blueollie

Finding the happy medium

Today: my 4.15 mile walk in 56:45, which had a 13:58 first mile (plus) then a 13:16 finish; 29:30 middle part. pace: 13:42 or thereabouts.

I skipped leg weights as I might do a spandex chase tomorrow..in fact, I am planning on it.

It is too soon to say how my training is progressing. I notice that my walks have gotten better and I am feeling it more in my butt; I wonder if that is a consequence of my goblet squats? Time will tell.

I’ll say something else: I may have gone overboard in “taking it easy”. Either I ran/walked sans the watch, or I did a race/speed workout.

I am finding that I need to do a few “in between intensity” workouts too: workouts that involve running or walking at a “deliberate but not hard” effort. There is a place for a leisurely stroll/jog but I can fall into the trap of only “leisurely ” or “race pace”. I need to do some medium effort stuff, like today.

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April 21, 2017 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

Dropping the ball for baseball…

I’ve disconnected a bit due to..well, baseball games. Tuesday night I saw the Chiefs lose to the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-0.

The highlights were a couple of great outfield catches; one was just off of the ground and the other was over the shoulder.

Then last night I watched Bradley rally from 4-1 down in the 7’th inning to win 6-4, getting 2 in the bottom of the 7’th and 3 more in the bottom of the 8’th. The 8’th inning was really the key. The first batter singled and the coach put in a fast pinch runner. The next batter made an excellent bunt…but Iowa made a bad throw to first which lead to the fast runner rounding the bases to score and the batter to make it to 3’rd. Then the runner at third was singled in, and another double gave Bradley the padding it needed.

A crowd of 571 enjoyed the game.

I also came to notice that Bradley uses the third base dugout as the home dugout whereas the Chiefs use the first base dugout. It has to do where the respective clubhouses are.

I’ll really OD on Bradley baseball, as there are 5 home games from Friday to Wednesday. I should make 4 of these (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday).

Workout notes: PM: walk with the group; 3 miles. We lollygagged on the way out (27 minutes or so) and then on the way back, Tammy wanted to turn it up a bit; that only took 24 minutes for us.

AM: I slept in (Bradley games are usually about 3 hours; more scoring than in pro ball) So I worked out after my 9-10 class. I’ve got some catching up to do.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10: good), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 9 x 170 (empty gym, basically), 10 x 135 incline, dumbbell military: 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine rows. Then run: 20 minutes on the treadmill: 2-2-2-2-2 (5.2-5.6) then 2-2-2-2-1-1 (6.7-7.2) 10:57/8:40, 2.04 miles total.

Bodyweight: 195.7 before, 193.8 after.

April 21, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Democrats: always a tough sell…

I’ve spent some time on twitter discussing the 2016 election, and the fine line between critiquing the Clinton campaign (which, IMHO, was terrible) and Hillary Clinton herself (yes, I STILL think that she would be a good president) and going over the various factors that worked against her (sexism of some, Russian collusion, Comey’s ill timed letter, and yes, Trump’s campaign skill, which, IMHO, was underrated).

I might post a link to that long twitter conversation because it started with hostility and ended with understanding; I found myself actually liking the people I was talking to. That is always a good thing.

And so that was true…Obama understood the showmanship side of campaigning AND had the knowledge and deportment to be a good president. Trump has only the showmanship to get elected.

But think about what a tough sell the Democrats have. Read the Facebook feed of liberals sometime. What do you see:

1. People advocating for the poor
2. People advocating for those with criminal records (as my IL-House representative is…and she too has a criminal record)
3. People advocating for someone with this disability or that challenge

On the other hand, Republican politicians usually preach “success” and “achievement”. They deride liberals as those who want to take from the successful and give to the losers and slackers.

Now riddle me this: which “club” would YOU rather belong to? And when someone speaks, who would you take more seriously: someone who is chronically on welfare or someone who has some professional success?

Now, yes, there are those with Nobel prizes in subjects (science, economics, medicine) who are liberal and one doesn’t get more successful than that. And many of my liberal friends hold advanced degrees and/or professional credentials. So we have some success on our side too. But the politicians never say “vote Democrat to become more like someone with an advanced degree”; it is almost “vote Democrat to help out some single mom or someone making minimum wage”. Advocating for those on the lower runs of society will always be a very tough sell, IMHO. And at the national level, we are going to need a Bill Clinton /Barack Obama caliber politician to pull it off.

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics/social, social/political | | 2 Comments

Not giving up on a workout too early

I decided to try to run outside. And my first .25 miles were TERRIBLE; it was almost as if I could barely breathe and my legs felt like lead. I even walked a few steps.
But I stayed with my shuffle and made it to the first downhill section (Bradley Park) and by then, I had started to sweat and all was good from there out.
For some reason, there are days when the first mile feels like death.

The weather was pretty and I did my “jog, then run up the hills “hard” (say, 1 mile race intensity), walk a few steps to recover, jog and repeat. So I did 6 “hard” repetitions total and I even timed my final hill: 2:10 (better than any of my repetitions a week ago). This was from the gate in lower Bradley park to the parking lot entrance in upper Bradley Park. The whole workout took 1:02 to do (5.1 miles) and I am glad I stuck with it.

By the way: in statistics class, I am teaching about ANOVA. I used my own 5K run data from 2012 to now; my slowdown is about 20-25 seconds for the 5K per year. That adds up and seems to fit back to the late 1990’s.

Grading on a curve
I joked with my wife about the following: if she posts that she, say, finished a 4 mile walk at, say, an 18-19 minute per mile pace (she is, well, “elderly”..though it is hard for me to think of her that way), get gets 100+ “likes” and tons of complements (“you go girl”, etc.). If I post that I finished a marathon, MY FB friends critique my time and give consolation if it is worse than expected, kudos if it is better than expected.

Why I mention this: I have a FB friend that I’ve grown quite fond of. But she has serious injury history; I jokingly referred to her as “Humpty-Dumpty”. She finished a mile walk and I was genuinely overjoyed; I like her and love it that she is working toward taking care of herself and pushing through some pain to do so. So my praise WAS genuine, even if it was less than what my wife can currently do.

And we had a talk about having a “1 mile body but a 6 mile mind”; pre-injury she could easily walk 14 miles (albeit many years ago).

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running | | Leave a comment

Introspection: good medicine, though not everyone agrees…

A book called Shattered has caused a mini-sensation in some Democratic circles:

Donald J. Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in November came as a shock to the world. Polls, news reports and everything the Clinton campaign was hearing in the final days pointed to her becoming the first female president in American history.

In their compelling new book, “Shattered,” the journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes write that Clinton’s loss suddenly made sense of all the reporting they had been doing for a year and a half — reporting that had turned up all sorts of “foreboding signs” that often seemed at odds, in real time, with indications that Clinton was the favorite to win. Although the Clinton campaign was widely covered, and many autopsies have been conducted in the last several months, the blow-by-blow details in “Shattered” — and the observations made here by campaign and Democratic Party insiders — are nothing less than devastating, sure to dismay not just her supporters but also everyone who cares about the outcome and momentous consequences of the election.

Now this has been tough to talk about in public. IF you dare bring this up and your list of “social media” friends includes followers of liberal/Democratic politics, you’ll get the following:

1. Some will tell you how unelectable HRC was from the get-go and how we should have rallied around BERNIE (no, I am not making this up)
2. Some will bring up the very real factors of Russian collusion (a fact) and the Comey letter (another fact) and mention sexism/misogyny and say that was IT, period.

Many are simply not open to the fact that, even given that a woman is going to have a tougher time of it than a man, and given the Comey letter and Russian collusion, the Clinton campaign WAS a disaster; they neglected areas were Obama campaigned hard. Evidently, HRC and company learned nothing from the 2008 primary. If one remembers: the 2008 primary was essentially tied after Super Tuesday. But the Obama campaign had set up field offices in the next 10 states; HRC did not and she got creamed and fell hopelessly behind in the delegate race. When she recovered, it became even from there on out (more or less) but she was in too deep of a hole to catch up.

So, Clinton campaign incompetence is all too easy to believe.

And one wonders: where was OUR Cambridge Analytics “get out the vote” operation?

I liken it to a football team that goes on the road, gets a few bad calls and loses a close game. Sure, the bad calls matter, but so do the unforced fumbles and missed field goals. It is several things, and the race should have never been close enough to lose to begin with.

And yes, the loser of the election (with perhaps the exception of Walter Mondale, who had zero chance against Reagan) gets raked over the coals. That comes with the territory.

Sure, Hillary Clinton has had an outstanding career; she not only won a major party nomination, but was a Senator and a Secretary of State. That is awesome. She is a success. But she is NOT a natural politician (as she admitted) and her final two campaigns still stunk.

And this leads to the concept of introspection: I’ve found that, at least on a personal level, I benefit from looking at my failures and asking myself: “what could I have done better”? “what will I do differently next time?”

No, this is NOT the same thing as “self loathing”; after all, beating myself up for not being as smart as Stephen Hawking or being a professional athlete is useless (not that I don’t do it anyway, from time to time). But what I am talking about is my critiquing myself when I fall short of MY potential.

And, frankly, I am surprised at how many do NOT see this as a valuable thing to do. So many times, I see people blaming everyone else but themselves (other people, society for not appreciating them, etc.). I’ve never seen that turn out well, but people do it all of the time.

Workout notes yesterday, weights and a 2 mile walk.
Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, easy), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 4 x 185 (no spotter), incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell): 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, 10 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110, abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches, head stand , goblet squats (sets of 5) warm up, 45, 45, 55, 55, 60, 65.

today: easy 5 mile run after dropping Barbara off.

Better get to grading: I want to watch baseball tonight!

April 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Walk and Baseball…

Today was consumed by a 3:37 walk and a 2:40 baseball game, Indian dinner (plus a good hamburger) and writing up a statistics exam.

The walk:

It was similar to last week’s walk, but slightly slower: 1:46 out (as opposed to 1:41:30 last time) and 1:48 (correcting for an extra loop; I was almost 1:52) back, as opposed to 1:41:30. But the 8 miles the day before did tire me out a bit. It was still an acceptable effort, if a slower one.

It was all but deserted; I saw two pairs of cyclists, one solo cyclist and perhaps 3-4 walkers total.

Then to the Bradley vs. Wichita baseball game; this time Wichita won 8-5 (so BU takes the series 2-1). Wichita had a 4 run 3’rd inning and Bradley could not quite close the gap. Each team hit 2 home runs.

It was a pretty day for a game though:

Barbara joked about “womanspreading”

One of Bradley’s better crowds among the games I was able to make (they had more the day before).

6’th inning action.

April 17, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Beggars can’t be choosers: perpetual takers are rarely respected

I should make it clear what I am talking about: yes, there are physically disabled people that are widely respected; perhaps Stephen Hawking is one of the best known examples of that. They require quite a bit of care from others, but have produced to much of value that they are widely admired. In the world of columnists, Charles Krauthammer (who I almost always disagree with) is similar.

And, of course, there are elderly people who have retired after long, fruitful careers. They have laurels to rest on and, in many cases, quite a bit of wisdom to offer the rest of us.

And the other thing I am talking about: I am NOT making some philosophical statement about “inherent value of a human being”; I am talking about how people are going to be received by others, on the whole.

It has been my observation that those who are always on the public dole or those who perpetually mooch off of friends and family members are not going to be respected. Their opinions are not going to be asked for and people will not seek out their companionship. When they offer their opinions, “I think…” will be met with versions of “no one cares what you think..”, perhaps couched in polite language.

It is a bit like this in action.

That is why I think that “bottom up” movements such as the drive to raise the minimum wage or more health care for the poor are doomed to fail unless others who do not need these programs can be convinced that it is in their best interests to get aboard such programs; perhaps that is why I am such a fan of Paul Krugman.

April 16, 2017 Posted by | economy, social/political | | Leave a comment

Zakaria is right: avoid “Trump derangement syndrome”

It is a sign of the times that I feel the need to state this: yes, I feel that Trump is grossly unqualified to be President of the United States on many levels: experience, deportment, attitude, maturity, humility, intellectual honesty, knowledge, etc. I completely agree with this assessment on Trump’s breathtaking ignorance.

And I am disgusted that so many (if not a plurality) voted for him. Yes, some of his voters are reasonably well off; many have done difficult to do things (run a successful business, be medical doctors, lawyers, military officers, etc.) But as far as this group: I feel that many of these people, while smart, spend most of their intellectual energy at their job and become intellectually lazy outside their job. I wonder if they would hire or promote someone who did not bother to learn the details of the job that they are doing it…and came in thinking that they could just “wing it”, as Trump appears to be doing.

But, I think that too many of Trump’s critics have gone too far. From Fareed Zakaria:

I didn’t really believe that there was such a thing as Trump Derangement Syndrome — hatred of President Trump so intense that it impairs people’s judgment. It’s not that I didn’t notice the harsh, unyielding language against him — I’ve said a few tough things myself — but that throughout the campaign, Trump seemed to do things that justified it. Once elected, instead of calming down and acting presidential, he continued the stream of petty attacks, exaggerations and lies. His administration seemed marked by chaos and incompetence.

And then came the strike against Syria. On that issue, Trump appears to have listened carefully to his senior national security professionals, reversed his earlier positions, chosen a calibrated response and acted swiftly. I supported the strike and pointed out — in print and on air — that Trump was finally being presidential because the action “seems to reflect a belated recognition from Trump that he cannot simply put America first — that the president of the United States must act on behalf of broader interests and ideals.” On the whole, though, I was critical of Trump’s larger Syria policy, describing it as “incoherent.” My Post column was titled, “One missile strike is not a strategy.”

From the response on the left, you would have thought I had just endorsed Trump for pope. Otherwise thoughtful columnists described my views as “nonsense” and a sign that the media has “bent over backward” to support Trump. (Really?) One journalist declared on television, “If that guy could have sex with this cruise missile attack, I think he would do it.” A gaggle of former Obama speechwriters discussed how my comments were perhaps “the stupidest” of any given on the subject.

And I agree with him here, sort of. When I first learned of the Trump missile attack, I thought “this sure feels familiar; I could see most any President in my lifetime (except perhaps Jimmy Carter) doing something that at least appeared to be similar, at least superficially. Yes, Trump’s lack of deportment took away the benefit of the doubt that I gave to other Presidents (including Republicans). And I still wonder exactly what we did…it appears that the airfield was still operational, etc.

And oh my, when the generals (perhaps without seeking Trump’s approval) used that 21,000 lb. blast bomb which, to me, was a mere “weapons choice”. Comparing it to a small nuclear device was absurd.

And I’ll say this, just in case. IF Trump decides to seek a universal health care option (say, Medicaid for all) or IF Trump decides to embark on a genuine, conventionally financed infrastructure repair plan (unlikely to be an honest plan, IMHO, but IF), I’d want my members of Congress to work on a deal.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d be very surprised if it happens. Very surprised. But IF…

And let’s talk about that election. Yes, there was collusion with Russia and Russian hacking of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, though no hacking of the actual voting machines. And the Comey letter hurt; Clinton would have probably pulled it out without it.

But that isn’t ALL. First, the Clinton campaign was a disaster; they neglected key states. She is not good “from the podium” (she admitted to not being the natural politician that her husband is). She has a Gore like “Velcro” persona; EVERYTHING sticks to her, whether fair or not. So, IMHO, she screwed up.

And, in the interest of accuracy, fairness and planning: give The Devil his Due. Trump is an excellent con man and his get out the vote operation, armed by sophisticated data mining, was excellent. They knew who to target and how to target them.

But sadly, giving Trump even this much credit is taboo in some circles.

I like to think of it this way: suppose there is a football game where a team wins on a series of very bad calls by the officials. BUT, along the way, the losing team missed easy field goals and fumbled the ball away multiple times AND the other team came in very, very prepared. ALL of those factors (bad officiating, bad play by the losing team, superb play by the winning team) can ALL be true at the same time.

And I believe that an honest assessment on what Trump did *right* in the campaign is a necessary part of winning the next campaign.

April 16, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Opening training for the Steamboat 15K: I’ve gotten soft.

I slept in a bit and didn’t start my run until 9 am. That was ok; the Steamboat 15K is almost always run in heat and humidity so I need to get used to it. It was 69 F at the start; 75 F at the end but the humidity went from 68 to 55; in other words, not that much.

I chose a “Steamboat simulation” course: behind the Riverplex ..NO goose loop, NO ball field wall. I did pass an interesting looking accident; there was a wrecked automobile across the railroad tracks near the ball field. That altered my route just a little bit. Then up Abdington to the path along Perry into lower Sprindale. I went the normal route, turned left at the bridge and hugged the right turn path up the hill to Prospect then went down the other direction. Once down, I went to the entrance, back on the regular path and past the bottom of Soldier hill, turning around and doubling back at the sidewalk; the map says that this was 3.95 miles or so. It was 48 minutes when I started the double back.

Once I got to the Rivertrail again I noticed a 5K race in progress. I sped up (return leg was 45 minutes, or 3 minutes faster, most of it on this stretch) and I went back and forth with one of the 5K runners (a younger male). I had spied a MILF rocking a pair of granny panty lines but she got away. Then I walked enough of a cool down to get to 8 miles total.

Then to the weight room. On one hand, my weight workout was low energy. But on the other hand, all that sweating made me lighter; my 5 sets of 10 pull ups went very, very well.

pull ups, rotator cuff
bench press (sucked) 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 5 x 170, incline press: 10 x 135
military presses (dumbbells) sucked: 5 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40
rows: machine: 10 x 90, 140, 140.
There is usually some “hot babe” doing squats and this time was no exception; very tight “Los Angeles Laker purple” spandex leggings.
Then came a diet Dr. Pepper; lady …more eyestrain.

Oh, the workout summary: very low energy in the weight room; the 5K race runners sped me up a bit. Perhaps I was doing low to mid 9’s on the way back?
But the “bottom” line…LOL…is that I’ve gotten very, very soft. My run started off badly; I even thought about modifying it but told myself “STFU you big baby..quit being such a whiner”.

Then came pre Easter dinner with the family. Good stuff.

Thursday: I participate in a walking group; we are now up to 2.25-3 miles

April 15, 2017 Posted by | family, Friends, running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

A bit of everything in this game: Bradley 6, Wichita State 5

I got to the game at the top of the second when it was 1-0 WSU; I had a meeting and dinner with my wife first. But rain delay pushed by the start of the game (and kept attendance down a bit)

And this game featured a bit of everything. Through 5 innings we had seen (between both teams): 5 errors, 8 runs and 13 hits. Through the top of the 9’th, we stayed at 5 errors, 11 runs, 21 hits, one manager being ejected (for arguing a “step out of the batter’s box strike call”), one apparent home run in which the hitter was called out as he passed the runner on base between first and second:

The Braves added an insurance run in the seventh when an apparent Ivelia two-run homer turned into a single and just one run scored when Ivelia passed Ian Kristan on the base paths and was called out.

And then came the 9’th: Bradley was up 6-4 and had two outs, when Wichita State hit two doubles in a row to pull to within 6-5, but a line drive was caught in center field to end the game. Whew…

One of the mothers of the player cheered …very …enthusiastically and yelled BOOM at just about anything Wichita State did (strike, routine ground ball fielded, etc.) Toward the end, some Bradley fans started to yell BOOM when BU did something..that made me giggle.

Workout notes: 4.2 Conrstalk classic walk in 56:44; 13:30 final mile. Not fast but not the usual slow stroll. I paid more attention this time.

April 15, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment