Couldn’t resist a swim

My left knee was I didn’t know quite what to do.

I went to the Riverplex with the intent of walking. But when I got there: open swim lane. :-)

So: 10 x 100 free
16 x (25 fist, 25 free) on the 1:05 (mostly 0:52)
2 x 100 pull on the 2:00 (1:4x)
4 x 25 fly, 25 back


Then 4 miles of walking outside (first mile: slow, slow, slow). Then 10 minutes on the stationary bike; that made the knee feel much better.

My left knee feels “loose” and my guess is that I strained something on a fast hike a couple of weeks ago. The bike, plus some squats and quad stretching, made it feel a lot better.

July 24, 2014 Posted by | bicycling, injury, swimming, walking | | Leave a comment

Beautiful Rock Island Run (but slow)

Distance: close to 8.2 total; time: 1:25:35; this is a bit slower than the last couple of times (2 years ago; here and here)

For the record (for comparison): 1:29, 41:02, 41:41, 1:21 (42:31/43:02).


Weather: 73 F, 59 percent humidity, breezy; slight headwind on the way back.


I chose the dirt trail as my left knee is slightly sore. It did NOT spike on me today. But I still felt Sluggish; blood donation was 23 days ago; I’ve recovered probably 70-80 percent of my lost red blood cells. I don’t really miss them until I get into the “fatigue zone”.

The last two miles were somewhat tough.

The day was so pretty though; sun; cool by summer standards and there were a few people out on the trail.

There was the college men’s cross country team; I decided to not show them up (yeah, right :-) ). They told me that they were doing 10 miles (55-60 minutes?) and there as some high school (?) kids group doing an out and back; I encountered them at about mile 3. I wanted to pick it up..but reminded myself I was still in the middle of my workout and that they were 37-40 years younger than I (seriously). I did catch one straggler who was evidently shamed into picking it up to get ahead of me again. :-)

After I finished, I walked 2 more miles to get used to walking while tired; once I got going that felt great, though that left knee is still a bit tender.

July 23, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

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

Cincinnati Day One

We spent the morning sight seeing and going through Findlay Market (in a revitalized section of Cincinnati). Of note; one of the vendors was selling a salad special for lunch; the line for this special consisted of exclusively skinny people. Go figure.




After lunch, I walked in an adjacent neighborhood; this is one of those places that has older 500K plus homes adjacent to a poorer area.
I got in a slow 1:10; I’ll call it 4 miles (probably a tiny bit longer). It was a good day for it.

July 19, 2014 Posted by | travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

Walking and the politics of young people

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 12.11.37 PM

I took the car to north Peoria to get serviced; since I was close to the northern part of the Rock Island trail I decided to take advantage.

I walked south to the intersection of Knoxville and Giles (4.05 miles), back to the trail head; at mile 0 I clicked a split and walked to mile 1 on the trail and then back to 0, and then doubled back to the trailhead. The total: slightly over 10 miles (16 km) in 2:25:56.

Since I hadn’t specifically planned the walk, I walked in my cargo pants and t-shirt; sort of the “old foagie” look. I was somewhat sore this morning from yesterday’s intervals plus “hard hike on the trails” so I cruised at a steady 14:20-14:30 pace. I saw a couple of deer in the distance as I passed by farmlands.

Good news: when the walk ended, it was more of “aw, do I have to quit now?” rather than “thank goodness I am done”; that is a very good sign.

The title of this article is interesting:

Millennials’ Political Views Don’t Make Any Sense
That’s not a harsh assessment. It’s just a fair description.

I’d add: with one exception, they are like people of my generation. The exception:

3. Far less important, but entertaining nonetheless: Millennials don’t know what socialism is, but they think it sounds nice.

I think that “socialism” has a negative connotation with people of my generation because we grew up with the Cold War; that is something millennials only read about in books.

