Blood donation time again…

My running season is officially over; I donated blood to the Red Cross. Yes, this was whole blood and NOT double red cells! I can expect a 3-4 point drop in my VO2-max due to the donation, and a slow down due to the heat. I’ll probably be back to normal within a month. (note: double red cells would have wiped me out until at least September; after one of these, even a warm up jog gets me out of breath).

This time, I have a plan.

1. One run a week, I’ll do short intervals to get some turnover and follow it with a modest run on the treadmill.
2. I’ll race often. I have 5K races scheduled for 4 July, 12 July and 26 July. These will probably be performance disasters (due to heat and blood donation effects) but they will be “push myself” type workouts.
3. The main focus will be the Wednesday and Sunday walks; the goal remains a powerwalk marathon on 28 September. The blood donation won’t affect this training very much.

The biggest effect blood donation has is on the warm weather, “anything faster than an easy pace” run. Oxygen simply doesn’t get to the muscles very well and it is doubly bad when it is hot outside.

I still remember the day when I learned this lesson. It was 2001; I was running the Quad Cities Half marathon. I took it out at my usual 7:30 mpm pace (normal for me in those days; my best that year was 1:37) and I found myself fading during the SECOND MILE! Oddly enough, my hands began to get cold too.

During this period another runner came up beside me and said that he liked what I said on television. Then I remembered; I gave blood after the Fall Steamboat 15K and gave a statement to the press; it was 9/11 related.
So, I smiled, cut back on my pace and struggled (but no walking!) in with 1:49…of course I’d love to run that time now-a-days. But in those days, that was a slow time for me.

Speaking of sports: this 15 minute TED talk about athletics and the progression of world records is very interesting.

1. Better equipment (high tech swim suits, rubber tracks, wave minimizing gutters in pools).
2. Better training.
3. Athletes drawn from a wider pool.
4. Selection pressures: shot putters are bigger, smaller distance runners…and people who have the ideal body type finding their sports. Example Hicham El Guerrouj held the mile run world record and is only 5′ 9″. Michael Phelps won numerous gold medals in swimming and is 6′ 4″. Yet: both of these athletes wear the same pants length! Short legs are good for swimming; longer legs are good for distance running.

The video is excellent.

Workout notes
Weights plus swimming. I was 180.0 prior to lifting.

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 with hip hikes and Achilles exercises as rest.
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 100, 6 x 170.
incline press: 7 x 140. rotator cuff rest.
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 85 standing (barbell), 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
pull downs: one set of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low. Then 2 sets of 10 x 160 traditional, 10 x 90 machine low.
rows: 2 sets of alternating arms with the Hammer Machine: 105 each arm, then 10 x 200 both at once.

1000 easy
500 of 25 side, 25 free
4 x 100 hard (on 2; 1:42-44)
2 x 50 hard
200 of 25 fly, 25 back (fins). 2200 yards (2000 meters) total.

Note: I did a few reps where I chased the faster swimmers; they didn’t seem to mind. I even talked to one afterward. Basically, when I catch them, they realize that they are dogging it and pick it up.
That makes it fun.

June 30, 2014 Posted by | sports, swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Hobby Lobby SCOTUS case: if you are a liberal and didn’t vote for Gore in 2000: STFU

Elections have consequences. Here are two of them: Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

So, in 2016: the election matters. Republicans and Democrats are NOT the same. Period.

June 30, 2014 Posted by | political/social, ranting | Leave a comment

Boxing: “best rounds” compiled

Now some may argue with the choices. I, for one, would have loved to have seen that epic Holyfield vs. Bowe, round 10 (which I provided). But these are excellent choices nevertheless.

June 30, 2014 Posted by | boxing | | Leave a comment

All natural! GMO free!


Hey, the above is 100 percent natural; not GMO! Sure it is amanita phalloides and scientists tell me that the person who eats one of these will probably die fairly quickly. But hey, these scientists are probably all bought off by MONSANTO!!! 🙂

June 29, 2014 Posted by | science | , | Leave a comment

So, people with contrarian personalities are LESS likely to do bad things?

Well, there is this:

I’ve long thought that it’s the troublemakers and malcontents who will lead the way to a more sustainable, healthier planet, and now there’s some evidence to support this idea.

In a previous post I discussed Stanley Milgram’s famous obedience experiments and what they say about the conditions that lead people to make destructive, harmful choices. It turns out they’re the same conditions that most of us experience in everyday life when it comes to making choices more or less damaging to the environment—and they prompt us to take the more destructive path.

Now a new study using a variation of Milgram’s experiments shows that people with more agreeable, conscientious personalities are more likely to make harmful choices.1 In these new obedience experiments, people with more social graces were the ones who complied with the experimenter’s wishes and delivered electric shocks they believed could harm an innocent person. By contrast, people with more contrarian, less agreeable personalities were more likely to refuse to hurt other people when told to do so.

Yes, I accept the experimental data but I reject the conclusion from it. Why? Well, contrarian people also do stuff like this:


They ain’t gonna let some scientist tell them to vaccinate their kids either! Texting while driving? Why not?

Seriously: there is an upside to order (e. g. agreeing to drive on the correct side of the road, following FCC rules regarding airwaves, FAA rules on air traffic, rules of the road while on the water, etc.)

June 29, 2014 Posted by | science, social/political | Leave a comment

Marathon training: day one

Goal: Quad Cities Marathon on September 28. I am planning on walking it, an my performance goal is 5:20 (cool day time; adjust for heat if necessary)

So today was my first training walk for that.

Course: reasonably hilly 15.5 (25 km) course which is a mix of the old Boredom course and some of the newer trails and the River.
I started too late (7:45) and encountered some vehicle traffic toward the end of Grandview drive and a few bikes. On the river, the red winged blackbirds didn’t dive bomb me; I though that I detected one warning chirp though.

It was a bit warm and sticky; 71 F and 84 percent humidity at the start; 83 F and 69 percent toward the end.


boredom to new trail springdale river

I walked the 15.5 miles outside in 3:53 (too slow! 15:02 mpm) and then did a 12:55 walking treadmill mile inside to finish with 16.5 in 4:06.

I did get warm and I finished one bottle of water while I was out there.

But I expected it to be a bigger slog; I think that my lower body weight (177 prior to yesterday’s swim) is helping just a bit.

June 29, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Liberals and conservatives: we actually need each other but sometimes we drive each other nuts

Conservatives and liberals really don’t understand one another. Consider this poll:
Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 5.09.32 PM

(from page 3)

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(from page 4)

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(from page 6)

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(from page 8)

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(from page 11)

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(from page 10)
This has been noticed. Conservatives have been jeered for saying that “the poor have it easy” and conservatives scream “liberals don’t love our country.

I honestly think that we are talking past each other here.

On the poverty question, there is some research that suggests that conservatives are actually more generous at the personal level; what they mean to say is that the government enables poverty. On the “do you love your country” question: liberals are more comfortable pointing out the flaws, and conservatives may SAY that they love “our country” but what they really love is the community of people who are just like them; they don’t knowledge others as being “real Americans”. President Obama’s large popular vote margins mean nothing to them; their version of “real America” is limited to communities that are just like the ones that they live in.

I don’t see conservatives as evil (ok, some are) but I do see them as a group of people that I really don’t relate to.

But, many conservatives are smart and successful and they provide a nice check against changing what works for the “untried and unlikely to work”.

Conservatives are a check against Type I error, whereas the liberals are better at avoiding Type II errors.

Ultimately, I think that we need each other, but sometimes we drive each other crazy.

June 28, 2014 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Obama’s Truman moment: “the won’t do Congress won’t do”

Thank you, Mr. President.

June 28, 2014 Posted by | Barack Obama, economy, politics, politics/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

Excellent cat meme


OK, I sometimes look like this when it appears that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. 🙂

June 28, 2014 Posted by | humor | | Leave a comment

But it is all natural, 100 percent organic and GMO free!

(I know, redundant)



So why don’t you make a salad of it, or perhaps rub it all over yourself?


Seriously, this is why this “natural = good, GMO = bad” stuff cracks me up. Plants evolved so as to make it more likely that they reproduce at higher rates; they didn’t evolve for our benefit.

June 28, 2014 Posted by | ranting, social/political | , , | Leave a comment