Recovery runs and being noticed

First, I had a struggling (at first) recovery run of 4.2 miles; it was humid and the first mile was UGH. On the way back, I heard voices and there was a bespandexed MILF running with someone on a bike beside her. I had the dilemma: do I stay at pace and let her pass me just to enjoy the view…or do I pick it up a little because…after all these years…I still HATE getting passed? :-)

I ended up picking it up a little and I eventually turned off.

Then to the gym for weights followed by light yoga (headstand included)

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (better)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 170,
incline: 10 x 135
super set: military press: 10 x 45, 10 x 40, 10 x 40 (dumbbells)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 (each arm, dumbbell), 10 x 200 Hammer machine.

Note: while going across campus, one of the young women smiled and said “ I’ve seen you outside of the gym!” That was just a bit troubling; I am not as invisible in the gym as I’d wish. :-)

Navel Staring: I first started lifting weights regularly in 1972 and that was to get ready for football. I didn’t hit 200 on the honest bench press until 10-11’th grade or so. I didn’t get to 10 pull ups until I was a young adult.
I started running regularly in 1975; and I did this every morning in the off season (3.5 miles). On Sundays, I’d do 2 miles in 13:30-14:30 at the St. Edwards track; I also did a 5:54 mile.

When I went through the morbid obesity period of my life, I still walked; typically 2-3 miles a few times a week (sloooooow miles; 18 minute miles when I was 300 plus pounds). So I’ve been running and walking for 40 years; lifting for 43.

And I still suck at it. :-)

And since we are into numbers, I first learned of the calculus derivative back in 1975-1976, with my first calculus class coming in 1976-1977. So I’ve been at that a while too. And, thankfully, I am a lot better at mathematics than I am at sports.

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Navel Staring, running, weight training | Leave a comment

Football season is almost here!

Well, I have my tickets for the Illinois football season; it all starts this Friday night against Kent State.

Going in: Illinois went 6-6 in the regular season, finishing with wins over Penn State (last second field goal) and a blowout of a depleted Northwestern team. This came prior to a discouraging home blowout loss to Iowa. The best game: a 28-21 home upset of Minnesota. The bowl: a most unfortunate 35-18 whipping by Louisiana Tech.

But the big news is that Illinois fired its football coach a week before the game; the charge was that he mistreated injured players. I don’t know for sure what was going on, but to be honest, the coach was on the hot seat and most magazines were predicting 4-5 wins, at best. So why not do it now since it is going to be done anyway? The offensive coordinator has taken over; he had head coaching experience at Western Michigan..and in his final year his team lost to Tim Beckman’s Illinois squad 24-7…which was to be one of the 2 Illinois wins of the year.

Kent State: coming of a 2-9 year; they aren’t the team they were in 2012. They have a chance, but I see the 14 point spread as being about right.

The Illinois quarterback is the one who started last year’s season as the no. 1 quarterback. But he got dinged in the Texas State game, missed the Nebraska game and then got a broken leg late in the Purdue game. He had quite a bit of success: against I-AA Youngstown State, Western Kentucky (Conference USA) and Texas State (Sun Belt) and Purdue. He tried to play later in the season but was not as effective as his back up; that was probably due to the injury and due to the fact that the back up was a better runner.

I look for him to throw for a lot of yards in this game.

Late Saturday: there is the battle between Texas and Notre dame: this is a 6-6 team who got blown out in their bowl game against a 7-5 team who won their bowl on a last second field goal (getting a lucky call) against a 6-6 team.

Nevertheless interest is high. The cheapest Stub Hub ticket is 250.00!

Navy tunes up against Colgate and TCU travels to Minnesota on Friday night; the latter is an upset possibility, though I think that the Frogs have too much talent for the Gophers.

As far as what I expect to see on the season (revised from my earlier post):

Illinois: good news: the home schedule should be entertaining with games against Kent State, Western Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio State. The latter 3 could well be ranked in the top 25; Ohio State is currently ranked no. 1. Bad news: I see the Illini winning exactly 3 of these (guess which ones). There are road games against North Carolina, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, Iowa and a Chicago “home game” versus Northwestern (they couldn’t get anyone to show up for the Thanksgiving weekend game at Champaign). Now add the fact that they fired their coach 1 week prior to the season; the campus was in turmoil to begin with, and now things are worse.

I am not sure that I see three road wins there; to go 6-6 they will have to score a couple of upsets along the way. I see anywhere between 3-9 (worst case) to 7-5 (best case); I think that 4-8 or 5-7 are the most likely. 6-6 or better would please me greatly. This will probably be the interim coach’s last year unless they go 6-6 or better.

Oh yes, the quarterback got a lot of hype, but he threw for big yards …against Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State.

Navy: First year in the American Athletic Conference. There are teams that Navy can compete with. But conference play will be a new experience.
I see: 6-6 (worst) to 9-3 best; 7-5 to 8-4 would be most likely, in my opinion. Notre Dame and Houston will be tough road tests. Now will I be able to make it to their bowl game, if there is one?

Texas: The non-conference slate features a game at Notre Dame, and home games against California and Rice. The Longhorns also travel to Baylor and TCU and have the annual affair against Oklahoma. Well, you can’t accuse Texas of having an easy schedule. My guess: 5-7 to 8-4 are possible, with 6-6 to 7-5 being the most likely. Maybe this year, make a bowl game and actually compete?

Notre Dame: Probably the best of “my” teams and they play Navy and Texas. That should make for interesting watching. The schedule: manageable. They have some tough games: at Clemson and Stanford; at home against Georgia Tech and USC. Texas is down this year and Navy can’t match ND in talent. So I’d say: 7-5 to 10-2 with 8-4 to 9-3 being the most plausible.

One beef: my two football magazines have ND ranked 9’th or 10’th. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What in the heck is this based on?

Yes, I went to the Music City Bowl and enjoyed it immensely. But the reality: they got a lucky call (end of the first half) and a last second field goal to beat a 6-6 LSU team. It was a great game, but it featured two mediocre teams with big names, period. There is no reason to rank ND this highly; I might understand 20-25, but even that would be a stretch.

September 2, 2015 Posted by | college football, football | , | Leave a comment

The Republican race…

Workout notes: left about 7:20 or so; walked my Cornstalk 8.1 in 1:46:05; 54:28/51:37. The last 1.03 was 11:49. There was some fresh gravel.
It was sticky: 75 F, 87 percent humidity at the start; 80 F, 74 percent at the end.

But I was surprised; I felt a bit tired yesterday and my first mile was just over 14 minutes. But I loosened up and got into it mentally.


Politics That Donald Trump continues to lead really amuses me. Remember the Republicans declared that they had an all-star lineup:

Well, he’s tapping in, but he’s essentially — he’s done it in a way that the word offensive is too weak,” Krauthammer said. “It’s an insult. An entire immigrant group. He did not make a distinct between legal and illegal immigrants. That’s his entire campaign. All our problems are from Mexico, from China, from Saudi Arabia, and Japan. He will make them pay. But that elevates him to a guy actually with ideas. These are eruptions, barstool eruptions. And the pity is this. This is the strongest field of Republican candidates in 35 years. You could pick a dozen of them at random and have the strongest cabinet America’s had in our lifetime and instead all of our time is spent discussing this rodeo clown.”

Paul Krugman is having fun with it:

Both the Republican establishment and the punditocracy have been shocked by Mr. Trump’s continuing appeal to the party’s base. He’s a ludicrous figure, they complain. His policy proposals, such as they are, are unworkable, and anyway, don’t people realize the difference between actual leadership and being a star on reality TV?

But Mr. Trump isn’t alone in talking policy nonsense. Trying to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants would be a logistical and human rights nightmare, but might conceivably be possible; doubling America’s rate of economic growth, as Jeb Bush has promised he would, is a complete fantasy.

And while Mr. Trump doesn’t exude presidential dignity, he’s seeking the nomination of a party that once considered it a great idea to put George W. Bush in a flight suit and have him land on an aircraft carrier.

The point is that those predicting Mr. Trump’s imminent political demise are ignoring the lessons of recent history, which tell us that poseurs with a knack for public relations can con the public for a very long time. Someday The Donald will have his Katrina moment, when voters see him for who he really is. But don’t count on it happening any time soon.

I’ll put it this way: the Republicans have been running con men for years. Mr. Trump is better at it.

September 1, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, walking | | Leave a comment

Tired from last weekend

I went to the Peoria Chiefs game last night; the Chiefs lost to Cedar Rapids 7-3 (Cedar Rapids is a playoff team). Most of the damage was done in the second inning where the Chiefs gave up 6 runs (5 earned); there were several “ground ball hits”, one off the wall triple and one (of 2) errors by the all-star second baseman. It was that kind of night.

But I noticed I was very tired; I had thought about going and doing a tune-up marathon and, while I hate to admit this, the long stuff takes a lot out of me. So I’ll stick with my plan to just do long training walks.

