blueollie

It is not every day that I get owned this badly…

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September 8, 2017 Posted by | Friends, humor | Leave a comment

Goat Rant Two: how to get me to ignore your article, post, etc.

Ok, I know, I know, Mat, Mike, Tom, Carmen, Lynnor, Theresa, Lynn, Jennifer and others are saying “ok, how do you get him to ignore me?” 🙂

Ok, here is how you do it.

Issues posts: when you post that article, be sure to say:

1. “shut up and listen”. Uh, no. I won’t do either. Yes, I know what you mean; there are some experiences that I am not qualified to judge (say, being a black person in the USA, being a woman in a mostly male environment; yes, I get that). But IF you want me to read your stuff, do not start with “shut up…”

2. “you have to stop doing this right now…” Uh, no. I don’t have to do anything you say. Now IF I respect your opinion to give it some thought, I’ll entertain the thought. But you are not qualified to tell me what to do. IF you want for me to change, you need to convince me. And saying “as a member of protected class X, I don’t like that” is not convincing.

3. “this is not ok”. Uh, no. Yes, maybe it isn’t ok, but I am not going to take your word for it, no more that I’ll take, say, the Bible’s word or some preacher’s word for it. If you want me to change and you have no direct power over me, you need to convince me.

Seriously, you are not entitled to my attention and you are not entitled to be taken seriously by me. And, if your message is counterintuitive, I am going to blow you off unless you’ve build up credibility with me, and that means having a record of being right much of the time. Your self assessment of your own wisdom and intelligence is NOT a credential.

Personal posts

Let me make this clear: I do think that having some trusted friends to talk things over with is a wonderful thing; I can’t value a “trusted ear that doesn’t judge you” enough. I think that there is a place to exorcise our inner demons. And there is nothing wrong with discussing your problems and challenges of the day.

But there is more…

I read a post that said something about “why do we have to justify our suffering to others..” that I wanted to respond to. I didn’t as I don’t know that individual very well. But I’ll give a generic response

1. There seems to be a “normal” response to various bad things that happen, and by “normal” I mean a “normal range” of responses that vary from person to person. So, if we see a friend or loved one who *appears* to be well outside of the “normal range” of response, they may well be a candidate for professional help…and such help may well make them feel better, which is the goal.

2. Relationships, as far as I am concerned, are a two way street. That doesn’t mean that they are symmetric; in fact they rarely are. Example: there are some friends where I am usually the one making the invitation; there are others where it might be more appropriate for them to do the inviting (or at least to solicit an invitation from me). There are some where I do most (all?) of the physical helping…etc.

But both people have to get something out of it. And if someone is always reacting to events “in crisis mode” or if they are always the one suffering and expect to receive support that they rarely, if ever, offer..well, again, in a friendship, both people have needs that should be met. This isn’t to say that some go through some very rough things (say, death of a family member, severe sickness, job loss, divorce, etc.) where they will be taking more than giving..FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. But overall, it has to be a two way street.

3. As far as two way streets go: of course one should be polite to friends. But if I find myself constantly having to walk on egg shells…forget it. That is more stress than the friendship is worth…that is a time where I say “I’ll leave their company for others to enjoy”. And if someone makes a habit of flaking out of invitations due to “social anxiety” or whatever, well, that is a “time to leave their company for others to enjoy”. An occasional broken date happens…it is unavoidable. But when I have to wonder if they will show…time to move on and spend time with those who are more reliable. Again, friendship is a two way street and if I can’t (within reason) count on them to show, they aren’t meeting MY needs.

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

Tale of two walks…

Yesterday, I took Mat to Mahomet to do a half marathon. Weather was reasonably cool and the course was “gently rolling”. But I was tired from the start; while Mat ran very well (2:02), I was 2:52:33 (about 7 minutes over goal).

I was mostly doing 12:20 on the down stretches and 12:40 on the uphill stretches until mile 9. That was my first 13:xx (13:10) and I thought “oh crap”; I was 1:58 at 15K at 2:07:50 at mile 10. Then I fell apart and averaged about 14:20-14:30 the rest of the way, getting passed by the 3 young guys just before the overpass and the pretty young woman on the track. I was “just done”; legs were dead and I had no energy.

