Workout notes: swim then weights.
Swim: 2200 yards; low energy. A nice lady allowed me to share a lane with her; she even moved over. And there was a MILF type in the next lane in a bright red workout bikini..she was fast too. One time I caught up to her and she made it a point to speed up. 🙂
500 warm up, 10 x 25 drill (3g or fist), 25 swim (no fins), 5 x 200 on the 4: 4 were 3:31-3:33, one was 3:29. 200 back to cool down.
Weight: 186 prior to swimming; 184.5 after.
Then upstairs; gym wasn’t that crowded but I had low energy. pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (challenging), rotator cuff
bench press (weak) 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 6 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135 (ok)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 standing
row: basic machine, 3 sets of 10 x 45
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunches, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, moving bridge recoveries
2016: what am I going to do? I’ll break it down by spring/fall. I do want to do at least one marathon (spring or fall?)
Option 1: focus on FANS 24 in June; this means that I need to walk a LOT and do some butt and leg strengthening so I might be able to finish the McNaughton 50 in April.
Option 2: focus on 1 mile/5K running. Still, I’ll need more leg/butt strength than I have now.
Option 3: focus on swimming and lifting; let running and walking supplement that. Find some open water swim this summer as a reward? Get the bench press to 210 again?
Option 4: no goals; just do “whatever” I feel like doing (a mix of everything).
Oh well, it just isn’t important, is it?
Spandex note: Girls in Yoga Pants has a shot of what they claim is a (grade school?) teacher in see through yoga pants…in the classroom. I can’t imagine a school finding this appropriate teaching attire; my guess is that this is probably some college snowflake doing student teaching.
Ok, like most people, I have some things that are important to me that I am keeping private. I can say that my health, finances and job are fine. I just make this statement, because some view these “here is what is going on with me newsletters” as PR which pretends that things are better than they really are.
So, in my omission, there is nothing life threatening or even all that unusual.
This is really written for me but I am making it available to friends who might be interested in parts of it.
Personal Life Pretty much same old, same old. This was the first year complete year without my parents. What was different is that I only made one trip to Austin this year, and that was to visit my daughter. This was the day after my mathematics conference at TCU ended. I did make several trips to Ohio to visit her and bring her to Peoria. We also toured the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum together this fall.
Barbara took several trips; I guess that she was gone for about a total of 2 months.
About the only other thing is that I had a personal administrative task early this year.
Professional life I didn’t make as much progress on research as I hoped. But I was busy. I did have one large administrative task this summer. I also taught “life contingencies” which is a part of actuarial science; the material was completely new and foreign to me. It was almost as if *I* were taking a brand new course. That was very draining.
I also taught topology for the first time. I’ve linked to the class blog; I had a ball writing it. It still gets a few hits here and there.
I also had a nice conference at TCU; I talked about my own research and outlined some ideas I have on extending it. My research is in this area.
I also have some other ideas to mull over. Next week?
I reviewed 3 articles (Math Reviews and Math Z); I got an idea from a couple of these papers.
Goals for 2016
One of my goals is to submit a paper for publication.
The stuff I can’t control: we had mass resignations of upper administration (President, Provost, Athletic Director); that occupied the thoughts of many of us.
Sports life: personal sports
This was a disappointment. Running: 25:27 was my fastest 5K; I had only a few others under 26 minutes, and none after May. I have slowed from 2014. But perhaps this was due to my flirting with the very long stuff again; I had a 59.9 mile 24 hour in June (no training), 5:48 walking marathon in October (and I really did train for this), and a disaster of a trail 30 miler this November (tired from the marathon 3 weeks earlier?).
Perhaps the highlights were the 24 hour and the Illinois Valley Half Marathon: I walked a very slow time (did 4 miles prior to the race). But during the walk, I had a very fun back and forth with a local GILF who gave me good natured grief along the way. It is rare that I have fond memories from a bad race, but this is one of those times.
Swimming: I worked back to 2-3 times per week, but didn’t do a single 10 x 100 set where I got under 1:40 for each one, but I am close to being able to do that now. I can do 200’s on the 4 under 3:30.
Weight lifting: On a good day I can do a couple of sets of 15 (on the way to at total of 50 repetitions). Max bench press was 200, and I got 4 x 185 at that bodyweight on the bench press. I haven’t declined that much this year.
Goals for 2015
None at the moment; I have to decide if I want to focus on long walking or 5K running, or even focus on swimming.
Social I started off the year with a NFL playoff game (my first): Colts vs. Bengals and Bradley Basketball.
I was a faithful fan, but the men’s season was a disaster and the women…well..showed some hope later in the season.
I also caught one NIT game (Illinois State)
Then I watched a ton of Chiefs games (low A minor league baseball). I anticipate more of the same; it is a pleasant way to spend a summer evening.
Then football: a full season of Illinois home games (6 games), one Baldwin Wallace D-3 home game and one FCS playoff game (Illinois State). I also caught a slew of NFL games: 5 Rams home games, 2 Colts home games, and I have a ticket for a Chiefs home game tomorrow. I even managed to go to one of the games…well…make it 3 of the games, with a complete crew. I did make 2 games solo and am about to make a third.
Why so many? I think that part of it is that I no longer do lots of marathons/ultra marathons and I don’t drive to Texas anymore. And, there is something about a road trip that is just uplifting, especially if it is to do a specific thing (e. g. marathon) or see something (e. g. a game).
I am not sure as to what will happen next year, especially if the Rams leave to Los Angeles. Sometimes, it has been a chore rounding up people to go with, though I have enjoyed my two solo NFL trips.
It hasn’t gotten to the point where people run away when they see me coming with tickets…but it might get to that point. 🙂
Friendships I talked about this earlier. Doing stuff with people is fine. But it is tricky line between saying “I care” and starting to give unsolicited suggestions to those who are acting in a self-destructive manner. I’ll be a better friend if I practice “MYOB” more often…as in “all of the time.”
What I have learned in 2015: on the average, liberals are every bit as guilty of “bubble thinking” and “failing to examine their assumptions” as conservatives are. I am guilty of this at times.
First, I had a struggling (at first) recovery run of 4.2 miles; it was humid and the first mile was UGH. On the way back, I heard voices and there was a bespandexed MILF running with someone on a bike beside her. I had the dilemma: do I stay at pace and let her pass me just to enjoy the view…or do I pick it up a little because…after all these years…I still HATE getting passed? 🙂
I ended up picking it up a little and I eventually turned off.
Then to the gym for weights followed by light yoga (headstand included)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (better)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 170,
incline: 10 x 135
super set: military press: 10 x 45, 10 x 40, 10 x 40 (dumbbells)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 (each arm, dumbbell), 10 x 200 Hammer machine.
Note: while going across campus, one of the young women smiled and said “hi..now I’ve seen you outside of the gym!” That was just a bit troubling; I am not as invisible in the gym as I’d wish. 🙂
Navel Staring: I first started lifting weights regularly in 1972 and that was to get ready for football. I didn’t hit 200 on the honest bench press until 10-11’th grade or so. I didn’t get to 10 pull ups until I was a young adult.
I started running regularly in 1975; and I did this every morning in the off season (3.5 miles). On Sundays, I’d do 2 miles in 13:30-14:30 at the St. Edwards track; I also did a 5:54 mile.
When I went through the morbid obesity period of my life, I still walked; typically 2-3 miles a few times a week (sloooooow miles; 18 minute miles when I was 300 plus pounds). So I’ve been running and walking for 40 years; lifting for 43.
And I still suck at it. 🙂
And since we are into numbers, I first learned of the calculus derivative back in 1975-1976, with my first calculus class coming in 1976-1977. So I’ve been at that a while too. And, thankfully, I am a lot better at mathematics than I am at sports.
It seems like a lifetime ago. I ok academically, even after a sort-of rough start (upper 1/3 in academic rank at a highly competitive place, even with a sub 3 freshman GPA). But military wise, I was a misfit. I don’t have a military personality (I am more of the “absent minded professor” type) and, AT THAT TIME, I was too immature. I didn’t know how and when to subordinate my own interests and when to quit seeking personal attention. I didn’t know how to be “team first” at that time.
And, this was my first Navy game as a civilian; I had watched Navy vs. Notre Dame in 1984 (Giants Stadium; a heart breaking 18-17 last second loss), Navy vs. Virginia in 1983 (a loss) and Navy vs. Air Force in 1983 (another loss….see a pattern here?). I didn’t know how I’d react.
After all, most Naval Academy graduates are super duper “money” conservatives; I’d describe them as being “very corporate”. On the other hand, I am well to the left of most of the country.
I have facial hair (bushy white beard) and dress very “absent minded professor like”; I am an atheist (an outspoken one at that) who is more in line with academia than I am with the military.
Yet….this was a bit of a homecoming for me.
I almost teared up twice; one time is when they did the national anthem. It was reported that there was legislation that allowed for military veterans to give the flag a hand salute and I was surprised at how quickly that came back.
Then there was the Navy Blue and Gold song at the end; my voice kind of cracked when we sang it.
So, misfit that I am; the Navy and the Naval Academy IS still part of me.
Kudos to Barbara for being such a good sport and putting up with the long trip, the cold, and the football. I was happy that I got to share some of my Navy stuff with her.
Yes, I had debated on whether to see this game or the Texas vs. Oregon game (Alamo Bowl tonight, in San Antonio). The latter: yes, I watched 9 seasons of Texas football and got my Ph. D. there, and it is my hometown team.
But I made the right choice.
A Facebook friend posted this Wall Street Journal article on her wall:
Saying I finished in the top 15% of my age group in last month’s Chicago Triathlon is like bragging that I could outrun your grandpa. My age group was 50 to 54.
But against the entire sprint-distance field, I finished in the top 11%. That’s right: Team Geriatric outperformed the field.
I’d love to report that this reflects the age-defying effects of triathlon. But my hair is gray, my hearing is dull and my per-mile pace is slower than it used to be, even at shorter distances.
Rather, this old-timer triumph is attributable to something that fogies throughout the ages have lamented: kids these days.
They’re just not very fast. “There’s not as many super-competitive athletes today as when the baby boomers were in their 20s and 30s,” said Ryan Lamppa, spokesman for Running USA, an industry-funded research group. While noting the health benefits that endurance racing confers regardless of pace, Lamppa—a 54-year-old competitive runner—said, “Many new runners come from a mind-set where everyone gets a medal and it’s good enough just to finish.”
Now, a generational battle is raging in endurance athletics. Old-timers are suggesting that performance-related apathy among young amateur athletes helps explain why America hasn’t won an Olympic marathon medal since 2004. […]
Now I’d like to stop right there: the elites don’t come from the general population. But I have noticed that the median times for local races has gotten much slower, and, numerically, there are fewer “7 minute a mile” type runners at local road races. That is, though the size of race fields have grown, the number of the 7 minute per mile runners has actually shrunk.
What is going on?
I have some guesses: there are probably lots of “hard core but not especially talented” people out there, but there are also a lot more options. There are triathlons, biathlons, as well as trail races, ultra marathons and multi-sport endurance races. There are also hard-core options such as Cross Fit.
My guess: the old “6:30-7:30 minute per mile crowd” is now spread out in different sports and events. I know that, at least locally, the trail runners are much better athletes than the average road runner. When I line up for a trail race, I ALWAYS line up at the back, because that is exactly where I will finish. That isn’t at all true at our local 5K road races.
Of course, this is just a guess.
I thought about doing Thursday’s run today and lifting tomorrow, but I went ahead and lifted anyway.
Weights: usual supplemental; perhaps more rotator cuff work. 3 sets of (twist, sit back, crunch, v. crunch)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (mostly narrow grip; wide grip is painful)
incline press: 5 x 135; it hurt so I quit.
dumbbell bench: 10 x 60, I quit on the second set. I am just not ready.
military: 3 sets of 12 x 50 with dumbbells (seated)
Hammer row: 2 sets of 10 x 230, 10 x 210
curls: 2 sets of 10 x 65 EZ curl, 10 x 70 machine
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160 (shoulder friendly grip)
The shoulder: I am getting a good feel for what works and what doesn’t. No bench or incline for a couple of weeks.
Then: 3.2 miles on the treadmill: 10:22 mile 1, 19:06 mile 2, 27:23 for mile 3 (10:22, 8:44, 8:17), 28:13 at 5K.
That felt ok and gave me at least a little bit of “turn over”; I had the incline at .5.
Commentary: when I was walking to Markin one of the university athletes came running by and said “hi”. I watched her disappear into the distance: her posture was upright, legs pumping like well oiled pistons; she looked so fast, strong and healthy. I was green with envy. I thought “OMG, why do I even bother to train; I’ll never be like that.”
Then in the weight room I saw a woman approximately my age (granny panties under shiny spandex). She was sweating all over the place and getting out of breath doing twists with ridiculously light weight (I generally don’t rest between sets; I move from machine to machine very quickly). Then I thought “THAT is why I train.”
Oh well; I am struggling with accepting age. I have to learn to live in the moment and focus on what I CAN do rather than on what I WISH that I could do.
But it is really a different mindset; there was a time when I looked forward to improvement. Now I look forward to declining at a lower rate. 🙂
But hey, it is all good. I know when I am giving a good effort and when I am not.
Yes, I have plenty to be grateful for. I am healthy (as far as I and my doctors know) and can play sports. I am employed and able to pay for my daughter’s college education. She is healthy.
One of my friends was run over by a car while out running (84 year old driver) and was severely injured; injuries are not life threatening but he had a ton of broken bones. He comes home today and I hope to see him tomorrow.
My mom: she is still in her own house thanks to my sister and family (and the superb care they give her) but mom’s brain is shot; it isn’t pretty. The last time I visited (a few months ago) there were times when she didn’t know who I was.
And this weekend my wife has invited her mentally retarded adopted nephew to stay with us…Friday…leave Tuesday. That isn’t what I agreed to but……anyway, let’s just say that his visits are not something that I look forward to.
But here is where the gratitude comes in: the main difference between the nephew and me is this: when my mom carried me, she was careful not to do anything harmful; no smoking or drinking or drugs. Ok, mom didn’t do these things at any other time either, but she made sure that she was as healthy as could be while carrying me.
The nephew didn’t have that; he is a fetal alcohol syndrome person. His genes are probably ok, but they weren’t properly expressed when he was gestating.
So, every day that I am healthy and aware, I can’t afford to take it for granted.
Back to work…
Usual PT: hip hikes, rotator cuff, Achilles, press ups (back), down/up dog, side plank, abs (3 sets of 10: crunch, v. crunch, twist, sit back)
pull ups: 5 sets of 10
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195, 1 x 205 (so-so; a bit weak), 4 x 185 (body weight: 191, gym scale)
incline: 7 x 150, 8 x 150
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 80 (machine)
rows: different machine, 10 x 70, 10 x 90 (2 sets)
military: standing barbell, 2 sets of 8 x 85, 10 x 75
Left shoulder: sort of wonky in spots; not that bad.
Yesterday, I ran some on the university track. A couple of young guys passed me; one was only doing one hard mile and the other; maybe 2? I was doing 4 (35:14; 9:30 for mile 1; 8:47 mile 2, 8:27 each for the next two.)
Reality: when I was their age 30-35 years ago (!), I typically ran 2-6 miles a day. My typical pace: 6:20-6:30 on a good day (for the 2-3 mile runs); 7:30-7:45 for a slow day on the 6 mile runs. Had my college age self been on the track, I would have lapped my current self repeatedly. Don’t even mention the guys on the track and cross country teams!
It is worse than that; in 1985 (28 years ago), I weighed 225 pounds and ran 3-4 miles a day, 4-5 times a week. I showed up at a 5K race and ran 23:00 (7:25 mpm pace)…and that is STILL about 2 minutes faster than I can do now. I can imagine how insulted I’d be so see someone as fat as I was at that time *easily* lapping me repeatedly.
Nevertheless, I need to force myself to remember that every run, every walk, every hike, every lifting session and every swim is a blessing. I have only a finite number of these left (HOPEFULLY thousands but you never know). I need to savor all of them.
It is all in the language and in how one grew up, so to speak.
I remember back in my college days, I had a friend who was recruited to run cross country for our track team. Though it didn’t pan out for him, he still won the freshman 3000 “campus” run, the 8.1 mile campus run, and could still run a 32 minute 10K and a 2:38 marathon.
He found out that I had run a 5:33 mile for our PE class and said “wow, that’s pretty good…you’re not a runner!” and I was NOT insulted in the least. I knew what he meant.
In high school, I played football (offensive tackle), wrestled and threw the shot (not very successfully). I still ran to get into shape for these sports; I managed to clock a 5:58 mile and 13:40 2 mile (as a 210 pound offensive lineman).
In college, I wasn’t an athlete but I “won” a freshman letter in crew (rowing) and was on our club judo team; I also lifted weights regularly and, yes, ran. In fact I managed a 41:10 10K and a 3:33 marathon. But I wasn’t regarded as “a runner”; these were typical “in shape young men” times.
Later, while in the Navy, I attended a seminar for the world military XC championship event. Some guys from one of the African countries were there and asked if “I ran”. I told them that I had just broken 40 minutes for the 10K; the response: “oh, so you just run to keep fit”. Again, I wasn’t insulted; these were 29 minute 10K runners I was talking to.
And so it goes with me now. Sure, I run races and I walk races; I used to swim and hope to restart that this semester. I lift as well. But my “sports upbringing” has stuck with me; I still see myself as an ex-football player/wrestler/shot putter rather than a runner; I run, walk, swim and lift because it is convenient and non-time consuming to pursue these activities…and I like measuring myself and measuring the effectiveness of my schemes and plans. And I enjoy these activities.
To me, the fellow on the left is a runner, and the guy on the right is someone who is attempting to run. 🙂
76-78 F with humidity in the mid 40’s; though this is slightly warmer than optimal for running, it felt pretty darned good for a summer day.
Back exercises (Williams set)
4 mile run (40:17): 10:19, 10:09, 10:03, 9:45 (lane 2), 4 mile walk (2 laps easy); 3 miles of 14:5x walking in lane 2.
Pain free, but heavy legs, and I felt the heavy legs later this afternoon.
I have a doctor’s appointment; my goal is to get a script for PT so I can do the best exercises. My guess: this is merely a continuation of my trick back which has flared up from time to time for the last 41 years. But I do want to rule out something nasty and to get the up to date PT exercises.
Some things have got me to thinking about my life and my mistakes. The Terry Bradshaw book that I am reading is more about his life than football; he talks about his miscues, as well as his emotional and physical scars. I also read stuff from other middle age Facebook members about life’s scars.
Then I think about my own.
Physical: Achilles (calm at the moment), plantar fasciitis (mild case, mostly in my arch), piriformis syndrome, back aches, knees (5 operations), shoulder (rotator cuff…twice…calm at the moment). I do PT for ALL of these on a regular basis; much of my exercise/training routine is designed to PT these weak areas and to keep them from flaring up.
So, I wonder: perhaps I am a physical wreck because I’ve done too many physical things?
Then again, am I really a physical wreck? I am a few weeks away from turning 54 years old and still ran/walked 30+ miles this past week without orthopedic pain; many of the running miles were in the 8:15 plus/minus a few seconds range, and I lifted. I can still do 5 sets of 10 pull ups without shoulder pain and managed to finish a marathon and 3 half marathons (all dreadfully slow…but never mind).
I still walk to work, take the stairs and can do my job; my limitation is that when I sit for a long time, my back stiffens up.
That doesn’t bother me when I teach, because when I teach, I stand and pace the entire time; that causes me no problems at all.
So: I have aches and pains, but no other 50 year old I know DOESN’T have these. Did I “do it right” (by pushing myself) or was that wrong?
Who in the heck knows.
Did I cause myself emotional scars by striving to do what didn’t suit me? (Navy, plus the dreams of being a professional athlete).
The Navy and the Naval Academy: I didn’t fit in and wasn’t suited for it, but would I have known if I didn’t try?
Besides the determination I used to get through the Academy and nuclear power school got me through the Ph. D. program in mathematics, which was NOT easy for me.
The working out to become an athlete did cause me an injury or two, and did introduce me to failure. But it also gave me the ability to push through discomfort and that served me well when I walked 101 miles in 24 hours.
So I suppose the lesson is this: it is IMPOSSIBLE to know ahead of time whether or not something will work out. Period. If you have never failed, you have never tried enough difficult things. If you have no scars, you probably have no achievements either.
Obviously one must confront reality; after all, after leaving the Navy I took on a doctoral program in mathematics (hard for me, but still possible) instead of trying to earn a try out with an NFL team (beyond absurd 🙂 ). One has to deal with reality.
But one has to gamble a bit too, and it is impossible to know *for sure* what will pan out and what will scar you.
74 F, 79 percent humidity. But there were others out there, albeit on their way back.
This 8.0x mile course features a nice, cool, 1 mile segment through a “canopy” of trees and offered shade much of the way. Still, I was dying:
1:25 for 8.0x miles; 43:20 out, 41:40 back, which included a very brief walk break at 4.2 miles. I am glad that I didn’t give up on it. A younger couple passed me (female in black spandex shorts) on the way back; on the way out I saw a large group of lady runners and a few cyclists.
I wanted to chase the couple but thought better of it; it was a good thing too because I wasn’t in the best of shape at the finish. Whew! Mind you, I wasn’t running that hard.
Low hemoglobin + warm temperatures = tough day for even a medium length “run”.
There is a Chinese toad that actually grows spikes on its upper lip for a brief period during mating season; it also exhibits some unusual behavior.
Surf to the link at Jerry Coyne’s website to read more.
My social struggles
Remember those old friction exercisers?
I didn’t use this model; I used one that was marketed by Bart Starr (it had green canister) but it worked the same way.
You could use it for curls, rows, and then anchor it with a door to do lat type exercises, among other things. Some might even still use it:
I used mine fairly regularly, especially during football season when we didn’t lift weights. I also did a LOT of pushups.
I remember Sundays: I’d have my black and white television on in my room and the NFL game would be on; I’d watch the game while using this thing. I just KNEW what I was seeing my future.
Well, here is what happens with most young people: toward the end of high school, they get a grip, and start looking at realistic options for the futre. Me: I still had the dream of being a big time football player; I couldn’t let it go until…well..the realization came that it wouldn’t happen.
Plebe summer at Annapolis was a real eye opening experience; we were all together and I soon saw the enormous gap between me and those who were recruited for the various sports teams. It became apparent how un-athletic I was; it was humiliating. I had trouble passing the obstacle course (good athletes saw it as a bit of a joke).
It wasn’t all bad though; later I found out that I did reasonably well in certain other areas but that isn’t the point in the post.
My point: it seems that, when one changes a situation (gets older, goes to a new school, gets a new job, moves to a different social setting), there are a blizzard of “unspoken rules” or “unspoken points of etiquette” that other people pick up on, without having to be told. I was TERRIBLE at that; I still am. In fact, I’ve learned to make it a point to learn these unspoken rules and to quietly ask others if I am confused.
This is one of the reasons I didn’t do well as a Naval officer, though I started to catch on toward the end. I do eventually catch on and end up extracting my head from my butt, but sometimes it is not until I wore some people’s nerves raw.
So, back to the exer-genie example: most people do NOT need to be told when they need to grow up and let go of childhood fantasies. I was NOT one of those people; I needed cold, hard reality to kick me in the teeth.
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