Is baseball helping my marathon walking?

Ok, last year I was up to 205 lb.; I weighed that at the beginning of the year. From February to now (August) I’ve cut down to 195. This is essential since I’ve entered a marathon on the 23’nd of September and pounds count. Hopefully, I can finish in under 6 hours BUT if the day comes up hot (but not scorching) I’ll be happy with sub 7 hours (the time limit). My hot weather 20 mile training walks have been right around 5 hours and so, with a taper, finishing the final 10K in under 2 hours shouldn’t be that hard. *Shouldn’t*.

It isn’t as I’ve been eating more than I have in the past. I haven’t; I’ve been eating less. But I am very close to being 59 years old (2 weeks) and the following has happened:

1. My base metabolism has slowed.
2. I can’t train as much; no swimming this summer and I probably won’t restart until after the marathon.
3. Intensity: well, when I ran 30-50 miles a week as a younger guy, the bulk of it was at 7:30-8:30 per mile. Now my “running” (if you can call it that) is mostly 11-12 mpm (a few faster miles) but MOST of my mileage is walking, mostly at 15-16 minutes per mile. The calorie burn is not there.
4. While I weighed 190-195 before (as a younger guy), those were harder, more muscular pounds. My current 195 is old man “flabby” pounds (by comparison)

So what does baseball have to do with this? I go to a fair number of games and often eat dinner in the park. Dozer has started posting calorie counts of the various items and THOSE NACHOS….OMG….I’d rather not think about the calories in those! So I made it a point to switch to lower calorie items at the park..and elsewhere and cut out some items that I used to routinely eat.

And THAT has made the difference, so far (about 1 pound per month)

Workout notes weights plus running/walking (I leave for Cleveland tomorrow so running will be light while on the road)

weights: PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, (easy), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 140, decline: 9 x 165, military (standing dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.
2:30 plank (still sucks), twist crunch (slow), head stand, side plank, moving bridge.

Run: treadmill: 4 miles in 43:50 done this way: 10 minutes of 5.2-5.6, 10 minutes of 6.7, then 6.8-7.0 (up every .25 miles) 19:54 2 mile, 28:43 3 mile, 29:34 5K, then walk speeding it up at the end.

The run felt good; it is coming back a bit.

August 16, 2018 Posted by | running | , | 1 Comment

Back to School: a world I do not understand anymore (K-12)

Someone posted this video about a mom complaining about school drop offs.

I was like: “drop off”? Then I went back to my own school days. Yes, I went to my neighborhood school. So during most of my years, I walked. The exception was when I lived in Japan when I lived on one base and the school was on another base; then we (usually) took the bus…though on rare occasion, I walked (and sometimes attracted some buddies to walk with me..crazy)

BUT..I rarely lived more than a mile away from the school and it wasn’t as if I had dangerous roads to cross. And for the past 2 years of my high school, I had a nature preserve to walk through!

Here are other things that I do NOT remember:

1. Help with my homework. Or for that matter..much homework at all.

2. Being pressured into fundraiser sales for this or that (though we did sometimes have book sales and those dumb school photos)

3. My parents interacting with the teachers that much. Yes, they did attend PTA conferences and the like. Oh..and neither of these were true; when it came to grades, my parents left me alone.

And yes, my parents stayed out of class selections as well.

4. “Graduation”. Yes, we had high school graduation exercises, but that was IT. No junior high, elementary school or other such scams.

5. College applications: on my own..just me, the school counselor’s office and some catalogs, and that was it. Ok, between my junior and senior year I did do a couple of highly subsidized “week long” seminars…but then I either flew on my own or took a bus on my own (parents paid for the ticket).

My experience was just so much different than what you see now. I think that it worked out better for me, but who knows? My experience is an experiment where n = 1.

Workout notes 4 mile walk outside (Cornstalk classic) then 2 miles in lane 1 on the track: 1 on, 1 off for 14 laps and last 2 “fast” (less glacial?)