But…when we went to breakfast, I perked right up. Yes, I did not eat before the race, but then again, I didn’t eat before the Galesburg half either and I did get zapped this badly.

I think it is a combination of things, INCLUDING weighing over 200 pounds. That has to change in the next month, if I am to walk a marathon in under 6 hours.

Results: 2:47, 1:56 15K (2:45 half equ.), 2:42, 2:52. All were since the first week of June. Yes, that is too many to race optimally, but I am using these to train for a marathon. I remember that when I ran my masters PR marathon (3:38, back in 2000), I had a series of slow half marathons that, while they felt discouraging, got me ready for the goal marathon.

So, while my race stunk, I enjoyed the first 10 miles of it and had fun with Mat.

Note: I’ve done this half marathon as a runner many times; I had a 1:55 (1998, 2001), 1:48 (2000) and a 1:37 (1999).

Today, I went out for 4 hours (15.5 miles; 15:30 average pace). What was good is that the final 5 miles (of the first 14.9 miles) was done in 1:12:40 (14:32 pace). That got me to 3:51. I did a 9 minute final loop to get me to 15.54.

What was interesting is that about 6 miles into it, I slowed down a few times; I was really ready to quit. I felt tired, had no energy..was discouraged. The first 5 went fine but for some reason, the next two miles really, really sucked. I was ready to turn it in but the 10-15 minutes of slower walking seemed to revive me, so I turned TOWARD Tower Park instead of home…and then I could feel my pace pick up; I felt good again.

The rest of the walk went fine; I am sure glad that I didn’t miss it. What caused that “depression” in the middle still baffles me. But I really did my best walking in the final 6 miles. And I even got greeted, several times…and got encouragement from ladies in a van.

The course: my standard trek to the River (Cooper, Moss, Union, MLK, Kumpf) though I did an out and back through the Gateway (they were breaking down the area), in front of the Riverplex, back to the trail, around the goose loop, around the ball field wall (that was 5 miles today) then the standard through the cemetery.

I took the “right hand road” path up the hill in Springdale to get to Prospect, then to Forrest Hill, then up Central to Tower Park (the standard “Boredom” way. Then I returned via Boredown (Hansler to get to Broadway). I felt awful in Springdale, started to feel good going up Central and felt GREAT from Tower Park back home.

Photos from the race:

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | , , | Leave a comment

low energy all around but life is good

I was sort of low energy today. I slept in..that felt good but I still had time for 10 miles:

My time: 2:33…15-15:10 mpm. Not much energy but I got it in.

Then I had lunch with Tracy and assembled a chest of draws for her; I am just terribly incompetent.

By the time I was done…I was tired and resolved to go home and rest..I had given up on making the Chiefs game; it was 5:45 and the Chiefs game started at 6:30. But I said…”what the hell” and left the house at just before 6.

I had time to get a ticket, get a cheeseburger and watch the game (3-1 Timber Rattlers winning; 2 run home run and then an insurance run in the top of the 9’th).

Contrast the above to the 7 dollar ticket that I got for Friday night’s White Sox vs. Cleveland game:

It was a full, if unproductive, day.

I have much to write about, re: my Chicago trip, but this trip, my nights were taken up by 2 White Sox games (one with a buddy) and travel. I also had a very pleasant lunch with a friend.

With Pat at the Cubs vs. White Sox game (Cubs won 6-3; good game though)

Our view (better than the other one)

Michelle agreed to go to lunch; I had not seen her since 1974 (in Yokota High School, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan). I played football with her brother Johnny.

I walked a bit; I did two Lakeshore path courses. This is from Northerly Island. You can see some of the skyline and Soldier Field.

From below the Shedd Aquarium

There was some great mathematics too. There were a couple of talks I wish that I had prior to teaching certain courses, and one that I wish that I had early in graduate school.

This is Dusa McDuff. She was the main speaker and gave three great talks. She is a professor at Columbia and..a member of the National Academy of Science (a very elite list, very elite; most Ivy league faculty do not make it). And yet..she rode the L to get to the airport. Someone of her accomplishment in, say, economics, would have been given a personal limo.

July 31, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends, mathematics, travel, walking | , , | 1 Comment

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