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 | , | 2 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

In Austin


I hope to workout tomorrow morning; might be able to swim some. At least I can use the hotel’s weights and treadmill.

On the way down: I listened to some of the Carter Diaries. Interestingly enough, some of the issues he discussed are still relevant today.

May 26, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

River Run; NO QUE “jog it in”…

In an hour or two, I’ll be on the road for my final “trip home” to Austin. I am not saying that I’ll never see Austin again, but the era of Austin being “home base” for me is officially dead.
I was already signed up for a local road race and since I was going to run prior to getting on the road anyway, I went ahead and did the race.

Past years: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013.

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146

Notes: missed 2010 (knee surgery year), 2009 was after the Rockford Marathon (5:14, walking), 2011 was after the Crud 8 hour trail event, 2012 was a week after a 7 hour walking marathon, 2013 was a week after a marathon; this year was the week after a hard half marathon powerwalk. All days were reasonable days to run.

This year was cool


I warmed up two miles and my legs felt a little bit heavy; I was less than my best. But I figured I’d line up, stay within myself and see what I could do.

Mike was coming off of many long events and wasn’t his normal self; I aimed at Dianne and Jerry (Jerry is very tall and easy to spot). I was to catch neither but they were good targets to aim for.

The first mile was a pleasant surprise so I figured I’d relax in the lap around the softball field complex and maintain, which is more or less what I did.

The last mile hurt; I thought about slacking but I could hear mom’s voice in my head.

Mom grew up speaking Spanish and when she got irritated with me because I wanted to give a halfhearted effort at something, that raven-haired woman would say “NO QUE …….” and insert what sorry excuse I was attempting to offer up. :-)

I heard that in mile 3: “NO QUE “jog it in””. So I did my best to keep my turn over as best as I could and while I never could close the gap between me and Dianne, I did get well under 25 minutes on a certified course. That will have to do…

May 24, 2014 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Bradley Women Soccer 5K 2014

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 11.21.54 AM

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 11.23.43 AM

8:20/8:42/9:44 26:47 (ugh)

(last year)

This year: I had time to warm up; I walked to the course to get my shirt and number and walked back and then jogged for a bout 25 minutes. My legs: not fresh. They’ve been deader but they were not lively, even after warming up.

This year: even smaller field; the coach, some “workout bros”, a few women (NOT players) and a couple of older people. Of the guys who started off ahead of me, two dropped back, one dropped out and 4 finished WAAAAAY ahead of me (out of sight). So for the most part, this was a hard workout on my own.

It was sunny; breezy, 70’s. We started out going up to Cornstalk hill and down; mile one came at 8:20. I figured it wasn’t going to be my day.
The uphill was painful (to the top of Bradley Park) and it was there I caught the last of the people I was going to catch.

We went to the Dog Park hill and did one side lap. Now I was at 17:03 and was all but toast. We turned and made a short cut through the disc golf course; my legs didn’t need that grass/dirt/uneven stuff. I was wheezing. Back to the road, turn right and up the dog park hill again and FINALLY left into the lot where some bozo was pulling in and not paying attention.

That gave me a burst to the finish line which gave me a no. 5 finish…a walk around the small lap and then back home finished my workout.

It was only 8:37 minutes per mile. But I never quit. Then again, I wasn’t as wiped out as I usually am after a race either; it is really hard to push yourself when you are basically running solo time trial, especially on this course.

And…the legs ARE tired so I’ll probably take Tuesday and Thursday’s running a bit easier.

2014 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.

April 26, 2014 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | | 3 Comments


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