Hanna City Hustle 2014 version


It was sweltering; 78 F with 87 percent humidity. The thunderstorms were coming but they were a few hours away.

So, I took a shorter warm up than normal (12-13 minutes) and started…slowly.

I tried to keep it under control; mile 1 came at 8:35. I was tracking this fit woman who was to blow me away about half way through; I moved up steadily past many who started too fast for the conditions.

There is a turn out of neighborhoods onto a country road for about .75 miles; I saw others on the way back. Mile two: my target had put more distance on me but it came 8:28; I had sped up slightly (in part due to a gentle downgrade). I got that downgrade back on the last 1.1 where I was just haning on. (9:34, or about 8:44 for the last mile).

8:35/8:28/9:34 = 26:38
place: 21 out of 73.

Ironically, this race was smaller than normal. So, due to races on the same day I ended up with my 4’th AG award (in a 5k) since Memorial Day (though I didn’t pick up two of them due to leaving early.

I was slower than two weeks ago due to the conditions. But I was ok with that.

After eating pancakes, I went to the Riverplex and saw a nearly empty pool; there was an elderly guy barely making it from one side to the other.
Later, a young attractive woman showed up, and still later, one of those “bronze body” guys that looks like an animated Greek statue. The total:

500 free
5 x 100 (alt fist/free) on 2:10
4 x (50 front kick, fins, 100 free)
alt 100 pull, 100 free (400 total)
4 x 25 fly (with rests)
4 x 25 back (fins)

That was enough for the day; 180.7 prior to swimming; 179.7 after.

My previous to Hanna City Hustles (both about 1:20 faster, on cooler days)


2014 post blood donation 5K races:

27:06 68F, 65 percent
27:41 73F, 69 percent
27:23 74 F, 67 percent
25:53, 70 F, 72 percent
26:38, 78F, 87 percent

August 23, 2014 Posted by | running, swimming, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Tempo workout and delusions

Screen shot 2014-08-02 at 10.50.33 AM

Ok, it was slightly warm 70 F, 78 percent humidity.

I did some stretches and, as I was getting ready to hit the path, I saw a young woman running in the direction that I was going to go in. I hesitated slightly; I really didn’t want to spook her out by running behind her. But no worries; as I got going she all but disappeared from view; I didn’t see her close up again until she was on her way back. :-)

Ah, age plus my slow warm up pace. :-)

I took a 2 mile route to the track (via the goose loop) and on the track, I decided to do a tempo-ish run. I wanted to run reasonably hard but not kill myself.

8:29/8:31 (17:01) and then a slow 200 meter walk (2:09), then 1600 in 8:40 (picked it up the last 200 m) to arrive at 5K in 27:51. That wasn’t too far off my recent 5K runs, especially when you factor in the weather.

27:06 68F, 65 percent
27:41 73F, 69 percent
27:23 74 F, 67 percent

I finished with a 1 mile walk, then 1 mile run back to the Riverplex, followed by 10 minutes on the exercise bike (for my knees).

August 2, 2014 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Initial micro-mini “I Goat This” triathlon

I was looking for something to do, workout wise. I didn’t want to do too much. So it went like this:

1. Hilly 4.2 mile run; not timed. I chose my “Cornstalk Classic” course; this is a long time staple of mine.

2. Then I did 6.2 miles (10K) on the stationary bike (22:30, approximately).

3. Then I swam 1.25 miles. Now, the swim was a total mess. I felt awful in my first 100, so I did the following:

3 sets of 4 x 100: free-back-IM-side, free-IM-side-IM, free-side-IM-side, then 10 x 100 free on 2:05. First 6 were 1:55; last 4 were around 1:50; I was finally feeling better.

So, I ran just over 1 mile and swam 1200 meters more than what is done in a sprint tri, but cycled 10K less. 22 more minutes and I’ll call it a “Goat” sprint tri; yes, the order was exactly reversed.

Of interest: I really felt bad at the start of the swim; only when I pushed the pace of some of the 100s did I start to feel right. That is strange.

August 1, 2014 Posted by | running, swimming, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

What makes a tea party member? Note: it isn’t ALL bad..

I remember in 2006 I was doing a 24 hour walk. I felt a bit sick and sat down to rest a bit. One of the other competitors went past and said “you aren’t getting miles by doing that.” I was shammed into getting up and getting out there.

That is what conservatives are often very good at doing; they know that success takes hard work and sometimes going beyond what you think that you can do.

And so, it isn’t a surprise that many link their success with their actions:

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame said college graduates are more likely to support tea party ideas if they live in counties characterized by high levels of residential segregation based on education level. The researchers found the correlation between tea party support and educational segregation to be uniquely strong compared to factors like racial segregation and class segregation.

Rory McVeigh, a University of Notre Dame political sociologist and author of the study, told The Huffington Post that he was interested in discovering what communities might be particularly hospitable to tea party principles and why. Prior to the study, he posited that the tea party ideology, which advocates for limited government and low government spending, might resonate more among people who don’t interact much with low-income individuals who may benefit from government programs. As it turns out, McVeigh was on to something.

“My thinking was that people who are likely to embrace [tea party ideology] are more likely to be people who have had some success and life and limited exposure to those who haven’t enjoyed the same advantages. … Education is such an important predictor of how you end up in life,” said McVeigh over the phone.


McVeigh explained to HuffPost why this might occur.

“When you’ve had little exposure to people who haven’t had the same opportunities as you, you’re more likely to adopt a view that ‘really anybody who wanted to could have succeeded if they only did what I did,’” said McVeigh.

