Whew. I went on the treadmill to try to get some running at a non-survival pace. 20 minutes of 5.2-5.5 (every 5 minutes), 10 at 6.7, 10 at 6.8, (39:45) then walked to get to 54:55 (5 miles). I was drenched with sweat.
Yes, I shuffled a slow 5 yesterday. Trying to snap out of the “driving a lot” mode is tough; I can feel for the trucker who wants to stay in shape.
I did watch a baseball game last night; the Chiefs lost to Cedar Rapids 4-1.
The Chiefs lost talent to promotion but the new players have some time to jell with the rest of the team in time for the playoffs.
I also caught some boxing on replay; I watched the super heavyweight quarter finals; though the fighter from Nigeria lost, I think that he has talent that a trainer could bring out. And I saw a replay of the gold medal match in the heavyweight category; I think that the decision was highway robbery.
I watched Bradley University play Illinois College (D-3) and Robert Morris (Springfield, NAIA) in baseball. Needless to say, Bradley won both games easily. But the thing was, the games were still relatively fun to watch; I wondered why.
Here what I think is going on: in baseball, the real “player to player” duel is between the pitcher and batter; once the ball is hit, it is the player versus the ball. Hence the losing team can still make great fielding plays and hence it can still be entertaining, even if lacking in drama.
Basketball: Yes, D-III Eureka can still play Bradley, but the game was boring; the Bradley players were too quick, too fast, and too strong. The action in basketball is player versus player. But the competition is still “safe”; there is little extra danger of injury.
Football: too big of a difference in level can lead to unsafe conditions; I can only imagine the bloodbath a D-III team versus a Big Ten team would be. The difference in strength, speed, quickness and power could well lead to injuries.
Boxing: a tough sport, but could well be dangerous, even fatal if the mismatch is too great.
I had a previous post on this topic. This always surprises me when it happens as one frequently sees boxers go to the body, but you don’t see boxers go down that often because of them. But sometimes they do:
And, though this wasn’t a body shot knockout, it was a body shot that got the first knock down:
Remember, these are tough, tough people going down via body shots.
I’ve changed my workouts somewhat; the emphasis is my walking marathon and so my 5K run will suffer some. That isn’t a big deal though.
First I jogged 2 miles outside. Then I did the Deek 8 x 400 with 200 jog (not quite float), 5K in 28:34 8:51/9:14/9:26 were the mile splits. I used lane 2, hence my splits were somewhat slower than in the past.
Then I walked 1 more mile (lane 3) and then did 10 minutes on the bike.
Note: one doesn’t expect the miles to be even, though the slowdown from mile 2 to 3 is fatigue as there is the same amount of “faster” running involved.
mile 1 is 400/200/400/200/400 (3 “fast 400’s)
mile 2 is 200/400/200/400/200/half 400 (2.5 “fast” 400’s)
mile 3 is half 400/200/400/200/400/200 (2.5 “fast 400’s)
then 200 “fast”.
I was ok. Now about the marathon: part of the mental preparation is getting ready to push through the rough spots. It is very human for even stellar athletes to give up when they get discouraged, even though they might not be doing that badly and they still have a chance to win.
I’ll draw from boxing: in the Clay (later known as Ali) vs. Liston fight, Liston quit after 6 rounds, even though the score cards were 57-57, 58-56 (Clay), 58-56 (Liston). When Duran quit against Leonard, the cards were 68-66, 68-66, 67-66 Leonard…Duran was still very much in contention.
When Foreman didn’t exactly rush to get up when he was knocked down, the cards were 68-66, 70-67, 69-66 Ali. Of course had he beaten the count, he would have been down 78-74, 80-75, 79-74 after 8 (out of 15). He was definitely behind but not completely out of it.
Anyway, I don’t want to make that mistake during discouraging moments.
In the major team sports, it is hard to follow the upward path of an individual player, or to watch a dream vanish.
In running: you can always see someone’s results before hand; e. g. if someone’s 10K best is “only” 29:xx, they won’t be in the lead pack of the Olympic Marathon, or probably even IN the Olympic marathon to begin with (save the exemptions for “developing countries”).
In tennis, though the matches are person against person, there are tournaments and seeds and a tennis player plays a lot more tennis matches than a boxer has fights, for good reason.
So, in boxing, when an “up and coming” prospect attempts to move up, their attempt is right in front of you, against one other person. And you know not exactly how it will go; this isn’t like a 3:50 miler racing a 4:10 miler.
So the prospect usually starts against fighters than aren’t highly regarded (by professional standards) and after a bit of seasoning, they make their first step up. So, you have “undefeated prospect vs…….” and the “step up opponent”, depending on the level that one is stepping up to, is usually:
1. a journeyman who has fought (and often lost to) tougher competition or
2. a ranked but not “title shot ranked” fighter or
3. a former champion or formerly ranked fighter who is trying to work themselves back into title contention.
Yes, sometimes the prospect passes the test. But, many times: they don’t. Last night saw a couple of examples of 1 and 3.
In the case of 1, a 9-0 prospect faced a 6-7 journeyman and was in trouble; Teddy Atlas had the fight tied going into the final round (6 in this case; I had the prospect ahead by 1 point) when late in the round, the prospect managed a strange TKO. Super middleweight Immanuwel Aleem was struggling against Juan Carlos Rojas (who was only 6-7-1, but had fought harder opposition) but landed a right hand which put Rojas out on his feet…while standing up. Since he didn’t go down, there was no opportunity for a count, and he was defenseless. So the referee correctly stopped the fight.
I’ve seen it go the other way as well, when the journeyman ended the prospect’s rise to the top.
In the case of 3, light heavyweight former WBA champion Gabriel Campillo gave prospect Thomas Williams Jr. is first loss by giving him a cut over his eye, which lead to a stoppage. But prior to the stoppage, Williams was clearly bothered by not only the cut, but by Campillo’s boxing. That struck me as a bit strange as it appeared TO ME that Williams was landing a lot of good body shots, but he was getting hit too and the latter really got to him.
Afterward, Williams went over to Teddy Atlas and apologized for “letting Atlas down” (Atlas was high on Williams prior to the fight), and Atlas gave him some excellent “mentor like” advice. It was very touching to me; this is the best of “older men to younger men” relationships that I remember having in sports, the military and in graduate school. I suppose that I sometimes act that way with my students.
But back to the boxing: a few weeks ago, junior lightweight Mark Davis (then 18-0) stepped up to take on Michael Farenas who was 38-4-4; Farenas had fought for the title twice and had faced far, far tougher opposition. The step up proved to be too much for Davis; the referee stopped the carnage in the 8’th round.
It is my (highly non-expert) opinion that both Thomas and Davis can come back from these setbacks, IF that is what they have a burning desire to do. I see these defeats as harsh lessons that they can learn from.
But I’ve also seen the case in which a fighter steps up in competition, and as the fight goes on, comes to realize that they are not only in over their heads at the current time, but lack the fundamental natural ability to reach that level.
One (cruiser weight? heavy weight) actually broke down and cried as he realized his dream wasn’t in the cards for him.
I know the feeling (not from boxing).
Of course, there is the case where an elite boxer doesn’t quite have what it takes to become champion, but in my book, they are already wildly successful as they made it to elite status.
Example: here is heavyweight Eddie Chambers, who is attempting a comeback of sorts.
If you are qualified to get in the ring with Wladimir Klitschko AND take him to 11.9 rounds, you are pretty awesome.
I need to get some more walking midweek and so will replace a lifting session (Wednesday’s) with a medium walk (10 miles). I’ll keep this up until marathon taper week.
Today: from the Riverplex to the first road crossing on the East Peoria trail (about 8 miles) then to the Marina. 2:32 was the total time; it was a lovely day but it was an effort. Yesterday’s workout took something out of me.
I also did 10 minutes on the bike afterward.
It sure looks as if someone is trying to promote a Wladimir Klitschko vs. Shannon Briggs match:
I’m not sure if fight fans will buy this; Briggs is tough but is 42 years old, and his outing against Vitali Klitschko was, well, rather ugly:
Here he was, in the hospital after the fight:
How he got there:
Are the fans really clamoring for this?
Now some may argue with the choices. I, for one, would have loved to have seen that epic Holyfield vs. Bowe, round 10 (which I provided). But these are excellent choices nevertheless.
Last night’s Friday Night Fights featured two 8 found middle weight matches as part of a boxing tournament (Boxcino). But to me: the (scheduled for 6 round) heavyweight match prior to these fights (which WERE good) stole the show. Nate Heaven was an underdog to Donovan Dennis and Dennis appeared to be winning round 1 when this happened.
The middle weights: yes, Brandon Adams beat Raymond Gatica by a split decision which, well, puzzled me. On my card, I had it 79-71 Adams (too many big shots) but the judges had it: 78-74, 78-74 Adams (which I could understand; some rounds WERE close) and one had it…77-75 for Gatica (????)
In the second bout, Willie Monroe “upset” the favored Vitalii Kopylenko (not sure why Kopylenko was favored); I too had this one 79-71 for the winner. The judges saw it 79-73, 79-73, 78-74. These scores, IMHO, were more reasonable. Kopylenko did land a couple of very hard shots but was mostly beaten to the punch all night long.
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