Workout notes I am getting ready to go out for an easy 6 hour walk. I need to break in my ultrawalking shoes. 🙂
Depending on how bad the weather gets, I might do some of the walking inside (treadmill, Riverplex track). Time on my feet is the issue today.
Update: 6 hours plus later I am done. The whole thing took me 6:12, but featured W. Peoria, the W. P. Cemetery, Bradley Park (Cornstalk loop), Columbia Terrace to Broadway to the Boredom course, then off of Boredom on Harvard (no parking lot cheating!) to Springdale, up to Prospect, Glen Oak (past the zoo) down to the Rivertrail, the Gooseloop, back past the trail head, up to Kumpf, MLK, Moss and then Cooper. I got some light drizzle; the walk was tiring but pleasant. I estimate this at about 24 miles plus.
Speaking of endurance stuff: here is a New York Times article about Runner’s High
THE runner’s high: Every athlete has heard of it, most seem to believe in it and many say they have experienced it. But for years scientists have reserved judgment because no rigorous test confirmed its existence. […]
Some who said they had experienced a runner’s high said it was uncommon. They might feel relaxed or at peace after exercising, but only occasionally did they feel euphoric. Was the calmness itself a runner’s high?
Often, those who said they experienced an intense euphoria reported that it came after an endurance event.
My friend Marian Westley said her runner’s high came at the end of a marathon, and it was paired with such volatile emotions that the sight of a puppy had the power to make her weep.
Others said they experienced a high when pushing themselves almost to the point of collapse in a short, intense effort, such as running a five-kilometer race.
But then there are those like my friend Annie Hiniker, who says that when she finishes a 5-k race, the last thing she feels is euphoric. “I feel like I want to throw up,” she said.
The runner’s-high hypothesis proposed that there were real biochemical effects of exercise on the brain. Chemicals were released that could change an athlete’s mood, and those chemicals were endorphins, the brain’s naturally occurring opiates. Running was not the only way to get the feeling; it could also occur with most intense or endurance exercise.[…]
Researchers in Germany, using advances in neuroscience, report in the current issue of the journal Cerebral Cortex that the folk belief is true: Running does elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain. The endorphins are associated with mood changes, and the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect.
Leading endorphin researchers not associated with the study said they accepted its findings.
“Impressive,” said Dr. Solomon Snyder, a neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins and a discoverer of endorphins in the 1970’s.
“I like it,” said Huda Akil, a professor of neurosciences at the University of Michigan. “This is the first time someone took this head on. It wasn’t that the idea was not the right idea. It was that the evidence was not there.”
For athletes, the study offers a sort of vindication that runner’s high is not just a New Agey excuse for their claims of feeling good after a hard workout.
In a follow-up study, Dr. Boecker is investigating if running affects pain perception. “There are studies that showed enhanced pain tolerance in runners,” he said. “You have to give higher pain stimuli before they say, ‘O.K., this hurts.’ ”
And, he said, there are stories of runners who had stress fractures, even heart attacks, and kept on running.
Dr. Boecker and his colleagues have recruited 20 marathon runners and a similar number of nonathletes and are studying the perception of pain after a run, and whether there are related changes in brain scans. He is also having the subjects walk to see whether the effects, if any, are because of the intensity of the exercise.
The nonathletes can help investigators assess whether untrained people experience the same effects. Maybe one reason some people love intense exercise and others do not is that some respond with a runner’s high or changed pain perception.
The rest of the article describes the experiment and says why it hasn’t been done before.
The state of the 2008 Presidential race:
For the uninitiated, this is what the Clinton cartoon was talking about:
Redstate Update weighs in.
Now from the blogs that I read:
Yes, John McCain is either: 1. A true conservative or 2. Panders to right wing groups. He can’t have it both ways.
The blogger brotherpeacemaker lets Pat Buchanan have it.
Ok, what about Pat Buchanan? Well, I admit that I subscribe to his magazine, because it does a good job of focusing on corporate abuses and it contains good anti-war writing. And even more strangely, it has covered Barack Obama; in the more recent issue one article says that Obama is our best hope for getting out of Iraq ; in a previous issue it says that Obama is one of the few candidates that hints at having an even-handed policy in the Middle East, and in yet another article it says that Obama might be too eager to get us into a war? (though it acknowledges that he thought that the Iraq was was a bad idea)
But I digress. I understand what Buchanan is saying: basically he is making two points.
1. He claims that African Americans are, on the whole, better off than West Africans (where the slaves originally came from)
2. He claims that white society, on the whole, has put in a great deal of time, effort and money to help right some of the wrongs that they were not responsible for (e. g., a current college student had nothing to do with Jim Crow, even if he/she didn’t have the burden of trying to life while back)
Of course, Buchanan’s argument seems to assume that African Americans did nothing to contribute to this country and aren’t responsible for any of the successes that they had and it seems to dismiss the scope and magnitude of the evil done to them by our society, and the weight that having a darker skin carries. In fact, check this out:
Andrew Hacker has also explored the concept of invisible privilege and the intangible value of white skin. Hacker, author of the book Two Nations and a professor of political science at Queens College, constructed a provocative scenario. In it he tells students to imagine that it was discovered that through some terrible mistake they were not born black as they should have been and that the situation must be rectified. They were to assume that at midnight they were to magically become black, with not only darker skin but the bodily and facial features associated with African ancestry. He asked them to imagine what recompense they would consider reasonable assuming that they were to live for 50 years more. Most students felt that $50 million or $1 million for each black year would not be out of place.
Note: the whole article that I quoted from is pretty good; it is honest too as it freely admits that, like all human programs, sometimes affirmative action programs make mistakes. I should also point out that affirmative action programs need to be intelligently carried out. For example, it makes no sense to throw an unprepared student into a program where he/she will be over their head from day one; perhaps they might benefit from a year or two of seasoning at a prep school/junior college. The service academies have such programs.
Also think of the film Rudy where the star was given a year or two to prove himself at a junior college prior to being admitted to Notre Dame.
Science: Early human ancestor skull found in Spain; modern Europeans and the Neandertals probably evolved from this hominid (1.1-1.2 million years ago)
The following three stories come from links from the blog 3-quarks daily.
Education: a study focuses on the impact of family wealth and educational achievement of children. In the past, the effect of family income had been studied.
Language: pidgins versus creoles. What is the difference and how do these come about?
[…]Pidgins are contact languages invented by people who don’t share a language to use. Pidgin speakers, Bickerton explains, will “use words from your language if they know them; if not, they’ll use words from their own, and hope you know them, and failing that, words from any other language that might happen to be around.” Some pidgins, like Chinese Pidgin English (once spoken along China’s coast) or the Chinook jargon of the American Northwest, originated in voluntary trade contexts. Others arose from the slave trade and plantation economies.
Compared with pidgins, Creoles have bigger vocabularies and more grammar; the conventional view is that they are pidgins that became someone’s native language (though some linguists disagree). Many Creoles — like Saramaccan, an English/Portuguese Creole spoken in Suriname, and Seselwa, a French Creole spoken in the Seychelles — have more features in common (like their verbs) than you’d expect from languages that have never been in contact. Is this because they were created when English, French or Portuguese words were laid onto the same bed of grammar as African languages? Or because later generations learned both the pidgin and their parents’ languages, mingling the two? Or because a pidgin was created once, perhaps in a West African slave trade outpost or by sailors, and then transmitted elsewhere?
Bickerton swats down all these theories and explains how he arrived at his own solution, the language bioprogram hypothesis, which he elaborated in the book “Roots of Language” (1981). According to this idea, a pidgin becomes a Creole when children learn it, filling in the grammatical gaps with patterns and words that come not from any specific language but from some universal language template they all carry in their heads. This was an extension of Noam Chomsky’s influential claim for an innate universal grammar possessed uniquely by humans. […]
Bioterrorism, E coli and evolution The bad news: evolution can produce some nasty stuff. The good news: it is probably very, very difficult for a bioterrorist to do so.
[…]n 2006, a pair of major E. coli outbreaks swept across the country. One was carried on spinach, the other on lettuce. The spinach outbreak caused 204 illnesses and three deaths. The lettuce outbreak made 71 people sick. In both outbreaks, many people had to be rushed to the hospital. Some got away with just bloody diarrhea. In other cases, the bacteria released toxins into the bloodstream that caused kidneys and other organs to shut down.
The same strain was behind both cases as well as most other recent outbreaks of E. coli. It’s known as E. coli O157:H7, named for some of the molecules on its surface. It emerged in the 1980s as a nasty pathogen found mostly in tainted hamburger meat. It lives comfortably (and harmlessly) in cows and other mammals, but if it gets into a human host, it sometimes wreaks havoc. When animals shed the bacteria in their manure, the pathogen can make its way onto crops, and in recent years it has contaminated not just hamburger meat, spinach, and lettuce but apples and bean sprouts. In addition to the occasional major outbreak, it causes a steady stream of illnesses—about 75,000 a year in the United States—that attract less attention. […]
Scientists noticed that the most recent outbreaks were particularly brutal. The bug from 2006 sent three to four times more people than expected to the hospital. Typically, only 4 percent of people who get infected with E. coli O157:H7 suffer the worst form of the disease, in which toxins are released into the bloodstream. As many as 15 percent did in 2006. […]
To figure out what makes this new strain so vicious, the scientists selected a microbe from the 2006 spinach outbreak and sequenced its entire genome. They discovered that it is not a minor variation on the basic E. coli O157:H7 plan. It is a major overhaul. Hundreds of its genes can’t be found in other strains. It has lost hundreds of others. And many of the genes it shares with its close relatives have mutated.
Today I walked the CIDA 5K race; it was the first short walk that I’ve raced in a while.
Overall Results: Mike Heffron won the men’s race in 16:24 with Chris Friedman 10 seconds back; Emily Dewald won the women’s race in 18:38 with Lisa Menniger (43) in second 46 seconds back. Note that Lisa won the Chicago 50K in 2005.
Race photos are here.
I finished in 145’th place out of 216 (remember that I was walking and this was a running race) 🙂
The day was in the mid 30’s (3-4 C) and had a mild wind; the roads were completely dry and there was some sunshine (mostly partly cloudy).
And due to the temperature, it was a spandex day! 🙂 (I love it!)
I got up early, walked about 1 mile on the treadmill and did some shin stretches on the stairs. I then picked up Tracy and we drove to the race site, where I got in about 1 more mile of warm up.
We started and I tried to keep things under control. I stayed well toward the back of the pack but continued to move up. I passed Sandy Theobald, Joanne Frazier (who is coming back from a heart attack and broken foot; normally she runs 22-24 minutes for the 5K), and later moved up on Herb Kasube (fellow math professor who is also coming back; normally he averages 8:15-8:30 mpm). We went down Water Street and up Adams (small uphill) against a mild wind. Mile one came at 10:00 for me (10:10 official time). I hadn’t caught Herb as yet but I had my eye on the pack ahead of me; I was still a bit stiff (and was told that I didn’t have my usual “roll” to my torso). But I decided to pick it up slightly but hold back until mile 2.
We then turned onto the trail near the marina and I was still moving up; mile 2 came at 19:50 for me. Then I decided to pick it up.
During this stretch one of my friends (who was watching the race) told me that I looked as if I were just about to break into a run; that isn’t a good sign. I was NOT lifting; about my knees? I’ll explain that later.
Finally around the Gateway building I picked up and walked hard. I attempted to keep my knees nice and straight. I did get caught once but held on for a 9:47 third mile and then a 30:35 (30:45 official) finish.
I cooled down, walked back to Tracy (who took 3’rd in her age group) and then socialized a bit.
Total: 6 miles, 3 “sort of fast”. I was pleased with the workout.
But: as far as my time, I do wonder if my knees were legal.
In a nutshell:
The walker in front has a bent knee; look at his support leg. In a formally judged racewalk, the knee of the support leg has to be straight and his isn’t. The walker behind him is legal as the knee is straight. It is ok for the leg of the non support leg (the one that is moving forward but with the foot not in contact with the ground) to be bent; in fact it should be bent. And of course the knee can bend when the leg moves behind the body.
Anyway, I wonder if I was doing that on today’s walk. See also walkingabout.com
Personally, I’d love to look like this, at least in terms of technique:
Past: I’ve done this race off and on since 1998. This was the first year that I walked it (rather than ran it); previous times have been 20:24 (1998),
21:21 (1999), 20:50 (2001), 21:54 (2002), 23:51 (2005; note I was training for walking ultas that year).
Future: I don’t know; I am going to sign up for FANS but first I’ll try my hand at 50 miles at McNaughton.
Some newly scanned photos:
Somewhere early in the 2006 race; John Greene’s wife took this shot of me. I’d say that I was at about mile 30 or so; I was to finish with 83.
