Parents weekend 5K

It was humid but cool (high 50’s, low 60’s) but few people showed up. In fact, the winning time was 22:3x and the next two were 23:3x (a middle age guy and an older guy). Your’s truly was 4’th in 26:38 and the first woman was 5’th about 1 minute behind me.

I was 16:23 at 2 miles but was a bit discouraged; the two guys in front of me were way in the distance, almost out of sight and I had no one breathing down my neck. It was a decent workout but not much of a race. I finished with about an 8:45 mile; I should have had more mental toughness than that.

Screen shot 2014-09-20 at 10.30.01 AM

Previous times: April 2012
October 2012
May 2013
October 2013

September 20, 2014 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Today: 5k, football, weather, etc.

Our university has a 5K that runs right past my house and it starts in 90 minutes. So, of course, I can’t resist. :-) It is in the high 50’s so I’ll have only my lack of running conditioning to blame.

Right now, I am doing a little of everything each week: longish walks (15-20 miles), a few short runs (4-6 miles), a couple of weight sessions and a couple of 2200 yard swims (2 km). After next week’s walking marathon, I’ll probably add a swim/lifting session and cut back a little on the midweek walk.

Heel: still slightly sore; sometimes feels like mild PF..but going up on my toes doesn’t hurt?

I have tickets for Illinois vs. Texas State. Texas State used to be Southwest Texas State (I-AA…now FCS) and now they are a FBS team in the Sun Belt. They lost to Navy at home (35-21); they trailed 28-0 in the second quarter and Navy ran all over them. So, this is a team that Illinois *should* be able to handle; they should be a step down from Washington. But the emphasis is on “should”; who knows until they play the game.

Navy plays Rutgers at home; THAT should be interesting. This is Navy’s second game against a Big Ten team this year. Rutgers is 2-1, having lost to Penn State last weekend.

Also of interest: Miami vs. Nebraska. Is Nebraska all smoke and mirrors or are they for real?

Weather: we are supposed to have rain in Peoria this afternoon, but not in Champaign (where the game is). We’ve had an unusually cool September but the planet, on the whole, has been warm. What is in store this winter? It could go either way. A bad winter could be bad news for us, as budget cuts has cut our plowing/salt budget.
I need to buy some decent snow boots to walk to work and to shovel.

Secularism This is a nice piece in Time Magazine which was generated by the recent incident in which the Air Force wanted to keep “So Help Me God” as a required part of the enlistment oath. They wisely recanted: (this is part of the article)

It took the threat of a lawsuit before the Air Force agreed on Wednesday to allow airmen to omit the phrase “So help me God” as part of a required oath. Until then, they claimed an airman stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was ineligible to reenlist after he crossed out the phrase on his reenlistment form.

This controversy will rile up many people of good will—not against the military, but against the airman. Why make a big deal out of words that the majority of Americans believe in? Just cross your fingers if you must, and say the words. Why rock the boat?

Here’s why: The incident betrays a subtext of intolerance and hostility toward secular people that is embedded in American culture and public institutions. The Air Force was ready to end a man’s military career because he would not submit to its religious demands.

To secular Americans, requiring an oath to God is like asking a Jewish airman to swear, “So help me Jesus” or a Christian to say, “So help me Allah.”

I love the article, but have a minor quibble with the last sentence in the quote: asking me to swear an oath to God is NOT like asking a Jew to pray to Jesus or a Christian to pray to Allah.

Asking me to pray to God is exactly like asking me to pray to the Tooth Fairy. On the other hand, asking a believer to pray to a different deity is asking them to commit blasphemy which, to a believer, is a serious offense which can cause emotional and mental anguish.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | politics, politics/social, religion, running, science, social/political | , | Leave a comment

e-mailing professors and “students of today”

Workout notes
Weights plus 5 mile treadmill run (protecting the foot) Foot: oh so slightly sore after.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (ok) with rotator cuff and McKenzie
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180 (weak), 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135
military/pull down/row super set:
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
pull down: 3 sets of 7 traditional, 7 low (160/100)
row: 3 sets of 10 x 65 dumbbell (single arm)
Hip hikes, achilles.

I was a sweaty mess (45 minutes) and then I ran.
started with 5.6-5.7…increased every 2 minutes until I got to 7…started to die. 20:15 at 2, then I did some 6/6.7 every .25 miles.
Total: 47:55 for 5; this was more work than I had anticipated.

This is a good guide on how to NOT e-mail your professor (fictional student; e-mail is a collage of actual e-mails)

The professor says something interesting:

And before you go thinking that Anderson is publicly shaming the student: ‘cartmanrulez99′ a fictional creation, based on “two or three poor emails put together,” explains Anderson on YouTube. “I would never post an email of a student to the Internet nor would I suggest anyone else ever doing that.”

Yep. But this is interesting too (emphasis mine):

Moreover, he adds, he’s not youth-bashing. “In my opinion, each and every generation is smarter than the previous generation,” he writes. “I have seen that first-hand in my twenty years of teaching. If you think that there were no dumb people in the past, think again.”

The emphasis is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE FOR ME; that is, the current students don’t appear to be smarter to me. BUT….there are mitigating factors at play here:

1. I went to a very selective undergraduate institution. Then I served in the Nuclear Navy; my fellow officers were taken from the upper 20 percent of graduating classes in engineering and science programs. Then I got my Ph. D. at a division I research place.

Therefore, the average student I see at my “median ACT of 25, median calculus ACT of 29-30″ isn’t as talented as the people that I went to college and beyond with.

2. We teach service courses including mathematics for non-technical majors. See point 1.

BUT: it is true that today’s A student is pretty good, at least the A students in mathematics and science are.

And yes, we had presumptuous idiots in my day too…though we didn’t have e-mail until I was almost done with graduate school. :-)

3. Concerning the 20 plus years I’ve been here: we’ve had ebbs and flows in student quality. The current class appears to be an “up” class. This ebb and flow probably wouldn’t be seen by a professor who teaches at an elite university or at a larger state university.

September 18, 2014 Posted by | education, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

back in Peoria with achy foot

My foot hurt a little; back on Naproxen I go (and back to the ice). But it is far from severe.

I felt gummed up from all of that driving this weekend and didn’t want to work out this morning. But I felt that moving would make me feel better.

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (hip hikes, Achilles rest)
incline presses: 10 x 135, 3 x 150 (weak), 10 x 140 (strong) (rotator cuff)
military presses: 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
pull downs: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low
rows (single armed with dumbbells): 3 sets of 10 x 65
military presses (standing) 2 sets of 8 x 40 lb.

running: treadmill: started at 5.6 mph, 5.7 (10 min), then every 2: 5.8-5.9-6.0-6.1-6.2-6.3-6.4 (all at 0.5)
then I upped the elevation to 1.0-1.5-2.0-2.5 and then 3 for the final mile. Total time: 38:52 for the 4 miles.

This wasn’t exactly a killer workout, but I got warm and sweaty…and I feel better than when I started.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | running, travel, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

back home in Peoria…driving, etc.

This morning: early run on the Middleburg bike path. 4 miles; 19:22 out, 16:50 back (plus a little extra), 49 F.
Note: saw a group of 6 deer near the start, and another group of 3 more near the middle. Also, they were setting up for a race, which started a bit too late for me today.

Then, breakfast with Olivia and Barbara:



Then on the road. It went fine until I got to the place where I-80 and I-90 split; that bridge is STILL out and I missed the I-65 detour to get back on I-90.

Screen shot 2014-09-14 at 8.04.25 PM

That put me on the 5 dollar Chicago Skyway Bridge which took me into Chicago and smack dab into White Sox game traffic. Grrrr…..I got the worst of both worlds: post game traffic without a game!

