blueollie

My ‘Merica Post…

Yeah, yesterday was 4’th of July, which is Independence Day.

I wondered: what makes the United States different? Yes, I know, most countries (all?) have some sort of identity; what is ours?

Two things come to mind.

When I was in the Navy, we made port calls. And before we visited a port in a foreign country, we got a briefing on the customs and on the culture of where we were visiting.

When we visited Italy, we were told this: when you visit a small shop, if the owner is having a conversation, they aren’t going to stop it to wait on you. Remember that the shop was probably the family shop, and that is all they are ever going to be; they aren’t worried about expanding, moving up, defeating the competition, etc. So just be patient.

And that goes to the lesson many Americans grow up with: The American Dream to “make it big” (I was going to be a professional athlete, you see).

One other: when I visited the Anne Frank House, they had a theater where they would show some situation and ask “what is more important, Factor X or Factor Y (e. g. they would show a newspaper article about a recent controversy). The Americans were all over FREEDOM OF SPEECH ahead of the other factors (say, protection from discrimination)…as was I.

Of course, at this time in our history, we are pretty divided, as this Horsey cartoon shows:

So, where does this divide come from? Well, for one, our history is complicated. Our past citizens DID take risks..they had guts. But they also did terrible things too:

So, what do we focus on?

And as far as the American Dream, well, where some do make it big, our social/economic mobility isn’t what we would like to think it is. And I think this is where the division comes from.

Some liberals push for a higher minimum wage (and too high of a minimum wage can cause problems) and for health care for the poor. That is great, but…newsflash: people do not want to be poor, and no one dreams of being stuck in poverty, even though..for many, that IS where they are going to be.

So measures that favor the poor…while they are effective, really aren’t that popular (until they are actually implemented and have been in place for a while)

So what wins out: dreaming (you are going to be rich one day), or practical reality (that you won’t be)?

What I did on the 4’th of July:

In the morning, I took Tracy to Galva to run a 5K (and did poorly: 30:05) and in the evening, baseball!

The Chiefs beat the Snappers and won 5-1 behind some good pitching, spectacular fielding (they robbed the Snappers of at least 3 hits) and 2 home runs.

I sat behind the 3’rd base dugout (visitor’s dugout at Chiefs games; home dugout at Bradley games)

there was a brief rain delay.

But it turned out to be a fun day:

And a decent crowd.

Other 4’th of July images

From a local parade (I did not see it)

And what is more “Merican” than yoga pants?

Workout notes
weights and a 5K walk (42:45, from intervals)

rotator cuff, hip hikes toe raises, pull ups (2 sets of 5-5-5, 2 sets of 10), goblet squats 50-75 (up very 5, sets of 5), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 7 x 150 (good hips on last set, so so on second set), military: 15 x 55 dumbbell, seated, supported, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 lifemachine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 (each arm), 10 x 110 machine, 2 sets of moving bridge, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (good).

July 5, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Galva 5K 9 years later..

I powerwalked this race in 2008. This time, I finished just over 1 minute faster…running.
I went out with Tracy; I wanted a break from the downtown runs, and I wanted to spend some time with her.

Warm up: about 15-18 minutes or so; 10 minutes cool down walk (walked Tracy in)
It was 70 F, 80 percent humidity (deceptively sticky) and perhaps I started a bit too hard, given that I had 18/10 miles last weekend…and haven’t been running all that much.

I was right at 8:57 for 1 mile; a bit too fast. I could feel it..and of course, I really started to feel it during mile 2; I conked out right at 16:30 or so. I have to remember that a 5K for me now is like a 4 miler once was; I can’t start to feel quite that bad until 20 minutes or so.

I walked a few steps a couple of times 2 miles came at 18:53. I got into the “just finish without more walking mode; 10:19 for mile 3 was a bit overdoing it? So even 0:53 for the final .1 miles couldn’t bring me under 30.

8:57/9:56/10:18/0:53 = 30:05.

But the goal was to have some fun and that is what I did.

Moral: when I build up my long weekend walks, my 5K speed suffers accordingly.