This morning: too tired to swim so I lifted and did a light 15 minutes on the bike, as well as some yoga. Headstand is getting easier.

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10, one of 5 (as my last set of 10 was sloppy). These were difficult.
Super set: machine rows, machine military presses, machine pull downs: 3 sets of 10 with 110 (row), 2 sets of 10 presses (100 each arm), 150 pull down.
Dumbbell military: 10 x 40
incline press: 10 x 135 (hard), 4 x 150, 3 x 150 (fatigued)
10 x 70 dumbbell bench press

bike (15 min, 4 miles (15:20)

I felt better afterward.

Posts Jerry Coyne presents a nice chart that shows the gap between what scientists believe and what the general public believes. And as far as what the public runs with? Well, it is an influence of many things, including religion and the American public believing that expert opinion is not really more valuable than “what makes sense to me”.

August 31, 2015 Posted by | science, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

56 years old and…

Well, I woke up and was on my walk by 6:45 am. I started from the Riverplex:


Around the goose loop, around the ball field wall, up to the track, 4 laps there

27:30 (2 mile, lane 2)
27:57 (2 mile, lane 2)
2:02 (from the track to the Heights tower park via the path; a few bikes here and then back)
29:02 (2 mile track, lane 2)
36:51 back, which included a short out and back from my car to the edge of the lot

Total: 4:40:41 for 18.63 miles, which is 30 km (the 6 miles on the track was 6.07). Pace: 15:04, which was too slow. However I had stomach trouble; I felt a bit bloated from yesterday.
Weather: 69 F, 90 percent humidity at the start, 75 F with 76 percent at the end. It was sort of sticky. I was not feeling great on the “out” part but then realized it was just the long climb.

I did the track segments to “shame” myself into walking faster; doing nothing but slow walking on the long walks doesn’t really prepare you for the marathon.

August 30, 2015 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

2015 Zoo Run Run

I’ve done versions of this race many times; the last time I ran this particular course was 5 years ago.

Just the facts: 28:55 for the 3 lap course; my laps were 9:25, 9:51, 9:38. I finished 41 out of 81; the median runner! It was 71 F and 78 percent humidity.


I got in some brisk walking and jogged one of the loops, plus a bit more to warm up. I felt ready. The course is 3 1.03 mile loops and features some up and down; the course starts with a drop. I managed to let everyone go and just stay moderate on the first loop; I knew that it was a tough day to run. The course had some slightly slick spots that really didn’t give me trouble.

On the second loop I started to look for people to pass; I got some of them and didn’t get passed back. On the third loop I saw Tracy in the distance (she won 1’st in her age group and was to finish about 2 minutes after she had finished her second loop. I came back to get her later.

I didn’t put that much into the second loop and probably was too late in starting my pick up on the 3’rd loop.

Now here is my critique of the race itself:

Packet pick up (both the day before and on race day): pretty bad. I described what went wrong here. And the promise to “have the numbers on the table where they can be picked up real quick (sic)” did NOT materialize. That wasn’t a surprise.

The Race itself Excellent traffic control, volunteers to keep you on course, water every that went fine. The course itself featured small (but frequent) hills and ran past trees and parkland; it was interesting, if tough. Many of the top 19-22 minute runners were 50 seconds slower today. This is NOT a fast course.

Post race good pizza, bagels, fruit and some sweet stuff; it was an excellent spread. Timing: the results were posted pretty quickly.

So the race experience was very good; it was excellent event. The application/packet pick up: bad.

Post FANS 24 hour 5K races
Firecracker, July 4: 26:48 (similar weather)
Pearce Run for the Health of it 27:06 July 11: (same temp, more humid)
JT’s 5K 27:59 July 18, very hot (82 F, 82 percent humidity)
Brimfield 29:06 (hot, muggy)
Hanna City Hustle 26:38 (cooler)

Note: I was the median runner for the second race in a row.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Trump trumping political correctness?

Yes, I know..I am talking about Donald Trump way too much. But I admit: I am fascinated by him.

I don’t know why he is leading; my “best guess” is that it is a combination of Mr. Trump’s savvy (and he is a smart guy, like him or not) and the fact that he offers the combination of social conservatism with a desire to fix our decaying infrastructure, tax the wealthy and to strengthen social security and the like. Heck, even I like these positions!

S. E. Cupp brings up another aspect: Mr. Trump is pushing back on the overreach of political correctness.


I think that she has a point.

