Ok, perhaps it isn’t THAT hot..for my 8.3 mile walk (W. Peoria plus Bradley hills) it was 76 F, 87 percent at the start; 80 F, 76 percent at the end, and for the walk home from Dozer, 89 F, 63 percent.

The walk (in the morning); somewhat tired legs, but still 2:03 for 8.3 miles (14:50 pace) and untimed from the park.

Sunday action at Dozer. Hot.

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A fan got in a quick stretch:

Stretching between innings. Peoria leads 2-1..still.

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And the Chiefs won a fine pitcher’s duel 2-1; the first runner got on base when the batter alertly swung on a wild pitch for strike 3 and got to first; a single got him to 3’rd and a sacrifice fly brought him in.

The heat caused the fans to drop like flies; this was the 7’th inning stretch and even Barbara had gone home.

Baseball commentary I’ve read that actual attendance at games is down. My guess: our part of the country had a frigid “spring” that was really an extended winter followed by a hot, humid summer. This season has not been a pleasant one to be outside (for the most part). Will this be the norm for future years?

Now the walk home: featured Peoria’s perpetually “under construction” streets.

Welcome to my world. This is the norm.

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July 15, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking | | Leave a comment

Wills and ways …

Today: I was planning on 18 miles but thunderstorms struck. So I walked 5 miles on the treadmill in 1:04:30 (quick, for me), then changed shirts, got a drink and did 13 outside after the thunderstorms had passed. 73 F with 93 percent at the start, 78/81 at the finish. My course: the 10.6 mile course with a detour around the goose loop and an extra 2.1 mile spur along Perry to Springdale (turn around at the road at the foot of the hill leading up the mausoleum. That 13 took me 3:32 by “time of day” (running clock for road crossings, bathroom stops, etc.) and it was slippery in spots. So I walked faster than that.

The good news is that I felt fine the whole way. Bad news: still slower than I’d like.

Yesterday: weights only: usual PT, pull ups (sluggish, got 5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 6 x 175, incline: 10 x 140, military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 90 (machine) rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Abs: 2:30 plank..wanted to be done quickly.

Baseball: got to see the Chiefs win 5-1. Chiefs starting pitcher was just called up from “short season) and threw 7 2/3 innings; in that inning he allowed 2 hits. No walks, no hit batters, 1 run. Chiefs got 2 big home runs, 1 run off of an infield hit, steal, slight wild pitch and wild pitch, plus 2 insurance runs in the bottom of the 8’th.

New pitcher for the Chiefs vs. Lake Captains. Promoted from Johnson City.

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July 14, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

One out too many…

When should a coach put in the relief pitcher? That isn’t always an easy call.

In the top of the 6’th it was 1-1, with Peoria and Lake County getting one home run apiece. It had been a quick game with lots of “one pitch” outs (fly balls to the outfield, mostly). There were two outs ..followed by …
3 singles and a home run (3 run shot). That made it 5-1 which was to be the final score of the 2:30 game. I’d never seen so many quick innings.

The Captains’ starting pitcher threw 7 innings and scattered 3 hits (one home run). The Chiefs hit the ball better than the box score might indicated..but there were a ton of “warning track” flies and line drives hit right to someone.
The Chiefs’ starting pitcher threw 5 2/3 excellent innings…but then .one out too many.

Underway in Dozer. Lake County at Peoria.

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Pretty night for baseball though. I can recommend the week night games; great seats and nut much crowding.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | baseball | | Leave a comment

Turning the corner?

Well, I do have some writing and search committee stuff to do…

But today I weighed in at 195.6 before lifting. Right direction! But that may have been skewed a bit by the weekend.

Workout notes; usual weight workout; pt, pull ups: 15, 15, 5-5, 10, bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, decline 7 x 170, military 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs, plank: 2:30 not that bad, headstand was easy, then 2 mile warm weather walk.

Last night: actually saw the Cornbelters win 5-3. The first inning wasn’t promising as the Boomers hit 2 home runs (one off of the outfielder’s glove) in the first inning to lead 3-0. But in the 3’rd the Cornbelters hit a 3 run shot of their own plus another.

I'll save you a seat.

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And yes, the Corn Crib has corn growing in the outfield berm.

Got to love it.

