Light snowy walk, hot spots on the foot and courses

I stared my walk in chilly temperatures (18 F (-8 C)), flurries) and turned around after 1 mile as I had some pain on my right instep. My guess: the past few days I wore double socks and didn’t loosen my shoe laces. The 2.05 took 29 minutes.

So I went inside, changed shoes and did 8.57 hilly miles in flurries. I was somewhat slow (hills do that) and it took 2:09.

It passed from “light flurries” to “outright snow” by the time I was done.

Course measurements:

House to the start of Bradley Park: 1.02.
House to the bottom of the hill in lower Bradley park (where my loops start) 1.41
Out and back from the bottom of the hill, to Cornstalk, down the hill and across the bridge: 1.12
Full Cornstalk loop (NOT the “classic” loop): 1.38
Lower Bradley loop past the softball field, across the bridge then back around the median: .70
Lower Bradley loop past the dog park (small hill): .75

Now I can mix and match spurs, loops, etc.

Note: the only people I saw: a couple of dog owners and the Bradley men’s XC team which was running as a group. My goodness, those guys are fast.

December 8, 2013 Posted by | injury, racewalking, walking | | Leave a comment

Double walk….

AM: this was tricky. Olivia’s flight was to LEAVE at 5 am so we had to be at the airport just after 4 am…(but her flight was delayed…but she made it to Cleveland anyway….)

So I was a bit late getting out there. I walked a 8.66 mile route (a few hills) in 2:04:00 (14:20 mpm; steady but not hard); I included the Cemetery and the last 3/4 of the “Cornstalk classic” loop.

8.66 mile walk

Then it was getting Barbara ready; Indian food at Puran

Then Barbara wanted some sun (sunny and 45 F) so we went to the paved part of the Rock Island trail; I wheeled her from an entrance to “almost the tunnel under 6″ (the top of the small incline) then back to Pioneer Parkway then back; 2.82 miles.

barbara's 2.8

This wasn’t blazing but I did enough to soak through my shirts and sweatshirt. So it was *something* if not much. :-)

December 1, 2013 Posted by | racewalking, walking | | Leave a comment

I need to add walking back to my training

I’ve gone away from walking mostly due to piriformis pain; however the episode with my back suggests that my “not having enough curvature to my spine” was to blame.

So, I need to add walking, especially since that is the best way for me to finish a marathon (or longer) race.

And I had a dream last night: I was walking a marathon and a race walking judge went up to me and threatened to pull me out of the race. I protested: “but judge, this race doesn’t have a race walking division; it doesn’t even have a walking division! It doesn’t matter if I am legal or not!” The judge said that my form was so bad, it didn’t matter that there was no walking division; my form was disgracing the sport of walking!

Seriously; that was what I dreamed.

November 28, 2013 Posted by | racewalking, running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Fun Fun Fun and Weights…

Workout notes
Very leisurely weight workout:
Supplemental stuff: rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles, side plank, light squats (5 x 50, 5 x 75)
The squats were more for stretching than for strength. The goal is to be able to build up to doing real weights.

pull ups: 15, 10, 10, 10, 10
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170
dumbbell military: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
dumbbell rows: 3 sets of 10 x 65 (each arm)
dumbbell bench: 2 sets of 10 x 65
ab sets: 3 sets of 10 of crunch, twist, sit back, vertical crunch (curl that torso!)
incline press: 10 x 140, 8 x 140
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
pulley curls: 3 sets of 10 x 57.5

No, I didn’t do this exercise nor did I see her:


Stuff I am signed up to do tomorrow’s Race For the Cure. I’ll have to be careful to not line up too far back as this year, the men and women start together (that is unfortunate). I will of miss running through the wave of 12-13 minute milers at about mile 2 and the 11 minute milers toward the end, as I am doing here in the 2009 race. My time was a mid 24.

Fun I have a fast racewalking friend; her WALKING marathon PR (4:19) is sure to be faster than the one I am scheduled to run in a week. She posted some video of her training. She told me that I’d like it. She made a longer video for her coach to critique. I took the liberty of taking a small portion of it.

May 10, 2013 Posted by | butt, racewalking, spandex, walking, weight training | , , | 1 Comment

Legs, Throwing Weight Around and Kudos to an Illinois Senator

Senator Mark Kirk: Republican Illinois: just came out in favor of gay marriage.

Thank you Senator Kirk. I sent him a “thank you”.

Throwing Their Weight Around Samoan Air decides to charge passengers by their weight:

Samoa Air, flying small jumpers to places like the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, is now charging passengers by weight instead. Online bookings now include weight guesstimates, but that weight is confirmed by scale at the airport when you arrive for your flight.


From the article:

Not that the idea hasn’t been floated — several times — in the past. In fact, ABC News reported just last week a Norwegian economist was the latest to float the idea of an airline “fat tax.”
The Samoa Air homepage reads “We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air’fair’, you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fee’s [sic], or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.”
“Airplanes don’t run on seats, they run on weight,” Samoa Air’s Chief Executive, Chris Langton, told Radio Australia.
If any airline were to try a pay-what-you-weigh policy, Samoa Air would make perfect sense. Obesity is a major problem in the Pacific islands. The World Health Organization reported in 2010 that 80 percent of women in American Samoa were obese.

There are not currently details on whether or not a particular weight gains you an extra seat for the expense, or whether you’d get a refund if you were lighter than you entered in on the reservation.

Hmmm, will we see people acting like non-heavyweight wrestlers, jogging around in rubber suits prior to flying? :-)

Click the photo too see the blog:

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 7.10.41 PM

I’m not exactly sure what that blog is about, but I am FOR it! :-)

(actually, it is about Salt Lake City restaurants and who has the best eggs benedict)

Bad Ass Mice
Yes, some mice actually hunt scorpions!

Species: Onychomys torridus

Habitat: The arid badlands of south-western US and adjacent regions of Mexico, in burrows stolen from other rodents

In the dark expanses of the Sonoran desert in the US, a terrifying creature stalks the night, searching for fresh meat. Anything will do: crickets, rodents, tarantulas – the nastier the better.

Even the poisonous scorpion cannot escape the savage monster’s little pink paws. It fights bravely, stinging its attacker on the nose. To no avail. The mouse ignores the painful venom and cruelly breaks the scorpion’s tail by pummelling it into the ground, then bites its head and feasts on its flesh. Throwing its head back, the murderous animal howls at the moon.

No, it’s not the mythical Chupacabra. It’s the southern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus), the only carnivorous mouse in North America. Its unique biology and resistance to scorpion venom may one day help researchers treat human pain disorders.


Note: this type of mouse has something that keeps the scorpion’s venom from being debilitating or too painful; that is an evolved defense.

April 3, 2013 Posted by | big butts, evolution, Illinois, nature, politics, politics/social, racewalking, republicans, science, social/political, spandex | , | 1 Comment

Thank You!!!!

It finished snowing again. :-(

I admit that it wasn’t always easy to get inspired to get out there. But there were a few factors that helped me keep going:












December 31, 2012 Posted by | big butts, racewalking, running, spandex | | Leave a comment

running and walking mileage

I’ve added the running/walking miles since 1997; note that all miles prior to 2002 were running miles only. I’ll update and repost on January 1, 2013 (provided the world doesn’t end tomorrow)

Year Miles remarks
1997 1378 20:02 5K, 5:54 mile
1998 2129 19:53 5K, 41:27 10K, 5:41 1600
1999 1274 achilles, 1:34 half, 3:45 marathon
2000 1729 3:38 marathon, 1:35 half
2001 2165 1:37 half, 3:40 marathon, 20:47 5K
2002 1967 achilles, walking, 21:37 5K, 3:57 run, 4:44 mar. walk, 6:22 50k walk, 30:43 5K walk (j)
2003 2514 ultras, 2:17 half walk, 30:42 5K walk (j), 8:31 1500 m walk (j)
2004 2714 23:41 100 walk, 12:46 trail 50 walk, 18:03 3K walk (j), 6:20 50k walk
2005 2778 2 trail 100 finishes, 6:29 50K walk
2006 1498 piriformis, 83 24 hour walk
2007 1794 ultra fails
2008 2059 24:22 5K, 2:25 half walk
2009 1934 24:01 5K run, 5:12 mar. walk, 100 mile (47:55), knee
2010 1273 knee, 30 mile trail walk, 17:30 2 mile run
2011 1601 25:35 5K run (end), 54 mile 24 hour walk, 2:22 half m. walk.
2012 1865 (20 Dec) 24:34 5K, 1:23 15K, 6:59 mar. walk(!), 2:24 half mara. walk.
total 30,672 10642 from 97-02, 20030 from 03-12

December 20, 2012 Posted by | racewalking, running, walking | Leave a comment

Running Races: what I expect

This post is based on two things:
1. A local runner is planning on putting on a 10K this April and was polling runners over what they would like and
2. A new marathon is being put on in Peoria this May; I’ve signed up.

The new marathon is being put on by an outfit called RC Race Management:

The racing game is changing – and race planners are changing with it.

“Consumers want more than a race these days. They want an event,” said Adam White, owner of Running Central, 4450 N. Prospect Road in Peoria Heights, who just set up a second business with partner Brad Henz to stage those events.

The “Detweiller At Dark” cross country run that drew 800 runners to Detweiller Park last Friday night is an example of the work of RC Race Management, the company that White and Henz set up.

“People are looking for a high-octane experience,” said White, adding that there’s more to staging a race than simply mapping out the course and handing out T-shirts.

“Around the country, you’ve got zombie runs, warrior dashes and rock-and-roll runs where a different band plays every mile,” he said.

Henz, the director of Web sales and development for Peoria-based Publishers Service Inc., said the company formed at a good time. “The running boom is happening again,” he said, referring to the first big boom in the 1970s, when the jogging craze took off.

“There are more weekend warriors now. It’s all about uniqueness now,” said Henz, who produces the Web pages that provide information for each race the company stages (,,,[…]

Note: Adam White was a national class runner and, as recently as 2007, ran a 31:14 on a certified 10K course.

Topic One: I do lots of running races. What is most important to me?
To put in context: I am a slow-to-middle of the pack sort of guy (25 minute 5K run; 15:00 for the 2 mile)

1. Traffic control. Nothing sucks more than having to dodge an angry motorist. Note: I understand a marathon over low traffic roads with wide shoulders but this is essential for short races where it is impractical to run single file.

2. Organization: check in. This sounds strange, but there is one event in which it took over an hour for some to check in. What happened is that the race director had the old “computer set up”: the person in line logs in, gets signed in and assigned a number then (even if the person had preregistered!) and then gets a number, and then the race bag is made up (chips, swag, etc.) This might be ok for a sparsely attended race but not for larger races.

2. Organization: course start. there was one 10K that went to a “chip mat start”. I LOVE chip starts…but…in this case, they had one narrow mat and they had to funnel too many people through too small of a starting area; that made of an unnecessarily chaotic start and a lot of broken field running dodging the “12 minute a mile, race number on the back” bozos that are showing up in droves these-a-days.

And please, start on time (or at a reasonable approximation to the published start time), though I understand that sometimes, the unavoidable happens when one is coordinating with volunteers, police, etc.

3. Course accuracy. Yes, I know that not all courses can be USATF certified or wheel measured. I’m ok with a “5K” that is somewhere between, say, 3.09 and 3.12 miles. But I recommend that if one, say, uses “google maps” to measure a course, that one measures the “tangent” course. If someone wants to use parking lots as part of the course:


Consider putting cones in the corner of the parking lots and telling runners that they have to run around the outside of the cones; that removes ambiguities for the runners. One doesn’t have to line the course with cones but just put them where runners have to turn; that way you are guaranteed to get the proper distance (at least) if you run around the “corner” cones.

Now if it is inconvenient to have a course that is “exactly” 5K, 10K, 4 miles or whatever, that is ok. Just tell the runners the “nearest 1/100″ of a mile distance: e. g. 3.2 miles, 4.27 miles, etc.

That is no big deal; when I ran on the east coast, races such as “7.2 miles, 7.3 miles, 11.6 miles” were common.

Note: I am talking about ROAD courses here, NOT trail courses. Trails (the non groomed ones) are, by definition, only approximately measured.

4. Aid (longer races, say 5 miles and up) I don’t care about water stops in 5Ks. But if you are talking about the longer races, I’d like to know (in advance) what aid is out there and about how far apart the aid stations are. And if you say that there is aid on the course, make sure it is there; none of this “running out of water at marathon aid stations” stuff.

Now personally: all I care about is water, though lube and ice (during the summer) is nice for marathons. I am fine with aid every 3-4 miles in marathons but I often carry a bottle for the long ones.

5. Time limits: I’d like to know what they are; I’ve seen the course actually close on someone (she was the only walker in a race that billed itself as a “run/walk”…NOT as a “run only” or as a “5K run, shorter walk”. Incredibly, I’ve seen a case where the leader got to a part of a course (a sports stadium) that hadn’t opened in time because he got there too quickly! (no, it wasn’t me).

So please, honor your published time limit. I promise to not do your event if I don’t have a bona-fide chance of finishing within the time limit (e. g. if I want to walk and the time limit for the marathon is 5 hours, I’ll choose a different marathon or do the half marathon instead …if they offer one).

(6.) this really doesn’t apply to me in most races, but it is nice to have the course marked and course monitors at turns. If the course is only marked by arrows on the ground at turns, please SAY SO on your application and at the pre-race briefing (marathons mostly). Note: this is mostly an issue for the front of the pack runners…which was never me. :-)

Of Lesser Importance But Still Nice
1. Race Scoring: I prefer chips/smart race tags or “cards”: one gets handed a card with one’s finish order on it, and one writes your time and name/AG on the card. Reason: this gets the results faster and easier. As far as chips: I sure LIKE the start mat (which records everyone’s individual start times), PROVIDED it is wide enough to not hinder the start. Otherwise, I am happy to deduct my own “time to start line” via my watch. I am also ok with a race offering an “no official time” option, as some large races do.

2. Results: it is nice to see the results on the internet, so I can see if I beat a rival or how I placed among a group of friends, etc.

Of even lesser importance

1. Photos: it is fun to put photos on the internet. I don’t mind paying a reasonable price for a download (say, 10 dollars).

Stuff I don’t care about

1. T-shirts: I have enough to last a lifetime. I admit that a cleverly designed shirt makes my “keeper” drawer when I do my yearly “donation of t-shirts to charity”.

2. Age group awards: who friggin cares. Yeah, if they are being offered, I’ll stay to clap for the winners (and see if I “won” one); they make make nice things for my stuffed frogs to play with. Note: this might well be an artifact of my personal athletic incompetence and the fact that I do lots of small races where my age group “deserves”, at most, probably one award (if the RD wants to give them at all). One race I did gave “top 10 women, top 10 women” finishers, and I was ok with that.

3. Finisher’s awards: ok, I sort of like these for marathons but I am happy to do without them. But for things like half marathons (well…maybe the first completed half might be special to some)…but 10Ks or less? Are you kidding me????? What next: finisher’s medals for our training runs or walks?

Special comment for trail races
My biggest issue here is course marking; remember that what is “obvious” to someone who is familiar with the trail might not be too obvious to a tried, possibly sleep deprived runner/walker. Make it easy to follow the trails; a bit of chalk on the ground, tape and pie plates really helps, as well as a “not this way”.

I admit that since my knee operation, I’ve shied away from trails as slippery mud is tough on my knees.

Special Comment about Walking Divisions
Unless you have a carefully monitored event (say, the We Walk Marathon) where you have monitors/judges who know what they are doing, or a formal judged racewalk, I just as soon do without these. Reason: if the even is unmonitored, there will ALWAYS be clowns who think that mixing jogging with walking counts as “walking”. Really.

December 10, 2012 Posted by | marathons, Peoria, racewalking, running, walking | , , , | 3 Comments

Some 2012 Race Photos


IVS Half Marathon (September); I walked the hilly course in 2:24.


Jingle Bell 5K December 2012; I ran 26:12 (too fast of a start). Here I was finishing up.


Jingle Bell 5K December 2012; I ran 26:12 (too fast of a start). Here I was still running 7:3x a mile but I don’t like my posture.

December 2, 2012 Posted by | racewalking, running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

2012 Race Summary

AG means I won an age group award or “walk category” award of some sort
Non-5K Spandex Chases
First Light Half Marathon Walk 2:34 (AG)

McNaughton 50 mile DNF

Wildlife Prairie Park 4 mile (6.4 km) XC run 37:07

Lake Wobegone Marathon walk 6:58:58(AG)

West Peoria Jamboree 4 mile (6.4 km) 33:52

Galesburg Half Marathon walk 2:30:18

Pair Up for Health “3 mile” XC/obstacle 25:33(AG)

Steamboat 15K 1:36:55

Track meet: (dnf 5K, 7:08 1500)

Main Street mile 7:18 (100 F)

Jubilee trail 10K (1:27)

IVS Half Marathon walk 2:24:46

Morton Pumpkinfest 10K run 53:50

Bridge to Bridge 4 mile (4.2) 35:29

Canal Connection 10K 54:28

ICC Run101 15K 1:23:18 (AG)

Trot for Tots 2 mile (1.95?) 14:53

2012 5K runs:
26:12 Jingle Bell 5K: 7:38/8:49/9:43 (1 December) (3.15 miles?)
24:51: Boo Run 5K: 8:08/7:56/8:46 (20 October) (AG)
25:45: Bradley Homecoming Tippet 5K (13 October) (AG)
(25:53 for 3.2) 8:01, 23:53 (3). Stride to Unite (22 September) (AG)
25:27 8:00, 8:20, 9:06 Pekin Marigold 8 September (AG)
25:12 (Hanna City 25 August) 8:04, 8:05, 9:01
27:21 (Cystic Fibrosis 25 August) 8:53 8:43, 9:44
25:47 (Yates City, 18 August)
27:59 August 5 MathFest (7:36)
26:07 Run for the Health of it July 14 8:28 8:49, 8:49 (AG)
27:46 July 4 Firecracker 8:09 8:43 10:53
25:03 May 26 River Run 8:08, 8:07, 8:47
25:13 Race for the Cure May 12 (8:25, 7:34, 9:12) (AG)
24:34 May 5 Run to Remember (7:54, 7:45, 8:54)
25:41 Bradley U. April 28
25:14 CIDA March 31 (8:27, 8:17, 8:29) (AG)
25:08 Interplanatary March 24 (8:14, 8:19, 8:34) (AG)

December 1, 2012 Posted by | racewalking, running, time trial/ race, walking | , , | Leave a comment


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