Some metrics on fitness

In September of 1999 (at 40 years of age): half marathon in 1:34:16 (7:11 pace), then the first 20 miles of the Quad Cities in 2:37 (7:51 pace; crashed and finished in 3:45…bad cramps).

Today: ONE mile at 7:50 was, while not all out, challenging. I did hit the halves in 3:55 each. Yes, I did this right after lifting weights and that had a minor negative effect.

In September of 1986 (27 years of age): in the bench press I got 11 reps with bodyweight (230 lbs). Today: 3 reps (3 x 180); probably could have gotten 1 more had I used a spotter. I weighed 180.0 on the gym scale prior to the workout.

15 years and 28 years can make a difference in what one can do. At times, it feels as if someone stuck a straw under my skin and sucked all of the muscle mass right out.

Nevertheless, I have some goals set up. One will be to walk the Peoria Marathon this October. The next (tentative) will be the McNotAgain 30 mile (hilly, trail) about 3-4 weeks later. And for the final..stay tuned. :-) I might try to combine a longish (marathon or possibly longer) event with a football game over the winter..somewhere south. So, I need to build up my long walks this summer; I am at 14 miles (22.5 km) right now.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Mixing it up

Weights plus a run…of sorts. It was very rainy outside.

Weight: 180.0 on the gym scale.

Weights: pull ups (3 sets of 10) with rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135
pull ups: 2 sets of 10 mixed with
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell standing
super set: 3 sets of 10 x 130 pull down machine, 10 x 200 Hammer row, 10 x 100, 10 x 90 machine military

treadmill: 10:50 mile
track: 7:50 mile (3:55 each half)
treadmill: 10:40 mile
track: 8:53 mile (medium effort)
treadmill: run walk 11:30 cool down mile

It was enough to get some exercise but not so much that it drained me.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | Leave a comment

2016: I am not that interested but…it will be PARTISAN

In my opinion, the 2016 election will probably be, if anything, more partisan than 2004, 2008 and 2012. Why?

I think it is because the public is polarized.

Think about it: you have a large segment of the population that thinks their deity controls things. Their god sends punishments for our society allowing, say, gay marriage …but will protect us against the effects of climate change. Remembers: these are elected officials: judges and US Senators:

Remember: these views reflect the views of those who voted for them. Common ground? Are you kidding me?

Now of course I will vote (both primary and in the election), but I won’t have the passion I had in 1992, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, religion | Leave a comment

Running on fumes…

Physically, I feel reasonably good. But mentally; well we are nearing the end of the semester and I am bringing together the end of Calculus III and topology…and I botched a calculation in Calculus III. I did send out some corrected notes; I got the “right answer” but for the wrong reason.

Swim: 500 easy, 5 x ( 50 front kick with fins, 200 free); timed was 3:38. then 50 kick with fins (body position), 4 x 50 on the 1:10 (52; did long on the out, harder on the back). 200 fly/back with fins.
It was ok.


It is very hard to be successful; practices can be downright brutal and a good coach will drive his/her players past where they think that they are capable of going. Hence I am genuinely perplexed here: did this coach cross the line, or did she end up with “soft” players here?

The four players who quit the Wichita State women’s basketball team after the season have met with a university official who reports to president John Bardo to discuss their issues with coach Jody Adams.

Faculty athletic representative Julie Scherz is leading the inquiry and is charged to talk to current and past players, coaches and administrators, said Lou Heldman, WSU vice president of strategic communications. Michaela Dapprich, Moriah Dapprich, Alie Decker and Kayla White met with Scherz recently after leaving the team.

“Dr. Bardo took this seriously from the first report of it,” Heldman said. “He is very conscious of the standards of what universities owe to student-athletes, and really, to all students. He asked Dr. Scherz to look into this.”

Scherz and Bardo have had at least one conversation and plan another soon, Heldman said. Assistant athletic director for media relations Larry Rankin directed media inquiries to Heldman.

The players, according to a source with knowledge of the conversations and communications with Scherz and athletic department officials, described an atmosphere of anger, isolation and personal insults that caused the players to quit. The issues came to a head recently during offseason training when players ran more than an hour of “suicide” drills as punishment, several sources said.

But her teams played well on the court; evidently they weren’t showing up to games with dead legs. So it isn’t as if they were being overtrained or playing “tight”.


2016. I admit that I am not that interested in the Presidential race, at least in terms of getting involved. I might write a campaign check or two. I’ll vote both in the primary and in the general. But I don’t have the excitement I had in 1992, 2008, nor the grim determination I had in 2004 and 2012, nor will I get any joy in watching the nerds be right (again) and the pundits go down in flames (2012). This is sort of like 2000 for me when I had, at best, a passing interest (yes, I voted, for VP Gore but I (mistakenly) believed that George W. Bush was “not that bad”. Really. I was fooled by campaign statements such as this one:

My goodness, was I wrong.

Well, the 2016 race is heating up. Sure Mitt Romney is not running…but this…well, it doesn’t include Scott Walker or Carly Fiorina but..let’s just that that this makes Mitt Romney look good by comparison:

And on the other side: Hillary Clinton is running.

Now, there are Democrats who are in the “anyone but Hillary” bandwagon. I am not one of those. No, I am not strongly pro-Clinton either, but she did serve in the US Senate and performed ably as Secretary of State and has stature in the world. So I think that she is a worthy candidate and I don’t see another Democrat who is.

Her 2008 campaign was a disaster though; she had the lead and blew it by being overconfident and not planning ahead. I hope that she has learned her lesson.

But she is a Clinton and well…. here comes two articles that focus mostly on President Clinton’s charity fund.

Yes, charity. It turns out that Bill Clinton is good at raising money and some give to his charity in hopes of getting in Hillary’s good graces, and yes, Bill gets a hefty speaking fee. And yes, the New York Times has LONG story about how a Russian company bought a Canadian uranium mining company and..some of its officials gave to Bill’s charity as well.

I read these two articles which seem to drive home the fact that:

1. Bill gets a lot of money for a speech (if he wants it) and
2. Bill’s charity has a lot of donors, some of which hope to get in the good favors of the Clintons.

I really don’t see any more than that; I don’t see where it is claimed that Secretary Clinton did X because some donor gave Y. Well, let’s just say if that claim is there, I missed did others:

“Political opponents” would have argued this had Ms. Rodham Clinton spent her pre-candidate career working with the Poor Clares. That’s why someone’s political opponents are generally found in opposition to them. That’s also why the Post formalized its relationship with a ratfker in the first place.

It looks as though the CGI, and the speaking fees, are going to be this cycle’s Whitewater, which brings us to the application of Clinton Rule No. 3 — if you have blown enough smoke, you then can claim that there is a “climate” of fire. Exhibit A here are the #inevitablehotpolitixtakez from Ron (Leadership!) Fournier, former Karl Rove life coach.

Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.
Actually, what ties five of the seven examples cited there together is the fact that they are absolute bullshit. (And the Gennifer Flowers business is more than a quarter-bullshit itself. Have we all forgotten that Ms. Flowers wrote about having had assignations with Bill Clinton in a Little Rock hotel that hadn’t been built yet?) Don’t take my word for it. Take Kenneth Starr’s. On November 19,1998, he appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and admitted that everything he’d investigated save the affair with Monica Lewinsky came to nothing. Barney Frank had a little fun with him.

Mr. Frank criticized Mr. Starr for failing to exonerate the President on Filegate and Travelgate in September when he sent Congress the 445-page impeachment referral related to Mr. Clinton’s affair with Monica S. Lewinsky. ”In other words,” he told Mr. Starr, ”you don’t have anything to say unless you have something bad to say.”
To single out the Clintons for having wealthy friends who might want favors later, especially in the political context brought to us by the destruction of campaign finance regulations, is a particularly laughable application of the Clinton Rules which, like the Voting Rights Act and McCain-Feingold, have been rendered irrelevant by Citizens United and its unholy progeny. I already hate this campaign, and maybe that’s the whole point. When pundits talk about “not wanting to go through” the whole Clinton sturm und drang, this, I suspect, is what they’re talking about. It is the job of oppo-researchers and ratfkers to exhaust the country’s patience through the techniques of scandalization. It is the job of the other candidates to try and take advantage of that. It is not the job of journalism to play along, or to despair of the effects on “us” of their own creations


Yes, you can look at my 2007-2008 posts during the bruising Clinton-Obama campaign. I never hesitated to call out the Clintons when I thought they were trying to pull the political wool over the eyes of the primary and caucus voters.

But the above stuff (the attacks on the Clinton foundation stuff) is malarkey.

One thing to remember about Bill: one of the reasons he is a good fundraiser is that he believes in his causes and he had never been personally greedy. He isn’t above political pandering or stating things in a way that makes you think you are hearing one thing but he is saying another. He has faults.

But he is NOT greedy and never has been.

Let the games begin…:-)

April 25, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, swimming | , | Leave a comment

Some recovery…semester coming to an end

I am becoming ready for the semester to be over. Still: I have some interesting stuff to do.

Workout notes (38 F) Glacially slow, but steady 6.3 mile shuffle (tried to pick it up in the last mile); much better than last Thursday’s torture trudge though. Then weights:

super set of machine rows (3 sets 10 with 110), machine military (2 sets of 10 with 90 (each arm), 1 with 100), pull ups: 10-5-10-5-10

Then pull downs with rotator cuff (3 sets of 10 x 150, double pulley machine), pull ups 5-5 and then 5 more for 55 total.
bench press: 10 x 135, 10 x 155 (tough), 10 x 145 (more reasonable but not the joke that it should be).

I went to the ACLU banquet with Barbara and enjoyed all but the Q&A afterward (too long); over all, it was a good time.

April 24, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

recovering between workouts

I am finding that doing a race on Saturday and walking (or running) “sort of” long on Sunday tires me out to the degree that trying to do anything resembling speed on Tuesday puts me in the “needs a lot of recovery” zone. Thursday workouts are often brutal, even if I don’t do much; I just haven’t recovered as much.

Workout notes walk jog; didn’t feel like walking hard and running anything beyond an easy shuffle was tough. So I did my 10K course (up Cornstalk Hill) where I mostly walked the flats, ran up and down the hill.

Later: 2.8 with the group; counted it as 3 to make up for the .2

April 23, 2015 Posted by | running, walking | , | Leave a comment

The irrelevancy of the Bible to “Is there a God” question….

I am drinking coffee to get ready for my morning workout.

I’ve revisited some of the old discussion about “belief” vs. atheism and noticed how much of the argument, at least in the United States, is about the Bible and the deity of the Bible.

I want to be clear: I think that the Bible is highly relevant in terms of Western history, literature and social studies. I think that an educated western person should read it or at least become familiar with parts of it, including the silly and noxious parts:

Joshua 8:22-25New International Version (NIV)

22 Those in the ambush also came out of the city against them, so that they were caught in the middle, with Israelites on both sides. Israel cut them down, leaving them neither survivors nor fugitives. 23 But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the wilderness where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai.

Numbers 22:28

27When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. 28And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.”…

New Testament: Acts 5: 8-9

…8And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” 9Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” 10And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.…

So we have mass murder (slaughters), talking donkeys and the death penalty for lying about how much money you gave to church.

So, yes, it is hard to take the Bible seriously, at least in terms of it being a source of truth or a source of morality.
But what is its relevance in terms of the existence of a deity?

I really don’t think it has any. Why should it? Any discussion about a deity’s existence or non-existence has to deal with reams and reams of facts about our universe, almost all of which were completely unknown to the primitive writers of the Bible (and other holy texts as well).

Things like the utter vastness of our universe, the “not even large enough to be microscopic” size of the world inhabited by humans and the laws of science would be relevant to this question.

April 21, 2015 Posted by | atheism, religion | | 1 Comment

Following one’s own advice

Workout notes
swim: 2 x 250 (slower than 5 each), 5 x 100 (fist/free) on the 2:10 (1:53/1:57 each)
4 x 250 on the 5 (4:40, 4:43, 4:47, 4:50 (lazy)), 200 fins (4 x 25 back, 4 x 25 fly)

This was “just swim”.

Advice I follow a lot of people on Facebook, including many runners. And time and time again, I’ve seen someone work up to running a 5K at, say, 8:40 mpm, and then try to move to doing lots of half marathons, marathons, and then attempt an ultra.

All the while, they get slower, slower and slower until it is downright painful to watch them attempt to run.

When I returned to running (1996), I ran for about a year prior to running a half marathon for time (as a 38 year old) and I ran a 1:40 and didn’t injure myself.

So, I kind of “tut-tut” to myself about the mistake I think that the new runners are making….though it is none of my business.

Then I ask myself: WHO is entertaining thoughts of a 12 hour walk this June, given his current is a painfully slow 3:48 walk? Hmmmm?

Yeah, that is the old “I remember doing 100 miles” talking but while the brain and memory is still there, the body isn’t.

BUT, I am on track to be able to train for a walking marathon in October and IF that goes well, 30 miles in November and maybe, just maybe, a paved bike path 50 miler with a 14 hour time limit in late December (Houston, TX) (goal might be to crack 13 hours; I last did that in 2009 during a 24 hour).


I need to get to where a 6-7-8 hour training walk at a relaxed pace is comfortable first. THEN I can entertain such thoughts. I need to follow my own advice.

April 20, 2015 Posted by | swimming, ultra, walking | , , | Leave a comment

one bit of progress (not quite a long walk)

I slept in a bit as we went to a Chiefs baseball game; they won 15-4. The Chiefs got 17 hits.

I started at 8 am and walked until 11:50 or so (3:48 walking time): 32:30 (2.16) to the Cemetery, 21:18 (1.33), 21:34 (1.33) for 2 Cemetery laps (big hill), 3:43 (.23) to the W. Peoria track, 33:08, 33:08, 31:33, 33:11 (2.15 mile segments, 20 X 0.43), 4:37 (.29) mini lap, 12:45 back home (.81) (3:47 total). This added up to 14.75, though I counted it as 14. Pace: a very slow 15:30; my old 14:30 “cruise pace” is my new 15:30. Sigh.

But I was grateful to be out there; there was a threat of rain that never materialized, so I got it all outside today. It was cool…pleasant.

I saw Larry out training and an older woman who was having some health problems; she walked a bit on the W. Peoria track.

As far as my walk; I started to feel “I can’t do this at about mile 10, but I ended up with almost 5 more miles; it was if my body discovered new energy stores or something.

Building to 11 more miles will be a challenge but I’ve got 5.5 more months to do it.

April 19, 2015 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Kidney 5K (and more about racing while aging)

There were many races to choose from today, including a trail 5K, two 5K runs across the river and one with a 7:30 am start down by the River. I chose the latter as I could use my Riverplex locker and then lift afterward.

So, I used my locker and ran a mile on a treadmill and then jogged about 10 more minutes outside prior the race; walked about 1.2 miles afterward.

Time: 25:45 via 8:13, 8:22. 8:21, 0:48. 60 F with a very light breeze. Place: 9 out of 105 finishers and 2’nd in 50-59. The winning time was a pedestrian 21:15…no, this wasn’t a 100 degree day, no 10,000 feet altitude, not a trail, pancake flat. It was just that the running talent was very diluted.

Going in, I felt heavy legged….AGAIN. I am not recovering between workouts.

Prior to the start I talked to Christy Dillard who would normally finish ahead of me, but she was recovering from long pacing duties last weekend (at a hilly ultra). There weren’t many people and we got off and looped around the restaurant area, through construction sites. As we headed back the river was on our right.

I was locked with some short guy who was to fall back; I had my sights on several who were ahead of me. In mile 2 I felt a bit sluggish but I was working. As we exited the boat area I gave some thought to catching people ahead of me; I caught 3 and went after 2 more; one fit guy and one little kid. I didn’t get either of those two though I closed on the kid.

There were walkers still headed out and one group wanted to pose for a photo at mile 1…and looked as if they would block the course! Fortunately someone alerted them just in time before the kid and I got there; this was closing in on mile 3.

I couldn’t close the deal on the kid though; I still broke 26. Afterward, I walked to Hooters and back; then went to the place where the post-race event was taking place. I didn’t eat anything other than 2 apples and 1 banana as I wanted to lift weights. However, awards were taking forever so I left to lift at the Riverplex.

Weights: pull ups (4 sets of 10, 2 of 5); 4 sets of 10 superset with 3 sets of seated machine military (90 each arm)
bench: 3 sets of 10 x 135 (challenging)
rows: 3 sets of 10 (machine with 45). I also did the rotator cuff.

About the event itself: the run part was reasonably well organized; slightly late start but the course was well marked. It featured an interesting twist: we started out running TOWARD the restaurant area, looping around the restaurants (some construction which was coned off) then heading back up the river where we looped the Marina part. I liked the new twist; every mile (including mile 3) was marked.

The food afterward: fruit, eggs, biscuits, etc. was very good (I only ate the fruit).

But the awards didn’t start until well past 2 hours after the event started. So I left to lift weights afterward.

Overall, only the “awards” was problematic; I liked everything else about it.

The title: aging and running.
I knew that eventually, I would slow down. What I didn’t appreciate was this:

1. The body needs more rest between hard efforts, and the rest needs to be easier.
2. The body responds differently; it isn’t that I should do the same things, only scaled down. I need to do different things.
3. A workout that had worked for years might no longer be the best for me…AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE. I am still sorting things out. However, whatever I find that works now…might not work 2-3 years from now!
4. Performance: yes, every year there is variation in performance. But every time I have a few “slowish” races (slower than I did in the previous 2-3 years) I start to wonder: “is this because I’ve gotten older or because I am not recovering from my training?”

So I’ll write out the data so I can compare: yes, it appears as I am slower than I’ve been since 2011; however I’ll know more after the May races, which aren’t that far away.

7 March 24:42 for 2.87 miles (about 26:45 for 5K) (recent illness) 39 of 83 (college students)
21 March 25:27 for 5K 71 of 269
28 March 25:50 5K (26 F) 15 of 68
11 April: 26:14 5K (some hills) 42 of 153
18 April: 25:45 5K or 9 of 105

This is what last year looked like (through May). I am certainly slower but I am not as far along on training; last year I had more “hard miles” under my belt by this time.

31 May: Family House 5K 26:50 (fell down)
24 May: River Run 5K (certified) 24:42 5K
10 May: Race For the Cure 25:27 5K
3 May Run to Remember 24:17 5K .
26 April: 26:47 5K (Bradley soccer 5K)
19 April: 23:27 2.96 (24:40 5K, or 23:45 3 mile)
5 April 22:31 (2.8 miles) 25:05 5K
29 March CIDA 25:09 5K
1 March: 27:27 for 3.25 miles: 26:10 5K.

5K (or close)

2012 2013
25:47 Yates City. 26:05 Yates City
25:42 Brimfield: 7:56, 8:10, 8:44, 0:51
27:59 Aug. 5: Math Fest 5K 26:56 Rocket Run July 20: 8:27, 8:42, 9:46
26:07 Run for the Health of it July 14 8:28 8:49, 8:49 (AG) 26:32 5K run for the health of it July 13 (AG) 8:03, 8:02, 10:26
27:46 July 4 Firecracker 8:09 8:43 10:53 27:40 July 4 Firecracker
25:03 May 26 River Run 8:08, 8:07, 8:47 24:56 May 25 River Run
25:13 Race for the Cure May 12 (8:25, 7:34, 9:12) (AG) 25:48 Race for the Cure May 11
24:34 May 5 Run to Remember (7:54, 7:45, 8:54) 26:12 (3.18?) May 4: Sam Fan 5K
25:41 Bradley U. April 28 25:29 (hilly) 20 April: BU women soccer 5K
25:14 CIDA March 31 (8:27, 8:17, 8:29) (AG) 25:14 March 23: New Interplanetary 5K
25:08 Interplanatary March 24 (8:14, 8:19, 8:34) (AG) 27:04 (3.25?) 2 March: 5K Jack Kenney (AG)

April 18, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | , | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 672 other followers