July 9, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

And I forgot sunscreen!

I hesitated at getting a ticket to the Chiefs 4’th of July game, due to crowding, lots of “not that interested in baseball but interested in fireworks” people who would be attending. But I did and was glad of it.
I sat in a side section (still a good seat..but uncovered) and I got a bit sunburned, even though it was a 5:30 pm start time.

The Chiefs won 13-4 behind a massive hitting display which featured a home run, multiple extra base hits and even good defense. The starting pitcher did walk 3 of the first 4 batters but went on to pitch 4 1/3 innings and gave up only 1 run; he didn’t go 5 so he didn’t get the “win”.

The Chiefs got 6 runs in the third and 4 in the 7’th.

The teams worse special jerseys for the game: the Bees (from Burlington) wore a flag themed top; the Chiefs wore a POW/MIW shirt.

Special POW-MIA jerseys today. A bit warm but not that bad.

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I wore my 5K race t-shirt…but that lead to questions as to “how I did”.

One pitfall of wearing your race t: people ask you how you did. πŸ˜‚

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The sight lines aren’t the best (not enough height between rows) but this was my view:

Play ball! Bees in flag uniforms.

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Note the contrast between the “shaded” and “unshaded” seating areas.

Shade vs. no shade in 90F

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I made a small friend.

I have a new friend.

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The storm in the distance made for a nice photo (click to see both filters..the second one shows the coulds)

Sunset over Dozer. Two different filters.

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July 5, 2018 Posted by | baseball | | Leave a comment

Hot walk, not so hot game…

As you can see, conditions were stuffy. But I carried water and aside from a cyclist or two who surprised me along the way, it was ok. 2:02 out, 1:58 back; course was the Heights Tower to the Rock Island trail and I turned around at the second crossing after the mile 1 marker (gravel road crossing…not the nice paved road crossing).

On the way back I saw a woman put her bike in the bushes and then walk; evidently she strained to stay ahead of me. I passed her eventually but then she hung behind me at least past Pioneer Parkway. I admit that I was starting to get rubbery legged on the Knoxville pedestrian bridge.

Later: after a rain delay, the Cornbelters had a home game vs. the Florence Freedom. To say that the starting pitcher had a horrible day is an understatement. He hit 3 batters, walked a couple of more, gave up 4 hits and it was 6-0 before he even got an out in the 2’nd. The reliever wasn’t that much better; it was 10-0 midway through the 2’nd. The teams settled down until the Cornbelters got 2 in the 8’th (including home run in the left field berm) so the Freedom got a 3 run shot in the 9’th.

Final: 13-2. The team rewarded the fans with “dollar beer” (rain delay plus the home team getting pounded). Note: the Cornbelters won yesterday’s game against the same team.

As a bonus, the fans got to watch Jose Canseco strike out. But he did sign autographs and have his jersey auctioned off.

July 2, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Confessions of a formerly secretly snooty (sort of) runner…

It is no secret that I am embarrassed at how slow I’ve become in both walking and running.

But it isn’t because of a lack of effort.

The effort in the workouts is there. Speed? Not so much. πŸ˜…

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That is me after today’s morning workout. The workout: 10 minutes at 5.1-5.2, the 10 minutes at 6.1-6.2, then 10 minutes at 6.7-6.8-6.9 (5-2.5-2.5), 6.9 to 3.11 miles (5k) then 4 minutes of walking, then jogging enough to get to 5 miles in 53:02. Splits: 2 in 21:02, 3 in 29:53, 4 in 42:26, 5 in 53:03.

Now I was never good at running; I was at my “best” in my late 30’s (19:53 5k, 5:41 1600 (5:43 mile) 1:34 half marathon (40 years old), 3:38 marathon at 40>
For those who don’t know: a “locally good” runner that age would run 16-17 minutes for 5K, and there are a few who, at that age, compete for and sometimes win Olympic medals (Carlos Lopes ran a 2:07 marathon at 37, and:

Bernard Lagat turned 40 last December, and wasted no time in setting three world indoor masters records: 3:54.91 for the mile, 7:37.71 for 3,000 meters and 8:17.05 for 2 miles. In May, in a rare foray onto the roads, Lagat blitzed a 27:48 10K, which was not only a new masters world record but tied Marc Nenow’s 33-year-old American open record. Outdoors this year, Lagat has set world 40-plus records of 3:41.87 for 1,500 meters and 13:14.97 for 5,000 meters.

So, as you can see, I really sucked…but was a young man suck. My times were really “respectable workout bro” times.

But I was a male in his late 30’s and so I frequently finished in the upper 20-25 percent of the field, sometimes better (210/1037 at 1998 Quad Cities Marathon, 35/167 Lake Geneva Marathon were a couple of my better ones)

But that was mostly about being a male of that age..and that it all it was.

I remember seeing people of my current pace finishing races and I cheered..but also wondered “I guess they aren’t really trying that hard, either during the race or during training”.
I was to find out how wrong I was!!!! Oh well…

But hey, I am still able to walk comfortably and so I did: 4 miles to and from a ball game (2 miles each way)..though my team got creamed 11-2..just shelled.

A new pitcher pitched his first game since coming up from a “short season” league and a rookie league the season before..and he promptly gave up 4 hits and a walk in the first inning, including a 3 run home run. It was never close, though the Chiefs did get one home run of their own (I lost track of the ball, but the fan next to me saw it clear the fence)

Still, “splash day” is usually fun:

Squirt Day at Dozer. Would it be gouache to ask her to squirt me? πŸ˜‚

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June 26, 2018 Posted by | baseball, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Weather Part II (and a sweep)

I slept in too long and decided to do a 3 hour (1:30 out, 1:30 back) turned into a 1:31 out and back to give myself a landmark I could find on the map.

This did not include the goose loop; and it went in front of the Riverplex, not behind. I turned around just before the hill to the mausoleum in Springdale. Then I did a .4 walk to make sure I got 12; that was 3:02 for 12.3, 3:10 for 12.7.

As you can see, it was a bit sticky but nothing like the ghastly steam bath last weekend. My mistake is that I did not drink and made up for it during the afternoon.

But 12.3 at 14:50 mpm on a hilly training walk; (equally paced segments): at this stage, I’ll take it. As much as possible, I’d like to alternate these with traditional longish walks; build these to 4 hours and the long walks to 5 hours.

Baseball I saw the Chiefs take care of business, winning 4-2 over the Bees. I had front row tickets but bought extra back row tickets to get shade.

Bees at Chiefs

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The Chiefs appear to be a very confident team right now. BUT…the Cardinals are good about promoting their players; my guess is that many of these guys will get called up.

June 24, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

What a difference temperature makes

This morning I shuffled 9 miles in 1:54 (ghastly slow; 56 out, 58 back …I had a couple of runners to speed me up on the way out). Easy, relatively cool temperatures…what I wish I had last Saturday. My legs…ugh…kind of without power. But the good news is that I was 196 on the Riverplex scale PRIOR to running; that is a good number, relative to last year. If I can take another 10..even another 7 off I should be shaping up.

But that is how it goes; after running I saw an old running friend (triathlon really…) and we chatted a bit. None of us were what we once were. I never thought that I’d be “running” 12:40 miles though. Yeah, it was a little humid and I wasn’t fresh, but still…I never thought I’d see the day where a 10 minute mile was “fast”.

But hey, when I was racing 5K’s at a 6:30 pace, I often did runs like these in the high 8’s to low 9’s, and today’s pace was VERY comparable to a 9 minute 5K race pace..which I haven’t actually DONE in a while…hmmm…

Course: Front of Riverplex to Bishop hill via the goose loop in each direction. The “out” part is somewhat up hill…so it is a bit surprising to me that my return was a bit slower, but then again, I had no runners in my sight as I had on the way out.

Saw the Chiefs sweep a double header vs. the Bees last night: 6-1 in the first, 4-3 in the second.

Ok, @babsatlarge saved the day.

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The first game: the Chiefs got all the runs they needed in the first inning, both on plays involving 3’rd base. In one play: an attempt by the catcher to pick off the runner on 3’rd went over the 3’rd basemen’s head allowing the runner to score. Then with two outs, a ground ball got past the 3’rd basemen to score the second run.

The Chiefs were efficient in not stranding runners and the pitcher had a good night, pitching 4 strong innings before being relieved in the 5’th.

Second game: this saw the Chiefs get 2 in the 2’nd, Bees 2 in the 3’d and Chiefs 2 in the 3’d…in all cases, the 2 runs came with 2 outs!

In the 2’nd, there were two outs with no one on and the Chiefs hit back to back home runs to left field. In the 3’rd, there was an out and a good bunt base hit, but the runner was thrown out trying to steal second. So with 2 outs and no one on, the Bees got a single, and that runner scored off of a triple. A wild pitch allowed the second runner to score.

But in the bottom..the Chiefs got 2 runs ..again with 2 outs! That ended the scoring thanks to good relief pitching on both sides..though the Bees got a run with …2 the 7’th.

June 24, 2018 Posted by | baseball, running | , | Leave a comment

Cornbelter Baseball and other topics

I think that I need a better summer plan. I waste too much time. I did go back and realize that my proof was not wasted after all; my other idea did not “survive the convergence test” (something that holds for a finite number of iterations need not hold for an infinite number of iterations)

After doing some committee work, I finally got to see a Cornbelter game (Normal).

I saw the end of a 7-4 win vs. the Southern Illinois Miners but then saw a 5-4 loss in the second game, which was delayed by a potential passing storm. There was hardly anyone there as this second game was unplanned.

The Corncrib is a decent, but very basic stadium (with a completely artificial playing surface); it isn’t as fancy as Dozer but still a good place to watch a game. The teams play in the Frontier League, which is independent professional baseball though this league is geared toward young players. With an exception made for an occasional “old star”, the teams are required to consist of “half rookies” which can mean R-1 (someone who had never played professional before, or only played under so many innings) or R-2 (one year of experience). Many of the R-1 players played college ball in 2018 (the league starts play in May, so those college players whose teams didn’t make the NCAA can join right away). The R-2’s consisted of team holdovers from the year before, or those who played on major league farm teams (rookie through A).

Half of the team can consist of “experienced” players, which can include people who have been with the team 2 years or more as well as former “minor league” players (rookie through AA players). No player, which exception of perhaps a publicity player, can be over 27.

In short, the players are pretty good: undrafted but still good college players, rookie through AA players who got released but still want to show their stuff to scouts, etc. I do think that they haven’t practiced together as much as, say, the Chiefs have and will occasionally make sloppy plays (throwing errors).

But there were some spectacular plays too; the Cornbelter shortstop made a spectacular stop on a hard ground ball and threw out the runner from his knees. There is some talent in this league.

What was also fun is that I saw some players I had seen before: the starting pitcher pitched for Illinois State and some of the Miners played for Eastern Illinois. And some of the other players played against the Chiefs when they were in A ball.

I saw home runs (one towering shot by a Miner who played for the University of Tampa in 2018) and a robbery of a home run.

The game: in the 4’th, a single then an error on the bunt put 2 on, and both are driven in with a monster homerun to left field (which cleared a sign on the berm)
But in the 5’th, Normal scores on a couple of hits and throwing errors and adds 2 more in the 6’th to take a 4-3 lead going into the 7’th and possibly final inning.

But…the substitute pitcher throws 4 balls in a row..then an error on a bunt (horrible throw) allows the runner to score and the person bunting to make it to 3’rd. But then there is a ground out, intentional walk, then double play to end the top half of the inning.

Bottom half: Cornbelters get 2 on with no outs. But then a strike out gives one out, then a sharp line drive…appears to be the game winning hit..gets caught by the short stop who makes an unassisted double play.

In the 8’th, a home run gives the Miners the lead, and then the win.

In all, there was quite a bit of drama; I really did not know who would win until the very end.

Note: the box score lists attendance at 2318. I counted 32 fans in the stands at the start of the second game..there were perhaps a dozen in boxes I could not see. My guess: they invited day camp kids to the first game and perhaps many of them were there, at first.

Amusing note: when I walked back to my car, I found a ball under my car tire (see the last photo). I walked back to see if they wanted the ball back, but they told me to keep it.

Got here in time for game 1. Another game coming up. Sparce crowd.

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Workout notes: weights and a steady 4 mile walk in Bradley Park. usual PT, pull ups (good?) 5-5-5, 15, 10, 10, presses: decline 10 x 135, 6 x 175, incline: 3 x 155, 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer, usual abs, (planks suck).

June 21, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment