Looking up?

I can tell that I am feeling better. Someone asked me to let them take a photo of the equipment I was using…and I said “yes” while…smiling. I MUST be feeling better, finally.

Note: my heel continues to set time table to return to training though.

Workout notes: usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 7 x 185, decline press: 10 x 150, incline press: 10 x 145
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 180 (90 each arm) seated (machine), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell (single arm), goblet squats: 2 sets of 10 x 45, 2 sets of 10 x 50 (to the bench)
headstand (slightly unsteady at first), twist crunch: 50, (25 each side), moving bridge, 10 yoga leg lifts, 30 seconds “boat” pose, 2 minute front plank (“hover”), side planks.

Then 2 mile walk 29:26 (inner lane, with extra length); 14:20 second mile. Note: very minor pain/stiffness…much, much, much better than a week ago. I did get some arch cramping toward the end, but this was without orthotics (Brooks Beasts sans orthotics) And I hit those eccentric heel raises again.

My mood is good.


February 23, 2018 Posted by | walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Don’t look now, but Trump is…winning. Seriously.

When Trump got elected, there were several things that worried me. One of them was NOT that he’d govern like a typical Republican. Yes, I don’t like Republicans but we’ve lived through them before; I was worried that this loose cannon would get us in a nuclear war and/or crash our economy.

Neither has happened.

Oh, I still don’t like him; I do not like his deportment, his rude tweets, his attacking private citizens (verbally) and his lack of intellectual curiosity.

But as far as his actual actions go, what I’ve not liked about him is exactly what I would not have liked about, say, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, etc.

So, IF, IF, you think that we ought to cut taxes on the wealthy, appoint right wing judges and cut safety net programs…if you thought that the previous 8 years was a nightmare where someone who didn’t have traditional American values held the presidency…where moochers and slackers voted themselves more money by electing a president who gives out free stuff…

Well, you probably are pretty happy with Trump, even if you wish he had a more conservative deportment and would tweet less.

And that Trump tells those nattering, finger wagging social justice warriors to “buzz off” is a little extra bonus, right? (ok, the SJWs often annoy me too, even if we have broad agreement on policy).

And this is reflected in his approval ratings (about 42 percent..up from the high 30’s).

I am not saying that his party won’t lose seats in the 2018; they may well do so. It is even POSSIBLE (unlikely?) that the Democrats pick up a chamber of Congress. But typically, the President’s party lose seats during the first round of midterms.

In my opinion, he’ll be reelected. You have no idea at how much that I hope that I am wrong. But that is what the current situation tells me.

February 23, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, social/political | | Leave a comment

progress of a sort..

Weight: 204.5 before swimming..but that was after breakfast as opposed to “before”

swim: no pace clock, but 600 easy, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 drill/swim
500: chased Jason..stayed with him for 350 and then it got ugly.
50 back, 100 harder, 50 back, 50 harder, 50 side. 1800 all together.

Then 16 minutes on a newer stepper (do they have to make that annoying “beep” when you adjust them?)
2 mile walk on the treadmill (30:30); tried to find a comfortable incline and pace. It hurt a little bit but it was not too bad afterward; and my walking is easier..less constrained. I am on the mend but it is taking a while.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | swimming, walking | , | Leave a comment

incremental progress

I spent much of last night writing up some notes; you can read those here. They are very technical.

I am trying to work through a heel injury and it isn’t ready for training yet; it starts to tire at 7-8 minutes into a walking/running workout. So I stopped walking at one mile (15 minutes) and did 2 more miles on the elliptical trainer.

Before that: weights: usual PT, (a burn on the heel raises), pull ups (5 sets of 10), decline press: 10 x 135…felt strange.
incline presses: 10 x 135, 5 x 155 (not good), 10 x 140 (ok). military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 15 x 50 (seated, supported), rows: 3 sets of 10 with 50 dumbbells.

abs: usual (moving bridge, twist crunch (50, 24), leg lifts (10, 10), plank (2 min; easier), side planks.
squats: 2 sets of 10 x 45, 10 x 62 to the window sill.

Getting to the gym was a minor challenge; my neighborhood streets were coated with ice (though reports were that the main streets were fine).

