last longish walk…prior

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Got my wife on the bus to O’Hare and then tried to walk for 4 hours; the problem is that my car’s “low tire” light was on and it took me 3 tries to find a filling station that had an air pump that worked.

Still, I managed to get it in; call it 16 miles in 4:02 (2:00 out, 3:56 back, then a bit extra) The above map doesn’t account for the new bridge which adds a little each way. I started out very slowly and was able to pick it up a bit.

It was very cool.

September 16, 2014 Posted by | walking | Leave a comment

Not much

I didn’t hammer today; I did 8 miles on the treadmill in 1:40:40 (just over a 12:30 pace for walking; roughly 51 minutes for the first 4 and 49 for the second 4). I’ll be on the road mostly all weekend long, so I might do my “final pre-marathon” long walk of, say, 15 miles next Tuesday morning and taper from there. I’ve already had a 20 and a slew of 17-18 milers.

I did enjoy reading Julie Berg’s Sawtooth 100 mile race report. What this tells me: no matter how prepared you are, if you do these long events, you will have to push through lots of things, including: rocks, mud, frustration, anguish at realizing that you are moving so slowly, aching joints, blisters, etc. Everyone who finishes one of these things has to. True: what Julie did was a more difficult course than anything I’ve done. But I’ve frequently had much of the same sort of dialogue during my long ones.

Of course, there is the preparation, and that can’t be skimped on…at least by the likes of me.

September 10, 2014 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

Feeling good after a half marathon…

One note: I walked the IVS half marathon about 10 minutes slower than I did in 2012. That race I did my two loops in 1:10:30 and 1:14:30. Today I was 1:18:30/1:16:30. But I finished feeling a whole lot better as I was attempting to practice marathon pace.

Sometimes it is nice to “do” an event rather than “pedal to the metal” race it.


September 7, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon: 2014 (Marathon preparation)

I admit that going into this, I had “football on the brain” and all of my plans to do more miles were brushed aside; icing my foot was more important.
I did warm up with a 29 minute 2 mile on the track and I did wear old shoes and my new sorbothane heel pads (LOVE ‘em). My only pain was on some of the downhills; I had to switch to a quicker cadence going down hills. Uphills and flats were fine.

Temperature: 50’s. Past years: 2011 (walk), 2012 (hard walk), 2013 (failed running attempt)

My main goal: get miles, and practice my “marathon effort pace”. How did I do? This was a two loop course: 1:18:26 for loop 1, 1:16:33 for loop 2, 2:34:59 (my watch). I admit that I picked it up at about mile 8.
Though I would not have been able to sustain that second loop pace for a full marathon, 2:40 seems sustainable on an easier course. I just have to be patient on race day.

Comments: this course is a mix of paved roads, gravel/crumbly pavement roads, and just plain gravel. It is very hilly; some of the climbs are gut wrenching. It is a club race and attracts mostly experienced people.
When we started, just about everyone pulled away from me; I wasn’t actually dead last, but it sort of felt that way. But I knew that many would be coming back to me when we got to those hills so I didn’t panic; I just worked on my marathon walking pace.

Sure enough, I caught some folks and during the second half, I did have one pit stop (too much pre-race coffee). I did work to catch various people and I didn’t get passed. I did push a bit on that “3 miles of gravel” stretch and again going up the big hill.

Knees: way soft; one can’t really race walk legally on this stuff and on these steep hills. This was a sort-of-hard powerwalk, period.

Afterward, I got my medal from a friend who did the first loop as part of a relay; she is on her way back. Yes, half marathon finisher’s medals are lame but I took it anyway. ;-)

Place: 108/129, though some who finished behind me were relay teams.

1:11:51 (mile 6)
2:34:59 (finish)

September 7, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

sore heel part II

I felt that I needed more miles. I chose the West Peoria/Bradley Park course. wpeoriabradpark83

The heel did fine until the second large downhill…and then it hurt…just a little..after that. 56:59/1:47/56:38 (1:55:25) was my total. Traffic: a little, in spots.

I saw some of the cross country team training; all smiled and said “hi” (men and women). The difference between their bodies and mine…well…as stark as the difference in our respective running paces. :-)

So, after, I iced and took some Naproxen. And, I ordered some Sorbothane heel pads; I am beating my gel heel pads to death. :-)

Note: I kept saying that I’d get on the treadmill…and haven’t as yet. Two more weeks of training..then a cut back.

September 3, 2014 Posted by | injury, walking | | Leave a comment

More gym stuff, and teaching new stuff…

Workout notes: my routine was a bit off due to the Labor Day running race. So today, I lifted and walked.

The walk came after my lifting session; I did a hilly 10K course (Cornstalk 5 plus a 1.2 mile lower loop). The route was somewhat slippery.

Lifting: just under 1 hour; I did hip hikes and rotator cuff.
Pull ups: 15, 10, 10, then 5 sets of 5 with various grips. (60 reps total today)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 3 x 180, 9 x 160
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported (finally got it!), 10 x 40 standing (dumbbells)
rows: 10 x 65 each arm.
incline: 9 x 135
pull downs: 3 sets of: 7 x 160 traditional 7 x 100 low.

The heel: somewhat sore, but not bad. I used some ice and took NSAIDS afterward.

Teaching new stuff Teaching the numerical analysis stuff is time consuming. But…I am learning interesting things that I wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to.

For example: suppose you wanted to choose x_0, x_1, x_2,...x_{k-1} within the interval [-1,1] so as to minimize the maximum magnitude of the product (x-x_0)(x-x_1)...(x-x_{k-1}) ?? The answer isn’t that obvious, is it? If you are wondering why we’d want to do that, this product forms the “negotiable” part of the error term of the Lagrange polynomial. Minimization of the error term leads to the maximum accuracy of the interpolation.

September 2, 2014 Posted by | injury, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Longish walk…

I had planned to do this on the treadmill to protect my sore right heel, but I needed the heat conditioning. So, I decided to use heel pads (and I really beat them up) and I chose a course that minimized downhill walking:

1.03 miles to the top of Bradley park, .38 miles to the bottom (21:10), 10 x 1.24 mile lower loop, (18:08, 18:06, 17:45, 17:38, 17:54, 17:49, 17:52, 18:02 (oops!), 17:47, 17:58) (3:20:14), 7:42 uphill to Heading (.5 miles), 58:41 for just over 4 (4:26:38), 32:42 for 2.3 (Bradley Perimeter via Moss) for 4:59:20 for 20.6 miles. Note: each lower loop has a small hill on it (50 feet?); there is a larger hill to get from the bottom of the park to the top.



Weather: 72 F, 91 percent humidity at the start (almost foggy); 77 F, 82 percent at the end. I went through one bottle of water; it wasn’t quite as suffocating as last week. I walked better too.

The foot: ok for the most part, though downhill stretches bothered it a little. Note: no NSAIDS for the walk; I wanted to be able to quit if point soreness returned. And at no point was I more than a mile or so away from the house.

Afterward: we drove to the Indian restaurant and my wife talked to me….as we drove, I saw a young woman running on the sidewalk along University; small jog bra and cropped spandex shorts. Good thing my wife was driving ….”oh dear, could you remind me of what you just said…?” Hopefully my wife didn’t notice, but…she probably did.

No matter though; the lady was probably at least 30 years younger than I; realistically 35 years younger?

Social note
Lots of people walk in Bradley Park; a few run. Many of the walkers are NOT that intense (a few are); many like to stop and chat. There is this old guy that always stops when he sees me; I wave but don’t stop. Today he told me that I had an “angry stride”. I said “I am trying to just get through it” and…well…today WAS one of my more determined walks; in yoga they say “tapas”.

And to be honest, I felt reasonably good upon finishing. Yes, I only averaged 14:33 mpm, but that is fine for a warm weather training walk. I also saw my department chair out there; he is gearing up to run the Chicago Marathon in October (his first). He’ll do well, but I wonder if he knows what he is up against. That last 10K can really, really humble you.

August 31, 2014 Posted by | injury, marathons, walking | , | Leave a comment

midweek walk; semester begins

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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


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