Overcast, 50 F, breezy. I took a very lazy 10k walk in 1:35:02. I was happy:
1. I didn’t get divebombed by the dreaded red winged blackbirds
2. I didn’t get attacked by the numerous geese parents who were out waddling around with their fledglings
Of course, I did forget to take the letters to the post office; my forgetfulness is still intact.
1. Work on my application.
2. Work on a teaching related paper.
3. Work on my research talk.
4. Prepare for my upcoming short trip.
5. Perhaps call a tire store; evidently there is a slow leak in one of the tires.
2004 McNaughton 50 12:46 (trail)
2004 Cornbelt 24 hour track 11:13 (100 in 23:41)
2004 Cornbelt 24 hour track 12:28 second 50 mile; en route to 101 miles
2004 Wandelweekend 24 hour: 11:15 (88 miles in 24)
2004 Ultracentric 24 hour 11:24 (81 mile in 24)
2005 McNaughton trail 100 miler 13:23 (100 in 34:16)
2005 McNaughton 100 20:43 (second 50 mile of 100)
2005 Leanhorse trail 100 (groomed) 12:50 (100 in 29:34)
2005 Leanhorse traill 100 16:44 (second half of a 100)
2005 Ultracentric track 24 12:27 (70 miles in 24)
2006 Houston 24 hour 12:28 (76 miles in 24)
2006 McNaughton 100 (DNF 70) 15:17
2006 FANS 24 hour 12:38 (83 miles in 24)
2007 FANS 24 hour 13:41 (66 miles in 24)
2007 Ultracentric 58 miles in 24 hours; my 50 mile split was somewhere around 19 hours.
2008 McNaughton 31 hours plus (52 miles; done in stages)
2009 McNaughton 100 24:18 (100 in 47:55)
2009 McNaughton 100 23:37 (second 50 mile)
2009 FANS 24 hour 12:43 (66 miles in 24)
2011: FANS 24 hour 22:52 (54 miles in 24)
2015: FANS 24 hour 20:31 (59.9 miles in 24)
As of 30 March, 2016: 17 different events, 21 different times (includes one 100 mile DNF at 70)
Workout notes: easy untimed 5K run, then a light weight workout:
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (rotator cuff)
bench press: 3 sets of 10 with 70 pound dumbbells
military press: 3 sets of 10 with 40 pound dumbbells (standing)
Last night: 3 miles of 13-14 mpm “run/walk” with the group. I’ll say this about this year’s group: they are more motivated than groups I’ve worked with in the past; I am enjoying this year more than I have in a long time!
That was it. I am starting to feel just a bit restless.
Now about the title of my post well, an event that you’ve taken seriously is answering a question. I am not so sure I WANT the answer; living in the past is more comforting? 🙂
I suppose it is “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” But I go through this angst every time I do a goal race or submit a paper, etc. I remind myself that “success” means little if “failure” isn’t a possible outcome.
And that leads me to the second thing on my mind: I did ask people on the local runner’s club website about an upcoming 5K that is “geared to newcomers”. I tried to phrase my discussion in a way that wouldn’t discourage comments.
And, well, I was reminded that I often censor what I hear by making sure to only talk to people that I have some respect for.
Some of the attitudes that I am encountering: people being uncomfortable with seeing people who are better runners than they are (fast runners on their way back while you are heading out), I am seeing people suggest having finisher’s medals for the 5K. Personally, I find that amusing to condescending. But I did ask.
I suppose that is what happens when an activity opens up to more people; one sees different personality types show up, and there are certain attitudes that I simply have contempt for.
Workout notes: 3 easy walking miles. That’s it. Later today: more with the Building Steam group (probably about 3)
Yes, it is “two week vacation from training time” and instead of doing something useful, I’ll babble about running and endurance sports.
In today’s paper, I read about a “I’ve Decided” “first 5K” which is designed for beginners. How different things are now-a-days.
One big difference:
Yes, I started running in the “cotton” era; even nylon running shorts were new.
What drove home my age was a conversation I had with a beginning runner: there was some small country race that timed things the old fashioned way (pull tags) and the new runner didn’t understand how a race could be timed if there was no computer chip! Imagine a race in which someone had a stop watch, yelled your time, and YOU were responsible for writing your name and time on a numbered card that you were given as you crossed the finish line. The number on the card corresponded to your order as you crossed the finish line; the winner had card “1”, the tenth place finisher had card “10”, the 34’th had card “34”, etc.
Yes, I am a fan of the computer chip or the “chip in the race bib” system. I love that innovation. But I do remember a simpler time, and those old “card races” were fine with me.
But the difference I’ll talk about today was cultural.
This is me back in August, 1980. I was nearing the finish of the Severn River 10 mile run; I ran 1:21:45 (8xx out of 3000+ finishers). This was my first public race and I didn’t know what to expect.
But what I remember most was talking to the more experienced runners afterward; I remember one “old man” (30’s?) telling me “ok, that is an 8:10 mile; that will get you 3:3x in your first marathon”..and I thought that he was nuts!
But…well, that December I ran the Maryland Marathon in 3:33 (1054 out of 2229 males; the median male time was 3:36)
And to me, that was part of the fun. The same thing held with racewalking; I remember drawing some red cards during a race and having the other walkers give me tips. The same holds for swimming (getting tips from the better swimmers), weight lifting, ultra walking, etc.
But: that is part of my personality. Before my first race, I had run 1 mile time trials for football, 3 mile time trials for crew; I had gotten my butt kicked on the football field, wrestling mat and gotten hit in the mouth in boxing (PE). I expected anything worthwhile to be hard, and I expected to have a lot of improving to do. That is just how it rolled in that era.
But now: things are very different.
We have gyms that are devoted to, well, not making people feel bad or intimidated.
And so, the median times at road races have slowed a great deal. Some have conjectured that this is due to there being many more outlets for the more intense person (adventure races, trail races, ultra marathons, cross fit, off road triathlons etc.). In fact, in a recent New York Times, there was an article about a 200 mile “off road” bike race which said:
For the last 10 years, the hardiest of cyclists have been flocking to some of the country’s most remote roads to tackle 200 miles of gravel. The single-day race is called Dirty Kanza, a test of both mental and physical endurance, and part of an explosion of extreme-distance events testing the limits of the human body.
“Now, everybody’s grandmother runs a marathon,” said Rebecca Rusch, a professional cyclist whose affinity for extreme-distance races has earned her the nickname the Queen of Pain.
“I really think the point of endurance cycling is sort of that craving for a little bit of adventure,” said Rusch, who has won the women’s category of Dirty Kanza three straight years.
And they have a point.
Sure, *I* run the roads and I enjoy seeing how “fast” (less glacial?) I can “run” a 5K. But if I were just starting out, I am not so sure that running on the roads would have had much appeal. Much of what I see out there are somewhat dimply middle aged to old people waddling along at 10-14 minutes per mile and bragging about their “finishing bling”. As a young person, I would have thought “THAT PERSON is a road runner…YUCK…”
But the current atmosphere serves me well; I can enter most shorter races and finish “within the bell curve” and, in some larger marathons (or “walker friendly marathons”), even participate in a longer race without the sag wagon breathing down my neck. The current atmosphere in road races is much more accommodating to the older person with a stiff back and multiple knee operations. 🙂 But it might not be so attractive to the younger, fitter more intense person who wants to kick butt.
Ok, time to do end this post and do something more useful. 🙂
Workout notes well, workouts for the next 2-4 weeks will be lighter than normal.
Weights: 3 sets of 10 pull ups
Bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195 (hard), 3 x 180, 10 x 155 (rotator cuff)
pull ups: 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 5
military: standing, 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 150
That isn’t that much easier than normal, but it is a start.
Then running (pouring rainstorm outside)
treadmill run: 3.11 miles (5K) in 28:56; first mile was 11:04 then 2 miles in 17:00 (.5 6.8, .5 6.9, .25: 7-7.1-7.2-7.3, .11 in 7.4)
1 mile walk on the track (started going the wrong way for Tuesday: I was using Monday’s direction) Ooops!
Afterward, my legs felt refreshed.
The bench press (195) was my best of 2015; I am going to have to see when the last time I got 200. In August 2013 I got 205. (August 23). I haven’t seen heavier since then.
Workout notes: swam: 2000 straight laps (not timed; counted laps by 5: that is, 8 x 250 with no rests), then 200 pull.
I then took my daughter to Chicago Midway; we left at 9 am, I took her through the boarding pass line and to security; then I drove home and got home at 2:45. That was as fast as I’ve ever made this trip (round trip).
News: John Nash was killed in a traffic accident a couple of days ago. He was the focus of the book/movie A Beautiful Mind. He is known for the Nash equilibrium (in game theory); it was for that he won a Nobel in economics. But he had other great mathematics results; one of these was the Nash Embedding Theorem. The statement is somewhat technical but I think that I can give a flavor of what it was about.
Consider the circle. It is an object known as a “1-manifold” in that, if one examined the circle very “locally”, one would see that it was impossible to distinguish from a straight line. Example: if a tiny, near sided creature lived on a circle, it would look like a line to the creature, just like our spherical earth looks flat to us (locally).
Look at the two closed curves above. Those are “embeddings” (one to one, continuous maps from the circle). The one of the left: two points on the circle itself are “distant” from each other if and only if they are distant from each other as points on the plane. That is said to be an “isometric” embedding of the circle; points on the circle are far away from each other if and only if they are far away from each other in the plane.
Now look at the bent “circle”. See how two points of the circle are “close together” as points on the plane, but if one was forced to go from one of those points to the other point WHILE STAYING ON THE CURVE, one would have to travel a much further distance. That is a non-isometric embedding of the circle as two points are close together as points in the plane but NOT close as points on the circle.
So, the Nash embedding theorem deals with isometric embecdings; he gives a mathematical condition which guarantees that an arbitrary embedding can be approximated by an isometric embedding (as well as a dimensional criteria).
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