Last Day in Austin Jan. 2008

Workout notes 5 laps of Barton Springs (1.25 mile), which included 1 mile crawl (40 minutes, pathetic) and .25 miles of “20 stroke fly, 20 stroke free, 20 stroke breast, 20 stroke free”, repeat.

It was enough to kick out the soreness, sort of.

About the 30Km yesterday, here is another article

If you’ve ever been to the beautiful Barton Creek Country Club and surrounding estates off Bee Cave, you’ll notice two things: opulence and hills. The homes won’t matter to the runners; the hills certainly will.

This race returns to the 30K distance (18.6 miles) after two years as a 20-miler, but the new course will make this race a true character test. This first-time course will make Distance Challenge veterans long for the relative ease of Buda or even the wind tunnel which was Round Rock in ’06.

Starting and finishing at Wiberly Lane and Barton Creek Blvd, the single 30K loop will head toward Southwest Parkway and cover some of the biggest, steepest climbs in Austin. Challenging doesn’t quite cover the nastiness of some of the mountains that must be conquered in Barton Creek and Lost Creek as well along a stretch of 360. Prepare for a grueling rite of passage where stamina, both physical and mental, will be the order of the day.

[…]An entirely different race than last year’s countrified 20-miler in San Marcos. The new 30K course is all ups and downs. It’s as difficult a course as there has been for any conventional road race. Survivors will talk about it for years.

My comment: yes, this is a difficult course for road runners. But this would rate as “medium” by trail standards. Walkers probably don’t have it quite as tough going up the hills, especially if they resort to a bent-kneed powerwalk.

Racewalking The local paper had an article.

Aging baby boomers with achy knees, listen up: Racewalking provides a good cardiovascular workout with about one-third the impact of running.

It’s not just for slowpokes, either. Really good racewalkers can break a 6-minute-mile pace. That’s faster than most folks run.

The hip-swiveling stride might look a little odd, but it could keep you exercising long after your running habit lands you on the sofa with a heating pad on your calf.

“I just wish more boomers with aging knees knew about and could appreciate racewalking,” says Gary Davis, 63, a local racewalker.

Davis discovered racewalking a year ago, after 25 years of running and a spate of foot and knee injuries. “I had a heel injury, and try as I might, I couldn’t run. My podiatrist said, ‘You could always walk.’ ”

Now Davis charges around the Lady Bird Lake trail abiding by the only two rules of the sport — one foot on the ground at all times, and front leg straight from the moment the heel hits the ground until the body passes over it.

It’s more complicated than it sounds. Racewalking doesn’t exactly come naturally. It’s a learned sport, like boxing or pole vaulting. It requires special shoes with no heel and lots of flex in the toe bed. It’s also more popular in Latin America, Europe, China and Russia than in the United States.

Maybe most Americans are too self-conscious to try it. Not Davis.

“From my point of view, there is great appeal in an Olympic sport that provides all the workout values of running … and is almost injury-free,” Davis says. “Plus, once you get the technique down, rolling along the trail or track at racewalk pace just feels wonderful.”

On this day, Davis is honing his form at a clinic led by Dave McGovern, a racewalking coach and former member of the U.S. National Racewalk Team from Mobile, Ala. In his 25-year competitive career, McGovern has collected 13 U.S. National Racewalking Championships and won the racewalking divisions of marathons including those in New York City, Los Angeles and Honolulu. He recently was selected to coach the U.S. team for the 2008 World Race Walking Cup in Russia.

“Your arms — that’s where your power comes from,” McGovern tells the group of a dozen or so who have gathered on the track at Canyon Creek Elementary School to perfect their racewalking form. “That’s your engine.”

Skilled racewalkers pump their arms to propel their bodies forward. They take short, quick steps and rotate their hips forward to lengthen their stride. By keeping their front leg straight, they take the spring out of the gate and turn their leg into a sort of lever.

