Meanwhile the spouse (personal)

Lynn: here are some of Barbara’s vacation photos (so far); I’ve selected a few from each set. She is El Salvador.












February 7, 2016 Posted by | photos | | Leave a comment

Very fun day….

Well, the weekend started on Friday when the Bradley women beat Evansville by 12. That was a great start.

So this morning I start out for a 15 mile run. It was 27 F at the start but it did warm up a bit; it took me 2:56 to do and I had to work through some rough patches at mile 12 or so.


Course: to Bass Pro, back to the trail and then to the “almost 3 mile mark; the little driveway before the angled road crossing and back.

Of interest:

1. While running over the Bob Michael Bridge (ON the sidewalk) I heard one honk. Then I saw a SUV honk a couple of times…and then someone evidently flipped me off (or flipping off another driver? It sure looked like it was aimed at me…) Hmmm.

2. On the trail toward East Peoria a “30-40 year old” woman passed me..not that fast. Perhaps she was doing 10 minute miles or thereabouts? She walked, I caught her, she caught me again and she stopped at Main Street in East Peoria. I kept going.

3. On the way back I had a rough patch or two where I wanted to mentally quit. I didn’t and it was ok.

Later, I shared Indian Buffet with a dear friend. We probably spent 1:30-1:45 there or so, just talking about many things. It was great food and great company.
We both had some professional work to do so both of us went to our respective offices.

I took some photos for “proof” (and to play along with a Facebook “back and forth” ). And Lynn, if you are reading this, yes, it is really that bad, most of the time. :-)





I did get one task done (need to do one more).

Then it was to watch the Bradley men play.

Warm ups.


They raced out to a 33-23 lead at the half and left to a standing ovation. Indiana State came back to cut it to a 3 point lead. Bradley got it back to 9, but ISU came back again and it was all even with 3:3x left in the game. But BU played with poise, got some stops and hit some big free throws. It was a 4 point lead with 3x seconds to go, then only a 1, but BU held on and ended up winning 63-58.

Now the women go for the weekend sweep tomorrow (before the Super Bowl) and I’ll be there, this time with a friend.

So, I saw none of the Republican debate. Others did, and evidently it didn’t go that well for Marco Rubio. I’ll watch clips in the morning.

February 7, 2016 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running | , , , , | Leave a comment

Making the swim fun…

Ok, I stayed up too late watching Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate. I loved the debate; real differences were discusses and there were differences in both vision, approach and policy. Here was a good Fact Check: both candidates did ok. There were no egregious lies.

But I felt tired and run down prior to getting to the gym.

weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (decent sets)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (risky), 9 x 170 (wanted 10, but the gym was empty and didn’t want to risk getting stuck, even with our bench having safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 140
military (dumbbells): 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 1 set of 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell, each arm)
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, head stand (got into it right away, but a little unsteady)

swim: 1000 easy, 5 x 100 drill/swim (fins), 5 x 100 (alt pull/swim), 2 x 100 IM

During the 1000, I noticed that Jason was gaining on me. Yeah, he is 15 years younger and runs a 3:12 marathon and 23:xx for 4 miles. So he has a better “aerobic engine” than I have. I was faster in the water last year, but as his form improved, the predictable happened.

Well, dammit…I wasn’t going to let him catch me today and when I touched the wall just a few seconds before he could catch me, I did a fist pump! :-)

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Friends, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Democratic Debate: tough, fair and with substance!

I just finished watching the Sanders vs. Clinton debate. Yes, both candidates stood their ground. Both pushed back against attacks.

This was a nice debate of ideas and approaches: you have the “get the torches and pitchforks” approach from Sanders. For example, he said that you can’t negotiate with Mitch McConnell; McConnell needs to look out the window and see people saying…xyz..”

And you had the “let’s be realistic about what can actually get done approach.

This was a classic “Krugman vs. Reich” type of debate. The moderators (Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow) did very well and kept themselves out of it.

I was proud of our party tonight. Yes, Sanders did well. Yes, Clinton did well.

This was far better than the cliche-fear fest than the Republicans ran.

It ran 2 hours long, and didn’t seem to drag.

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

A Facebook application I like

Yes, many of those “Facebook, who has the hots for you” things are pretty lame. But here is one I like: everyone in these “friends list” has done something with me at sometime in the past, though in a couple of cases, I last did something with this person (play against them in football) in 1974. Yes, that is 41.5 years ago! Another photo is from 1983 (33 years ago?)

Of course, this video is limited to those on Facebook and therefore excludes several people that I’ve done things with in 2015.

As far as my blog being fluffy again: I am writing some mathematics; I’ll post a link to that (I know that you can hardly wait). :-)

February 4, 2016 Posted by | Friends | , | Leave a comment

Republican dirty tricks in Iowa

First, I did my usual 8.1 mile Cornstalk course in 1:33:09 (about 11:30 mpm); it was sunny and 19 F; I was pretty much by myself.


On the way out of Bradley Park I saw the BU women’s XC team training; many waved and said hi. Then as I ran past the arena I saw them doing their cool down striders; they ran past me as if I were standing still. :-) Well, they’d better be able to.

Then I saw a text from Barbara; she is going for a walk on the beach and it is 86 F there (El Salvador); she asked me to “hot hate her”. I’m trying. :-)


Wow. Evidently the Cruz campaign put out word that the Carson campaign was quitting and asked for his supporters to caucus for Cruz. That could have tipped the balance.

The Republicans play dirty; this is yet another reason I want Hillary Clinton to represent us in the general.

February 4, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running | | Leave a comment

The long road to fitness: starting from scratch


The above photo was taken in June, 2006. Barbara wanted to put that on a refrigerator and to track her fitness from there on. I just wanted an excuse to take that photo….
Nevertheless, she has made progress over the past couple of years or so and is now smaller; she hopes to join “Building Steam” and work toward finishing the Steamboat 4 mile run/walk. She won’t be working with me as she’ll be doing the “pure walk” and I’ll be working with the “run to walk” group again.

The idea of this post was motivated by both the upcoming Building Steam program and by what I’ve read on someone’s wall: a fitness newbie was worried about “being the fattest one in the gym” and about comparing herself to the fit people that she saw.

So, I’ll offer some words of encouragement, but hopefully, they won’t be a bunch of politically correct bulls**t that people sometimes hear.

No, I won’t say that fat, out of shape people aren’t judged when they go to a gym; of course they are. Now there are different kinds of judgment; for example I sometimes find myself thinking “OMG, this guy can probably bench press 300 plus pounds” or “she is probably running 6 minutes per mile” or something like that. And some might have negative feelings toward an out of shape person. But that is THEIR problem.

And as far as comparing yourself to others: I think it is just human to do that; don’t feel bad about doing that from time to time. Just don’t let it consume you. Remember you are probably seeing someone who has done it regularly for some time.

Now yes, I’ve been at the gym at 320 plus pounds. But I had a sports background and knew how to do the exercises; in fact, I worked out when I was morbidly obese and I even walked..I was just slow, slow, slow (36 minutes for a “fast” 2 miles…no kidding). So this isn’t so much about me.

So my unsolicited advice:

1. Try to find the type of fitness activity that you enjoy the most. The more you like the activity, the more likely you are to stick with it.

2. If you can afford it, working with a personal trainer the first couple of times might help. Or persuade your “workout fanatic” friend to go to the gym with you and show you how to do some of the exercises.

3. Some of us are genetically programmed to not be attracted to exercise. In that case, it is a big help to make the exercise a social activity either by joining a class, workout/hiking/walking/running group, or at least going often enough that you feel like part of the “community” of those who work out at roughly the same time. The latter takes some time….but eventually people will start talking to you.

4. If you are feeling less than stellar when you start a workout and are tempted to skip, go ahead and do the first 10-20 minutes anyway. Force yourself. You might find that your fatigue is more mental and emotional than physical; you’ll often be surprised at how much better you will feel once you get warmed up. For me: I know that I am ready to go when I start sweating. And if you STILL feel bad after that initial period, then maybe you do need physical rest. But it is worthwhile to find out.

5. Turn off your phone or leave it in your locker or at home. Ok, many people successfully work out with their phones, but personally I love to disconnect from the world. Everyone is different. :-)

6. Take baby steps. You took some time getting out of shape, and getting into shape isn’t going to happen in a couple of weeks. Don’t exhaust yourself in your initial workouts. A good guide for the inexperienced: go hard enough to breathe a bit hard and to get sweaty, but have enough left so where you could run a few errands on the way home.

February 4, 2016 Posted by | big butts, spandex | , , | Leave a comment

Morning quickie and a goodbye

Got up early to take my wife to the bus; she is off to Central America and not due to return until the 28’th of February.
So that gave me a “late start” at the gym. No matter; I had 20 minutes of weights:

pull ups: 15-10-10-10-5
rotator cuff (dumbbell)
military presses: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 200 (100 each arm) machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell)
abs (leg lifts, twist crunches, 2 sets each)

swim: 500 easy, 5 x 100 drill/swim with fins.
1000 alternating 100 pull, 100 free (chased Jason for a bit)
2 x 100 IM

Basketball: Bradley Basketball had a bizarre game against Missouri State. They failed to make a basket for the first 11:30 of the game and trailed 22-4 (4 free shots)
Then then rallied to pull to 37-35 in the second half only to trail 60-48, and then rallied again to cut it to 73-71 with 42 seconds to go. They lost 76-71, but at least turned it into an entertaining game.

Yeah, I know, I am sounding like a Bernie Sanders supporter (crowing about a closer than expected loss). And yes, Missouri State probably got complacent with a big lead. But BU at least looked like a MVC team for the final 25 minutes of the game.

February 3, 2016 Posted by | basketball, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Which of the following is true? (running: personal and trivial)

Today I ran the first 4 miles in 37:52 and did the final 2 in 17:19.(*) What happened?

1. I had planned to run the last 2 miles harder.

2. At mile 4 I was tempted to continue in this comfortable, cocoon type pace. But I thought: “you aren’t going to get in good enough shape to be checked out by the hot grannies at the races if you don’t go harder than this.”

3. Some college student thought that she could pass the old professor and I wanted to teach her a lesson (and yes, she couldn’t keep up).

(*) yes, I know that this is way slow by good runner standards. But I’m not a good runner. :-)

February 2, 2016 Posted by | running | , , | Leave a comment

Iowa Results…

Workout notes: not that bad. I took it to the track because I wanted a bit more turnover.
Lane 2: 9:48, 9:23, 9:25, 9:13 (37:52) 8:50, 8:29 (55:12), 2:29 (57:41 for 10K), then 27:41 walk (2 miles) on the treadmill, starting at 3.7 mph and upping it every 2 minutes.

Last 2 miles: 17:19, which isn’t that bad given a reasonable first 4 and that I wasn’t killing myself. I really am starting to feel a bit like my younger self..just a bit. I think it is because I am in a better place emotionally than I was at the end of last year. And part of it is that I’ve recovered from my “marathon/trail 30 mile” double (3 weeks apart).

Yes, I know; this 57 minutes isn’t the 45-46 minutes that I was doing 15 years ago. But it is better than I was a few months ago and that will have to do.

Iowa The traditional right winger Cruz beat the “populist right winger” Trump 28-24; high turnout and the fact that the “late deciders” didn’t like Trump helped Cruz. Now will Trump stick around or take his ball and go home?

Among the Democrats: Sanders people are spinning. Clinton people are spinning.

Here is how I see it: IF the goal of the Sanders campaign is to be heard and taken seriously and possibly to influence the platform, then they did very well. They came from nowhere, worked their butts off and got good results.
But if their goal is to WIN the nomination, then it wasn’t good for them. They had demographics (a mostly white state), a liberal Democratic electorate, and it was a caucus where enthusiasm meant a great deal. And with all that, they couldn’t win.

As a Clinton supporter: I am relieved but not in a celebratory mood.

How this affected the betting lines: she slipped a bit in the overall going from 5/6 to 10/11, but still remains “better than even money”. And Trump has slipped and Rubio moved up ahead of him!


I admit that, as a Democrat, Rubio worries me more than the other candidates.

February 2, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, walking | , , , , | Leave a comment


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