midweek walk; semester begins

Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 9.05.22 AM

73 F, 76 percent humidity. Deliberate walk outside: 9.3 in 2:07:44
37:49 (2.8), 16:37 (lower loop), 18:56 (long Cornstalk), 18:21 (short Cornstalk), 22:46 (lower loop plus .4), 13:11 (1.03 home) (roughly 9.3).
Then 1 mile in 11:20 on the treadmill (steady).

Class starts. Hey, I love being employed.

August 27, 2014 Posted by | walking | Leave a comment

Whew! Only 15 today

I waited too long to get started and paid a heavy price:




My course was the above plus an extra 2.1 (5 laps) around the W. Peoria track (outdoor, little shade). I cut it short so as to not have to recover so much this coming week; IF it is cooler I’ll try to go longer next weekend and just take the performance hit on the Bridge to Bridge 4 mile run on Monday.

Total time: 4:02. whew. I got to do a little with Larry McMasters.

August 24, 2014 Posted by | walking | | 2 Comments

Bias of many types…and a walk

Today’s workout: end of “leisure” workout. I did my 8.1 cornstalk course in 2 hours (some rain…I didn’t get that wet) and then 2 more miles on the treadmill: 12:00/11:20 to get 23:20. I wanted to do at least a little faster than marathon pace.

RIP: BKS Lyengar, famous yogi and author of Light on Yoga.

Here he is in 1977 when he was in his late 50’s. What flexibility, strength, and body control!

Survivorship bias: this is the annoying tendency to see, say, a dozen successful companies, see what they have in common, and then conclude that what they have in common is what made them successful. Nope; you have to see how many companies did those same things and WERE NOT successful, among other things. From the article:

This is what Pomona College economist Gary Smith calls the “survivor bias,” which he highlights as one of many statistically related cognitive biases in his deeply insightful book Standard Deviations (Overlook, 2014). Smith illustrates the effect with a playing card hand of three of clubs, eight of clubs, eight of diamonds, queen of hearts and ace of spades. The odds of that particular configuration are about three million to one, but Smith says, “After I look at the cards, the probability of having these five cards is 1, not 1 in 3 million.” [...]

Smith found a similar problem with the 1982 book In Search of Excellence (more than three million copies sold), in which Tom Peters and Robert Waterman identified eight common attributes of 43 “excellent” companies. Since then, Smith points out, of the 35 companies with publicly traded stocks, 20 have done worse than the market average.

Depression I talked about depression in an earlier post. Here is some of what science knows about it right now:


See the subtle racism here? The idea is that this black Attorney General who has spoken out about race relations is somehow too “emotionally invested” or biased to be even handed. Why would a black Attorney General be any less evenhanded than a white one? And shouldn’t we be far more concerned with an Attorney General who did NOT see race relations as a problem?

Here: Kansas City police officer posts a snarky post about Michael Brown’s character (the dead teenager in Ferguson) and shows a photo of a young black man with a gun and money in his mouth. But this black man is some guy in Oregon…not Michael Brown. It is amusing that police officers everywhere are telling us to not to rush to judgement but… :-)

I suppose that given that we have 300+ million people in this country and a lot of police officers, a few are bound to be crackpots.

Racism in sports
Sadly, some African American athletes have racist stuff directed at them. Here is an example (Eddie Chambers, an elite boxer)

August 20, 2014 Posted by | boxing, racism, science, social/political, statistics, walking, yoga | , | Leave a comment

A humid longish walk, plus some reptiles and amphibians

Today: more marathon walk training. It was damp, sort of warm and humid; it started off at 68 F, 90 percent humidity and ended at 75 F, 79 percent humidity:

I wasn’t sure as to what course I wanted to do, so I found myself heading down the bluff toward the river trail. But my initial pace was painfully slow! It took me 16 minutes to do the first 1.03 miles (along Moss Avenue). So I knew that somewhere I’d need to put in some “pick ups” to get within shouting distance of a marathon race pace.

So I walked down the trail and up to the old Woodruff track (5.17 miles), did 32 laps on the track (mostly right on the outside line of lane 1 as it is a 400 meter track) and then walked back.

Times: 1:17:35 for the first 5.17 miles
1:50:07 for 8 track miles (3:07:42)
1:16:58 back
4:24:40 for 18.35

2 mile segment times: 27:48, 27:37, 27:23, 27:16 track

This walk: I had to stretch my back (McKenzie exercises) prior to getting out there. Also this weird weather has been playing havoc with my left knee. But I had no problems while out there.

It was drizzling (lightly) at the start. The out and back were the easiest parts; the stuff on the track was the toughest stretch. I kept telling myself “I goat this”. The final stretch was easier than I had feared it would be; note the “back” stretch is net uphill so it is good that it was a tiny bit faster than the outstretch.

This is my 5’th walk of over 17 miles in my build up. The marathon is 6 weeks away; that gives me 4 training weeks left. One week will feature a parent’s weekend trip to see my daughter, and one will feature a hilly half marathon; I might have to get in an easy 4 miles prior to that.

So my plan:
24 August: 20 or bust.
31 August: lift/swim (4 mile race on Monday), 2 September (Tuesday): 4 hours in the morning.
7 September: half marathon with extra (17 total)
14 September: Parent’s weekend. 16 September (Tuesday) : 4 hours on the morning.

I’ll have MP walks (10 miles) at pace on Wednesdays when I don’t have a long walk on Tuesday.

Reptiles and Amphibians: Barbara and I usually eat Indian lunch on Sundays. Afterward, we went to a Reptile/Amphibian exhibition. I think that the African Bullfrog stole the show. It is one of those frogs that sure looks like a toad. There were some geckos and other iguanas, turtles, and yes, snakes.


August 17, 2014 Posted by | family, frogs, marathons, walking | , | Leave a comment

Not into it…again

Weather: couldn’t possibly be better. But I’ve been on the road quite a bit…and so I was very sluggish for 8 miles of walking (Cornstalk hill course) and gave it a rest after finishing.

I think that I need a bit more sleep.

Note: though the day was pretty, the Park People were doing their tree trimming all over the place, so I had a band of chainsaws, leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other assorted power tools the entire way; this was not exactly a peace with nature walk. Plus I had to dodge the trucks and the cars going around the trucks.

That reminded me a bit of the time I was at a math conference and went to the roof of the building where they had a few tables; the view of the lake was breath taking. I noticed no one else was up there; it took me only a second to see why. They had someone walking around with a leaf know there might have been a stray leaf here or there. “Make the area nice” to the eye of the administrators but make the area unusable in the process.

So. It. Goes. :-)

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

Quick walk in Middleburg, OH

On the way to pick up the daughter at the airport; we got in a quick walk at a nearby bike path. I got in 4 miles: 27:02/25:26 (52:28) and Barbara got in 2 or so.

There was a time when Barbara and I would go to yoga together or go to the gym:

Screen shot 2014-08-10 at 7.30.47 AM

So, sometimes Barbara would want to stretch and I’d offer to “help” her…to which she’d yell “Honey, please GO AWAY!”

August 10, 2014 Posted by | spandex, travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

MP walk

We had threats of thunderstorms so I took it to the track for 10 miles (lane 2)

I warmed up 2 miles (28:20); I was somewhat stiff. Then I did 16 x (600 at pace, 200 easy); first 4 reps were still slow. Total time: 2:08:20. Time for the 8 miles: 1:40:00.

The reps: 13:17/12:52/12:17/12:13/12:16/12:16/12:30/12:14 (2:08:19). I focused on posture (helped by my wife who was walking 2 miles) and on pushing off with the back foot.

I didn’t see this to inspire me but that was ok:


Ah, even if I were running I couldn’t stay with her for more than 400 meters anyway (if that).

August 6, 2014 Posted by | butt, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Warm Walk II

I had to kick myself out the door at 7:45 am; I knew it would be warm. Mistake: I only drank 1 bottle of water while out there.



Yes: 69 F, 81 percent humidity at the start, warming to 83 F, 53 percent at the end.

What I did: the hilly Cornstalk 5.1 in: 1:14:30, then 58:24 in W. Peoria to Heading and Western, 58:31 (back on heading) then 58:39 the “classic” Bradley Park lower loop, with the latter 1.2 in place of the hillier 1.3 Cornstalk loop. Time: 4:10:05 total for about 17.2 miles.

I had not planned on doing this course; right now I am alternating between “long, harder” walks and “long, easier” walks. This was the “long and easy”. Today: I just decided to go “wherever” and make course decisions on the fly and stop when I got to 4 hours plus.

Come marathon time, I am going to have to discipline myself to go out modestly else I am doing to die at the end.

August 3, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

A dirty mental secret about my running, lifting and walking

I was never what you would call a “good” athlete (e. g., someone who could perform at a college varsity level) but, at least from the time I was in junior high until, oh, maybe 2005 or thereabouts, I had a sense of pride in how fast I could run or walk distances, swim or even lift.

I felt..well, slightly cocky that I consistently finished in the upper 20-25 percent (or better) at road races and even marathons. I enjoyed getting a look or two when I got 300 lbs. in the bench press or knocked off 20+ pull ups in one set.

Now: I am actually ashamed of my race times and at how little I can bench press.

But: there is still joy in local improvements and I have no plans to stop. I am just, well, less than eager to tell others about my results.

I also have a bit of embarrassment when I realize my better “in the field” placement at running races and marathons had more to do with my being a healthy male of a certain age than anything else.

August 3, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Why I don’t like to give advice to new runners, walkers, etc.

Today’s workout was nothing special (4 mile run, 10 K indoor bike, 1.25 mile swim (2200 yards)).

On the swim portion, I didn’t feel good after the first 100 yards; I just felt listless, lifeless, and I had an urge just to quit right there.

BUT, I knew from experience that sometimes one can work through those “rough patches” so I just did a mix of strokes (side, back, a few 100 IM reps) until I felt better; then I closed with an acceptable 10 x 100 free on the 2:05 set (more rest than usual). My best 100’s were the last 4.

However, you constantly hear about the warnings of “if you feel bad, stop”. So, I’d never tell a beginner to push through a “I should stop” patch.

But I do this all the time, and I did this during every single marathon/ultramarathon. Even during my best ones, I pushed myself to keep going when my body asked for me to stop.

August 1, 2014 Posted by | marathons, running, swimming, training, walking | , , | Leave a comment


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