Now, of course, there are those who rush in to defend “political correctness”, but I think that this defender is wrong:

I can see it raising a lot of hackles. But let’s continue:

I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. The Trump supporters and proto-Trump supporters I know are upset by things like having to listen to Spanish-language messages on customer service lines, not being able to call women “chicks” without someone frowning at them, and having to stop telling racist jokes at work. That’s what “political correctness” is code for: having to worry about the sensitivities of people who were invisible or submissive not that very long ago.

If Cupp is right and I’m not, then let’s all cooperate in convincing Republican politicians and conservative pundits to stop using the term “political correctness” and come right and and tell us what the beef is about. Is it really “trigger warning” requirements at scattered liberal arts colleges? Or is it this whole new world we’re in where people have to question old habits? When Ben Carson calls inhibitions about torturing terrorism suspects “political correctness,” it’s pretty clear he’s yet another apostle for the Church of the Day Before Yesterday, when America was never wrong and dissenters kept their mouths shut.

I could do with a little less speech policing from all sides, frankly. It gets a little tiresome sometimes. Still, the truth is that Ed is right: for the vast, vast majority of us, it leaves our lives entirely unaffected as long as you can avoid flat-out slurs against women, blacks, gays, Jews, and so forth. Really, that’s about 99 percent of it. Is that really so hard?

Here is why I disagree: political correctness (from BOTH the left and the right) has affected basic research (from the right: think “climate change”, or think about the pushback against the finding that our big domestic security threats come from right wing groups); read Steven Pinker’s book Blank Slate to see how leftist political correctness has affected research on things like rape.

You see it in the culture as well. Example: Yes, I think that it is impolite to verbally chastise fat people. But now, we are told that obese people are sexy and have perfect bodies. We are told that it is bad form to criticize irresponsible behavior and that a low level criminal is a hero. PC-ness has gone way past a “don’t be a jerk” request.

So, that might be part of Mr. Trump’s appeal, but it is far from the whole story, otherwise we might have had, say, Andrew Dice Clay running for office.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Getting the blood pressure up…

Today’s race: no, I won’t be able to stay up with her.

And this lass has some…uh…interesting tattoos (photo: borderline NSFW) ) If she were wearing different socks, I might have thought it was Cassie. :-)

August 29, 2015 Posted by | big butts, bikinis, butt | Leave a comment

The power of an apology…

I’ll be the first to admit that I make mistakes. And though it can be tough, I always try to own up to them.

Last night, I found out why that matters, even in little things.

I went to the Peoria Zoo to register for a race and pick up a friend’s packet. It turns out that they would register me but that they wouldn’t give me my friend’s number because she needed to sign a new waiver that they had on the initial application was the wrong one (or did they switch to a new finish line company?)

The zoo employee working the packet pickup was going “we’ll have those numbers out on the table; she’ll get them real quick” ..and I shook my head and said “that’s unfortunate”. There was just something about that person’s conduct that bothered me.

Later, I discussed it with someone. Then it hit me: she never said “I am sorry for your inconvenience” or “we messed up”; never accepted responsibility at all.

I admit that I have a dislike of such people and I try to avoid interacting them when I can.

Note: no, it isn’t a big deal; I get that. But I was wondering why this exchange bothered me. And now I understand why an apology can really smooth things, even if it is an apology over a very minor inconvenience.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | social/political | | 1 Comment

The Genius of Donald Trump, a Sanders score and teachers…

Workout notes: 3 mile walk (to lower Bradley Park and back) followed by weights:

5 sets of 10 pull ups
rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185 (bodyweight: 187, home)
incline: 10 x 135
military: 2 sets of 10 x 85 barbell, 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 each arm, 10 x 110 machine
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 160, 10 x 150 alternate machine
yoga with head stand.

Gym: pretty empty.

Teachers: there is now a teacher shortage; frankly few want these jobs anymore. My prediction is that the same will happen for higher education, at least at the non-elite, non-Research I institutions.

Election 2016: this is hilarious; the liberal social justice warriors can’t seem to figure out why everyone else isn’t outraged that Donald Trump isn’t following their approved scripts.

And, of course, why is Mr. Trump getting away with it when others can’t? There is a method to his madness, as Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) points out. I disagree on one point though: if nominated, Trump will lose and lose big no matter who he selects as VP.

Bernie Sanders: calls out CEOs who call for austerity. Sen. Sanders is correct here.

1. While these CEOs are business geniuses, running a national economy is different than running a business. Example: government spending can percolate up and have a multiplier effect.

2. A CEO can be indifferent to the fate of laid off workers. A government shouldn’t be.

Good for Sen. Sanders for calling out these people.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | education, politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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