But there is a bit more:

But as we know, not everybody has the same access to a high-quality education.”

Here is what is unsaid: having access to the same “high quality” of education doesn’t guarantee success. Obviously, I had a LOT of classmates in high school. Some did very well in life, some did ok, and some didn’t do so well. Of the honors group that I remember, there are lawyers, scientists, engineers and others with advanced degrees.

But there were still others who didn’t take things seriously and, say, either got pregnant or got someone else pregnant.

The bottom line: not everyone takes advantages of opportunities; in fact, it appears to me that most really don’t.

In fact, *I* have been called “privileged” even though my family was far from wealthy, neither parent made it out of junior high and my high school was the public one; 55 percent Hispanic at the time. It was NOT highly regarded academically in the district at the time, though I thought that I got a good education there.

It appears to me that if one doesn’t screw up early in life, someone will call you “privileged”. :-)

So, in this regard, they aren’t crazy.

Here is where the error is: there is a difference between talking about individuals in a group (e. g. the slackers in my high school) and talking about an entire group of people. If an entire group of people does poorly in society, then either something is wrong with them…AS A GROUP, or wrong with how society treats them. Sure, within that group, you will have slackers and no-good-for-nothings. But statistically, it is highly unlikely that most or even the typical of the group is like that.

Note: this might come as a surprise to those not paying attention, but on the average, Tea Party types are somewhat MORE educated and wealthier than the average American. Of course, I love the misspelled Tea Party signs, but in reality, those are outliers.

Yes, there is also the idea that as one becomes more powerful, one tends to lose empathy:

Psychological research suggests the answer is no. Studies have repeatedly shown that participants who are in high positions of power (or who are temporarily induced to feel powerful) are less able to adopt the visual, cognitive or emotional perspective of other people, compared to participants who are powerless (or are made to feel so). [..]

Why does power leave people seemingly coldhearted? Some, like the Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske, have suggested that powerful people don’t attend well to others around them because they don’t need them in order to access important resources; as powerful people, they already have plentiful access to those.

We suggest a different, albeit complementary, reason from cognitive neuroscience. On the basis of a study we recently published with the researcher Jeremy Hogeveen, in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, we contend that when people experience power, their brains fundamentally change how sensitive they are to the actions of others.

The human brain can be exquisitely attuned to other people, thanks in part to its so-called mirror system. The mirror system is composed of a network of brain regions that become active both when you perform an action (say, squeezing a rubber ball in your hand) and when you observe someone else who performs the same action (squeezing a rubber ball in his hand). Our brains appear to be able to intimately resonate with others’ actions, and this process may allow us not only to understand what they are doing, but also, in some sense, to experience it ourselves — i.e., to empathize.

This goes hand in hand with the “segregation” hypothesis; we have a hard time with empathy with what we don’t know well.

Now as far as really why and individual might tend conservative to begin with, that is probably genetic. But of course, environment affects HOW this conservatism is expressed.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | social/political, Uncategorized | , , | 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

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

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 | , | 5 Comments

Peoria Tonight.


Typical Illinois summer thunderstorm…

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

What has changed about Presidential Elections in my lifetime

There is something that struck me: while some elections weren’t even close and others very close, there has been a fundamental change in election results since the 1976 election between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. I listed: popular vote difference between the winner and loser (in 2000, George W. Bush won over Al Gore though Gore got more votes), the electoral vote total of the states in which the difference was 5 percent or less (52.5-47.5 or closer) , and the electoral vote total of the stats in which the difference was 10 percent or less (55-45 or closer).

year margin EV l. t. 5 EV l. t. 10
1976 2.1 299 404
1980 9.8 165 278
1984 18.2 27 117
1988 7.7 195 265
1992 5.5 202 333
1996 8.5 117 260
2000 -0.5 139 224
2004 2.5 115 264
2008 7.2 87 159
2012 3.9 75 192

Notice what is happening: the number of “competitive” electoral votes appears to be dropping, with the exception of the landslide of 1984. It appears to me that we have really evolved into red states and blue states, though I acknowledge that what makes a state “red” or “blue” can largely depend on if its population is more urban or rural. Example: there are some ruby red areas of Illinois, but the massive population of Chicago overwhelms that. On the other hand, in 2008 and 2012, Austin, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas all went blue. But these votes were overwhelmed by the bright red countryside (and Fort Worth).

But more to my point: in previous elections, your vote was more likely to have an impact no matter where you lived; that appeared to change in the last 2 elections.

If you want your mind blown, look at the 1976 General Election map:

Screen shot 2014-06-08 at 6.05.04 PM

And look at the close states:

Screen shot 2014-06-08 at 6.06.34 PM

How many of these would be considered “battleground” states today?

So I wonder if this means that people are more polarized, or that the differences between the candidates are more stark now-a-days.

But it is different.

June 8, 2014 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Lovely walk

Long walks will be limited over the next 3 weeks as I have two mile run races coming up toward the end of the month.

So I limited myself to 13.1 miles (half marathon) in 3:01:30 (13:50 mpm pace); I did 55:51 for the first Cornstalk 4.05, 41:55 and 42:25 for the next out and backs then 27:53 for the next 2 and 13:25 for the final mile.

It was a rather hilly course but traffic was minimal and the weather was beyond beautiful.

Over the next few weeks: limited running with faster segments. I might do a hard mile on Tuesday to try to sharpen up.

June 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized, walking | Leave a comment


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