blueollie

Brrrbaseball and other trivial topics

The unusually wet, cold and snowy spring has played havoc with baseball schedules and kept fans away in droves.

But ironically, I got one free game out of all that: Wisconsin played the Chiefs this past weekend, but faced heavy snow at home.

So, some calls were made, and Wisconsin stayed in Peoria and “played host” to the Kane County Cougars. I couldn’t make today’s noon game but I did make yesterdays “clear but chilly” game.

It was a wonderful game; the Timberrattlers started strong and took a 4-1 lead; they hit a couple of home runs. But the Cougar relief pitching was strong and their bats woke up; Wisconsin also made some fielding errors. Kane County took the lead in the 8’th and held on. Still, the game was fun to watch.

It was even colder for tonight’s Western Illinois at Bradley game and there was some snow showers in the last hour. Western started quickly and scored 2 runs in the first inning; BU helped their cause with a walk and an error. But with bases loaded and 1 out, BU got a double play. Then BU promptly got 3 runs (first two batters got hits) and lead 3-2 after one inning; that inning took about 38 minutes to play.
From then on Bradley’s defense dominated and though the Braves came up empty when they had the bases loaded with no outs, they scored enough in the rest of the innings to win 9-2. BU had a bit of everything: bunts, a home run, extra base hits, etc.

I was impressed that Western had some fans; many (most?) of the BU fans took advantage of the “suite” seats that had an indoor section.

And yes, at the start, the snowflakes were very well defined.

Yes, it is snowing. Those are snowflakes. #baseball #whereisspring

A post shared by Ollie Nanyes (@ollienanyes) on

Workout notes
The shoulder continues to improve.

Usual PT, pull ups: 2 sets of (5-5-5-5), 1 set of 10. Note: the 5-5-5-5 were a bit higher quality and burned in a good way.
bench: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, not much pain at all…very slow reps. 10 x 135 for the incline.
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine. Rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs; did the plank at first; everything else burned.

I didn’t want to run so I walked 5K outside, briskly.

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April 19, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tragedy strikes

An otherwise fine day (save a baseball game getting..yes, snowed out…due to incoming weather and the visiting team’s travel plans)…a day which featured lunch with a very dear friend and a nice (but snail slow) 11 mile walk, partly in West Peoria and partly in Bradley park…heel wasn’t even noticeable until mile 8…

was marred by the shooting death of a student and another young person.

This took place about 3-4 blocks from my house, along my usual walking route.

I do not know the circumstances but do know it was a tragic, senseless loss.

April 8, 2018 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Voting: it matters.

We had primary elections yesterday; none of my major candidates won (or even came close), though the incumbent governor almost got beat in the primary by a whack-job.

So, now it is the “battle of the unqualified billionaires” for governor.

But of local interest, there was this referendum on the ballot: should Peoria County make “auditor” a professional, non-political position (one that is appointed). I voted “yes” to make the auditor to be a professional, appointed job rather than an elected one. More than 22,000 people voted and “no” won by 14 votes.

14 votes!

Workout notes:

weights (usual pt), pull ups (5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10) decline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 165, incline press 4 x 155, 10 x 135, military (standing: 10 x 50, 10 x 45), seated: 15 x 50, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm) with dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine.

abs: twist crunch (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10, 10), moving bridge (3 sets of 10), headstand (tough to get into), plank 2:20, side plank

run: treadmill: 5.1-5.4 5 minute froggy, then 6.1 then 6.2-6.5 every .25 miles (31:58), 32:55 for 5k, 45:25 4 mile (walk final .9 miles).

foot: ok, iced.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

My 2017 in review

This is my 2017 in review. I did this for 2015 and again in 2016.

Of note: my daughter graduated college (her accomplishment, not mine) and I completed my first year at a new rank. Athletically the year was a bit of a bust (no 5K under 27 minutes, only one marathon or beyond finish, best bench press was 200 lbs.) but I was active throughout and I did take some local trips. Of most note: I had a good time with friends, a “tl;dr” collage is here:

January

February

March


April

May

June


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

July

August

September

October

November

Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State waits for play to resume against Illinois State during their football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Normal, Ill.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

December


December 31, 2017 Posted by | baseball, basketball, college football, football, Friends, NFL, Peoria, running, travel, walking, yoga | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peoria Democrats Presidents Day Dinner 2017 version

It was the usual; good food, nice company, VERY sectarian prayer (have any of these pastors ever heard of the word “ecumenical”?), Cheri Bustos was the main speaker and she filled us in as to what is going on in Washington. She alerted us to the fact that Trump won IL-17 (Obama won it easily).

Socially, it went much better for me than last year, though I did socialize a bit more with others already at the dinner.

This time, Tracy was available and Larry met us there.

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The largest crowd ever: almost 500. Open seating was in the back.

There was a lot of fried chicken there. Yeah, this photo was a bit blurry.

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Maria got this one of me.

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Here I am with Tracy.

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I won the flower place setting in the raffle.

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Here is Larry and Tracy together.

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Oh, I did work out in the morning: 6 miles easy and some “no weight” squats.

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, Friends, IL-17, Peoria, Peoria/local, running | | Leave a comment

Caterpillar moving its headquarters to Chicago

And that means leaving Peoria, where they started. Though many Caterpillar jobs will remain, for now…this is a shock to the Peoria community and economy.

So, how long will it be before Caterpillar is totally gone? I was reminded of this post at Gin and Tacos:


These places are dead and dying because economically there is no longer any reason for them to exist. They were established at a time when their location near resources or now-outdated transportation links made them important. Now, and no politician will ever admit it in public, there simply isn’t any reason for Altoona or Youngstown or Terre Haute to exist anymore. The jobs are never coming back. Nothing is coming back. The Democrats have not given the white Rust Belt working class an answer to their problems because there is no answer. Nothing will resurrect these places, all of which have long since crossed the point of no return in their economic and population decline. Automation, union-busting, outsourcing (much of it within the U.S., to impoverished Southern states) and race-to-the-bottom subsidy wars among state and local governments are ensuring that the situation isn’t about to improve.

And Peoria’s inherent backwardness doesn’t help matter. After all, we have a mayor who sent the police to raid someone’s house, because of a twitter account (50-55 followers!) And we have a lot of people in this town who did not realize…do not realize..what a ridiculous thing to do it was..or how this made us a nation-wide laughing stock.

Why would highly educated people even want to live here?

Oh, Peoria isn’t all bad but, but…oh, don’t get me started.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, social/political | Leave a comment

Sluggish 10 mile walk

Today’s 10.1 mile walk took 8 minutes longer than a walk on the same course back on December 29, but it did come after leg work and some intervals two days ago. And this was certainly “comfort, not speed” today. It was just under freezing and there wasn’t much wind. Footing was excellent; almost no ice was left on the sidewalks.

Below is a couple of photos of the “sort-of” frozen Illinois River. In the second one, there is a barge in the distance and some geese (hard to see). This is less frozen than it often is at this time of year (mid January).

Of interest:

1) There are some “labrador black” squirrels in the grass next to MLK just as I was turning onto Moss. They’ve spread; I did not see them 20 years ago; about 5-6 years ago I saw a few in Bradley Park.

2) No runners or walkers on the bike path..with one big exception. As I passed by some flocks of geese, I noticed that they were very, very agitated; much more so than when it was just me. It turns out that the Bradley University Men’s track/XC team was out training (perhaps 5:45-6 minute per mile pace) as a group; I moved over for them and many greeted me. I could lie and say something about age, but when I was their age, my “cruise training” pace was 7:30 mpm-ish…considerably slower than they were going.

Still, there was a “cycle of life” aspect to this encounter though.

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January 15, 2017 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, running, walking | Leave a comment

My annual Steamboat flop (2016 version)

Well, this was my worst Steamboat 15K ever.

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But socially, well, I enjoyed running “with the group” and I enjoyed the interaction with many. And it was a pleasure that Barbara was there; she walked her first Steamboat 4 miler in 7 years; a year ago she thought that her foot would no longer allow her to do these (1:18:29 was her time, or a 19:38 pace).

It was muggy at the start; 67 F with 66 percent humidity and it was to get to 76-77 by the time I finished. Time: 1:41:57; my worst as a runner. The wheels came off on the start of the second loop, after the second climb. I was just under 41 minutes at 4 miles but fell apart prior to the 10K mark.

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What lead to this debacle:

1. Too fast of a start for the conditions: 9:50, 9:50 were my first 2 miles (slight incline). I am not in shape to sustain that.
2. I weigh too damn much. No, I don’t look fat and I don’t think I am. But 191-193 is too heavy for me to run long effectively. I can do lots of pull ups though. 🙂
3. Heat; it was sweltering out there. This wasn’t the worst I’ve endured, but it was a factor.
4. 36 mile walk two weeks ago/
5. I accidentally made decaf coffee this morning. Yes, the one “bad” long run attempt I had this year came when…I had decaf by mistake. I think that I didn’t interpret my “feeling bad” correctly.

The race itself: I lined up close to the 10 minute per mile pace sign. I took it out at 9:50 per mile and was already feeling it. I tried to ease it up going up the first hill but I think that I was spent by then. While my first 5K was not horrible, (31:40) it took too much out of me. So while I was just under 41 minutes at mile 4, I was shot. I tried to hang in there on the second loop but started to walk just prior to the 10K mark; it was pretty much over by then.

I did the old “walk/jog” until there was 1 mile to go. Then I tried to pick up the pace (downhill mile): 10:35. Goodness gracious. I could tell that I was merely shuffling.

Athletic lesson I really wonder if my legs have become too weak for me to “run” longer distance and if I am not simply better off walking them instead. I do have two marathons on my radar screen: Quad Cities on September 25, and the PNC Peoria on October 16. I did the latter last year as a walker and made the 6 hour time limit with 11 minutes to spare..as a walker.

I had set a goal of running one of these in under 5 hours but..is that possible? I know that I’ve been able to maintain 15 mile training runs at about an 11:15 mpm pace or so and do so comfortably. But that was in cool weather conditions. And 15.x is NOT 26.2. I wonder if I am better off focusing on walking training and walking these or perhaps walking one, running the other.

I really have some thinking to do; I suppose that I can sign up for these marathons right now and drop to the half marathon if my training doesn’t go well. Time will tell.

Social This was by far the best part. The Steamboat 4 mile/15 km is THE community race in Peoria. The 4 mile race attracts Olympic caliber runners (genuinely) and both races attract the hard core “club runners”. The 4 mile attracts many newbies and casual runners and fitness walkers.

I jogged a warm up from my house (and felt a slight headache; now I know why). In my usual “restroom/mill about” activities, I saw Tracy (my “bestie”), Mat, another Bradley person..and I exchanged head butts with Stephanie (my Facebook persona is a goat). And yes, I got a hug from T, who is out with an injury but worked the course. One female said “you got to quit hugging all of those men” and both T and I replied “no way, I like it” almost at the same time! I also got to see “shirtless Bob” who was running with..yet another female (as he always does).

Later I walked with Mat to the start line and we saw Tracy bending over to tie her shoes; I told her that I was “checking out her legs and butt”..and Mat whistled. All in good fun.

Then I saw Barbara who drove to the start line; more hugs all around.

During the first mile of the race, I saw a very fit, slender woman running with her grade school son; it was Peggy, someone who won the women’s 15K division multiple times in the past. I joked that I never dreamed that I’d pass her in a Steamboat race. Yes, she was jogging easily to help out her young son. 🙂

There were the usual kudos and cat calls during the run (someone told me to quit sandbagging) and I got to yell at Cassie during the second switch back. I had been following her from a distance early but accurately figured her pace was too quick for me today.

I’ll post some photos later; as you can probably tell that I had fun, despite my…well, simply horrible performance. Basically, this was a “long run with friends” for me.

I’ll admit that I had bits of anger when it became clear that the wheels were going to come off yet again. But there was some acceptance too; I did things like chase Melody (didn’t ever catch her and stay ahead), chase one person or another, and that “last mile challenge”. And yes, some of the bad mood was about the coffee, though I didn’t know about it at the time. Realistically, that probably made a 1-2 minute difference; I was far more hurt by starting too fast for the conditions.

Next year, and yes, I’ll try yet AGAIN, I’ll line up with the 11 minute folks and try to take it out in 10:30 or so (if it is this warm again).

And I can’t stress this enough: I really enjoyed it that Barbara did building steam (the training program) and finished this race; this is an unexpected bonus. I think that it lifted her spirits to be able to participate again.

So, emotionally I have mixed feelings. I thought that I was in better shape than that. I was grateful that I can still “run with the group” (if you can call what I did “running”). But at times, I felt that I was just “getting in the way” of the more competent people (when the fast runners lapped us) and that I no longer belong “out there”.

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.

June 18, 2016 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, running | | 3 Comments

Last long one..

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I “ran” the first course in 2:53:15 (11:12 pace; 1:27:11/1:26:04) and walked the second course in 1:19:46 (15:20 pace) for 20.7 miles in 4:13:01 (12:17 pace). It was a good day; some northwest wind (mild, by Illinois standards) and though the run was nice, the walk was a zoo. There was a high school graduation at Bradley and the West Peoria massive yard sale…cars parked EVERYWHERE. I wonder if people were merely swapping the contents of their respective garages and attics. 🙂

Temperatures were in the low 60’s at the finish.

I got waved at by a couple of people who knew me (one was a yoga teacher) and…whistled at by some lady. I think that my walking pace improved by a few seconds a mile after that.

May 21, 2016 Posted by | Peoria, running, walking | | Leave a comment

Peoria Democrats Presidents Day Dinner

Cheri Bustos was the speaker. She did a good job explaining what Democrats are about and spoke up for Hillary Clinton and Tammy Duckworth.

On the social side, I sat with old friends and got to catch up with others. Of course, I’ll go to the next one.

Someone with Parkinson’s disease gave a moving testimony about how well the late Rep. Lane Evans did despite having this cruel, debilitating condition.

Of course, there were multiple shots taking at the Illinois governor.

February 16, 2016 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, politics | | Leave a comment