I sounded a bit like the soundtrack from The Exorcist. But we survived (and my wife let me rant).

I had a good time with my daughter but my right heel is slightly sore…I can’t decide on it being a heel bruise or mile PF.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | family, running, travel | | Leave a comment

Case study of why preliminary rants should be done in private….

Workout notes: weights plus running on the treadmill.
weights: 5 x 10 pull ups (first 2 sets: stiff), Achilles plus hip hikes
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180 (weak), 9 x 160 (weak) (rotator cuff)
inline: 10 x 135 (ok) (rotator cuff)
military: dumbbell, seated, supported: 2 sets of 12 x 50
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 65 each arm (dumbbell)
military: 10 x 40 dumbbell, standing.
military: 7 x 85 barbell
pull downs: 3 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)

running: 6 miles on treadmill in 59:45, .21 walk.
how: 5 minutes at 0.5 at 5.5, 1.0 at 5.6, 1.0 at 5.7, 1.0 at 5.8
then 1.5 at 10 mpm, 2 at 10 mpm this got me to 30 minutes
then at 2 I went 6.1-6.2-6.3-6.4
then drop to 1.5-1-0.5 going to 6.5, 6.6, 6.7

Reason: my heel (right) is sore again; the relief was fool’s gold. Evidently I’ve subtly changed my gait to go more on my toes when walking and running.
So, I’ll need to be very careful so that this doesn’t ruin my September 28 marathon. More taper, less training.

Title of the post
I had signed up for a payment plan for my daughter’s university (so I thought) but then got a “money due” bill. WTF?
I was all in a self righteous lather about “the incompetence of others”.

So I did some digging around.

It turns out: my account number: I had left off the leading zeros on my check. *I* had screwed up.

Fortunately, only my wife was subject to my rather embarrassing self-righteous anger (I didn’t vent AT her but she witnessed my generic “the whole world is incompetent except for ME” rant.)
Well, I guess there is one less exception, huh? ;-)

September 11, 2014 Posted by | running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

6:30 a mile mind, 8:30 a mile body

Workout notes weights plus treadmill run after.
Weights: pull ups 15-15-10-10 (hip hikes, Achilles)
Bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (weak)
military: seated, supported dumbbell: 2 sets of 12 x 50, standing, unsupported: 2 sets of 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of dumbbell rows: 10 x 65, 1 set of 10 x 200 Hammer
pull down: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low.

Run: treadmill to protect the foot: (.5 elevation) 20:47 2 mile, then 29:44, 38:33, 47:14, 55:50, 57:55 for 6.21 (10K).
That was enough to get me tired and sweaty.

Commentary: I run, swim and walk for time. I also follow others who do (Julie, Tammy, Ray, Damon, David, are some of them)

All of these folks have hit performances I’ll never reach. But that isn’t the main point; I just like to see what they are up to and to get some vicarious enjoyment via their race/activity reports.

I also follow what other local people are doing. Most of us have ups and downs; we peak, get on a roll…but that comes to an end and our performance goes down into a valley. Often, we get out of the valley…though as we get older, we don’t quite get all of the way out. Then the next slide down takes us a bit lower…we climb back out…but not quite to the same level as before.

I know that my mind gets stuck in the past and there is still a bit of Walter Mitty in me that thinks that I’ll climb all of the way out. But that won’t happen; it turns out that those who are my current age (55) who run the times that I used to run in my late 30’s were college level runners in their youth.

Evidently I am not alone in having a mind that is beyond my body. At this weekend’s half marathon, a friend was running part of the relay. In her mid to late 40’s, in peak condition, she was a 26-27 minute 5K runner. But she went through some health issues and life challenges and, while she still looks good compared to most women her age, she isn’t in her top running shape.

She started out ahead of me; I caught her on an uphill (I was walking, and walking is more efficient going up hills) and she blew past me going down. But then came the next long, long uphill and I went past her again. Then about midway up, I heard her breathing behind me…..heavy breathing. I thought “this isn’t going to last long” and then soon I heard her say “ok, Friend, you win.” Evidently her mind is ahead of where her body currently is. I sure know that feeling.

And I’ll have to remember that in my upcoming walking marathon. I’d love to walk a 12 minute pace again, but I last did that in 2009 back when I had trained for and finished a muddy 100 miler. I am NOT in that kind of shape, and I am 5 years older. That is reality. For me, 5:30 (12:30 mpm) would be an excellent time; I should probably shoot for 2:40 for a first half split, then 2:50 for the second half. If I go out in 2:25-2:30 for the first half, I’ll die before mile 20 and be unable to finish the race.

September 9, 2014 Posted by | blogs, marathons, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

What kind of football fan I am

Workout notes cool morning; great running weather but I was heavy legged and my right heel hurt just a bit. I ran the W. Peoria course (flat); 40:38 (20:15/20:23) so it was pretty evenly paced, if slow.

Then I went to the Illinois game.

What sort of fan I am: Many know more about football than I do, especially in which team is better than which other team. I am the son of an old football coach, and a former incompetent high school football player. I started two years on the JV and one on the varsity but fared poorly against those headed to play at the next level.

So, I do know the game but not as well as some.

Many who know the game better than I do enjoy watching on the television: they have the comforts of home and can see more games; it takes time to drive to see live football.

Many who go to the game are mostly there for the experience (the music, tail gating, etc.; they want their team to win, but for some, that is almost secondary.

I am one of those who likes the game of football itself; I very much care about the action on the field.

On the other hand, I love the trappings of a game. For me, there is little better than walking into the stadium, past the vendors with program in hand, taking in the sights and smells of the cooking food.

I like watching the game and seeing the stuff that the camera doesn’t show you (e. g. that lineman who was previously out limping..and calling to be replaced, or a coach correcting the mistake made by an individual player, etc.).

For me, there is nothing like being there. :-)

September 7, 2014 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running | , | Leave a comment

Why did I wear a sleeveless?

Workout notes weights plus treadmill running (thunderstorms plus a sore foot)

Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10); hip hikes/Achilles
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (sore chest)
military (rotator cuff rest): 2 sets of 12 x 50 (dumbbells, seated, supported), 10 x 40 (standing)
one arm rows: 10 x 60, 10 x 70, 10 x 65
pull downs: 3 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low)

Then to the treadmill: 5 miles in 46:40. 10:50 mile 1, 20:15 mile 2, 29:10 mile 3, 37:55 mile 4, 46:40 mile 5.
I gradually upped the speed until 18 minutes, then 18-29 (6.7 mph), 29-38 (6.8), 38-42 6.9, 7.0 the rest of the way.

My heel: didn’t hurt at all.

Side note: I wore a sleeveless, and I do pull ups right in front of a mirror. It was NOT a pretty sight. It seems as if my muscles are getting “blurrier” by the year…more “impressionistic” if you will.
And the appearance belies reality: there was a time when I could bench press 250 pounds at my current weight (and 310 at 50 pounds heavier). Now, 3-4 reps with 180 is about right (perhaps a max of 200?) Time marches on.

BUT here is the good news: the smile/grimace is still there, and IT IS STILL FUN. :-) (it just takes a bit longer; roughly 25 percent longer).





September 4, 2014 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Some Bridge To Bridge 2014 photos

I described my race here.

I was chasing Mardi (in the red top) and thought that I had her with 3 minutes to go, but she blew past me in the last 100 meters or so.

I also just missed catching this other lady:

But given the heat and humidity (75 F, 82 percent humidity) I was happy to survive with a “respectable” (for me) pace (8:39 mpm)

And it was good to see T out there again, in her tight spandex…

September 3, 2014 Posted by | running, spandex | , | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 655 other followers