 (8:54, even with the walk). I thought: ok, “get to half mile to go and pick it up”. Past mile 2 I saw Cassie leave the course due to an Achilles problem. That is a tough one to shake.

But with about 1/4 mile to go, I felt bad and so walked a step or two and then jogged it in.

8:31, 8:54, 9:41 (about 8:50 for the final mile) for 27:06.

I then walked back to meet Tracy and then jogged it in with her.

Tracy is a huge tennis fan, so I got some hotcakes at McDonalds while she watched one Wimbledon semi final match. We watched the match together and she explained the game to me.

Note: miles for the week (my online training log is down):

Monday: swim, lift (swim 1.25 miles), blood donation
Tuesday: 4 miles: 2 easy, 4 x 200 with 200 jog; these about killed me.
Wednesday: 6 miles (1:03; felt glacially slow)
Thursday: swim, lift: swim 1.5 miles, lifting.
Friday: 2 easy, 5K, 1 easy walk (6 total)

Past: 2011 (30:09; 14 days after double red cell donation, hot, charmed by T’s purple spandex)
2012: 8:26, 8:26, 10:53 (27:46) 82 F, 69 percent humidity, 15 days after whole blood.
2013: 8:15, 9:01, 10:24 27:40 69 F, 73 percent humidity, 17 days past blood donation.
2014: 8:31, 8:54, 9:41 27:06 68 F, 65 percent humidity, 4 days past blood donation.

My numbers were slightly better this year than last year:

Overall place: 396/1024 (.387) last year, 329/953 this year (.345)
Males: 262/478 (.548) last year, 222/435 (.510) this year
Master’s males: 100/205 (.487) last year, 85/192 (.443) this year.
AG: 25/36 last year (.694), 20/35 (.571) this year (and it was the same AG).

So I had a better race under similar conditions (last year 1 degree warmer and slightly higher humidity, but blood donation was MUCH more recent this year).

July 4, 2014 Posted by | Friends, running, Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments


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