Not quite but

I was hoping to knock today’s walk “out of the park”. I did not. See last week.

I was up and gone right at 7 am or so. 61 F, 87 percent at the start, rising to 77 F, 52 percent and falling to 76, 50 percent humidity (as opposed to 70F 81 percent at the start, 73 F, 81 percent last week).

I did the 18.6 loop followed by a 1.7 loop:

2:45 (2:44 last week) to Northmore/Sheridan (15:18 average), 3:27:08 (3:25:34) at Glenn and Central (5 to go) (14:53) 14:35 to Forest Hill (1 mile), 57:59 (58:33) for the final 4 miles home,(4:40:01 (4:38:44) for 18.6) then 25:34 (26:03) for the final 1.7: 5:05:35 (5:04:47) for 20.33. Hmmm, 48 seconds difference between weeks. This one was a bit tougher and took slightly more out of me; I think it was because I ate very lightly last night and ran out of fuel. But still, I finished slightly faster this time, albeit with a slightly slower overall time?

Today’s walk had lots of little frustrations: convoy of park district vehicles on the bike path, lots of “tour de Krispy Kreme” bike riders out and about, etc.

I was hoping for a big break-through but instead, held my ground.

July 28, 2018 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

What to do?

Well, I am at a crossroads with some research. We shall see. I need to rewrite a large section. But the rewrite will be easier than the original.

Workout notes: 3 miles on the treadmill, 3.1 on the track. The track walk came after a break (TMI) and the treadmill run was 10 minute warm up, 10 minutes medium tempo, 10 minutes faster tempo (11:17, 21:06, 29:53; going 6.1 mph for the second 10, then 6.7 for 5 minutes, 6.8 for 3, 6.9 for 2).

Long goal: try to rebuild walking speed then focus on a 2 week cycle with main workouts as follows:

running tempo
walking pacing (sub 13 walking for 4-6 miles)
Then one long workout per week: one week building up to 15 with segments at “marathon walk” pace (say, sub 15 minute per mile walking), the next being a conventional getting in the distance (up to 18-20).
Sprinkle in a 5K here and there for social reasons (and this replaces the running tempo)

Aim for either Quad Cities (late September, 7 hour time limit) OR Des Moines (mid to late October, 7 hour time limit..if QC weather is hot). Tentative goal: 6:20 (14:30 mpm pace).

Now my plan is to get on the road shortly to check out the Normal Cornbelters (independent baseball; Frontier league; roughly low-A level of competition)

June 19, 2018 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

Starting out grumpy but

This semester: all of my rooms have whiteboards! That means less worry about markers running out, though I might have to carry an emergency piece of chalk for the building next door.

The weight room had people in it again, and no, this wasn’t the “New Year’s Resolution” people; these are the regulars from last year.
Still, I got through my routine with no problems; I can’t ask for more than that. Ok, I could ask to be stronger and faster… 🙂

usual pt
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (not that bad)
incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 10 x 140 (good hips)
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 180 (90 each arm) machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, 10 x 110 machine
abs: 1 set of 24 twist crunches (24 each side), 1 set of 10 yoga leg lifts, 1 minute plank (tougher than it sounds after the previous two sets)
head stand

Treadmill: walked 2 miles in 27:46 (15:00, 12:46) moving from 3.7 miles per hour and up .1 mph every 2 minute at 0.5 incline. Ironically, this was maybe 3-4 minutes longer than it would have taken me to jog this at an easy effort.

Decisions: there is a marathon in Arkansas over the first weekend in March. It does fill up, so I need to make a decision within a week or so. The flights to and from Little Rock work. No, I am not in shape, but there is a walking division and an 8 hour time limit and I’d be walking just to finish under the time limit..nothing else. Do I or don’t I?

January 17, 2018 Posted by | marathons, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Current Marathon or Beyond List, 2017

Maryland Marathon: 3:33

San Antonio Marathon 3:48

East Lyme Marathon (CT) 4:24

1998 (2)
Quad Cities Marathon 3:55 (hot: 207 out of over 1000)
Chicago Marathon 3:46

Quad Cities Marathon 3:45

2000 (2)
Lake Okoboji (IA) 4:25
Indianapolis Marathon 3:38

Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40

2002 (4) (13 total)
San Diego Marathon 3:57 (run)
Fairfield (IA) 50K 6:22 (walk)
Quad Cities Marathon 4:44 (walk)
Rocket City Marathon 4:04 (run)
(injured going in; had to run/walk)

2003 (5) (18 total)
McNaughton 50K (run) 7:04
Ice Age 50K 7:18 (walk)
Park City Marathon (UT) 5:17 (walk)

Judy Birthday 50K (walk; informal-Fat ass type)
Quivering Quads (MO) 50K 8:11 (walk)

2004 (7) (25 total)
McNaughton 50 mile 12:46 (walk)
Cornbelt (IA) 24 hour (101 miles), walk
Wandleweekend (NED) 24 hour (88 miles) walk

Fairfield 50K 7:16 (walk)
Quad Cities Marathon 5:13 (walk)
Chicago Ultra 50K 6:20 (walk)

Ultracentric (TX) 24 hour 81 miles (walk)

2005 (8) (33 total)
McNabb (IL) FatAss 50K 6:25 (run, sort of)
Chicago Ultra 50K (spring) 6:42 (walk)
McNaughton 100 34:16 (walk)
Andy Payne Marathon (OK) 5:25 (walk)
Lean Horse 100 (SD), 29:34 (walk)

Quad Cities Marathon 5:34 (walk)
Chicago Ultra 50K 6:29 (walk)
Ultracentric 24 hour 70 (walk)

2006 (5) (38 total)
McNabb (IL) FatAss 50K 6:37 (run, sort of)
Houston Ultra 24 hour 76 mile (walk)
Stigma 8 hour 27 mile (trail) (walk)
McNaughton (100 DNF), got to mile 50 then 20 more.
Ice Age 50K 7:36 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 83 miles (walk)

2007 (4) (42 total)
FANS 24 hour 66 mile (walk) (couldn’t train until 5-6 weeks prior)
FX 12 hour 34 mile (walk)
Farmdale 33 miles 9:27 (walk)
Ultracentric 24 hour 58 mile (walk)

2008 (3) (45 total)
McNaughton 50 mile (staged; 31:37 walk)
Andy Payne Marathon 6:16 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 47 miles (walk)

2009 (5) (50 total)
McNaughton 100 miler (47:45; staged, walk)
(brutal conditions; the drop out rate was astounding: 74 started the 100 and 27 finished; 47 started the 150 and 27 made it to 100 (including the 12 who finished all 150); in total 54 out of 121 starters made it to 100 miles and I was one of these)
Rockford Marathon 5:14 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 66 miles (walk)
Mulshoe 44 (DNF, ran out of time at mile 29) walk
Quad Cities Marathon 5:28 (walk)
McNot-aGain 30 mile 8:55 (walk)
(fought through injuries for these last two; almost no training was possible)

2010 (51)
McNotagain 30 mile 9:52 (knee surgery 3.5 months prior)

2011 (52)
Fans 24 hour: 54.5 miles

2012 (53)
We Walk Lake Wobegone marathon 6:58:58

2013 (54)
River City Marathon (run/walk) 5:44:55

2014 (55)
McNotAgain 30 9:54

2015 3 for the year (58 )
FANS 24 hour 59.9 miles

PNC River City Marathon (walk) 5:49:23

McNotAgain 30 (walk) 11:03

2016 2 for the year, (60 and counting)

FANS 24 hour walk 38 miles (35.9 in 10:40)

PNC marathon (run/walk) 5:52

2017: 2 DNF, one 50K
36 Hours of Jack Monkey Flunker 50K 8:42.

December 18, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, ultra, walking | , | Leave a comment

still grading

Not quite done with finals…still addition, grade calculation…should be done in 3-4 more hours.

Lots to talk about later…

Workout notes: yesterday, weights plus 2 miles plus (outer lane) in 28:40 on the track); usual pt,
pull ups: 5 sets of 10; ok
dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70 (2 sets)
incline bench press: 3 x 150, 10 x 135
military press (dumbbells) 10 x 50, 10 x 45 (standing)
military press (machine) 10 x 110
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 110 machine.

Today: 4.3 mile run..had to stop due to unusual lower GI issues. (rare for me)

Selected photos from the ultra (36 hours of Jack) They show the start (navigating uneven terrain..there is where the bent knee is), mile 3, and the finish.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

36 Hours of Jack Monkey Flunker 50K…almost dead last BUT…

I had not planned on this race, but when I bombed out of both of my marathon attempts (too hot for attempt 1..90 F, and went out too fast for attempt 2 due to the 6 hour cut off), I wanted to keep my streak of “at least one marathon finish or longer each year starting in 1998” streak alive.

So I searched, found this 36 Hours of Jack race which had an associated 50K with a 12 hour cut off and decided to give it a go.

Up shot: 8:42:42 for the 50K, via splits: (each is 12.5 km) 2:01, 2:05:46, 2:15, 2:20:50. Slow downs were 5, 10, 5 minutes respectively. I walked 100 percent of the time. I was 7:16 at 42.5 km (just past a marathon).

The course: downhill from the start line to the trail, via a park road (maybe 200 meters?) then about half a mile along side roads with moderate traffic; aside from one street crossing, you had the grassy shoulder which was suitable for running/walking. There was a short trail to the main trail, and that was crushed limestone/gravel, similar to the Rock Island trail near Peoria, IL.

There were a few very shallow inclines/declines that were not significant; the closest thing to an uphill was along the road from the trail back to the park, and it was, at most, a minor hill.

Aid stations: one at close to mile 3, one at the turn around and one at the start/finish (hot food). Volunteers were outstanding.

Oddities along the trail: near the start, you pass by an automobile junkyard. And I did see some goats actually on the trail; they moved off as I went by. My photos: the finisher’s award (unusual, and the goats)

More detail: the 100 milers start 1 hour earlier; we started with the 100K and the 75 K; a 25K and 15K (and 30K) started an hour later.

I was a little annoyed that 2 of the people behind me dropped down to the 25K; I finished ahead of a lady being dragged along the course by a male (husband? friend? coach?) but didn’t catch her until toward the end of the first out and back.

I saw many in the longer races and a few speed burners in the shorter race while I was out there; I had long stretches of “alone” time out there. 23 finished the 50K.

Going out one could see the “5K turn around” check point, the “last lap of the 100 mile” check point and the “15K turn around” checkpoint. In a way, these were good because you could see where you were. But they were also bad because you could see how much longer it took you to get to each point; the slow down was real, and frustrating. Yes, I used to slow down when I was younger, but well, it isn’t fair to have to slow down when you are slow to begin with!

My Walter Mitty goal was 3:45/4:10; my “b” goal was 4:00/4:25 and what I got was 4:06/4:36. Yes, I know; I was 7:11 for the opening 50K of my “101 miles in 24, and my best 3 50K walks were 6:20, 6:22, 6:29. What can I say? (those were in 2004, 2002, 2005).

I never got nauseated; it was cool (high 20’s at the start, low 40’s later); I ate a small bag of pretzels at 7.8 miles and at 19 miles; had some juice at mile 15.5 and some Heed at mile 23. I was able to have soup at the finish. I did feel slightly sick later; more on that later. Chinese buffet on the way home helped.

My legs started to get heavy half way, but I told myself “you didn’t drive all that way just to do 25 km” and at mile 23.5, I was determined to finish. My feet started to hurt around then; I felt the pebbles and stones.

What can I say? In away, I was embarrassed to be so slow. But part of me feels like an “old warrior” and I feel good about completing another one, even at a pace slower than one of my 100 milers.

Effect on my older body
I had an interesting effect. I thought that I would drive at least part of the way home after the race (drive is about 6:30 total) but, on the highway, I started having double vision (side by side); I was seeing a second set of lane stripes which went at an angle and I had a hard time seeing what lanes the cars ahead me was in.

Stopping for food helped only momentarily. Stopping for gas and to clean my glasses really didn’t help much either. So I pulled into a hotel to sleep it off and that did the trick. I suppose that I was both “jacked up” and “so tired I couldn’t see straight” at the same time. And today, I am much more fatigued that I feel that I should be, though…I am not that sore.

About the 36 Hours of Jack event: it was well organized; good aid, good trail markings, etc. I’d do it again. But for my politically minded friends: it is conservative (National Anthem, a prayer before the start of the 100…very churchy and religious). Since it is a private event, that didn’t bother me, but some might be bothered.

What I would do differently next time: I’d go ahead and arrange for 2 nights in the Carthage hotel (I used the Quality Inn) instead of attempting to make it part of the way home.
I like the barbecue place in Carthage.

December 10, 2017 Posted by | marathons, travel, ultra, walking | 1 Comment

keep on keeping on..

Well, I haven’t given up on long distance walking…yet, but I have revised what is realistic for me to achieve. I have an idea about my next attempt..or two attempts.

Quad Cities Marathon – Photo by Erling Larson

From the A set of photos by Howell Photographic Arts of the Quad Cities Marathon.

Today: easy 5.2 mile walk in the drizzle. I did yoga last night.

October 12, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking, yoga | Leave a comment

DNF again (3 of 4)

No easy way to say it: I dnf’ed at close to mile 17, but I had to walk the “walk of shame” 1.2 miles to the start.
So, in terms of road marathons: 3 dnf’s in the last 4 attempts (2 QC marathons were heat related..mile 20); this one was my going out too fast for my abilities because of the 6 hour time limit.

Reality: I no longer have 2:25 half marathon speed (when I could walk in the 5:30-5:40 range); it now takes me 2:4x to do a half and that is not enough margin of error for a 6 hour time limit. To finish, I need to be trained AND have non-hot weather AND have a 6:30-7 hour time limit so I can take it out at a realistic 14 minute pace.

And I need to lose at least 10 lbs.; 15 would be better.

So, I don’t view this as a failure on my part as much as my taking an challenge that I am no longer up to. The writing is on the wall; my 2012 marathon: got sick; rested 1 hour; finished just under 7 hours. 2013, 2016: run/walks in the 5:40-5:50 range. 2015: walk in perfect conditions: 5:48. The trend is clear.

Splits: 1:02:55 (5), 2:08:14 (10; uphill), 2:50:20 (half marathon), 3:18:34 (15; included bathroom; crashed here) I could not longer even sustain a 17 minute pace at this point, so I told race officials that I was dropping.

Weather: warmed up quite a bit by about half way; first half was nice and cool (albeit humid)

But there was some fun too.

My plan: stay behind the 5:30/2:45 (half) pace groups for the first 8-10 miles, then see what I could sustain. I really needed to hit the half at 2:50 or so to stand a chance..and I did. But by then the legs were gone; I was about 3:03:30 at mile 14 and starting to slow badly. The half marathon had turned off and I was solo, solo, solo.

The 5:30 pace guy was going a bit faster than I wanted to; mile 1 was 12:18 (fine for a half marathon..not a marathon). So I dropped back and walked with Cindy, the 2:45 pace person who was more or less solo. We kept each other company until the hill at 7.5 miles and I let her go; we exchanged names. Chatting with her and some of the others was very pleasant.

Afterward, I waited for Mat to finish (5:07) and chatted with Jennifer and others.

Seeing others along the way was a real treat; Theresa, Barbara and Cassie took photos of me along the way.

I saw this shirt at about mile 2; it made me laugh.

Theresa took this shot of Cindy and me.

Barbara took these four photos near mile 10, near our house.

Cassie got this one of me, between mile 12 and half way; I was starting to crumble.

Mat finishing.

Jennifer and me after the race.

Workout notes: on the road; got a Riverplex workout first. rotator cuff, bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 10 x 165, incline: 10 x 135. pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (at least, maybe 6), military: dumbbell: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 5 x 140 new machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. light yoga, including headstand. squats: to the bench: 10 x 35, 10 x 50, 10 x 70.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Friends, marathons, walking, weight training | 1 Comment

time for talk…over

Marathon tomorrow. I plan to walk the whole way, if possible. Strategy: stay behind and close to the 5:30 pace group, never getting ahead of them and hang on for dear life. If they are still in sight at mile 13-15, I’ll do fine. It will NOT be easy though, even though the weather will be better than 2 weeks ago. The first 2-3 hours look to be cool, next two should be nice..then it gets tough.

I need to average 13:43 mpm to meet my goal. Yes, they record finish times after 6 hours, though you have to move to the sidewalk. And if they let me, I’ll keep going.

Workout notes: today, 2 mile walk.
yesterday: full weights, light yoga: PT, 4 sets of 10 pull ups, bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, incline press: 7 x 150, 10 pull ups, dumbbell bench 10 x 70, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell, 10 x 200 Hammer, military; dumbbell 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine military: 10 x 180 (90 each arm),

October 7, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking, weight training | Leave a comment


I was wondering why I ran out of power. Bottom line: I simply do not train enough to have “reserve capacity” to overcome things like hot weather. In the days of old, I had much longer walks (and more total miles) so I would not shut down so early.

I am trained enough to finish IF conditions are not quite this severe. So my options moving forward: find a way to get my body to accept more training, or choose my races more carefully.

Workout notes: weights only; yoga later:
hip hikes, toe raises, rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), incline press (one bench was ooc) 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 7 x 150, dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70, dumbbell military press (standing) 10 x 50 (sloppy), 10 x 45, 20 x 40, machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Goblet squats: 10 x 44 (sill), 10 x 53 (sill), 10 x 70 (20 inch).

I was ok; that the squats went ok was a pleasant surprise.

September 25, 2017 Posted by | marathons, weight training | Leave a comment