College football weekend and observations

Temple -7 at Navy (ESPN: Temple, 67.7)
Navy is having a rough season; win over Memphis and an FCS program. Temple blew out Maryland, Tulsa and East Carolina and lost 2 close games to decent teams (Buffalo, BC). I have to pick Temple to win and cover.

Baylor +14 at Texas (UT: 84.2) : sort of a rivalry, UT beat Oklahoma, who blew out Baylor. But UT has had somewhat close games with ordinary opponents. I think UT wins, but Baylor keeps it close and covers.

ND -21 vs. Pitt (ND 95.5 percent favorite). Pitt was blown out 45-14 by UCF and 51-6 by Penn State and I don’t see them doing better vs. a ND team that is rolling. ND wins and covers.

Illinois +10 hosting Purdue (Purdue 72.9 percent). Though Purdue is 2-3, 2 of the losses were close games vs. good teams (Missouri, NW) and one came with unforced errors.

The Illini have wins against 2 of the most dreadful FBS teams and a 34-14 win over an FCS team that lost 33-16 to Illinois State (I watched both games). The Illini give up huge amounts of yards (626 to USF, 59x to Penn State) and won’t be able to stop Purdue. But the running game keeps it sort of close. Purdue to win, Illinois covers.

Win: Temple, Texas, ND, Purdue
Cover: Temple, Baylor, ND, Illinois

Remarks about the teams I’ve watched:

As far as a “seasons” worth of football (save a game missed for a hospitalization here, or a job there):
I watched Texas for 9 seasons (1975-1976, 1981, 1985-1990, Navy for 4 (1977-1980), Illinois State for 2 (1993-1994), Illinois for 8: 2011-2018.

At the time, Texas was in the old Southwest Conference (just added Houston in 1976) and routinely played Arkansas, Houston, Rice, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, SMU, Texas A&M and, of course, Oklahoma (then non-conference).
Home non conference games: North Texas, Colorado State, Utah State, Miami, Missouri, Stanford, BYU, Oregon State, New Mexico, Penn State, Colorado.

Navy: though Navy was an independent, Navy frequently played William and Mary, Connecticut, Citadel, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Army, Air Force, Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Other home games: Duke, Kent, Villanova. Note: road game vs. Illinois (one) and bowl vs. Houston.

Illinois State: played a Missouri Valley schedule, which included Eastern Illinois (not a conference game), Youngstown State, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois, Missouri State

Illinois: Big Ten of course (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland (haven’t seen), Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern. Non conference home: Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, Arkansas State, Western Michigan, Texas State, Western Kentucky, Charleston, Arizona State, South Florida, Miami of Ohio, Louisiana Tech, Kent State, Western Illinois, North Carolina, Ball State, Cincinnati.

What is my point: note how little overlap there is in the respective schedules. The greatest overlap: ISU and Illinois: Western, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Youngstown State (Iowa, NW as ISU road games)

I did watch Houston vs. Illinois in 1991 so that was the only team common to the 3 FBS teams (played Navy in the 1980 Garden State Bowl). Penn State is common to Texas and Illinois.

But back to the overlap: I’ve watched many NFL games, (followed the Patriots (1983-1984), Rams (2009-2015) Colts and Bears (2015-2018) and you see quite a bit of overlap in NFL schedules. So I suppose it is not a surprise that I’ve seen as many Super Bowl champions play (1982 Redskins, 1989 49’ers, 2009 Saints) as I’ve seen college national champions (Texas 1969, Colorado 1990, Youngston State 1993 (I-AA, now FCS)) though I’ve watched many more college games.

Workout notes: 2 mile treadmill (21:20), 1 mile lane 2 (9:22..was work), 1 mile walk outside…GI issues this morning?

October 13, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running, walking | 1 Comment

Missing a few days

Just recording my (very ordinary) workouts:

Tuesday: 4 mile run/walk: 3 mile run on the treadmill (22:11, 34:01 (run/walk final mile)
Wednesday: sleepy as I was dragged to The Lion King the night before; 4 mile Cornstalk classic walk.
Thursday: weights only; 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 140, decline: 6 x 170, military press: dumbbell: 2 set of 10 x 45 standing (missed with 50), 10 x 160 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
abs (2:30 plank)

Weight: 190.6 before (on Thursday)

October 12, 2018 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

I miss the way marathon running used to be because…

I did my first three marathons in 1980 (Maryland 3:33), 1981 (San Antonio, 3:48), and 1983 (East Lyme 4:24).

I still have the finish book for the Maryland.

Though I had several 50 mile weeks, I did no run over 15 miles. So the marathon was a bit of a rude shock. I hit mile 10 in 1:15, half way in 1:37 and slowed to 2:38 at mile 20. The finish: 3:33. Boy, was that last 10K a death march! It wasn’t just for me though; I managed to keep something like a shuffle (and flipped off a kid who said “here is a fat one”) and people were walking at this point; not everyone of course.

My buddies (who went to the race with me) ran 2:38 and 2:59. I ran 3:33 for 1054 out of 2229 men; the median time for the men was 3:36. There were 201 female finishers; two friends of mine finished in 3:30. The median female finisher was 4:05.

You had to finish in the top 50 to get a finisher’s medal but there was a nice finisher’s jacket (bright sunflower gold) that many of us wore to races. It felt “special”.

San Antonio: strict 5 hour time limit; I remember because I still have the newspaper clipping which had a list of the finishers. And my 3:48 put me well in the second half of the list of finishers.

East Lyme: I showed up fat and out of shape and had to walk 3 miles into it (foot cramps); for much of the race, I was by myself and I was frequently asked if I wanted to drop out. The finish line announcer said “that is a winner right there” as I came around the track..and I was embarrassed beyond belief. Time was 4:24 ….and when I told my friends the response was “what in the hell happened to you?”

BUT, when you get down to it…what I miss the most was being able to see an 8 minute mile as “easy”.

If things were like those days, I’d get timed out and be unable to participate in organized marathons.

Workout notes: weights only; 5 sets of 10 pull ups, 10 x 135, 6 x 170 bench, 10 x 135 incline, 10 x 155 decline, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine rows, plank, side plank, etc.

October 8, 2018 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Starting to feel more like myself: Whiskey Daddle 5K and half marathon

Saturday: it came up sticky; 69 with 100 percent humidity to 70 with 93 percent.

And so I I thought. Mile 1: 9:07 (some uphill) and used the little downhill for 8:52..18:00 at mile 2 with a chance, so I finally break 28. Nope..exhausted up the small hill and gave into it a bit on the last 1.1 miles (some walking) 28:43.

I lost places. Yes, my overall finish was better, percentage wise than last week’s 5K, but last week’s 5K featured a LOT of students versus this older crowd which had a ton of newbies.

Today’s half marathon featured overcast skies at a starting temperature of 57..and it stayed cool.

I was a bit worried at first as I had gotten ahead of the 2:30 pacer for a bit..but she (and her 5:00 marathon pacer companion) soon got a bit ahead of me. At 4 miles I was starting to worry..but I was holding a mid 11 minute pace. That was to remain true, save the uphill mile, and the mile 10-11 where I took a quick “slower walk” break..then got back into stride.

This felt a bit like my old self; and OMG…massive eyestrain….lots of incentive to keep going.

There were some slippery spots heading toward the cemetery and the Main Street hill hurt, but nevertheless, I managed to hold it together..realizing I was not going to collapse.

11:56 (with bathroom)
20:38 (next 2) 32:35
23:25 (56:00 at 5)
11:08 (1:07:08 at 7)
11:43 (1:30:37 at 8
11:20 (1:53:10 at 10)
12:24 (break)
11:50 for the final 1.1: 2:29:23 for the final.

I needed that; this was my fastest half marathon walk time since 2014, which was the last time I broke 2:30 for the half marathon walk. No, my knees were NOT “racewalk legal”.

What was weird: It was almost as if my slow marathon 2 weeks ago (6:14, walking) was training for this half, which was a maximum effort. I did that marathon VERY conservatively.

After I got home, I sat out on the sidewalk and cheered the marathon runners (who were almost at mile 23); this included a few that I was with on the first loop.

October 7, 2018 Posted by | running, walking | , , , , | 1 Comment

I now have a list of “scroll past” words…

Much of the “discussion” I see online…especially on a collection of memes, cliches and slogans. It has gotten to the point to where, if I see those “buzz words”, I just scroll past. And if someone I do not already know (and like) tweets them to me, “instant block”. No, I won’t list them.

Workout notes: yesterday, easy, untimed run in Bradley Park (dark); 5.2 miles. Today: 2 mile walk on the track after a full weight workout:
rotator cuff, abs (plank, and some twist crunch and head stand): pull up (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (good), incline: 6 x 150, decline: 8 x 170 (good), military: 2 sets of dumbbell (standing) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 90 machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 60 dumbbell.

October 6, 2018 Posted by | running, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Toxic Trump takes his toll…

So, what is Trump about? Some claim he is mostly supported by the entitled “elite” (both elite by economic birth and achievement elite..those who have a achieved but still feel cheated of honors and station)

Some say he is mostly about white nationalism.

Others contend he is about male privilege and misogyny …after all, he insulted a FEMALE reporter and, lately, mocked Dr. Ford’s testimony.

He sure provokes outrage. But not all of the outrage is expressed coherently and, well, people aren’t always at their best emotionally and logically when they are angry. And, at times, I find myself being unsympathetic to Trump’s critics even though I think that Trump is an awful president and unfit for office.

He has a way in bringing out the worst in everyone, I think.

Workout notes: 4 mile treadmill run, 1 mile track walk.
run: 11 minute mile (5.2-5.5 froggy for 10 minutes), 10 minutes at 6.7 (almost 2 miles in 20 minutes), 28:36 for 3 miles, 29:27 for 3.1, walk/jog to 39:30 4 mile.

October 3, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Real progress

I think that I showed progress with the marathon finish (not a fast one) last week. I showed a bit more progress with an on campus 5K (an accurate course this time) …I didn’t start my stop watch and finished in a chip time of 28:02.

The key error: I was tracking another professor (who is better than I am..he finished in about 25:30) and I was a bit too close to him at mile 2; I had to walk a few steps and then finished too slowly. I should have relaxed a bit more earlier. But I can get this back next week, and this was the best I’ve done since March, 2017.

One reason: I am now 190.5, down from a high of 207 earlier this year. That makes a difference.

BUT, to be fair…I am still 10 lb. more than I was when I last broke 8 minute miles for the 5K (2014) and, yes, 190 NOW is different than 190 20 years ago. I do not have the same muscle mass that I had then.

So, while I’ve made progress, I am still have quite a bit to go. At this age, I should probably be 15 lb. lighter.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | running | , , | Leave a comment

Long and lonely

The top is me at mile 20 at the 1998 Quad Cities Marathon (hot day…) and the latter is me at about mile 8 of the 2018 version. Former finish time: 3:55 (my course PR is 3:45). This year: 6:14 as a walker. That is basically a 2 hour and 20 minute difference or a degradation of 7 minutes per year (ok, different forms of locomotion).

Both versions of the course take you off of Arsenal Island and across the Mississippi River and very close to the finish line (perhaps .25-.3 miles or so) and out on a looooong out and back; the 1998 version had you doing a 9 mile out and back. The current version: “only” 6 miles.

But this enables you to see those who are finishing.

Interestingly enough, I would not have seen my younger self as I exited the bridge at 4:40 or so. I might have had a glimpse of my 2002 self (4:44 walking marathon) but my 1998 and 1999 running self would have been finished 45-60 minutes earlier. I did see the 5:00 pace group and most who finished between, say, 5-6 hours.

But as for me and my loneliness! I checked the results: I passed exactly THREE people in this stretch (3 people in 6 miles!) and ZERO passed me.

Yes, I was well under the published cut off (7 hours) and even under the more recent cut off (6:30) but the course was mostly deserted, save some very patient aid station volunteers, police and course monitors (who I WAS grateful for).

The course got somewhat empty in spots when I walked in the 5:13-5:35 range, but wow…after the half marathoners split off from the course, I was mostly by myself, save a few runners who had crashed.

I think that my training alone is good practice for this.

Workout notes weights, 1 mile on the AMT, 2 miles in lane 2 of the track (10:22/8:56 for 19:19).
rotator cuff pull ups 15-15-10-10, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 5 x 170, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 45 dumbbell (both standing), 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Then , plank (2:30), side plank, then the AMT/run.

Weight (prior) 191.9. First time under 192 in a while. BUT I cannot kid myself; my muscle mass isn’t what it once was; I have more blubber at this weight than I did, say, 10 years ago. I should be a bit lighter (10-15 lb.?)

September 26, 2018 Posted by | marathons, running, weight training | Leave a comment

Why I’ve slowed…

This Sunday’s marathon (walking) took me 1 hour longer than the Rockford Marathon took me in 2009 (similar course, similar conditions). And it was about 24 minutes longer than the Peoria Marathon took me in 2015 (walking)

What is the deal?

I see my slowdown as a factor of:

1. aging.
2. weight gain (I am 192, up from 185 or so)
3. less mileage; I am doing about 80 percent of what I did in 2009 and 67 percent of what I was doing in 2004-2005 (body simply cannot handle more)
4. body changes; I am stiffer in some areas and cannot walk as efficiently as I once did.
5. Surgery: I had my 5’th knee operation in 2010 and I really haven’t been the same since; the body really nosedived in performance after that.

BUT: I am still happy with how I paced myself; this is perhaps the smartest marathon I’ve ever walked. I really stayed steady throughout.

Slow and steady doesn’t win you anything, but it can get you a finisher’s medal.

Note: my “half marathon walk” to “marathon walk” ratio appears to be a “more or less constant” 2.25. To get my predicted marathon time, double my half marathon time and add 25 percent.

Workout notes: still sort of sore (right hip especially); 15:30 on the AMT, 21:46 for 2 miles of running (11:30/10:16). That was enough. 192.7 before.

Current “Marathon and Beyond” list:

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 (1 50K finish and 2 DNFs): 36 Hours of Jack 50K (walk) 8:42:42 (7:15 marathon split)

2018: Quad Cities Marathon (walk) 6:14:11.

September 25, 2018 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | | Leave a comment

No excuses and excuses

Rumblings in academia: more and more, I am hearing “it is unfair to ask student X to do this because they have all of this other stuff going on…”

If you reply: “that might be so but passing grade in this class means showing proof that you mastered these certain topics and the vast majority of students cannot master said topics without at least SOME aptitude for it and quite a bit of study” , well, such a reply will not be received well.

It is almost as if academia is becoming “golf style handicap” based: see the student, evaluate life situation, background, aptitude, and then determine what that student should have to meet for a given grade.
Alternatively, find the lowest common denominator and set the standards there (grade inflation).

If you think that I am exaggerating or setting up a “straw man”; hang around academic twitter for a while. Or, think about this.:

while assignments and curriculum were modified for his learning abilities, Sullivan completed all the relevant coursework to make him an official college graduate.

I see the statement as an oxymoron.

I sure hope that airline pilot schools and medical schools still have “standards based” curricula.

Fortunately, my university hasn’t started down this path. But the rumblings do worry me a bit.

Workout and marathon notes: 2 mile walk in 24:44 this morning (very easy). Yesterday: 2 mile run (21:05) following light weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (10-15-15), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 110 machine, (very easy)

Sunday: no rain…48 F at the start rising to 71 6 hours later (low humidity) It doesn’t get better than that. But then…that takes away all of my excuses. 6:20 finish should be very doable. Maybe better.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | running, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment