Not so profound

Workout notes: I had bigger plans but my legs weren’t ready. So I did a 10K shuffle in 1:09:42 (the 5.1 mile course plus an out and back down the upper Bradley Park Hill).

Yes, the Marathon Route signs are up; Race day is the 16’th of October (Sunday)


Last week’s failure has me hungry for “a finish”; time goal just isn’t that important to me now. There was a time when I took a marathon finish for granted; that time was over a long time ago (2009?)

Personal: I thought that I had something profound to say about the moment generating function and the negative binomial distribution. I don’t. In any event, I can’t talk about it in class until I talk about joint density functions.

I was also pleased with myself when I worked about the old “every vector space has a basis” argument in my head (and mostly got it right) until I realized: “yes, you are SUPPOSED to know this stuff”. Oh well. (hint: Zorn’s Lemma)

Time to type a boring request.

September 29, 2016 Posted by | mathematics, running | Leave a comment

One key factor in the Presidential Election

Workout notes: 6+ mile walk in West Peoria. Lovely walking weather; nice and cool.



Presidential elections with no incumbent (my lifetime)

1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon: Kennedy won by less than 1 point; the parties switched.
1968: Humphrey vs. Nixon (and Wallace): Nixon won by less than 1 point; the parties switched.
1988: Bush vs. Dukakis: Bush won by just under 8 points; the party retained power
2000: Bush vs. Gore: Gore won the popular vote by less than 1 percent but Bush won the EC and the parties switched
2008: McCain vs. Obama: Obama won by about 7.5 points and the parties switched.

I can remember the 2000 election where the Gore campaign kept Clinton at arm’s length, and the 2008 where Bush all but disappeared; the R’s did not want him around.

From the Gallup Presidential Approval Center:


This really helps Hillary Clinton. I think that this will be one “ace in the hole”.

September 28, 2016 Posted by | 2008 Election, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking | | Leave a comment

One good thing about a marathon failure…

Two days later and I felt good enough to have a good workout. So I do have a few training days before starting taper no. 2.

Workout notes:

Weights: I got 200 lbs. in the bench press (bodyweight: 189 after the treadmill run). Yeah, my lifetime PB is 310 (at 230 lbs bodyweight).

rotator cuff
pull ups: 15-15-10-10 (strong)
free squats (good)
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195, 1 x 200, 7 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135
military press (dumbbells) 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell

treadmill run (felt good) 3.13 miles in 30 minutes; 5.2, 5.3 (5 minutes each), 10 minutes at 6.7, 5 at 6.8, 6.9, .25 at 7.0, .13 at 7.1 (11:06, 20:03, 28:48),
5K walk outside (easy)

That was a nice workout.

September 27, 2016 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Who thought that Trump won the first debate?





But they don’t make up that much of the United States anymore…thank goodness.

September 27, 2016 Posted by | political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social | , | 1 Comment

I could go on and on about the debate…

But I won’t. Basically, Hillary Clinton showed up prepared and kept her cool. Trump mostly hyperventilated, shouted and was incoherent. Those with money to bet must have agreed; Hillary Clinton’s odds improved and Trump’s fell.

Sure, our country was polarized coming in and still is, and what Sam Wang said before the debate still holds. Trump didn’t lose his hard core support. What I can see happening is that those with stocks who are in Gary Johnson’s camp probably won’t be inspired to move to Trump. Can you imagine your retirement portfolio going away with Trump running things?

Sure, Trump had similar performances in the GOP debates and his numbers, AMONG REPUBLICANS went up. But Paul Krugman noted this a long time ago:

Think about Trump’s obvious weaknesses, why Republicans couldn’t exploit them, but why Democrats can.

First, he’s running a campaign fundamentally based on racism. But Republicans couldn’t call him on that, because more or less veiled appeals to racial resentment have been key to their party’s success for decades. Clinton, on the other hand, won the nomination thanks to overwhelming nonwhite support, and will have no trouble hitting hard on this issue.

Second, Trump is proposing wildly irresponsible policies that benefit the rich. But so were all the other Republicans, so they couldn’t attack him for that. Clinton can.

Third, Trump’s personal record as a businessman is both antisocial and just plain dubious. Republicans, with their cult of the entrepreneur, couldn’t say anything about that. Again, Clinton can.

The G.O.P. paralysis on these issues explains why, again and again, Republicans turned to a proven line of attack — that is, proven not to work: insisting that Trump isn’t a true conservative, which matters to voters not at all. Obviously Democrats will be able to go after different and, I imagine, a lot more salient issues.

And there’s one last thing, which I suspect may make the biggest difference of all: Clinton’s campaign can go after Trump’s fundamental buffoonery.

I mean, he is a ludicrous figure, and everything we learn just makes him more ludicrous. So why couldn’t Republicans make that stick? I’d argue that it was because there was something fairly ludicrous about all his opponents, too.

Think about Marco Rubio: even before his famous brain glitch, it was just obvious that he was a prefab candidate, a nice-looking guy with no real convictions or experience reciting lines he was told to deliver. The infamous “We must dispel with …” wasn’t just vile and stupid (even the first time, let alone repeated); it was also, transparently, not something Rubio believed or even cared about except that his handlers told him to say it.

Or think about Ted Cruz, whose mean-spiritedness and self-centered nature evidently stand out even in today’s conservative movement, making him a hated figure even among those who should like his message.

Clinton, on the other hand, is not ludicrous. She can think on her feet; she’s tough as nails. Do you really think the person who stared down the Benghazi committee for 11 hours is going to wither under schoolboy taunts?

The news media will, I fear, try their best to pretend that the contrast isn’t what it is. We’ll hear endless explanations of why Trump’s vanity, ignorance, and lack of moral fiber somehow prove his “authenticity”, which Clinton somehow lacks. And maybe that will stick with voters. But I don’t think it will. In the end, it will be a race between a tough, smart lady and someone who is obviously a yuge, um, Antonin Scalia School of Law. And voters will notice.

September 27, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

How I know that Trump failed in the debate…

Look at the betting lines. Here are the “morning of the debate” numbers:


Now look at the numbers the morning AFTER the debate:


The colors show that Hillary’s odds are getting stronger; Trump’s weaker. (note: a small fraction means “heavier favorite”; 4/9 means you have to risk 9 dollars to win 4. Example: if you think Clinton will win, you bet 9. IF she wins, you get your 9 back plus 4 more. If you bet on Trump, you risk 4 to win that back, plus 7 more.

September 27, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , | 1 Comment

Marathons: my margin of error is gone

Workout notes: 30 minutes on the elliptical. I still have a residual headache….slight.

Hot weather marathons: I’ve had some trouble in similar conditions before. In 1998 (runner), I hit mile 20 in 2:50 and took 1:05 to finish the final 6.2. In 2000, at Lake Okoboji, I hit mile 20 in 2:50 and took 1:35 to finish the final 6.2; in fact the final 3 miles took just over an hour.

In 2007, I DNF’ed Quad Cities at mile 23. In 2008, I took 6:16 to walk the Andy Payne Marathon (spent 1 hour at an aid station). In 2012, I walked a walker’s marathon in just under 7 hours, resting 1 hour at the mile 23 aid station.

And now I have another DNF (mile 20).

The difference: the walker’s marathon had a looooong time limit. The other cases: I was faster; I wasn’t out in the heat as long and I had more time to finish once I blew up.

And so it goes. I am no longer fast enough to finish a typical road marathon except under favorable circumstances (cool day). So I need to choose my races carefully (long time limits, 12 hour events, predictably cool weather events that offer a half marathon option, etc.)

September 26, 2016 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

So, will the debate have much effect on the race?

My guess: no. Sam Wang explains why. Here is part of it:

Trump could take the lead, but it would go against what we know so far. I would characterize the race as being very close, but not as uncertain as you might think. Why? The unappreciated story of 2016 is the amazing stability of public opinion. As measured by national polls, 2016 marks the most stable Presidential race in >60 years of modern polling. At the level of state-poll-based analysis, the stability is even greater. This basic fact should inform all analysis.

Is this a stable race? Here is a chart of Upshot’s “likelihood of winning” metric:


And their links to other models:


How the bookies currently see it (Hillary Clinton slightly lower than a 2-1 favorite)


And the poll aggregator maps:


Election Projection


Electoral Vote

September 26, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | | Leave a comment

Some things haven’t changed

No biggie, I know, but I swallowed my 3’rd all time marathon DNF today, bailing at mile 20.


That’s why. I’ve always done poorly in heat. But now that I am slower, I am out in it longer and the effects compound. In the past, well, during the first Quad Cities marathon, it was brutally hot but I was at mile 20 in 2:50. The last 6.2 miles meant only 1:05 more running. This time it took me 2:10 longer to get there, and I had about 2 more hours to go, given how much I’ve slowed.

My margin of error is gone. I can only finish a marathon in cool weather.

I started ok; I mixed running and walking …but even at mile 1 I thought “oh-oh”; I was already sweating heavily and could just feel the heat…it was almost tolerable when the sun got behind a cloud but got downright miserable when it came out again.

Still…21:45 for 2, 45:05 for 4, 1:09:23 for 6, 1:34:03 for 8 then 2:02:56 for 10. At that point I mostly walked ..2:34:21 for 12…then death march. 3:05:46 for 14, 3:43:12 for 16 and 5:00:37 for 20.
Still, I was able to pick up the walking pace a bit..then the stomach went south. I stopped, unpinned my number, thought about it, pinned it back on, went out and almost got sick. Another 6 miles in that heat wasn’t going to happen…not any faster than 2 more hours anyway.

So I bailed and walked with my tail between my legs back to my car.

Upside: hey, my Bears vs. Lions tickets came! So at home I went to print…and found that my “lovely wife” had used all the printer ink and had not replaced it. Sigh. Sure, there is still a week to go but damn…I wanted an upside and didn’t get it.

Is “she didn’t replace the cartridge” grounds for divorce?

Oh well…I hope that the weather is cooler three weeks from now. If it isn’t, I am bailing and doing the half marathon.

September 25, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Bring it…

2 miles around the Bradley University campus/Moss neighborhood. Pace: 11:17 more or less…super easy.

Aside from packing and driving….nothing more to be done. Yeah, it will be humid but hey..can’t do anything about that but to adjust to the conditions and to accept what my body can do.

September 24, 2016 Posted by | running | Leave a comment