Yesterday; weights, then 2 treadmill miles running (21:54), 2 walking.

weights: rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 5 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, military: 15 x 55 seated dumbbell, supported, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 200 machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 dumbbell, 1 set of 10 x 110. Then the running/walking.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Political People: why do you use social media?

I am asking: “why do you engage in political discussion on Twitter or Facebook?

Is it to vent?

Is it to try to change the mind of a political opponent?

Is it to persuade the undecided?

Is it to try to get moral support from similar people?

Is it to excite your fellow political allies (get inspired to give money, go to a protest/rally, do walk routes, etc.)

Is it to educate yourself and/or put out information?

I am curious. I know that I’ve lost friends (ok, no great loss, but still…) because I misread what they were about. And yeah, I understand that not every post is an invitation for discussion.

And yes, I understand that discussions can be non-productive, especially when the other person assumes that they know more than they do, or that they’ve thought of some aspect that you haven’t (when you have, a loooong time ago) or when they are just spouting off cliches and bumper stickers under the guise of argument.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Friends, politics, politics/social, social/political | 1 Comment

2 July 2017

Not much; Pat was here last night and joined us for dinner and a play.

This morning: simple 10 mile walk; it was warm.

It took about 2:38. Note: my “map my walk” got it at 10.09. Not much difference. My soles (of my feet) appear to be better; tingling has gone down when I started self massage.

July 2, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | Leave a comment

Steamboat 2017 and Gompertz’s law

How this post is organized: intro, race itself, social, photos, past races.

Introduction: Basically, the Gompertz Mortality Law states that the rate of decline as we age is an “exponential of an exponential”; the proportional rate of decline year by year increases exponentially with respect to time; that is: \frac{\frac{dD}{dt}}{D} = be^{at} where D can be thought of as a “failure rate”. How it applies: I walked the 15K about 48 minutes slower than my best running time, and almost 8 minutes slower than I walked it 6 years ago. There are some caveats there though; I was better trained in 2011, it wasn’t quite so hot, but there is no getting around that my 5K run time was about 1 minute faster too..and my half marathon was about 13 minutes faster (albeit on a much cooler day).

But never mind that; getting to spend time with a friend that I had mostly communicated with on social media really helped make this one special for me.
There was a downer too: Barbara had worked toward finishing the 4 mile, but was laid low by allergies and the heat; she couldn’t start the race. She did join in for socializing afterward though.

The race itself:

As you can see, the weather was suffocating: 73 F with 90 percent humidity at the start, rising to 77 F with 84 percent humidity at the end. And, I did NOT do myself any favors going out as fast as I did; in fact, I went out faster than I did in 2011 which was a big mistake. 5K splits: 37:04, 39:41, 39:07.

I warmed up by walking 2 miles with Lynnor and then took it out way too fast. At 11:28, I was sweating too heavily. My form: we’ll have to see the photos. I was not breathing heavily and my legs never went dead, but in the final 5K, I had no “gear”. It was “same old, same old”.

I bent my knees going up the steep hill; it was at this point Lynnor let me go and I passed T. I wasn’t serious about racing at this point; I wanted to get to the first 5K and I was still averaging under 12 minutes per mile; in fact, I got to mile 4 in 47:47. But the fade had started and while I knew better than to pay attention to my 5 mile split (it is long); I was creeping up to the low 13’s. At least I didn’t have to worry about getting in the way of the faster runners in the second loop.

And yeah, my “plan” to push the final 5K was a big fat bust. I did a back and forth with about a half-dozen ladies and talked to a few of them. The steep downhill mile cheered me some, but my dreams of going sub 11 in the final stretch didn’t materialize; I haven’t done enough fast walking. Ok, and I am slower. Period.

Mile by mile:

11:30, 11:48, 12:37 (steep uphill) 11:51, 13:16 (mile 5), 13:45(?), 11:41 (?), 12:24, (final mile: 12:51)

Looking forward: lots of work before that fall marathon. I have half marathons in July and August to perk me up.

Social: this is what I posted on Facebook:

I did my first Steamboat 15K in 1998 as a runner; I ran 1:08:xx and was somewhat disappointed in my time. 2017: did it as a walker in 1:55:52 (12:26 mpm) I was ok with my time. I was over 7 minutes slower than my fastest walking time (2011) but it was 70 F with 90 percent humidity at the start. And I STILL went out too quickly.

But I’ll be honest: the highlight of this experience for me was getting to know Lynnor better. We walked from the Bradley Campus to the start and, after the race, walked back to Campustown to have coffee.
Barbara was suffering mightily from allergies and couldn’t do her 4 miles as planned, but was a good sport and had coffee with Lynnor and I afterward.

I think that, for me, Steamboat is a reunion of sorts. There are longer races, and there are harder races (though the 15K is a bear to try to run hard). But I see many of my friends all at one place.
I missed Barbara being there, but I got to meet up with Tracy, Theresa, Vickie, Cathy Rupert, Cassie, Herb, Andrew McGlothlen.and my colleague Mat (who ran the 15K) went back on the course to jog a few steps with me. Also, Lori, a math colleague who I did not see at the race, finished her first Steamboat 15K in fine fashion.

It was fun to hear my name from the volunteers AND from some of the faster runners who lapped me in the “2 loop portion” Yes, my 1998 and 1999 self would have lapped me today!
And mid race, I got in a conversation with a woman my age who longed from the days when she was top 25 (she ran 1:11, I think…”in the day”) and it reminded me that time indeed takes its toll on EVERYONE. But I can still beat the cut off and I should savor that as long as I can. Even if Lynnor didn’t want to stay with me today.

Photos:

Cassie and Lynnor together.

Cassie and me.

Herb Kasube, a math colleague

Lynnor finishing up

Lynnor, Rich and me.

Mama T and me before the start.

Waiting for the start; tattooed ladies.

Theresa, Cathy and Vickie (3 yoga teachers)

Tracy…in her cat shirt and no, she was not “the last one”, as she always says that she will be.

Lori, one of our newer math professors finishing up.

Another one of Lynnor.

My posture and leg do not look that bad.

Another good one of Vickie.

Mama T finishing up…yes, that is me in the background (Lynnor was about 1 minute back).

Toni from our walking group driving it home.

Evan from our walking group.

Barb finishing her race.

Evan and Brian from our walking group.

About 2.1 miles to go; I was to pass this lady and stay ahead of her.

Here, we had just come down off of the big hill for the last time; we had about 2.1 miles to go. My leg is not that bad. The lady in back was to catch me, and we went back and forth the rest of the way. She won.

I am where the red arrow is. I am still holding walking form; the woman in the camouflage tights is passing me.

Though this woman passed me, my “chip time” was still just a tad faster. Note that I kept walking.

Theresa, Katie and Georgia about mid way.

I am getting lapped by Jason (1:01:22)

Colleen and me, having a conversation about 4 miles into it.

Cassie (in the black) about midway through the 4 mile event.

Mat

Mat chasing a runner

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.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | , | 1 Comment

Hills and games…

Nothing much of substance today, though I had a great day, socially.

AM: jogged a mile and met the lovely but “tough as nails” Lynnor for some faster hill walking; total was about 6 miles.

Later, I caught the Sunday matinee baseball game between the Chiefs and the Lumberkings. I joked that my feelings were hurt that I didn’t get carded when I bought a “senior” (55 years old or older) ticket.

The Chiefs lost 9-5 in a game that featured 6 home runs (3 apiece) in the fist 6 innings, plus multiple extra base hits. The Chiefs did well on offense to win the game, but the Lumberkings hit exceptionally well.

Then, later, dinner with a dear friend at Ruchis Indian Restaurant.

June 12, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends, walking | | Leave a comment

Correcting the problem….

I am trying to correct my posture; for some reason it falls apart when I walk but not when I run:

Yes, the first photo was a bit slanted and probably exaggerated my lean. But it is way too much.

So today, I walked and did some weights. 2 miles outside (focused on posture), 4 miles inside (2 laps on, 2 laps off) 53:46 13:34, 13:32, 13:32, 13:17 (lane 2). Then back exercises and goblet squats: 50-75 (sets of 6, butt to the bench) 1:30 plank. My posture was dramatically better, but I focused.

Exercise class: I am taking an exercise class on Wednesday nights. Last night, it ended with hula hooping. I gave up and took some photos; I’ll have to learn how. I got some photos; Jennifer did reasonably well.

June 8, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | | Leave a comment

First big test of the year coming up (sports)

This weekend: Saturday: 4 mile running race. I have no idea of what I can do. I really need to treat this as a 40 minute event and not go out too fast. Seriously, sub 37 would be good for me, though I know, deep down, I REALLY want 36..though I could not get that at my last 2 5K runs (where I started out too fast) and barely got that in the previous 3. BUT, I am better rested this time.

Sunday: half marathon powerwalk. There is a long time limit so finishing shouldn’t be a problem; I have a sub 2:40 goal, though really, seriously, 2:30 should be possible. We’ll see. A 7 am start time will help.

Today’s workout: no running, no walking. Weights went well:
rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10; last one was 7-3 (switch grip)
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 190, 5 x 185, 9 x 170 (didn’t push to the limit in any of these)
military (dumbbell): 10 x 55 seated, supported (best), 10 x 50, 10 x 40
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 10 x 60
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, 3 sets of 10 yoga half bridges, headstand (shaky..took me 3 tries to get into it)

Last night: 3.5 miles of easy walking.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

More fluff…but fun


Two were from exercise class; the latter was my finishing a 5K in just under 29 minutes…had to walk due to starting out too fast. I tend to forget that RIGHT NOW, 8:50-8:55 is a good 5K pace for me. 8:30: can’t sustain it right now…AT THIS WEIGHT. That is reality. Now, IF I can take off 10 pounds…who knows. Things appear to be headed in the right direction but we will see. It seems as if I have not quite recovered from last years “two marathon attempts” in the fall…and the “before I was ready” attempt at a 24 hour last June.

Workout notes: 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.11 miles, done 5.3-5.6 every 2, then 6.7-7.1, then 7.2-7.3 for the final 2 minutes) That is 1.392 miles in 12 minutes, or 8:37 for 1.4 miles (about). Come to think of it, that is what I did at that 5K.

Then I walked 3 laps on the track and 1.7 miles outside to get 4. More walking with the group this evening.

June 1, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | Leave a comment

Crisis of confidence: as you get older…

I am lucky that a Facebook friend gave me a playful taunt about the Steamboat 15K. She is a Bradley graduate and a stepdaughter of a retired colleague who will be back in town for the 15K.

Now I’ve never done well at this race. My times have ranged from a high 1:07 (1999, as a runner) to 1:41 last year, and 1:48 as a walker. I haven’t seen sub 1:10 since 1999, sub 1:20 since 2002 and my last sub 1:30 was 2014 (when I was much faster in the 5K). 1:35 would be a great goal for me.

But never mind that.

What got me to thinking about this post is all of the silly memes aimed at new runners..you know those that say “take “never” out of your vocabulary”, etc. Yeah, I get it: most new runners are capable of doing better than they think is possible.

But I am in a different place.

Yes, I’ve finished 60 events of a marathon or beyond. But what sticks in my mind more are the 7 DNFs, including one time I dropped from a 100 at mile 50 (with a time I’d love to do in a 50 miler) and got 20 more. (pacing others). I remember the literally hundreds of bad workouts I’ve had instead of the successful ones.

Even today: it was cool, (37 F) and dry (for now) and I decided to try my very hilly 8.1 mile “Cornstalk” course (10 good uphills in the middle 6 miles). My time was slow (1:36:01; 48:40/47:20) but I was more worried about being able to complete the workout than anything else. Yes, I’ve done slower. I’ve also done this in the low 1:20’s and faster over the past 2-3 years; it seems as if I’ve been awful since my October marathon. Part of it is 10 extra pounds, I think. Part of it was leg weights yesterday, and part of it was the long lay-off from training.

So, my confidence: I am having trouble distinguishing not having enough confidence and being realistic. After all, the last time I broke 1:30 for the Steamboat, I was running sub 25 minute 5Ks. Now, the equivalent time is 28 minutes; do the math.

And I’ve run half marathons (13.1 miles) faster than today’s 8.1 mile workout time. UGH.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running | | Leave a comment