Well, I thought that I might just swim, lift and jog this morning, but hey, I decided to race. Result: 7:47/8:37/9:34/0:51 for 26:50.

It was warm (72 F, 57 percent humidity) and I went out too fast for my physical state and the conditions (7:47 for mile 1). I should not have been with Steve Hippler. (my doctor)

By mile 2, I had to walk a bit. (16:24). I decided to try to stick with a barrel chested young man and shoot for sub 26. But with just over 800 meters to go, I stepped in a pothole and went down and twisted my ankle. OUCH!!

The police officer (and other runners) asked if I was ok and I said “yes”. I got up, walked a few steps, then started to jog slowly and then attempted to pick it up. By the time the finish line got in sight I could run and so the 0:51 for the final 0.1 was reasonable.

But I had lost a ton of time. After finishing, I decided to go home instead of going to the gym to lift; I’ve got ice on my ankle as I type this.

I don’t think I hurt it, but this week should be mostly swimming, lifting and perhaps some treadmill running and walking if the ankle tolerates it.

No trails.

The trip home As I tried to drive home, traffic was backed up University; the I-74 University exit was backed up.

Reason: University is cut to one lane prior to Columbia Terrace and one lane on Main also and….there is high school graduation(s) going on at the Bradley University campus.

That is interesting: build a large campus facility but deny automobile access to it. Not sure I understand that one.

May 31, 2014 Posted by | injury, running | , , | 1 Comment

Trip home


I chuckled at this sign outside of a gas station in Big Cabin, Oklahoma. This was taken earlier this morning.

I left my phone charger in the hotel but was able to buy one that worked here.

On the way back: we got through 12 of 18 disks of President Carter’s White House Diaries. I have found them interesting; a President has to cover a lot.

So far: I can see that President Carter is very intelligent and knowledgeable. I, at times, grow weary of his smothering religiosity and piousness. Some of it is embarrassing.

I think that he got more done than he is given credit for.

Nevertheless, I can see why he was a one term president. He seemed to have open contempt for the liberal wing of his party, who, when it came time to voting, supported him. He also seemed to be preoccupied with the Middle East while the economy at home was falling apart.

Still, he showed more balance between the Arabs and Israel than others have, and he did appoint Paul Voelker, the inflation fighter that President Reagan got credit for.

I am eager to finish the set.

Note: my wife has really helped me this week.

May 31, 2014 Posted by | books, travel | , | 2 Comments

At least I look as if I was running…


This was from last Saturday’s 5K. My chip time was 24:42 on the certified course.

While gone, I read the book Duel in the Sun by John Brant which was about the 1982 Boston Marathon showdown between Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar. The race was run on a hot day and Salazar held off Beardsley to win 2:08:51 to 2:08:53. But neither was quite the same afterward; both had life struggles and ended up overcoming them.

I didn’t like the “move backwards and forwards in time” writing style, but the story was interesting. I think that the “Salazar was not athletically talented” claim was absurd beyond belief. Only a genetic freak can set a world record in the marathon.

May 31, 2014 Posted by | books, running | | Leave a comment

Chicken and Egg…

So, what role does exercise play in staying healthy and what role does it play in longevity? Does “sport X” lead to more injuries than not playing that sport?

It is actually not that easy to tell. One one hand, it is possible for things like running, swimming, and even just plain exercise to become abusive to one’s body. It is possible to do “too much”, though that line is probably far, far away from where I am.

And yes, there are such things as sports injuries.

On the other hand, the runners/swimmers/lifters I see appear to be healthier than others their age. But: do they workout (or play those sports) because they are healthy or does the health come from the fitness?

I’d have to study this in greater detail.

But I’ll keep doing it as long as I can (while making adjustments for my age and health) because I enjoy it.

May 30, 2014 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Morning laughter

No workout this morning; do some tomorrow.

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 7.17.23 AM

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 7.18.58 AM

May 30, 2014 Posted by | running, travel | , | Leave a comment

Why I love Austin and why I hate it.

We are in Pryor, Oklahoma for the night.

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 9.45.53 PM

It was about 70 F with 78-80 percent humidity. That was tough weather for me. I did run the 4.2 mile loop in 39:40 (slightly modified due to construction) and then walked 2 more miles.

I knew that I was running better (about a 9:25 mpm pace) as I wasn’t getting passed that much.

But this was NOT a very easy effort; I had to put something into it.

Prior to the run:


Yes: those are turtles. No, they didn’t outrun me. 🙂

What I hate about Austin TRAFFIC! I left the hotel to get to the trail during rush hour and the trip took forever.

What I like about Austin There is a concern about the quality of life. Trails are built, pedestrian features are put along the roads (cross walks which requires that the traffic stop), bikes are readily available for rent, and even much of the trail area is designated NON SMOKING. Really! And some of the ponds even have a “dog access cut out” and there are “no leash required” areas.

Try taking these measures to this extent where I live: ROTFLMAO!!!!

May 30, 2014 Posted by | running, travel, walking | , | Leave a comment

Austin Day III


I got time to get in a 4.25 mile walk in 1:03; though it was not a hard effort, it was more of an effort than the time might indicate. It was a combination of sidewalks, gravel trails to get to Mabel Davis Park where I did two .92 mile loops (mixed gravel, concrete and asphalt path). It was warm and it was 3 pm.