February 21, 2018 Posted by | walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Running and aging: part n + 1

I read the various memes about how one should keep improving, or making progress (however slow) reminds me that I am no longer who running groups market to.

Though my best days were not that good (39:50 10K, 18:57 5K, 5:30 mile), I’ll never see those times again….if I get to race this season (battling a case of..heel pain: spurs? PF?) I’ll be grateful for sub 29 for the 5K and maybe an 8:15 mile?

Yeah, I am too heavy (202; should be about 190 to be in running shape) but the slowdown is all too real and unavoidable.

But..there is something I’ve noticed: at races, older runners..even those who are waaaaay better than I am seem to accept me. There is this “hey, we are still out here” bond that we all hold. And there is something else.

I have this national class racewalking friend who also runs. He is my age and just ran a 19 flat 5K. Yes, I once ran that fast…35 years ago! (he was in the 15’s at that age, I’d guess). He KNOWS that I appreciate his feat, even if the 20-somethings that finished around him do not.

Oh well…I am grateful to be out there and while I cannot safely run right now (I am getting closer though) I can lift, swim, do the elliptical, and the bike.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

If this surprises you, you are delusional

Hmm, let’s see: kids survive a mass shooting that kills several of their class mates.
So some of them speak out.

And you expected the gun nuts and conservatives to do..what exactly?

The best you could hope for is that most might say “ok, let them grieve and vent..they have reason to”. But to expect for these kids to not get critiqued and attacked…is beyond delusional.

Yes, they are kids with immature intellects; almost all of us were that way at that time in our lives (myself included). And yes, they have no clue as to the meat grinder they are stepping into when they go public in this day and age.

And, well, the attention span…

And, in my opinion, there is this: there is the “cosmic justice fallacy” which makes people think “I am in the right therefore I will win”.

Yes, I agree with the kids, but winning will be difficult.

If you have nothing they want, they have no reason to listen to you. And really: we have the ballot box and we have economic power. So unless we punish the miscreants with our votes and use our economic power to influence corporate America, we will lose on this issue..again. But we are winning on many other social justice issues.


I did enjoy the Peoria Democrats dinner: we had Cheri Bustos, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth there. Quite the contingent!

We sat with Clyde Gulley and his wife.

Gerry Hall got these photos:

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Peoria/local, political/social, politics, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Personal and trivial: water matters

The good news: swimming is improving. Bad news: I am not well enough to walk hard yet.

Swim: 1800 yards (just over 1 mile). 500 easy (could NOT stay with Jason), 100 drill/swim (kicking), 100 back, 100 drill/swim (stroke/glide), then: (leaving “1 minute per 50 interval):
200 (3:28), 200 (3:30), 100 (1:43), 50 (52), 50 (53).
100 back, 100 fly/back, 100 steady (keeping up with a younger swimmer two lanes over).

That felt good!

The walk on the treadmill 1 mile 15:03; I could not sustain a pace that I enjoyed without the heel starting to hurt (mildly) and so I switched to the elliptical (painless: totally)

2.2 miles in 20 minutes (17:53 for 2) at a setting of 10 (butt and thighs setting).

I did some eccentric heel stretching afterward. So there is progress: no deep post workout ache but..well, slower than I’d like. Hey, if I am good to go by April I’ll be grateful.

February 20, 2018 Posted by | swimming, walking | , | Leave a comment

Gray day…

We have an unusually warm day for February and hence, rain instead of a blizzard. So..that is a bit of a mixed bag.

Bradley Basketball:

The men’s team lead Valparaiso by 10 late in the first half when Valpo started to attack the basket. BU’s defense didn’t adjust, but the offence kept them in the game for most of it; Valpo got the lead with 7 minutes to go but BU rallied and lead by 4 with 5:56 left to go.
The next 4:30 or so saw Valpo go on a 21-0 run to lead 77-60 and they won going away 77-64.

That was on the road.

Next day: went to see the women host Indiana State: the women have won 6 conference games, all against the bottom 4 teams in the conference (4 against Evansville and Valpo). BU lost by 15 at ISU-blue.

So, Bradley raced out to a 31-16 lead early; ISU had open 3 point looks but missed.
They stopped missing in the second half and BU fell apart and trailed in the 4’th quarter. BU still pulled to 71-70 with 18 seconds left but ended up losing 74-70. ISU is no. 4 in the MVC right now. BU is now 6-9 in MVC play but still has a home game against Illinois State, a team that they beat by 20. BUT…that was some time ago; ISU-red has improved.

Workout notes
It was weird..I slept a long time last night…too much?

usual pt
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 …not as peppy as I’d hoped but I got them problems.
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 4 x 185 (not my best, not nearly my worst though)
incline: 10 x 140 (ok)
military: barbell: 8 x 95, 10 x 85 (good), 10 x 90 (each arm) machine
rows: 10 x 110 3-sets (machine)
goblet squats: 10 x 53, 10 x 62 (to the window sill)
abs: 2 sets of twist crunches (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10), moving bridge (10)
headstand: ok..a bit frantic getting into it but I calmed down
side planks, 2 minute front plank (that went well?)
bike: 35:27 for 10 miles (about 1 minute slower than last Wednesday)

heel: some whining …

I just feel a bit..well, not quite light-headed but not quite right either.

February 19, 2018 Posted by | basketball, bicycling, Peoria/local, weight training | , | Leave a comment

back to walking

I decided to do my first walk today; Ms. V. got sick and had to cancel our joint workout.
2 miles on the gym treadmill in 29:35 (about 15:30 for the first mile) and the heel seemed to do best on medium inclines (3-4); I felt it a bit at 6 and at 0.5

After that, 1 hour on the bike (16.4 miles); about 9 miles in the first 35 minutes and the next 7 came in 23:30. I figured that was enough for one day (for the heel).

February 18, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, walking | , | Leave a comment

I’ll take “bad ideas for 500″…

No, this isn’t a “Bad Idea Jeans” commercial. But I’ve hears some terrible ideas floating around out there.

Guns and gun control

One is the old “well, if killers don’t have access to guns, they’ll kill with something else” argument. Yes, I know; a fertilizer and diesel fuel bomb was used in Oklahoma City, and people have deliberately driven cars on the sidewalk and into crowds.

But, such items have other uses and yes, there is regulation on them. I am not claiming that reinstating the assault weapons ban will make mass shootings go to zero; almost nothing will do that. But it will reduce the frequency; it will make mass killing harder to do.

Analogy: drunk driving laws have not reduced drunk driving to zero. But they HAVE made things better.

That is also the counter argument to “well, criminals don’t obey laws”. True..but we have laws anyway, right?

Next, you have this “Arm the teachers” stuff:

This is about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. For one thing: having aptitude to be good with a gun in an emergency situation is very different than having the aptitude to be a good teacher (regardless of level). Then one would have to train and retrain …for a skill that one is very unlikely to ever have to use. Then there is the idea of storing a gun around kids to begin with… Nope.

And I will say this: I am NOT going to bring a gun to class. Period.

Note: I am not against the “mental and emotional health” attack on the problem; I am against leaving it at that. Guns themselves are still a major problem.

And please, spare me all of that “god” bullshit. In countries and in states, religiosity correlates positively with social pathology.

Russians and our elections Ok, 13 Russian nationals have been indicted for interfering in our election. In a nutshell, they posed as US activists and did things like promote Jill Stein (and yes, Bernie Sanders) and Donald Trump; they made anti-Clinton ads and the like.

One would think that Americans would take offense at a hostile power trying to influence our election.

But many Trump supporters …don’t.

One of them seemed to imply that they were against “the political process” than enabled, well, those who are not shining stars in capitalism have influence in an election; sort a “the winners of society should make the decisions”. Never mind that many of the wealthy and powerful *inherited* their positions and wealth to begin with.

Such ideas have been tried before and they’ve never turned out well.

Anyhow, this is what we are up against; remember that some really believe that the most successful in business have some inherent right to govern. I doubt if the GOP politicians will say that in public, but you’d better believe that the donor class believes this.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | 2016, political/social, social/political | | Leave a comment