This morning: jog to the bottom of Bradley Park; 1.24 mile loop in 10:13, then walked the rest of the 6.3 mile course (5.1 plus 1.24). Gloriously pretty day; crisp (40’s).

I am developing mental block about this 1.24 mile loop though.

April 2014: 10:25
May 2014 9:44
May 2014 10:10
March 2015 10:16
March 2015 10:10
April 2015 10:06
April 2015 10:13

It seemed as if I had to force myself to speed up and I wasn’t that spent when I finished.

The workout did me some good. Tonight I’ll go out with my Building Steam group. Weather should be perfect.

April 29, 2015 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment

One sign that I am aging (one of many)

Here is one thing that is very different for me: in past years, I almost always timed my runs and walks.

Now, if it isn’t an official “speed” day or a race and I am doing a familiar course, I don’t bother to start my watch. I just go.

Reason one: this ensures that I go slowly enough to recover and
Reason two: I really don’t want to know how slowly I am slogging; it is too depressing. My guess: my slow pace is on the order of 11:30-11:45 mpm. There was a time when a 10 minute pace was a joke, and many years ago, 9 minutes per mile was a leisurely jog. Those days are GONE.

Now 9 mpm is sort of “tempo-ish” for me and even a 10 mpm pace is work. That is why I didn’t offer to help lead the 10 mpm pace group at Building Steam; it is too close to a “challenging workout pace” for me.

But given my current 5K time, this isn’t a surprise.


April 29, 2015 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Obama on Baltimore, warming, butt hurt, etc.

This lasts 14 minutes. Note that President Obama STARTS by condemning the criminal behavior of looting, burning, etc. He also points out that the peaceful protests didn’t get a lot of attention.

President Obama did have some fun at the expense of Michele Bachmann and her nuttiness.

Of course, the nut jobs are “offended”. Sorry: a nutty idea is a nutty idea, even if you believe it for “religious” reasons.

Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is going to “run for President”.
Yes, though he won his Senate race by a landslide (and then some), he still only got something like 208,00 votes, which is less than what the Mayor of Chicago got (319,000). But he excites some of the liberals and perhaps that excitement might carry over to the general if Hillary Clinton reaches out to them.

But his chances at the nomination are only slightly greater than my chances of making an NFL team.

Trolling I assume that this guy was serious. But instead of being outraged, I laughed out loud at him; he sounds like a caricature of a Fox News watcher.

Science and society

Yes, this is only one point on the earth. But look at the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.


Yes, GMO crops have a place. This is how one former “anti-GMO activist” saw the light.

April 29, 2015 Posted by | 2016, Barack Obama, Democrats, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , , , | 1 Comment

I think that the training is working but…

Well, today my legs were sore so I jogged an easy 5 miles (hilly), walked 1 and then lifted. I did not have the clock running and I really did NOT want to know how slowly I was moving. The course: 5.1 plus 1.24 loop.

But I was fresh when got to the weight room and it showed.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (rotator cuff); reasonably strong.
incline bench (super set with Hammer rows): 3 sets of 10 x 135, rows: 10 x 200 (3 sets)
military: 1 set of 10 x 40 standing after:
2 sets of 10 x 100 (machine, each arm), 3 sets of pull downs (10 x 130)

As far as the “training is starting to work” last Sunday’s “sort of long” walk (14 miles) WAS easier than last time even though the pace was the slightly faster and I was on a harder course. That IS a good sign. But my short runs are suffering a bit.

That, I suppose, comes with the territory. I can train for short running or long walking but NOT both at the same time. If others my age can, I salute them. But I can’t.

Steamboat 15K
One of my female Facebook friends signed up for the 15K for the first time. My advice to her: “wear the tightest, most transparent spandex you’ve got”. 🙂

Ok, I didn’t say that. But I should have. 🙂

April 29, 2015 Posted by | running, training, walking | | Leave a comment

TPP and other topics

Workout notes: end of the semester blues, so I had to force myself into swimming. But swim I did. 1000 straight, then 5 x 200 on the 4: 3:43, 3:43, 3:45, 3:38, 3:31 (more effort) then 200 fin cool down (back and fly)

TPP: Paul Krugman notes that this doesn’t really enhance free trade all that much but is more about intellectual property rights. He counts himself as a “lukewarm opponent” in that he doesn’t think that it will be all that harmful, but it won’t help and he thinks that President Obama has better ways to spend political capital.

I think that I give President Obama some benefit of the doubt here, at least on political grounds.

Speaking of economics water is tight in California. That means: those who can pay astronomical water fees still…use it for their lawns. Let’s face it: this is NOT a “we are all in this together” situation; it never is.

Religion: I think that bad ideas are not worthy of respect. No, I won’t go onto someone’s property (internet or otherwise) and attack their religion, but I’ll speak my mind openly and, some ideas are just plain dumb.

April 28, 2015 Posted by | climate change, economics, economy, politics, politics/social, swimming | , | 1 Comment

Woo woo, satire and some math

Last night, The President had some fun with his critics:

Mathematics gets a should out (yay!)

But woo-woo gets front page at the Peoria Journal Star:

OTTAWA — In an age when science explains many of the natural world’s mysteries, there still exist things not fully understood.
As a licensed clinical professional counselor and a priest, the Rev. Michael Driscoll, a Peoria native, believes both science and the spiritual world should be considered in the realm of mental illness.
Driscoll’s new book, “Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction About The Spirit World,” employs modern thinking while addressing the age-old notion of demonic possession.
“We certainly don’t have everything figured out when it comes to mental health problems,” said Driscoll, during a telephone interview from Ottawa where he works as the chaplain and director of pastoral care at OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. While there is greater understanding today about brain chemistry and other factors that lead to mental illness, spiritual issues should still be considered in the treatment of patients.


“I don’t want to say every mystery can be attributed to the devil, but some of us think, ‘Well, there’s a spirit world too, and maybe that explains some things.’”
Driscoll referenced a 2014 story in the Indianapolis Star about a Gary, Ind., woman who claimed she and her three children were possessed by demons. Several hospital workers and police officers witnessed extraordinary events — such as a 9-year-old boy walking backwards up a hospital wall — that made them believe. A series of exorcisms seemed to solve the problem.


The question became the subject of Driscoll’s dissertation several years later while he was working on his Ph.D. through Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. The book contains the same information, but it is written with the aim of educating priests and the public about the differences between mental illness and demonic possession. Published by Catholic Answers Press, the book will be available by month’s end.

Oh dear. This reminds me of the “genuine psychics” signs I’ve seen.
I’d like to think that I don’t live in a 3’rd world backwater but evidently, I do.

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Barack Obama, health, mathematics, Peoria, political humor, political/social, politics/social, religion, superstition | Leave a comment

Memories and reality

14 mile walk in 3:34; this was the old Boredom course.


I started at 7:40; I wish I had started 1 hour earlier. Still, it was chilly at the start and just lovely, though auto traffic had picked up on the final third of the course.
I saw one small training group out there and Peggy Shadid as well; she was jogging easily with a friend and a dog. She won the female open Steamboat 15K multiple times as well as MANY other races; I’ve seen her run a 3:04 marathon and a 38 minute 10K.

I told her that I was tempted to turn around and show her up; she and her friend had a good laugh. 🙂

The course I did (14 miles) consists of the “middle 10” miles of the classic Boredom course: (I pick it up at Sheridan and McClure)


But that brought back memories. I first did the Boredom course in the Summer of 1998 when I was taking part of the Illinois Valley Striders marathon training group; in those days the 12 mile course took me about 1:40-1:45 to do (at an easy pace). The 14 took around 2 hours.

In 2003-2005, as a walker, I did the 14 mile course in just under 3 hours (2:56-2:57); that was when I walked a marathon in 4:44, a hilly trail 50K in 7:14, a paved 50K in 6:20 and the 100 mile in 23:40 (101 in 24).
Now I am over half an hour slower with the same effort.

I remind myself of this not to lament the expected degradation of my abilities but to remind myself of where I am so I can set realistic goals.

So, for the October marathon, 5:45 would be a good goal for the marathon walk. Maybe I can aim for 9:30 for the McNotAgain and, if those two events go well…who knows; maybe something special in late December or early January (in a southern climate!).

But a 100 miler isn’t going to happen again, unless I enter a flat 48 hour race and really pace myself, take naps, etc. I simply don’t have another one in me.

So, I can still get out there, go hard and have fun! But, to put it simply, the events I enter ARE going to take me longer and some events in my past are now beyond my reach. But that’s ok; others get to enjoy those now. 🙂

April 26, 2015 Posted by | ultra, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Some metrics on fitness

In September of 1999 (at 40 years of age): half marathon in 1:34:16 (7:11 pace), then the first 20 miles of the Quad Cities in 2:37 (7:51 pace; crashed and finished in 3:45…bad cramps).

Today: ONE mile at 7:50 was, while not all out, challenging. I did hit the halves in 3:55 each. Yes, I did this right after lifting weights and that had a minor negative effect.

In September of 1986 (27 years of age): in the bench press I got 11 reps with bodyweight (230 lbs). Today: 3 reps (3 x 180); probably could have gotten 1 more had I used a spotter. I weighed 180.0 on the gym scale prior to the workout.

15 years and 28 years can make a difference in what one can do. At times, it feels as if someone stuck a straw under my skin and sucked all of the muscle mass right out.

Nevertheless, I have some goals set up. One will be to walk the Peoria Marathon this October. The next (tentative) will be the McNotAgain 30 mile (hilly, trail) about 3-4 weeks later. And for the final..stay tuned. 🙂 I might try to combine a longish (marathon or possibly longer) event with a football game over the winter..somewhere south. So, I need to build up my long walks this summer; I am at 14 miles (22.5 km) right now.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Mixing it up

Weights plus a run…of sorts. It was very rainy outside.

Weight: 180.0 on the gym scale.

Weights: pull ups (3 sets of 10) with rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135
pull ups: 2 sets of 10 mixed with
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell standing
super set: 3 sets of 10 x 130 pull down machine, 10 x 200 Hammer row, 10 x 100, 10 x 90 machine military

treadmill: 10:50 mile
track: 7:50 mile (3:55 each half)
treadmill: 10:40 mile
track: 8:53 mile (medium effort)
treadmill: run walk 11:30 cool down mile

It was enough to get some exercise but not so much that it drained me.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | Leave a comment

2016: I am not that interested but…it will be PARTISAN

In my opinion, the 2016 election will probably be, if anything, more partisan than 2004, 2008 and 2012. Why?

I think it is because the public is polarized.

Think about it: you have a large segment of the population that thinks their deity controls things. Their god sends punishments for our society allowing, say, gay marriage …but will protect us against the effects of climate change. Remembers: these are elected officials: judges and US Senators:

Remember: these views reflect the views of those who voted for them. Common ground? Are you kidding me?

Now of course I will vote (both primary and in the election), but I won’t have the passion I had in 1992, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, religion | Leave a comment