“I almost feel like I’m running down a hill and I’m about to lose control,” says Jeffi Anthony, 36, who marches across the parking lot under McGovern’s watchful eye.

“That’s exactly where you want to be,” McGovern says. “You hit the ground and you’re off, you’re off — boom, boom, boom.” […]

Drewe once racewalked a marathon in 7 hours and 25 minutes. He passed a couple of runners along the way.

“That’s a racewalker’s dream, to pass a jogger,” Meredith chuckles.

Is it funny looking? Maybe.

“But you get over that pretty quick,” Meredith says.

These clinic participants aren’t the city’s only speedy perambulators. Austin can claim some racewalking stars in its midst.

Vincent O’Sullivan, 50, an electrical engineer at Freescale, placed 13th in the 1984 Olympics in the 50-kilometer racewalk. And John Knifton competed on the 1972 Olympic racewalk team.

O’Sullivan ran track in high school and college in New York. A teammate told him about racewalking, and at an indoor meet in 1975, he placed second in his first-ever event. He still believes in racewalking as a terrific way to stay in shape and spare your joints.

“It really is a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want to run because of their knees,” says O’Sullivan. “You can go out the door and push hard and come back and feel like ‘I’ve really done something and I haven’t hurt my knees.’ ”

Go here for photos and here for a video.

Politics There are polls showing Obama taking a 10 point lead in New Hampshire, but alas, there is only one poll that truly counts. 🙂

The strain is showing on Hillary Clinton. Video is here (and watch the next clip about Obama (2 minutes) and the Edwards/Clinton exchange.

My take: no, she didn’t start break down and start sobbing. This wasn’t quite a Muskie Moment; this was more of an attempt to be like Edwards.

But I am sorry, Hillary Clinton really came across as “damn these peasants, don’t they know that the presidency is MINE!!!”

Sweet! 🙂 But from my point of view, it is way too early to start the end zone celebration dance. New Hampshire is still not in the bag, and there are 48 more states to go.

But she isn’t doing as well as I had expected; here is a thoughtful Kos diary as to why. Frankly, I think that she ought to fire her campaign staff.

More tidbits on this

Hillary Clinton leads the candidates on lobby money. It isn’t even close.

Barack Obama: can get results; he has in the past.

Barack Obama The candidate of choice among Pastafarians. Yes, he belongs to the United Church of Christ, which is often jokingly referred to as “Unitarians Considering Christianity”. Let’s just say that this isn’t exactly a fundamentalist church. 🙂

This is a bad day for the Clinton campaign:

Now she goes and does this:

Yeah, she went there.

In her efforts to take a leak on the idea of hope–because it benefits Barack Obama–Hillary Clinton decided that she needed to minimize the role that Martin Luther King Jr., and by extension African-Americans, played in securing their own civil rights.

The audacity of her cynicism below the fold.

* Geekesque’s diary :: ::

The context, of course, lies in Clinton’s regrettable statement from last Saturday’s debate:

“We don’t need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered.”

Obama, not being a stupid politician, pounced.

Obama challenged Clinton’s claim in a weekend debate that he was raising “false hopes” about what he could deliver for the country. Obama told his audience that hope made President Kennedy aim to put a man on the moon and Martin Luther King Jr. to imagine the end of segregation.

“If anything crystallized what this campaign is about, it was that right there,” Obama said of Clinton’s comment in the debate. “Some are thinking in terms of our constraints, and some are thinking about our limitless possibilities.”

Well, Clinton had her chance to respond, and oh boy did she deliver up a doozy:

“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act. It took a president to get it done. The power of that dream became real in people’s lives because we had a president capable of action.”

Just how awful is this, on so many levels? “It took a President to get it done?”

It took a President to get it done?

What is going on? Republican (and former Bill Clinton adviser) Dick Morris gets it right:

Hillary Clinton made one thing very clear at Saturday night’s Democratic debate: Her likability tour is definitely over.

Baring her claws at opponents Barack Obama and John Edwards, the real Hillary was finally in evidence. The mask was off and her rage, arrogance, and sense of entitlement were on full display.

It was not a pretty picture.

From the first moment that she entered the stage, Hillary’s body language shrieked one thing smoldering, simmering anger. The constant smile and the cackling laugh that have been her campaign trademark were suddenly gone. In their place was a furious, primal glare.

And it wasn’t just aimed at her opponents. She seemed to be angry at the voters, too.

It was as though she wanted to scream at them and say: “Don’t you get it? I am the best possible choice for president! Trust me on this one! I know that I was meant to be the next president. But now, because some Iowans’ from a state that means nothing don’t understand what’s going on, I have to fight against these losers? I am the senator from New York. I am the former first lady. I’ve been to 80 countries. I am responsible for the Irish peace process. I could have stopped Rwanda. I will stop Iraq. I am the only one with the experience to get big that starts on Day One. What’s wrong with you people?

Shrieking at John Edwards, she fell back on her 35 years of working for change, which, at this point has become the oratorical equivalent of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

For the first hour of the debate, Hillary almost seemed disoriented, and, to use one of her favorite words, bewildered.

She and her advisers just don’t get it. She, and they along with her, have never faced a serious opponent. So, they believed that she and their flawed strategy were all invincible. They thought that they could sell her as the inevitable, experienced Washington insider.

There is no stupider message for a democratic candidate. The democrats are the party of insurgents, not incumbents. And yet these folks dressed her up in a costume that said status-quo.

It’s political consulting malpractice.

Relying on microtrends, they never noticed the looming macrotrends that were gathering to defeat her.

The big problem Hillary faces is that, like a car engine running on empty, she is now trying to wage a negative campaign without any real negatives to throw. Her attacks on Obama have all of the inflection and vitriol of a negative campaign, but none of the ammunition. She can’t get a handle on Obama and cannot bring him down. She simply doesn’t understand what’s going on. Like Lyndon Johnson in 1968, she’s in shell shock. And it shows.

Her attack on Obama for not covering everybody under health insurance fell flat when he countered that adults should be trusted to make their own decisions, but should certainly be required to cover their children. Touche’

Humor of different sorts

Redstate Update has a couple of funny videos;

Jackie gushes over Hillary Clinton finishing 3’rd in Iowa.

Redstate Update talks about the Democrats meeting the Republicans on the stage; they have a humorous take over what they said to each other.

More humor (non political)

From Rate Your Students: a student answers her cell phone while in a professor’s office for an appointment!

From DeConversion: you might be a fundie if:

  • You complain about Christians not being allowed to practice their religion in foreign countries, yet when someone tries to set up a Hindu temple/Mosque/Pagan or new age bookshop in your town you go ballistic and think it shouldn’t be allowed.
  • […]

  • God regularly opens up convenient parking spaces, JUST FOR YOU
  • […]

  • You think that being tortured for all of eternity for any reason is an appropriate punishment.
  • You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
  • You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
  • […]

  • Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, animals and trees!
  • You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (a few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is just a few generations old.
  • […]

Here is something sad: I actually think that this would be fun! Birds of a feather…
(a mathematician talks about having fun with a geiger counter).


January 7, 2008 - Posted by | creationism, edwards, hillary clinton, humor, obama, religion, running, science, time trial/ race, walking


  1. It’s just (sob) when I think about (sniffle) where the Clintons are today (sob) I just get choked up.

    Comment by WhoreChurch | January 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. 🙂

    Comment by blueollie | January 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Geez. She was a Liberal Goddess just a few years ago…

    Comment by vonster | January 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. Vonster, this is what conservatives don’t get: HRC is very corporate friendly and she is a bit of a hawk; she is NOT popular with the left wing of the Democratic party (e. g., with people like me).

    She won tonight (a close one).

    But check out the Daily Kos sometime; she typically polls between 10-13% there, Edwards and Obama are 1-2.

    Comment by blueollie | January 9, 2008 | Reply

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