But here is why it makes no sense:

On spending:
Conservatives can say: 65 percent of Millennials would like to cut spending.
Liberals can say: 62 percent would like to spend more on infrastructure and jobs.
On taxes:
Conservatives can say: 58 percent of Millennials want to cut taxes overall.
Liberals can say: 66 percent want to raise taxes on the wealthy.
On government’s role in our lives:
Conservatives can say: 66 percent of Millennials say that “when something is funded by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful.”
Liberals can say: More than two-thirds think the government should guarantee food, shelter, and a living wage.
On government size:
Conservatives can say: 57 percent want smaller government with fewer services (if you mention the magic word “taxes”).
Liberals can say: 54 percent want larger government with more services (if you don’t mention “taxes”).
Some of these positions suggest, rather than prove, utter incoherence. For example, you can technically support (a) reducing the overall tax burden and (b) raising taxes on the wealthy by raising the investment tax and absolving the bottom 50 percent of Social Security taxes. Somehow, I think what’s happening is simpler than young people doing the long math of effective tax rates. I think they’re just confused.

In short: they are like the rest of us; they want services (whether they admit it or not) but don’t want to pay for such services. :-)

But here is why this matters to politics: on one hand, they lean Democrat; the social conservatism of the Republicans really turns them off.

On the other hand: they have a libertarian streak when it comes to economics:

Although a majority of younger voters today are reliably Democratic, there are key issues on which they differ notably from their elders within the center-left coalition. The July Pew survey identifies two predominantly white core Democratic constituencies: the “solid liberals” of the traditional left, which is 69 percent white, with an average age of 46, who exhibit deep progressive commitments on both economic and social issues; and younger voters, 68 percent white, with an average age of 38, which Pew calls the “next generation left.”

The two groups were asked to choose whether “most people can get ahead if they’re willing to work hard” or whether “hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people.” A decisive majority of the older “solid liberal” group, 67 percent, responded that hard work is no guarantee of success, while an even larger majority, 77 percent, of the younger “next generation left” believes that you can get ahead if you are willing to work hard.

Part of me just chuckles; this goes hand in hand with studies that state Millennials vastly overestimate what they are going to accomplish in life. (see: the book Generation Me by Jean Twenge). Some things you have to learn the hard way, just as I did.

But the upshot is that economic populism, while popular with old hippies (e. g. my crowd) won’t be such a selling point with younger voters.
In other words, Paul Krugman and Robert Reich doesn’t really “speak to them” the way that they speak to me.

So there is your Warren/Sanders ticket right there.

Note on Elizabeth Warren: yes, she is very smart and she has some excellent ideas. But she simply isn’t a politician; I have deep skepticism of her chances on a national level even though the old hippies love her.

I present the following:

Massachusetts Senate race 2012:

Warren: 53.7 Brown: 46.2 difference: 7.5 points

Massachusetts Presidential race 2012:

Obama: 60.65. Romney: 37.51 Difference: 23.14 points.

This is a national level candidate?

Here is a sample of previous presidential winners in their “race before the presidency” races. One has to go back to 1970 to find a national candidate who won their “large race” by a narrow of a margin as Warren’s (and yes, Nixon lost the California race of 1962 and narrowly lost the presidential race of 1960).

Illinois Senate 2004:
Obama: 70.0 Keys: 27.0

Texas Governor 1998
Bush: 68.2 Mauro: 31.2

Arkansas Governor 1990
Clinton: 57.49 Nelson: 42.49

General election 1984
Bush (VP with Reagan)
Reagan-Bush: 58.8 Mondale: 40.6

California Governor 1970
Reagan: 52.83 Unruh: 45.14

California Governor 1962
Brown: 51.94 Nixon: 46.87

But Nixon was VP to Eisenhower and had lost a very narrow Presidential election in 1960 (narrow in popular vote: 49.7-49.6)

July 16, 2014 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Part II

“Deliberate hike” at the Forrest Park Nature Center. I did the Wakerobin full loop (1:04) and then added 37 minutes (Deer run plus Cardinal) to make it just over 5 miles. Pretty day; saw a couple of young deer.

My quads are weak; the hills with steps are tough for me. I need to strengthen my quads somehow.

July 15, 2014 Posted by | hiking, walking | , | Leave a comment

Longish walk with a twist

Today’s walk: I totaled 17 miles but I did 11 on the road and 6 on the track.

