blueollie

Readjustment of attitude

It was hot again. It was 79 F, 80 percent humidity when I started (close to 9 am, due to a late night) and 87 F, 71 percent humidity when I finished. Whew!
What I did: first 3.37 mile walk on the bike path/sidewalk at 15:30 mpm (went out at 16:15, came back under 15 trying to go a little less slowly) and then I stopped, wondering if I were too tired to do the rest.

I decided to try..and yes, I scaled back the effort. And yes, the rest of the walk (right around 7 miles) was fine..took a long time though. The lower loop of Forest Park Nature Center took about 1:16 (by time of day). There are 5 good uphill sections and several smaller inclines that I don’t notice unless I am fatigued. Today I noticed them. 🙂

One hiker joked that I should be running the hills…I just smiled and said “no, not today..nah nah nah nah…I killed myself yesterday” and he laughed. I was wearing the Steamboat t-shirt.

And that is the deal: I CAN move when it is hot and I am a bit tired…IF I adjust the effort accordingly.

My plan for the fall: do some slow 20 mile walks (5:20-5:30) and do some half marathon length walks in the 3-3:15 range (aiming to do these as effortlessly as possible) and aim for the Quad Cities in September….and drop down if it is another burning hot day. Climate change is playing havoc with my plans..though after looking up history..last year was unusually brutal, even by the standards of the past few years.

Steamboat photos from yesterday

Looking back, I wish I had just lined up at the 13 minutes per mile sign and walked from the get-go. Couda-wouda-shouda.

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June 17, 2018 Posted by | Friends, walking | Leave a comment

2018 Steamboat: sweltering, sweet failure (and climate change is killing me)

Ok, I complain about this race every year (MY PERFORMANCE, not the execution of the race, which is always stellar). And today, I did far, far worse that I’ve ever done; more than 20 minutes slower than my walking PB, and I actually ran parts of it.

I’ll get into the reasons a bit later in this post; some are on me (the excess weight I am carrying) and some are unavoidable (injury earlier in the year, age, and the suffocating temperatures)

But I got to spend time with a friend that I don’t see nearly enough of and that made it MORE than worth it. I enjoyed the morning, even with my comically bad performance.

The race itself: I jogged out of the gun easily (so I thought) and was 10:55 at mile 1 and 22:15 at mile 2. Yes, I would have loved to have maintained anything resembling that pace. But I was already sweating and knew I wouldn’t last much longer, so I basically slow walked it (mixing in a bit of jogging here and there) the rest of the way. My 5K splits were a complete joke:

39:20/48:19/48:16

I did talk to a few fellow stragglers. I saw Tracy and Jason before the race, and Vickie handed me water just past mile 7.
But the highlight of the race was the social aspect. Lynnor met me at our house at 5:35 am; we visited and walked 2 miles to the start. We started together; I got ahead, she passed me just prior to mile 3 and it was “see you later”.

We had an ongoing “war of words” on Facebook and she (good naturedly) rubbed it in when she crushed me (2:01). We visited afterward and then walked 2 miles back, stopping at Starbucks for coffee and refreshments (my breakfast).

Bad performance on my part, but a good time nevertheless.

Usual: my feet sometimes hurt; it feels as if there is a rock in my shoe at times, even when there isn’t. But mostly, I kept the effort below the “risk getting sick” threshold. My left heel ached a bit afterward but really didn’t affect me during the race itself.

Reasons for my poor performance: too heavy (199, that is MY fault), too hot (I never did well in heat and I am getting worse), and I didn’t start running (and seriously walking again) until March. Even then, it was short stuff and my longer stuff has been “easy intensity” (16-17 mpm). If I am serious about a fall marathon (7 hour time limit), I need to lose 10 lbs. and to do some walking speedwork ..get comfortable with a 14 minute pace again. And I need to choose a race where the weather is likely to be cool. A day like last year’s Quad Cites: I’ll just drop to the half. I cannot handle heat for any length of time.

Photos: (more will follow)

Before she kicked my butt!

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Before our warm up walk. Steamboat 15k.

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Lynnor took the finish photo. Note the shirt: I got that at a half marathon in 2014…that I ran in 2:15 (ok, in cool weather).

Climate ChangeThe historical average for this time of years (days within plus/minus 7 days of today) has been: Low 61, high 82, which would translate to about 63-64 at the 7 am start.

But here are the past few years (at 6:54 am via Weather Underground)

2011 70 F, 90% humidity (+6)
2012 74/68 (+10)
2013 68/73 (+4)
2014 56/84 (-8)
2015 68/78 (+4)
2016 67/66 (+3)
2017 73/90 (+9)
2018 76/82 (+12)

Climate change is kicking my butt in this race.

Race data: yes, there was a tiny bump up from last year, which was unusually small, by historical standards.

year 4m 15K 4k/2m big 2 all change 2 % change change all % change
2013 3124 866 98 3990 4088
2014 2613 776 111 3389 3500 -601 -0.150626566 -588 -0.143835616
2015 2443 805 156 3248 3404 -141 -0.041605193 -96 -0.027428571
2016 2347 822 157 3169 3326 -79 -0.02432266 -78 -0.022914219
2017 1781 666 151 2447 2598 -722 -0.227832124 -728 -0.218881539
2018 1859 653 122 2512 2634 +65 +.0266 36 +.0139

Past Results

1998: 15K 1:08:22 183/844 (sticky) Was running just under 20 for 5K in those days. 22:50/23:05/22:27, 29/71 AG
1999: 15K 1:07:53 place was a bit worse; roughly 20:40 for 5K in these days 22:38/23:01/22:13
2000: 4m 27:51 After a 10K/half marathon double and 1:35 half a few weeks earlier.
2001: 4m 29:13 Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40
2001: 15K 1:11:16 (126/381) Fall 15K 23:20/24:04/23:51
2002: 4m 43:15 (walk)
2002: 15K 1:14:33 (run; fall) 167/405 24:10/25:07/25:16
2004: 4m 33:10 (two 24 hour walks in May; 101 and 88)
2005: 15K 1:23:13 (26:40/27:39/28:43) McNaughton 100 in April, Marathon on Memorial Day.
2006: 4M 42:10 (walk), FANS 24 in June (83 miles)
2007: Walk with Barbara
2008: Walk with Barbara
2009: run 1:27:23 (9:22 mpm) Place: 519/726 29:21/29:49/28:43, 34/43 AG
2010: walk 4 miles 39:32.
2011: walk 15 km 1:48:02 37:12/36:24/34:26
2012: run 15 km 1:36:55 29:26/33:54/33:35 679/835
2013: 15K 1:29:04 (29:34/29:53/29:38) 40/50 AG, 552/866
2014: 1:29:57 (29:22/30:46/29:49)
2015: 1:34:28 (30:49/32:49/30:50) (2 weeks after FANS 59.9) 579/804, 376/461 males, 173/219 male masters, 36/43 AG
2016: 1:41:57: 31:40/34:37/35:40 667/822, 413/458 male, 196/221 master male, 30/33 AG.
2017: walk 1:55:52: 37:04/39:41/39:07 Just not in very good shape.
2018: 2:15:55 walk/jog…gave up after 2 miles and mostly walked (22:15). 39:20/48:19/48:16

June 16, 2018 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | , , , | Leave a comment

W. Peoria Jamboree 2018

Past: I frequently missed this due to travel, FANS and other long races.

Last night: 84 F, 63 percent humidity. I “warmed up” just a bit, started out with a 9:30 mile (seemed slow) but it wasn’t slow enough for the conditions. So 4 minutes into the second mile I gave up and went into the old “walk and jog”; I was not exhausted but I could feel the heat building up and my legs getting very, very heavy. So my goal was to avoid feeling bad and little else. I ended up going back and forth with Marty Baker just a bit (he finished 15 seconds ahead of me)

I’d jog, walk, jog, walk, etc. 9:31, 11:11, 11:42, 11:41. 44:07.

I am too fat to handle this heat. Oh well. And the problem is that, at my age, it takes so long to adjust the body. But I am going to try.
Socially: I really did enjoy it: Cassie, Mat, Larry, Crystal, saw Herb helping out as a monitor….Mr. Bill and of course Tracy, who went with me to eat Mexican food afterward. We wore our race t-shirts…and really didn’t coordinate ahead of time.

Trivia: I looked up the conditions on Weather Underground. in 1981 I did a 4’th of July race in the evening in San Antonio, TX. It was 86 F, 64 percent humidity. My time: 26:3x. Age matters.

I’ve done this race (same course) several times. I walked it in 2010 (47 minutes, cool weather)
But as a runner:

1997: 27:55
1998: 25:58
1999: 26:56
2005: 30:53
2012: 33:52
2014: 33:25
2017: 37:21
2018: 44:07 (pm race)

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Friends, running, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Too fat, too slow, too hot

Yes, it was 70 F, 91 percent humidity at the start. I died at mile 2 (which came at 18:50 or so) and ended up with 31:16 for a “too long” 3.17 mile course. I didn’t bother with my watch. I followed two ladies for the better part of 2 miles prior to losing contact and walking a bit. I was dying.

Yeah, I’ve done this race a few times before. Though my performance was terrible, it was an effort, and it was good to spend time with Tracy, meet up with friends, and yes, even clown around with Crystal (who joked that I was right behind her at the finish line…as I was when we took the photo. She was 5 minutes ahead of me on the course during the race though.

Past years: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013., 2014 2015 2016 2017

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54 8:07 8:26 8:40 9:10
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56 8:15 8:44 9:25 9:30
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52 9:21 9:35 10:41 12:36
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42 25:45 26:46 28:56 31:16
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146 53/109 50/119 97/158 67/106

May 26, 2018 Posted by | Friends, running | | Leave a comment

Sadness of Twitter; joy of a game…

Staycation day 3: workout, Chiefs game, a lovely lunch and then yoga class tonight. Love it.

But first about Twitter: there was a tweet from a pundit that talked about Trump “sinking”.
He really isn’t:

I added the smoothed green line to show the general trend. Not much to see here; it dipped a little and rose a little; right now it is between 42-44 percent, depending on which poll aggregate you use.

The above is from Fivethirtyeight (they weight the polls differently, according to accuracy, partisan bias, etc.)

And yes, on the whole, Trump ranks lower than Obama at the same point in their respective administrations:

So, that is clear enough? Well, no…I added that Trump was inching up but “still low” and some Trump supporter attempted to correct me by relying on the Rasmussen poll; the “most accurate” he says (not so fast; though it did have the most accurate “last national poll prior to the election” if one disregards margin of error and disregards how scattered they were in the previous days prior to the election)

And he really “got me” when he gave me a screen shot of the Real Clear Politics aggregate of the various states…one which called the close states ….toss ups (and did give Wisconsin a “lean Clinton”).
Clearly he does not understand what “toss up” means..never mind knowing what “stochastic” means.

And so it goes with Twitter discussions: people who don’t know what they are talking about decide to “educate” you. So I just up and blocked him; I am not going to waste my time with such people, even if they aren’t as nasty as others.

But on the other side of things: you see things like “Trump is sinking”, “blue wave” (unlikely…MAYBE we eek out a win in one chamber), etc.

I think that, when it comes to politics, I’ll just refrain from engaging and focus on reading articles.

The joy of a game

The Peoria Chiefs once again jumped on the relief pitching of the Clinton Lumberkings and rallied from 5-1 down in the top of the 8’th to win 7-5. The Clinton starter kept the Chiefs at bay and allowed 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 6 in 5 innings. But they went to a reliever in the 6’th (evidently his number of pitches were up) and the first reliever did fine for 2 innings. But the second one came in at the bottom of the 8’th and it was batting practice for the Chiefs: they got 6 runs off 2 walks and 5 hits as the Chiefs batted around.

Once again, it was a kid’s matinee and once again, Vickie was fun company.

Second kids matinee game. Vickie is on the left.

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And I got photobombed by Homer, the Chiefs mascot.

The work
Yes, I walked the 2 miles to the game and got a ride back from Vickie.

Weights: rotator cuff, pt, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (good), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 155, decline: 8 x 170, military: 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45 (note: I could not swing the 55’s into position in the seated, supported)
Hammer rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200.

usual abs, and yeah, the 2:30 plank sucked, as usual. It always does.

May 16, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Athletic burnout, summer and more …

First things first: I did my 6.3 mile (just over 10k) run/shuffle in humid conditions. I’ll try a 12 miler shuffle this weekend; IF that goes well, I’ll sign up for a couple of half marathons.

I came back to a Facebook post from a competitive racewalker (someone who was national class at the masters level; walked a judged 50K at a 10 minute per mile pace) and she has dealt with a weird, chronic fatigue for 5 years. I’ve noticed that some other friends have had that; it seems that they peaked, backslid and then reached a zone that they could not get out of and just were never the same. That happened to me after my best long distance walk (101 miles in 24 hours in May, 2004). Though I had other tough performances after that (29:34 100 mile walk on a tough course in 2005, 5:14 after a trail 100 in 2009), I really was never quite the same after I pushed myself that hard. I still cringe a bit when I think about that night…I really gave it my all.

And so I wonder: if many of us have some sort of “that’s enough” reaction from our bodies that just won’t permit us to ever dig that hard again. I am unaware of research in this area.

Academic achievement There was a bit of controversy in my narrow twitter world; someone in my academic circle made disparaging comments about junior college professors.
In part of my response I remarked that I am sure that MIT math professors see me as an idiot..and compared to them, I am! No biggie; it is like the Chiefs game I saw today. These class A players are all awesome baseball players (or they wouldn’t be there) but fewer than 10 percent of them will see the field in a major league game. That is just reality. Having class A talent puts you well into the “outlier” region of the bell curve even if it doesn’t get you to the majors.

But it is really gauche to rub someone’s nose in it.

Don’t get me wrong; 2 year professors do have some challenges; their student body can have quite a bit of variation. We had someone transfer from a 2 year institution win a math department award for academic excellence. On the other hand, some come to us very unprepared. Trying to teach a class with both kinds of students in it can be very challenging, especially when other students are taking classes between other responsibilities. So a JC’s professors job can be very, very challenging. But meeting these challenges is respect worthy, IMHO.

But I digress. What I find interesting is my saying that “I am not as smart as an MIT/Cal Tech/Berkeley math professor as ..well, a bad thing to say! I don’t get it.

Now the ball game Vickie and her friend Terra made it to the game to watch with me. It was a kid’s matinee game.

The Chiefs won 13-1. It was 3-1 (and still much in doubt) when Clinton went to a relief pitcher after he walked the first runner in the 5’th inning (he met his allotment of pitches?) Then the Chiefs jumped all over the relief pitcher and scored 5 runs, including getting a towering home run to left field which cleared the second white fence beyond the berm. The second relief pitcher had no better luck.

Argh!!!

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A game with some friends..

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May 15, 2018 Posted by | baseball, education, Friends, running | , , | Leave a comment

Entitlement mentality science and “Incels”

I love the movie Amadeus and I especially “like” the Salieri character (who wasn’t like the genuine historical composer at all). In the movie, Salieri, while famous during “his day” and very successful by any standard, was insanely envious and jealous of Mozart and his abilities…an ability that Salieri could see before anyone else.

“All I ever wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing… and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn’t want me to praise Him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?”

And THAT is “entitlement mentality” in action, and oh did I ever have it while growing up.

I really, really wanted to be a good athlete …especially to be a good football player. I did all of the extra stuff: lifted weights since the 8’th grade (you’d think that I would be good at it by now!), ran the steps, ran with ankle weights (the thing at the time), did sprints, etc. I did drills..taking off out my stance over and over again.

But..time and time again, I got my ass handed to me by more talented people.

I still remember before 9’th grade; a friend saw me doing bench presses in the weight room. He asked me what I was doing and I told him. I had my “max” on the bar (about 170). He said “let me try that” and BOOM..right up..first time he ever touched a weight. I took me MONTHS to work up to that!!!

Now riddle me this: guess which one of us went on to start for the Georgia Tech football team for 3 years in a row (fullback)???

One time in practice, he flat ran me over and tripped and fell. So I got “credit” for the “tackle”..he looked down at me and asked me if I was ok. I said “yes” but that was a damned lie…I was seeing stars.

It just felt so “unfair”.

Yes, my parents..who grew up in grinding poverty in the Depression Era tried to tell me how good I had it: not poor, plenty to eat, school, no serious diseases, safe place to live… but the message fell on deaf ears at that time. Didn’t my deity KNOW how badly I wanted to be a good football player? (ok, I am sure that others didn’t want cancer, didn’t want to be paralyzed, didn’t want to be raped or molested, etc. but I was way too wrapped up in myself to think about that)

Thinking about that part of my past still disgusts me.

But…what helped me was to embrace science. Some simply are born with more genetic ability to do some things (and that I got A’s in high school calculus without cracking a book didn’t register with me…I thought that others either didn’t try or weren’t interested).

It was nothing personal; it was just the genes you were born with (and ok, the great athletes do train incredibly hard..not to beat me, but because they are competing against other great athletes).

Still, the entitlement mentality disgusts me (and it is said that what bothers you most in others is what you don’t like in yourself).

I see it in some students (some think that they are entitled to a “good grade”). I see it on social media: some think that they are entitled to be listened to or to have their opinions taken seriously.

And yeah, at times, I still see it in myself.

Example: my wife has a charming way of bending over; she bends at the waist, at the knees and sticks her big, round butt out..from behind she has the “open for business” look. But while she is a good sport most of the time, there are times when she is not “in the mood” for a pat or feel…and I have to respect that..not matter how tempting. I doubt if ANYONE is “in the mood for that” 100 percent of the time. But I “feel” entitled.

And that leads me to the “incels”. “Incel” means “involuntarily celibate” and they are angry that they can’t get sex from women. Ok, it is my guess that many of them simply don’t like what they are capable of attracting. Yes, that works both ways….I’ve had women complain about not being able to “buy a date”, though they reject men who are not educated enough, have bad teeth, …and they haven’t worked on their social skills (e. g. listening for a change..instead of trying to dominate the conversation 100 percent of the time). And it is my guess that some of these men could do better by working at it..but they would have to want to change.

Yes, some guys are naturally better at attracting women. But there are things one can do if one wants to get better at it but these things require conscious effort. And anger is not attractive!

Seriously…life is not a “James Bond” movie; she isn’t going to want to sleep with you within the first 5 minutes. And the woman you are dismissing because she isn’t curvy, or too heavy..or maybe a bit older than you or perhaps of a different race might turn out to be a fun, interesting person. And if you show genuine interest in her life (instead of deliberately working toward your own goal), who knows?

May 4, 2018 Posted by | Friends, Personal Issues, social/political | , , , , | Leave a comment

A few days of contrasts…

I had traveled to Alabama to give a math talk; it was a welcome diversion from, well, the day to day grind of teaching a couple of large sections of a service course. I got back home in time to catch most of Bradley’s 6-3 win over Indiana State in baseball (picked it up in the bottom of the 4’th; saw every run including a loaded bases clearing double. Then I went to a memorial service for an old friend.

I said a “pre goodbye” to a dear friend to is retiring and leaving the area. Then tomorrow, I get to see another dear friend who had left but returns from time to time. All the while, a trail ultra marathon is going on; one that I was once able to do (50 and 100 miles, two times each). My PF problems precluded me from doing one of the shorter distances.

I had 70 F degree temperatures in Alabama; it hit 18 F this morning in Peoria. Oh well.

Workout this morning: weights, then 57:40 for 5 treadmill miles: did “5 minute froggy” for 35 minutes (5.1) then walked to 4 miles (47:10) then jogged it in (10:30 final mile). Left heel: not perfect, but ok.

Weights: protect the left shoulder pull ups (5 sets of 10: ok), military presses: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40 (standing), one armed rows with 60 (3 sets of 10), shoulder not ready for incline or bench, so did light dumbbell bench presses: 10 x 30, 10 x 40, focus on full range.

Photos:

flight to Alabama:

Leg one: Peoria to Charlotte.

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Mobile, Alabama airport.

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The campus

Now THIS is spring weather.

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The flier

I had better not lay an egg.

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After the talk: nice, scenic walk with two mathematicians

Near the South Alabama campus. Saw an alligator.

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The airport again: (with art)

Early in Mobile. Not a long line; had time to take in some of the local artwork.

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6 am take off means sunrise photos

Sunrise…and changing clouds.

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Cold weather baseball

Not baseball weather. Bradley beat Indiana State 6-3.

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Bonnie’s memorial service:

RIP, Bonnie Gudat.

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April 7, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Friends, running, travel, weight training | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress and slight regression

My foot is just a bit achy; I probably overdid it this morning..and to be fair..on Wednesday as well. I have to limit my, ahem, cough, “faster paced” running and walking.

The heel does better with gentle paces (both walking and running)

This morning I did 4 miles on the treadmill (41:59) and 3 more miles outside with Ms. Vickie. (3.4 miles at a 17 minute per mile pace), followed by some socialization. The walk: front of Riverplex to the start of the gooseloop..around the outside and then to the ball field parking lot (near the industrial entrance..along the 3’rd base line).

The run: I did stretch and it was ok during the first 2-2.5 miles but whined just a tiny but during the end: I did 5 minute “froggy”: 5.1-5.4, then 5.5-5.6 to 30 minutes, 6.0 to mile 3 (33:xx) then 6.7 for .5, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0 to kick it in just under 42:00. My lungs and legs were fine…the foot limited me just a bit. The walk was fine.

yesterday: I got a strict bench press with 200 lbs (easy). usual pt, 5 sets of pull ups (10 each), bench: 135 x 10, 185 x 1, 200 x 1, 185 x 4, decline: 170 x 8, incline: 135 x 10. Dumbbell military: all standing: 10 x 50, 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 50 one armed rows, 10 x 110 machine rows, abs: twist crunch: 50, 24, yoga leg lifts: 2 x 10, moving bridge, headstand, side plank, 2:30 front plank. (I do the forearm version)

So I can still bench press bodyweight…barely.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Now about MY vacation (February-March 2018)

I do this from time to time when my wife leaves on her 3-4 week trips (winter 2016, summer 2017)

So, I’ll do it this time too. I have more to say about my mental state; it is a bit funky, I think due to being unable to do long workouts (running/walking or swimming; more on that in the next post).

11 Feb. (Sunday) partner yoga with VC
13 Feb. partner yoga with VC plus dinner
14 Feb. dinner and BB game with VC
16 Feb. dinner with AG
17 Feb. dinner with TH
18 Feb. BB solo
19 Feb. Dem Dinner with MT
23 Feb. dinner with AG
24 Feb. dinner and BB with TH
25 Feb. partner yoga and lunch with VC
1 Mar. drinks with LD, VC and LK
2 Mar. dinner and concert with VC
3 Mar. bball with VC and sister

Now about today’s Bradley game: ISU overpowered Bradley 53-41 though BU lead at the half. When ISU made their run in the second half, BU repeatedly turned the ball over and fell apart.
Bradley won by 20 in the first meeting, but the teams have done in different directions since then; BU lost 12 of their final 15 games (all in conference) after winning their first 3 conference games on the road.

The men came back valiantly but lost to Loyola in St. Louis (and Illinois State won in overtime vs. Southern; I’ll be cheering for them tomorrow).

It is hard to win when you only score 41 (that was the final total)

Vickie and her sister Linda went to the game with me; it was FUN.

It was senior day; wish they could have been sent out with a win. But there is the tournament and ..well..if only our team could develop the confidence to not fall apart the first time the opposition makes a run and makes few shots. They *should* win their opener. Should. But then…

March 4, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , | Leave a comment