This is Barb Curnow (about 80 miles), me (83) and John (93); John is also a mathematics professor.
First a bit of humor from Frazz:
Now back to my past: I started to run again in 1994; I was still 230 pounds and it took me about 25 minutes to jog 2 miles (yes, that is my “quick walking” pace, even now). After a lapse in 1995, I restarted and in 1996, I did my first 5K race (since the mid 1980s). It took me 23:30 to run 5K in baskeball shoes. 🙂
By 1997 the racing bug had bit me pretty hard; I was running races frequently (say, twice a month). Here are the results of one of the 5Ks:
1 Justin Young 17 M Peoria IL 15:23 4:57
2 Eric Moos 19 M Peoria IL 16:54 5:26
3 Christopher Friedman 24 M Peoria IL 17:14 5:33
11 Danny Burk 14 M Metamora IL 18:41 6:01
18 Kevin Burk 40 M Metamora IL 19:47 6:22
23 Jeffrey Neltner 33 M Peoria IL 20:11 6:30
24 Teri Brandt 31 F Brimfield IL 20:12 6:30
25 Jim Henkins 39 M Henry IL 20:20 6:33
26 Brandon Smith 15 M Peoria IL 20:27 6:35
27 Ollie Nanyes 37 M Peoria IL 20:34 6:37
28 Deborah Wresinski 31 F Peoria IL 20:36 6:38
29 Roger Owdom 28 M Chillicothe IL 20:45 6:41
30 Brad Dietrich 18 M IL 20:47 6:41
31 Dave Weaver 48 M Princeville IL 20:48 6:42
32 Robert Hultgren 54 M Peoria IL 20:51 6:43
33 James Martin 46 M Chillicothe IL 20:52 6:43
34 Katherine Suda 22 F Edelstein IL 21:00 6:46
35 Duke Burk 10 M Metamora IL 21:03 6:47
36 Valerie Marquis 16 F Dunlap IL 21:05 6:47
125 Patty Isit 36 F Peoria IL 34:42 11:10
126 Karla Losey 33 F Chillicothe IL 34:43 11:10
127 Carol Henry 37 F Pekin IL 36:30 11:45
128 Becky Henry 6 F Pekin IL 36:37 11:47
Note the Burks: father Kevin, sons Danny and Duke (10 years old!)
Well, Duke Burk used to often beat me at these things; this is one of the few times I actually finished ahead of him. Well, Duke is now back in the news as a wrestler for Northern Illinois University:
ST. LOUIS—Ten seconds, 10 lousy seconds.
That was the difference for Northern Illinois 174-pounder Duke Burk on Thursday during the second session of the NCAA Division I wrestling championships at the Scottrade Center.
Burk (26-6), a Huskies sophomore and former Notre Dame standout, met Central Michigan’s Brandon Sinnott during the evening session on the opening day of action. […]
There is another article about him in the paper:
Duke Burk needed three, but only got two.
As in victories on the second day of the NCAA Division I wrestling championships at the Scottrade Center.
The Northern Illinois sophomore 174-pounder fell one match short of earning all-American honors on Friday when he dropped a 4-3 decision to seventh-seeded Matthew Stolpinski of Navy during the evening session of wrestlebacks.
“I guess it’s like climbing steps on a ladder,” said Burk. “Last year I went 1-2 and this year I went 3-2 so I improved in that year.
“I’ve got two more cracks at it, two more years to train. The next year I will dedicate to improving again, and if I improve as much again I’ll be right there.” […]
Ahhh, he went from being a little kid who could sometimes kick my butt at running to being a young man who can just plain kick my butt. 🙂
He doesn’t know who I am, but I did shake his hand after these runs and I did chat with his dad (briefly); yes, his dad looked (looks?) every part the wrestler.
Oh yes, the other fact that I used to be able to run around 20 minutes for the 5K; sometimes a bit faster, mostly a bit slower. Those days are ancient history; I’d be lucky to break 25 minutes now. I think that, after FANS this year, I’ll take a break from ultras and see how fast I can run these “road” 5Ks. I might train for the Big Shoulders swim too. This sort of training is a bit less time consuming but is more intense; hence I’ll have to resume my bike workouts and maybe include a mile or two of running 2-3 times a week for now.
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