Temperature: warm and humid. It started at 73 F, 81 percent humidity and ended at 76 F, 71 percent humidity. Note: the shaded sections though the cemetery and in the park were much more pleasant than the outdoor track sections:

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 3.23.32 PM

What I did: I walked from the Riverplex to the track, did 2 miles, then did 90 minutes (about 7 miles) in the cemetery and park, then 4 miles on the track and then walked back; continued to Hooters and doubled back. I had 8.5 miles of this timed: track segments of 2 and 4 miles, and a road segment of 2.5 miles. The idea was to pick up the pace on the track. I tried and didn’t feel bad but I was a bit tired and am still missing some red blood cells.


How it went: 1.9 miles to the track (27:44)
2 on the track: 26:08 (disappointed but felt fine…just too slow) Note: benches on the track got me from 1600m to 1 mile. :-)
1:29:07 for the hilly Springdale segment.
2 on the track: 27:07
2 on the track at a more relaxed pace: 27:51
Back to the Rivertrail, off and to the mile to go marker: 15:11
Mile on the Rivertrail: 14:06
Mile to Hooters and part way back: 14:35
Half mile to the finish: 7:11

Timed 8.5 mile segments: 1:21:06 + 35:52 = 1:56:58 Pace: 13:45 (too slow, but felt good)

Untimed 8.6 mile: 4:09:10 – 1:56:58 = 2:12:12. I don’t think that I was quite this slow on the untimed segments; I probably missed plotting a bit of the path on the second cemetery uphill. But it really doesn’t matter: it was 17 miles with a bit of “less glacial” walking.

Week Summary:
Monday: lift, swim (2650 yards)
Tuesday: run 5 (including 8 x 200 with 200 w/r), walk 4 outside.
Wednesday: run 6 outside (slow), walk 3.
Thursday: lift (3 x 180, 10 x 160), swim (2200 yards)
Friday: swim (2200 yards), walk 4
Saturday: run 5 (race; 27:42 5K; humid)
Sunday: walk 17 (4:09; include “less glacial” segments)
Totals: 44 walk/run (16 run, 28 walk), 2 weight sessions, 3 swims (4 miles total)

July 13, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Knowing what you are talking about: not always important (to some)

Workout notes pleasant 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic) without the stop watch.

then swimming: 4 x 250 (5:30, then on the 5)
5 x (25 dril fins, 25 swim)
5 x (alt 25 fist/25 free) on the 2 (1:50-55)
4 x 25 fly, 25 back (fins)

Pretty basic; weight prior to swimming was 178, after 176 (doctor’s scale in the gym; perhaps 1-2 pounds light)

I had dreams of my marathon while walking; that is always good. Tomorrow’s 5K race (running) will be ugly; the key will be to remain in touch with what I can do TOMORROW, and not what I think that I should be able to do.

Knowing what you are talking about
Many of us are yukking over this:

My conjecture: he meant to say that he was told by his “science sources” that the surface temperature on Mars is warming just as the temperature on Earth is and NOT that the temperature on Mars is the same as the temperature on Earth. Now this claim: well, let us just say that it is rather hard to get a global temperature on Mars to begin with, much less track a trend. But what is clear is that the earth’s GLOBAL temperature change has nothing to do with a difference in solar output:

Raymond Bradley of UMass, who has studied historical records of solar activity imprinted by radioisotopes in tree rings and ice cores, says that regional rainfall seems to be more affected than temperature. “If there is indeed a solar effect on climate, it is manifested by changes in general circulation rather than in a direct temperature signal.” This fits in with the conclusion of the IPCC and previous NRC reports that solar variability is NOT the cause of global warming over the last 50 years.

But I digress. I doubt if this ….strange statement on his part will harm his reputation among his own constituents.

Never will this:

If you think: “gee, Rep. Gohmert is an idiot”, well, his views probably accurately represent his constituent’s views, and that is really what counts.

That people at the National Academy of Science finds these sort of views to be ridiculous is of no consequence. People want to see their own views represented and perhaps better articulated.

So, being outrageously unprepared and wrong doesn’t really harm the credibility of these public figures: (note: the middle video was made PRIOR to the 2012 election actually being held:

Hence, people like Karl Rove get away with fleecing rich but gullible Republicans. Again, this was NOT hindsight; this was posted several days prior to the election. These people really are clowns who don’t know what they are talking about.

But, because they say things that their base finds comforting, they can continue to earn a nice living….

July 11, 2014 Posted by | political/social, science, social/political, swimming, walking | , , | 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


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