Then there was dinner with my daughter; that helped some too.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | travel, walking | | Leave a comment

An atheist at a religious memorial (or other service)

This post is based on a comment made to me at a “after the memorial service” lunch.

A cousin remarked that she unfriended me on Facebook (some time ago) as she didn’t care for some of my atheist related posts. I was fine with that; I like discussing ideas and that, to me, involves critiquing religious ideas (if they are put out there).

But she (and another cousin who hasn’t unfriended me) said that, during Mom’s memorial service, they looked to me to see how I’d react to the religious parts of the service.

So here goes: This service was supposed to conformed to MOM’S religious beliefs and NOT to mine. I expect Christianity to be involved in the memorial service for a Christian, just as I’d expect a service for a Muslim to have Islam, or a service for a Jew to be a Jewish service, or a service for a Hindu to be a Hindu service.

My only issue would be if someone tried to lie about what my mom believed (e. g. if the brand of religion presented was not what my mom actually practiced in real life) and that was NOT the case here. Mom would have approved of the type of religion and the amount of religion in the ceremony. My sister did well.

Now when Dad died, there was no religion in the service as dad was not religious (though he was NOT an atheist either; his deity was a generic “God”..of some sort).

If it were a wedding service, I wouldn’t worry about the type of service but instead be grateful that someone invited me to begin with.

Sorry to disappoint but to this atheist: religious ceremony is offensive to me only to the degree that our government attempts to hold people as a captive audience to someone’s particular brand of religion. At private events: no problem.

Now if you want people to take offense to a religious service, you’d be better off finding a believer of another religion. Example: some Jews find Christian beliefs “blasphemy” as Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus. Some Christians might take offense to statements made at a pagan service.

Because I am an atheist(*), theological concerns don’t bother me at all; pray how you wish.

(*) I suppose that I am really a type of agnostic as I remain open to the possibility that:

There could be something incredibly grand and incomprehensible and beyond our present understanding.

Yes: that quote was said by Richard Dawkins. It is possible that some sentient beings somewhere in the universe got it right, or perhaps that NO sentient beings got it right but it “exists” anyway. However, I don’t find any of the deities that I’ve been introduced to or that *I* can conjure up to be credible enough to warrant serious thought or contemplation.

May 28, 2014 Posted by | atheism, social/political | | Leave a comment

Mom’s memorial: 3 days.

Note: I’ll probably post more of this personal stuff for a while; this is part of how I work through things.


This is the tapestry that my sister had put together for Mom’s memorial service; it features a shot of Mom when she was in her early 60’s, as well as sewing stuff, the garden wheelbarrow and the Lady Longhorns (University of Texas Women’s Basketball team).

Rose, my sister, did a magnificent job of arranging it all. There was a quiet visitation on Monday, the short but sweet service on Tuesday and then the burial today.

The service featured a Catholic “service but not a complete mass” as mom was a life long Catholic, though one who grew a bit disenchanted with the constant, persistent fundraising. But yes, she remained a life-long believer. In fact, one of my last gifts to her was a personalized, leather bound, gilded paged Bible from the University of Notre Dame.

During the service, we had time to share various stories and anecdotes about her. It was mostly family with perhaps a few friends; the reason, of course, is that when one dies at 87 years of age, most of one’s peers are either dead or incapacitated.

So, mom got to enjoy her friends while she was alive, and she did enjoy socializing.

Later, I went to Mom’s house to get some mementoes (photos and small items). It felt “final” as now-a-days, no parent is alive in the house. Of course, given my age (54), that is completely expected.

Today, there was no formal service, but my sister had us hold hands around the casket and say words of farewell. It was an excellent idea, and I was a bit surprised at how emotional I became. I found myself saying “bye bye Mommy” and I hadn’t used the term “Mommy” in decades.

She is buried with my dad at the Fort Sam Houston Veteran’s Cemetery; dad died just over 10 years ago.

This video (ok, sort of boring) shows mom enjoying herself while getting a ride from Cyndi (one of Rose’s daughters)

I suppose this video is meaningful to me because Mom had a tough time in the last few years of her life (dementia) and it was good to see her having fun, the way she did when she was younger.

What good came of it
I think that grief sharing benefits everyone. It helps to know that others loved your lost one too. Of course, Rose devoted untold hours per day ensuring that Mom’s last years were as good as possible; I doubt if anyone, anywhere could have received better “end of life” care. Mom, like dad, died in their own home.

I feel bad that I wasn’t there more often, but such is the saga when one is mid career and literally 1000 miles away.

Also, I got to reconnect with a couple of cousins, and it was especially meaningful to me to reconnect with Catherine. I remember Catherine sleeping over when we were kids…and then later her turmoil filled high school days. Now she is a successful professional and an avid cyclist.

May 28, 2014 Posted by | family, Personal Issues, travel | | Leave a comment

quickie workout

I haven’t walked yet; I did get up early and get 3 circuits in the weight room (moderate weights). Going sans rest (or with minimal rest) limits the amount of weight you can handle.

May 28, 2014 Posted by | weight training | Leave a comment