Yes, I ran a 5K this morning. And yes, I cut the grass for the first time in 2017. That wasn’t fun, though I wanted to get a photo of the tulips for Barbara, who is in Cuba.
But I also saw something more gruesome: there were the remains of a bunny that became a meal for a predator. Nature…
No, the yard was not entertaining. But I did have dinner with a dear friend on Friday, and a different dear friend tonight. THAT was fun.
And there was Bradley baseball: it turns out that the starting pitcher and one of the relief pitchers were/are students of mine. Oh the game: that didn’t go so hot; Bradley lost to Illinois State 9-4 based on the first inning (3 runs) and the 7’th (5 runs, all of which came AFTER 2 outs). ISU got 4 hits and 3 runs in the first and were more or less held in check for the next 5 innings. But the ISU starter struck out 7 in 5 1/3 innings.
The day was sunny but windy which made it chilly in the shade; note the fans seeking out the sunny areas.
For a few innings, I had the volleyball team sitting next to and around me (they came next to my seat when I went to the restroom between innings; they were seeking the sunny areas.
So, the loss aside, it was a fun weekend so far.
I decided to try to run outside. And my first .25 miles were TERRIBLE; it was almost as if I could barely breathe and my legs felt like lead. I even walked a few steps.
But I stayed with my shuffle and made it to the first downhill section (Bradley Park) and by then, I had started to sweat and all was good from there out.
For some reason, there are days when the first mile feels like death.
The weather was pretty and I did my “jog, then run up the hills “hard” (say, 1 mile race intensity), walk a few steps to recover, jog and repeat. So I did 6 “hard” repetitions total and I even timed my final hill: 2:10 (better than any of my repetitions a week ago). This was from the gate in lower Bradley park to the parking lot entrance in upper Bradley Park. The whole workout took 1:02 to do (5.1 miles) and I am glad I stuck with it.
By the way: in statistics class, I am teaching about ANOVA. I used my own 5K run data from 2012 to now; my slowdown is about 20-25 seconds for the 5K per year. That adds up and seems to fit back to the late 1990’s.
Grading on a curve
I joked with my wife about the following: if she posts that she, say, finished a 4 mile walk at, say, an 18-19 minute per mile pace (she is, well, “elderly”..though it is hard for me to think of her that way), get gets 100+ “likes” and tons of complements (“you go girl”, etc.). If I post that I finished a marathon, MY FB friends critique my time and give consolation if it is worse than expected, kudos if it is better than expected.
Why I mention this: I have a FB friend that I’ve grown quite fond of. But she has serious injury history; I jokingly referred to her as “Humpty-Dumpty”. She finished a mile walk and I was genuinely overjoyed; I like her and love it that she is working toward taking care of herself and pushing through some pain to do so. So my praise WAS genuine, even if it was less than what my wife can currently do.
And we had a talk about having a “1 mile body but a 6 mile mind”; pre-injury she could easily walk 14 miles (albeit many years ago).
I slept in a bit and didn’t start my run until 9 am. That was ok; the Steamboat 15K is almost always run in heat and humidity so I need to get used to it. It was 69 F at the start; 75 F at the end but the humidity went from 68 to 55; in other words, not that much.
I chose a “Steamboat simulation” course: behind the Riverplex ..NO goose loop, NO ball field wall. I did pass an interesting looking accident; there was a wrecked automobile across the railroad tracks near the ball field. That altered my route just a little bit. Then up Abdington to the path along Perry into lower Sprindale. I went the normal route, turned left at the bridge and hugged the right turn path up the hill to Prospect then went down the other direction. Once down, I went to the entrance, back on the regular path and past the bottom of Soldier hill, turning around and doubling back at the sidewalk; the map says that this was 3.95 miles or so. It was 48 minutes when I started the double back.
Once I got to the Rivertrail again I noticed a 5K race in progress. I sped up (return leg was 45 minutes, or 3 minutes faster, most of it on this stretch) and I went back and forth with one of the 5K runners (a younger male). I had spied a MILF rocking a pair of granny panty lines but she got away. Then I walked enough of a cool down to get to 8 miles total.
Then to the weight room. On one hand, my weight workout was low energy. But on the other hand, all that sweating made me lighter; my 5 sets of 10 pull ups went very, very well.
pull ups, rotator cuff
bench press (sucked) 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 5 x 170, incline press: 10 x 135
military presses (dumbbells) sucked: 5 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40
rows: machine: 10 x 90, 140, 140.
There is usually some “hot babe” doing squats and this time was no exception; very tight “Los Angeles Laker purple” spandex leggings.
Then came a diet Dr. Pepper; lady …more eyestrain.
Oh, the workout summary: very low energy in the weight room; the 5K race runners sped me up a bit. Perhaps I was doing low to mid 9’s on the way back?
But the “bottom” line…LOL…is that I’ve gotten very, very soft. My run started off badly; I even thought about modifying it but told myself “STFU you big baby..quit being such a whiner”.
Then came pre Easter dinner with the family. Good stuff.
Thursday: I participate in a walking group; we are now up to 2.25-3 miles
The Peoria Chiefs (low A, Midwest League) start up this month, but I’ll spend most of my “baseball time” watching Bradley and pick up the Chiefs in May.
The Chiefs made the playoffs the past two years. But last year: by the time they got to the playoffs they weren’t the same team; most of their good players had been promoted.
And that is how it goes in minor league ball: you start to get attached to a player and you want them to do well. But when they do well, they leave, as they well should. And though you miss seeing them, you are happy for them.
Sometimes, something similar happens to one’s friends. A few weeks ago, my wife said “you probably won’t be training with X now that they have a love interest that runs”…and my reply was “I hope not.” She looked surprised, but then understood exactly what I meant.
Workout notes Weird. I still have a scratchy, “sometimes” cough and feel slightly weak; this is a continuation of what I had last week. But weights went very well:
rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10: strong)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190 (wanted to keep the hips down), 10 x 170 (strict)
military press: dumbbell, 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
incline: 3 sets of 10 x 160 (45/35 on each side) Hammer machine
I tried to run…no dice, walked 5 miles outside instead. The gates to the hills of Bradley Park are now open; beautiful day but some traffic. I got shocked into picking it up on the way back..a young woman who was walking deliberately was gaining on me. My “mind wandering walk” is no longer fast; I have to be deliberate and concentrate.
This Friday, we start Laplace Transforms in differential equations. By “Laplace Transforms”, we mean the usual simplified Laplace Transform we teach to beginning differential equations students; we do not know what a Lebesgue or a Stieltjes integral is.
That reminded me of what happened in my first differential equations course, back in the fall of 1978. I was sitting next to Vince and the instructor wrote the following on the board:
That, of course, is the gamma function (think of it as a way to extend the factorial function into a continuous function on the reals, though there is a more general version). If you must know, for positive real numbers, . This is a convergent improper integral for
Never mind that.
Vince said “box of x, what is box?” I replied “that is the gamma function, Vince”.
“Box…what’s box? They are just making stuff up! They are making it up as they go along!” Vince was just so offended by the gamma function!
Anyway, that is a memory that made me chuckle; and yes, Vince ended up passing the course.
Workout notes: Not sure what was wrong; my nose is runny and I had a tough time breathing in the gym as the pace got harder (heat? dehydration? allergies?) So my planned 10 minute warm up, 10 x (2:30 at 6.7, 2:30 at 5.3) workout became 10 minute warm up, 6 x (2:30 at 6.7, 2:30 at 5.3) followed by a 5 minute walk, then enough running to get me to 6.1 miles in 1:05, and 1:44 more of walking to get me to 10K in 1:06:44.
I call that a “rescue of a workout”; for me, a 10K training run at under 11 minutes per mile is a valid training run, and I did get some pace changes.
What is a safe lead in basketball? Answer: a “win”. Illinois State stated with very hot 3 point shooting (5 of 7) and took a 33-15 lead with 4:07 to go in the first half and lead 36-23 at the half.
In the second half, Central Florida started to attack the basket more but ISU still lead 52-42 with just under 11 minutes to go.
Still, the UCF guards penetrated and their 7′ 6″ center (not a misprint) seemed to be more comfortable. So while ISU made all 8 of their free throws, UCF made 14-18 and that proved to be the key difference: more attempts from the line.
UCF took the lead for the first time with 1:41 to go (61-60) and used great defense (some good blocked shots) to hold the lead. But with 4 seconds to go, ISU drew a foul and calmly made both free throws to lead 62-61.
On the ensuing play, the UCF guard drew a foul (a force out) with 1.3 seconds to go and made both free throws (madhouse atmosphere) which sealed the win.
It was a terrific basketball game and a great atmosphere; I just wish ISU had gotten one more stop so we could have had a Wednesday game vs. Illinois (who won at home later that evening).
Socially, it was fun for us to go with Vickie and Harry.
Some game action:
Vickie sizing up the offerings at the concession stand.
I’ve only attempted this race once before. That time I signed up for the marathon and bailed/DNFed half way; I did take a 15 mile version for the first 13.4 mile loop.
This time, I wasn’t even tempted to sign up for the marathon; I did not have the long run/walk background necessary for success. But when I saw the potential for dry conditions, I thought “why not; it is a pretty course and will get me about a 3 hour run/walk” …and that is what happened.
The day could not have been much better; a few degrees below freezing at the start and to freezing at the end (of my half), dry …just a pretty day.
And there were old trail friends here, many who I have not seen in a long time. My knees just do not permit comfortable trail running in bad conditions, hence I have become more of a road person. But today: great.
And, Mamma T (and her (new?) friend) and Jennifer (who suffers next to me in exercise class) was there too. Oh hell, though I like a good run/hike in most circumstances, there are times when I’ll do a race that I am not really prepared for because I am in the mood to socialize. And that is a good thing.
Oh, the race. I started back in the pack and, as things settled, I moved in a very loose group of 5 runners or so, one of who was to finish the marathon (and Julie’s second loop was only 30 minutes or so slower than the first…great pacing for this course).
I let Mary go..she was moving swiftly and she too did very well in the full marathon.
I was figuring on a 15 minute per mile average pace as the sand was dry and quite deep for much of the course (about ankle deep, and soft). I tried, as did others, to run on the part with grass. I seemed to be averaging about a 13 minute pace for the first few parts (1:06 for the 5 mile aid station, 2 hours for for the 9 mile, 2:30 for the 11 mile station.
But I never really knew where I was on the course; it was well marked but I didn’t have a good feel of when to start a “finishing kick”; so I mostly tried to keep within sight of Jason and a couple of ladies (one tall and close to my age, one shorter and younger).
I lost to Jason about 5 minutes and finished 1-2 minutes ahead of the ladies in 3:02 (40 out of 55 finishers; winning time was 1:34, which is my old road PR).
Though I wanted to finish 3 minutes faster, well, I didn’t completely embarrass myself and never got grouchy; the race ended while it was still fun.
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