My first half mile was just under 6:30 then 12:40/12:12. I felt great. No weights; I’ll do that tomorrow and go a bit longer since I won’t be able to lift Friday-Monday.

Weight: 195.2 with shoes and shirt, AFTER the 4 miles outside (I didn’t get that sweaty). The trend is in the right direction. I’ll still be heavier than I like for my marathon though.

I did catch a ball game last night; Chiefs lost to the Lumberkings 5-3. Weird game: Chiefs got a home run on the first pitch! Then another in the second (big rookie from TCU went 3 for 4, and his home run cleared the white picket fence in the berm) and the Chiefs lead 3-0 after 2. But then things went south.

In the 3’rd, Clinton got a hit and the runner advanced on a fielder’s choice. Then a strike out so 2 outs, runner on second. No problem, right? Oops.
Then the pitcher walks two batters in a row…and on the third batter with the bases full, throws 3 consecutive balls (for 7 balls in a row!). Then he grooves the ball down the middle..POW, grand slam. The Lumberkings now have a 4-3 lead, off of exactly 2 hits.

The starting pitcher did ok the rest of the way, though the Lumberkings did catch a break in the 7’th: a bad throw to first rebounded into play and the runner was thrown out trying to advance to 2’nd. Should have been “out 3”. But the umpires ruled that the ball was out of play so the runner was awarded 2’nd. Then he scored on a subsequent hit to make it 5-3, which is how it ended.

That is one thing about the Cardinals (Chiefs are a Cardinals affiliate): they promote their players. Many of the players who started the season got well deserved promotions. Now there is quite a bit of young talent on this team, including one guy who was playing high school ball earlier this year and two who were playing college ball. But it is young talent and they haven’t played together that much yet. So we might see some losses.

Sort of sticky tonight. Still, not bad. Lumberkings vs. Chiefs game 4.

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Not all are interested.

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There was a group of 4-5 drunken men behind me and they razzed the visitors a bit..and sometimes the Chiefs. That is different than what I’ve experienced recently..more more in line with what I grew up with (as a player and as a fan).

August 15, 2018 Posted by | baseball, education, social/political, walking | , | Leave a comment

No Sarah Palins but…

No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not the “Sarah Palin of the left”. Sarah Palin was a sitting governor (almost served a full term) and was the GOP nominee for VP in 2008.

Ocasio-Cortez won a PRIMARY election in a Congressional District that few have heard of until relatively recently. I am not going to say that she has deep policy knowledge; she doesn’t. I don’t know if she will grow into a seasoned politician or not. I do not know if she has the underlying humility to realize that she needs to learn more about many things. But for right now, she is someone to keep an eye on, nothing more.

From video that I’ve seen of her, she seems to have some political talent. What that will eventually translate to is anyone’s guess.

Georgia Governor This race is very tight; the two polls I’ve seen: one has a 2 point lead for Kemp and the other has a 2 point lead for Abrams. Real Clear Politics calls it a “toss up”.

This surprises me for a couple of reasons: 1. Georgia is a Republican state that even Obama couldn’t carry (though he did well) and, well, the optics do not look good to me:

1. She is deeply in personal debt.

2. Optics:

Ironically, this comes from Cheri Bustos’ Instagram site, and if anything, Bustos is the “fitness model” Congresswoman (see below if you are unfamiliar)

BUT…perhaps obesity and being in debt is what many people in Georgia can relate to? Yeah, I remember that Christ Christy is obese..(not in debt, at least to my knowledge) but the sad fact (I think) is that physical appearance matters more for females than males.

We shall see..perhaps I am seeing this through my own warped prism.

August 14, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Getting back on it..

Treadmill run: going well doing the old 5.1-5.8 (through 40 minutes) and kicked it to 6.1-6.3 just at 42:30 (4 miles) when my fist hit the “stop button”. That lead to cursing ..still jogged .12 to make SURE I was at 4 then I went straight to the track (very little rest; like at a street crossing) and did 1 mile (8 laps in the middle lane). 4:26/4:26 for 8:52. I wish I could say it was easy, but it was tough.

8:52.. then I remembered this: (Indianapolis Marathon, 2000)

102 18/61 Ollie Nanyes 41 M Peoria IL 3:38:12 8:20

Oh f**k me dead. I know…18 years ago.

Then I walked 2 more miles.

Last night, I caught a nice ball game; it ended 4-0 Chiefs. The pitchers controlled things for most of it and the first 6 innings took just over an hour. But in one case, a Chief batter saw 17 pitches before he drew a walk..2 strikes, 4 balls and 11 foul balls! It was hilarious. The starter threw a complete game, struck out 6, allowed 8 scattered hits and walked no one. The Lumberking closer threw well too; hitting 95 mph with some fast balls (former Illinois pitcher)

Lumberkings visiting for an unusual Monday night game.

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My “date” could not make it as she had a family emergency and had to drive to her home of origin).


August 14, 2018 Posted by | baseball, running, walking | | Leave a comment

Onward to Fall, 2018

I spent much of my time getting my stuff ready for Fall 2018. I’ll have to spend more time tomorrow..and then review my paper again. Summer is all but over. 🙂

I was sore and stiff from this weekend’s walking so I just lifted; usual PT
pull ups (5 sets of 10)
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, dumbbell: 10 x 70
incline: 10 x 135
decline: 10 x 165
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell, 8 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 45 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine

plank, twist, headstand, more back stuff.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Personal Issues, weight training | Leave a comment

4th 20 and some baseball

I finished my 4’th 20 mile walk in this build up (2 more planned) and I am a bit ahead of where I was last year, both in number of 20’s AND in heat conditioning. I am handling heat relatively well, I think. But I don’t have the hard half marathons though.

Today I changed up the course a bit: when I got to the bottom of Glen Oak park I went up and around the long way, along Prospect and then down through Springdale (HUGE great Dane..on a leash, thank god/goddesses). Then on Bishop hill, I turned left and went around Grandview. Then when I was about to take it home, I backtracked and did the 5K course on the bikepath (out and back) (47:34, 15:20 pace) and I was very, well, whiny. I wasn’t hurting or anything; I was disgusted at my lack of speed.

Then I took it home; 14:44 for the “fast mile”, 58:46 for the final 4 to get to 19.9 in 5:06:37, then a very lackadaisical final 0.4 to ensure I got over 20..and there I saw some sort of football drill session on the Bradley Quad.

5:13:29 for 20.3; it was 86 F with 54 percent humidity when I finished (67 F with 97 percent when I started).

15:26 pace.

Later: I walked home from Dozer to add 2 more (dropped off after Indian buffet)

It was a good game; very quick. For the first 7.5 innings, the pitchers dominated. It was 1-1, both runs off of solo home runs. The Chiefs had 8 hits, but they were scattered. Their prize “just out of high school” rookie got 2 hits..had a bit of trouble with the glove. Still…when you think “he was in high school last year” you can see the talent…exceptional.

In the bottom of the 8’th, the Chiefs got a single, sacrifice bunt, and a RBI single (by the rookie) which provided the winning margin. Note: the home run was by the burly rookie who was playing for TCU earlier this year. YOUTH.

Great ball game..a real pitcher’s duel.

I know it is Bark in the Park Sunday, but this is just WRONG. 😂🤣

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Warm one in Dozer. Fans seeking shade.

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The coach's box is just a suggestion.😂

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This is just not right! 😂🤣

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August 12, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Picking Soldier Field tickets…

Of course I love going to football games, and I have tickets to the Illinois vs. South Florida football game this September. Now I’ll see about a couple of Bears games and perhaps a couple of Colts games as well.

Lucas is a nice place to watch a game, but when I go there, I frequently take my wife’s nephew and roommate; that affects my choice of tickets. This year, I am planning to make at least one game with a friend and get somewhat closer tickets for that game….unless I can somehow swing Patriots at Bears without having to take out a second mortgage. 🙂

But for this post, I’ll discuss the Bears and Soldier Field. Soldier Field has limitations, namely concourse space is too small and there aren’t enough bathrooms in the non-grandstand sections. IF you have anything resembling a full house AND if you want to make it to the bathroom during half time, don’t even try the small end zone bathroom areas (the ones behind the grandstand are a better bet). Now about sightlines and view from the seats:

Here is the view from the 300 level club (quite nice, IMHO, though you are up a bit)

The club sections (200 and 300 level) open early and feature a couch/easy chair section if your guest doesn’t like the weather.

These ARE pricey for most games though.

Now this is the view from the Media Deck (200 level, I sat here a couple of times)

Note: the concourse is heated by overhead heat lamps; that can make for crowded conditions in cold weather. This matters if you want to get to the bathroom in a timely manner.

Now for the end zone sections (I sat in the 200 level for one game; never sat in the 300 level)

The sightlines aren’t that bad; but bathrooms are tiny and hard to get to. (yes, I am an old man)

Now for the 400 level grandstand. I sat here for 2 different games: row 2 and row 33 and yes, there is a difference. Now the sightlines are outstanding; no problem if someone tall sits in front of you. And the steepness of the stands discourages fans from going up and down unnecessarily.

Though I enjoyed both games: the rows 30 and up (I sat in row 33) are ok if you REALLY want to be in the stadium for the game and don’t mind the players kind of looking like ants. You do get to see the receivers breaking open and things like that.

The lower rows (I sat in 2) are good seats, IMHO and, generally, much cheaper than the media deck and certainly a lot cheaper than the club seats. I’d have to guess that rows 1-10 of the 400 level grandstand to be the best value.

I can’t talk about the 300 level grandstand or the 300 level end zone, or the lower levels (100). (I’ve sat lower level for the old St. Louis Rams and for the Kansas City Chiefs). I can’t talk about the 200 level club yet.

But based on where I’ve sat, I’d rank them this way:

If I am with my wife:

1. 300 club
2. 200 media deck
3. 200 end zone
4. 400 grandstand (lower rows, say 1-10)
5. 400 grandstand (upper rows..ok, she said she won’t do that again. )

If I am with a robust football fan:

1. 200 media deck
2. 300 club
3. 400 grandstand (lower rows, say 1-10)
4. 200 end zone
5. 400 grandstand (upper rows; and yes, it is worth it to me to “be at the game in person”)

August 11, 2018 Posted by | NFL | , | Leave a comment

It isn’t all good but it isn’t all bad either

Steven Pinker is one of my favorite “public intellectuals”. He is a Harvard professor and was elected to the National Academy of Science. Here he is on Bill Maher. One of Pinker’s constant themes is that, *on the whole*, things are getting better for humans. That doesn’t mean that there are serious problems that we need to address.

And, of course, there are changes. I don’t like all of them. But some of those that I do not like are, well, necessary, and the reason I don’t like them is because my previous 58 years on this planet got me used to a different way.

Academia: some professors really ok with being viewed as an “easy to get an A from” professor. I am not one of those.

Some ideas are inherently difficult to learn and not everyone has the aptitude to learn them. And some ideas can be learned at different levels. I might discuss this more on my math blog as I start preparing for fall classes; I have my research paper written up and prepared to be proof read.

Workout notes: I spent last night at Dancing Dreams (an ABBA tribute band) concert and so slept in; I only walked 11 miles (15:30 ish pace) though it was warm:

77 F 64 percent at the start, 82 F, 55 percent humidity at the finish. I was 2:45 at then end of the 10.7 (with the goose loop) and 2:52 at the end of the 11.2

August 11, 2018 Posted by | education, politics/social, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

Lying while remaining factual: yes, they fall for it!

From time to time, I like to entertain myself by telling clever lies. Here are a couple:

“Playing basketball makes you tall; just look at how tall they players are!”

“Hospitals should be banned; after all, statistically speaking, those outside of hospitals are much healthier than hospital inpatients!”

I teased my wife: “even if you correct for sex and age, those who train with a personal trainer in the gym are not as strong as those who train without one.”

My wife remarked that “those who took Building Steam (the program to train newbie runners) finished the 4 mile race slower than runners who didn’t use that program.” (I have not checked this, but it is highly likely that it is true).

But you often see this in politics. Get a load at what Trump is posting:

And there are (at least) three types of reactions that disgust me.

1. People who know what they are doing but post this anyway because they know many people will “buy it”.

2. People who see it and believe that this really is evidence that Trump is doing better.

3. People who are skeptical but assume that, well, the numbers must be wrong (they aren’t). Ok, this disgusts me a bit less than 1 or 2.

Now Dear Reader, there is no need for me to explain it to you, but in the event that you want to explain it to others: here are graphs of the Dow Jones index, GDP and the jobs graphs. They all show what happened: President Obama inherited a recession and it took a bit of time to dig out of it whereas Trump inherited an economy that was on the upswing.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | economy, political/social, social/political | , | 1 Comment

What I find offensive about Laura Ingraham’s “immigrant” statement and Trump’s NFL protest statements

Let me make this clear: if you don’t like me because of my race, I am ok with that. Your loss..and it isn’t as if I lack for friends.

If you prefer the atmosphere of one culture to another, be it classical (white) small town “Americana”, or suburbia (e. g. Morton) to something more diverse, fine. People are going to prefer some atmospheres to others. There is nothing wrong with that. Personally: I wish baseball and football had a bit less of this “canned, marketed faux-patriotism” as part of the entertainment (and I am growing tired of hearing “American Solider” played at baseball games; ironically one of the things I liked about the Far East Network Armed Forces radio station that I listened to in Japan is that they played a VARIETY of music; some C & W, some “soul”, some Jazz, some rock and roll)

But hey, it comes with the territory; no entertainment experience is tailor made for me, nor should it be.

So, let’s get to the Ingraham statement (video here)

“In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Ingraham said on the cable network.

Ingraham added: “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like,” she said. “From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration.”

“foisted upon the American people”….”None of us ever voted for”…

Who in the hell are you talking about? If you YOU don’t like the brown skinned immigrants, well, that is your right. What offends me is that she is conflating HER views and the views of her audience with the views of “the American people”. Ms. Ingraham: you are only one person, and your viewers, while American, do not represent even a plurality of Americans. Evidently, American institutions such as the military understand this. I am sorry that you do not.

Now to President Trump and his tweets:

It isn’t his call as far as to how to pay or not pay the players. And as far as “the fans”: NFL fans are not monolithic.

Yes, this is from an October 2014 game and this was in response to what happened in Ferguson. There were no National Anthem protests, but some Rams players did a “don’t shoot, hands up” gesture upon entering the field. And this banner wasn’t the only one; other fans took another banner around the concourse to…mostly cheers.

Of course, the old St. Louis Rams fans were a diverse lot but so are NFL fans in general. I have no problem with the fans debating the merits and appropriateness of the National Anthem protests (though frankly, I’d be in favor of doing away with the National Anthem at sporting events; there is nothing inherently patriotic about home runs, touchdowns or 3-point shots.)

What I find offensive is that people like Donald Trump and Jerry Jones appear to “think” that there is only one legitimate side to the issue at hand. They are completely wrong.

As to what I think, this is a nice summary of how I see it:

Workout notes: 3 mile walk after lifting: usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10..went well), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 6 x 150, decline: 10 x 165, military: standing 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 90 (new machine), rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell), 10 x 110. Abs, plank, etc.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | NFL, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment