Marathons: my margin of error is gone

Workout notes: 30 minutes on the elliptical. I still have a residual headache….slight.

Hot weather marathons: I’ve had some trouble in similar conditions before. In 1998 (runner), I hit mile 20 in 2:50 and took 1:05 to finish the final 6.2. In 2000, at Lake Okoboji, I hit mile 20 in 2:50 and took 1:35 to finish the final 6.2; in fact the final 3 miles took just over an hour.

In 2007, I DNF’ed Quad Cities at mile 23. In 2008, I took 6:16 to walk the Andy Payne Marathon (spent 1 hour at an aid station). In 2012, I walked a walker’s marathon in just under 7 hours, resting 1 hour at the mile 23 aid station.

And now I have another DNF (mile 20).

The difference: the walker’s marathon had a looooong time limit. The other cases: I was faster; I wasn’t out in the heat as long and I had more time to finish once I blew up.

And so it goes. I am no longer fast enough to finish a typical road marathon except under favorable circumstances (cool day). So I need to choose my races carefully (long time limits, 12 hour events, predictably cool weather events that offer a half marathon option, etc.)

September 26, 2016 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

Some things haven’t changed

No biggie, I know, but I swallowed my 3’rd all time marathon DNF today, bailing at mile 20.


That’s why. I’ve always done poorly in heat. But now that I am slower, I am out in it longer and the effects compound. In the past, well, during the first Quad Cities marathon, it was brutally hot but I was at mile 20 in 2:50. The last 6.2 miles meant only 1:05 more running. This time it took me 2:10 longer to get there, and I had about 2 more hours to go, given how much I’ve slowed.

My margin of error is gone. I can only finish a marathon in cool weather.

I started ok; I mixed running and walking …but even at mile 1 I thought “oh-oh”; I was already sweating heavily and could just feel the heat…it was almost tolerable when the sun got behind a cloud but got downright miserable when it came out again.

Still…21:45 for 2, 45:05 for 4, 1:09:23 for 6, 1:34:03 for 8 then 2:02:56 for 10. At that point I mostly walked ..2:34:21 for 12…then death march. 3:05:46 for 14, 3:43:12 for 16 and 5:00:37 for 20.
Still, I was able to pick up the walking pace a bit..then the stomach went south. I stopped, unpinned my number, thought about it, pinned it back on, went out and almost got sick. Another 6 miles in that heat wasn’t going to happen…not any faster than 2 more hours anyway.

So I bailed and walked with my tail between my legs back to my car.

Upside: hey, my Bears vs. Lions tickets came! So at home I went to print…and found that my “lovely wife” had used all the printer ink and had not replaced it. Sigh. Sure, there is still a week to go but damn…I wanted an upside and didn’t get it.

Is “she didn’t replace the cartridge” grounds for divorce?

Oh well…I hope that the weather is cooler three weeks from now. If it isn’t, I am bailing and doing the half marathon.

September 25, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Bring it…

2 miles around the Bradley University campus/Moss neighborhood. Pace: 11:17 more or less…super easy.

Aside from packing and driving….nothing more to be done. Yeah, it will be humid but hey..can’t do anything about that but to adjust to the conditions and to accept what my body can do.

September 24, 2016 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

getting there…

Workout notes: 3 miles on the treadmill after a mini weight workout.

Weights: 2/3 of a usual workout. rotator cuff, weightless squats, pull ups (3 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, incline: 7 x 150, 10 x 135. Military: seated, supported, 15 x 50, standing 10 x 45. Rows: 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine. 1 set of : 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, 10 moving half bridge. Then I did some headstand.

That followed by 2 miles of running on the treadmill in 21:30, 1 mile of walking which got me to 3 in 36:08. The legs ARE feeling fresher, though the forecast for Moline this weekend is warmer than I’d like.

News of the weird:


This might not be as strange as it might appear as I did get on Rick Santorum’s list once, and once I voted in the Republican primary.



Yes, I chuckled when I saw this posting.

But it brought back a memory that is now, perhaps 15 years old or longer. I went to the Franciscan Center (West Peoria) to pick up a packet for the Jamboree 4 mile race. There was a nice looking middle aged lady who was wearing form fitting, sort-of thin white pants. Somehow the discussion of stretching came up and she said: “is that stretch like this” and proceeded to bend over and fold herself in half. She gave me that “am I doing this right?” look.

I did my best to not smile “too much” and said something like “very nice…that looks right” when I should have said “ok, could you show me again?”. Ah, good times.

September 21, 2016 Posted by | butt, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

TMI (taper stuff)

Yesterday: 2 mile run in just under 21 minutes, easy walk outside. Today: 3 mile walk (untimed); last night I had lower GI issues. I am on pink bismuth…better now than later in the week.

The clock is ticking and fortunately I have grading to keep me occupied.

September 20, 2016 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment

Running: my 5K run (Hilltop 5K) and Western Michigan’s run over Illinois

My time for the “5K” (actually, about 3 miles): 25:58. This equates to about a 26:50 5K or so. I was ok with it though perhaps I finished with slightly too much left?


Yes, it was 41 seconds FASTER than last year; that is a good thing.

That gave me time to eat lunch with Barbara…who got sick and didn’t make the trip to Champaign with me. But I did..and didn’t get sick until I watched the Illini play. Yes, I wore my snazzy Lovie Smith t-shirt.


Final: Western Michigan 34, Illinois 17. Key stat: rushing yards: 287 to 3, Western Michigan. Total yards: 437 to 315.


Yes, the first quarter was back and forth, with Illinois getting the better of it, but failing to finish drives. Then WMU hit a long pass to set up a touchdown run; 7-0. Running set up the second score, which featured a 36 yard touchdown run.

Illinois came up empty on drives (total yards were still close at this point). Illinois was pinned deep…and then dropped back to pass. The quarterback was hit while throwing and it sure LOOKED to me that his arm was moving forward when the ball came out. But it was ruled a fumble on the field, and WMU cashed in. It was now 21-0.

WMU drove again, but Illinois blocked a field goal. Was this a momentum change?

But some razzle-dazzle helped: Illinois executed a flea-flicker off of a double reverse and the tight end was wide open for a 56 yard touchdown. I thought that momentum had shifted, but WMU drove and kicked a field goal. So it was 24-7 at the half.

Second half: Illinois opens with a drive but on 3’rd and goal, an Illinois receiver went high for a ball thereby knocking it away from a wide open receiver right behind him! So the Illini get a a field goal and it was 24-10.

WMU got the field goal back (mostly on running) and it was 27-10 going into the 4’th.

My view of the action:



WMU kept it on the ground in the 4’th: why do anything else? Long drive for a TD and an interception sealed it. Needless to say, the fan base was skeptical:


The game ended with WMU actually passing up an opportunity for a final score toward the end; the visiting MAC team was showing compassion to the outmatched Big Ten team! But, they ARE a lot better right now.

September 18, 2016 Posted by | college football, running | , | Leave a comment

Keeping the pace where it supposed to be

I ran 5 miles on the treadmill in 54:50…sort of, then walked 1 mile plus outside.

The treadmill: I chose a corner of the gym where there is no air circulation to speak of; it is good for heat conditioning.

What I did: 5 minutes at 5.2 mph, 5 at 5.3, then alternated 2.5 minutes at 6.7, 2.5 at 5.3 until 35 minutes, then I went to 6.7 and then to 6.8 until I got to 4 miles (40:30) then I walked (increasing from 4.0 to eventually 4.4) until I got to 5 miles. By that time I was a sweaty mess; shirt was drenched and shorts looked like I had wet them.

Sometimes it is more comfortable to mix in “faster” (less slow?) running with “slower” running than to plod along at a steady pace.

September 14, 2016 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” remark…

Workout notes 5 mile run/walk on the treadmill (57:55) followed by 1 mile of walking on the track. Yes, weather outside was great but I wanted to save my legs; 34 minutes for the 3, then I added some walking intervals just to keep the run comfortable but the overall effort easy.

Sometimes, going too slowly hurts.

Last weekend: here I am finishing the 8 mile race (1:21:01) Too damned slow, but my second half was 2:47 faster than the first half. I was perhaps too conservative going out.


Post: I agree with Charles Blow:

Let’s get straight to it: Hillary Clinton’s comments Friday at a fund-raiser that half of Donald Trump’s supporters could be put in a “basket of deplorables” wasn’t a smart political play.

Candidates do themselves a tremendous disservice when they attack voters rather than campaigns. Whatever advantage is procured through the rallying of one’s own base is outweighed by what will be read as divisiveness and disdain.

Here is Clinton’s full quote:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Then, she continued: “But the other basket — and I know this because I see friends from all over America here — I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”

That second basket got too little attention. Context doesn’t provide the sizzle on which shock media subsists. Noted.

What Clinton said was impolitic, but it was not incorrect. There are things a politician cannot say. Luckily, I’m not a politician.

Yeah, I admit it: I probably wouldn’t care for these people, and I’d bet the mortgage that the reverse is true:



But a politician should take care with what he/she says; one’s opponents will *always* try to take things out of context to one’s advantage.

September 12, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Forward March 8 mile: 2016 version

Just the facts: 8 mile race; sort of flat 2.5 miles out, hilly 2.5 mile middle, net downhill final 3 miles.
Time: 1:21:01 (41:54/39:07)

Weather: 67 F, 97 percent at the start, 64 F, 90 percent at the end. It rained earlier and the course was slightly slick in the 2-6 mile segment. It rained for most of the morning before the race start, only to turn beautiful for the actual race (say, 30 minutes earlier).

splits: 10:12, 9:54, 11:16, 10:31 (41:54), 10:39, (52:33), 9:35. 18:51 (1:21:01) 41:54/39:07 (2:47 difference) 28:28 final 3.

Place: 41/61, 5/7 ag, 27/36 males

Previous races (both in October)

2013 October race 1:17:58
2014 October race 1:12:35

Details: I had thought about doing a long warm up to use this as a “last long run” prior to the Quad Cities Marathon 2 weeks from now. But last weekend’s 15 run, 13 walk, 4 mile race trio (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) still has me tired, so I decided to “play it straight” and just do an easy warm up mile jog and a cool down walk afterward.

And so I took it out easy, as you can see from the splits. I wasn’t quite loose, but I felt ok…I did not know how to gage my effort. For about 1 mile I followed a couple of ladies (1 running with a dog) as they were going at a pace I was shooting for.

I did get passed by a military formation of young guys…they were doing military style chants but running just faster than 10 minutes per mile? Uh…young guys ought to be much faster than that. I remember the Fiesta Five Flags 10K in Pensacola; there the faster formations ran in the 40-41 minute range (6:25-6:30 pace for 10K). While those formations were stacked with fast “ringers”, these young guys should have been doing sub 8 minute miles, at least. But hey, they sang chants.

But never mind that. The “fun” really started at mile 2; we entered lower Glen Oak Park, did perhaps 0.6 miles until we went into Springdale and ran up the first really though hill. I cursed a bit…the surface is “not quite good road, not quite all gravel”. That mile took me over 11 minutes! Yikes!

Then came the down, then a bit of lower road where I saw the faster 8 milers heading back. Up to the road past the mausoleum and back down; I went back and forth with 2 guys and 1 lady. Finally came mile 5 (too one small drink) and then I felt confident enough to pick it up a bit. I was to finish the final 3 miles in 28:28 (about 29:25 for the 5K) which was FASTER than the Zoo Run Run 5K that I ran 2 weeks ago. So my second 4 miles was almost 3 minutes faster than my first.

But I could never catch that tall guy in red I was chasing in the last, long straight portion.

Overall, the race was well organized on the course; I do recommend having two lines for race day (1 for race day registration, 1 for packet pick up). Traffic control, directions, aid stations, etc. were all excellent.

My performance: not so much.🙂 But I had a good workout and am not *that* sore; call it “speedwork” (LOL) for the marathon.

September 10, 2016 Posted by | running | Leave a comment

A couple of running photos from the Bridge to Bridge



Humid (100 percent humidity) but 67 F which “felt” cool, and I had a couple of long workouts in the previous two days. So I was glad to finish. Note: I looked it up, and I ended up putting another 50 seconds of distance between me and the runners you see in the “coming down off of the bridge” photo; note we had one mile to go at that point. I did “save something” for the finish, though my final downhill mile was not what it should have been.

And so it goes; my legs are feeling better and I have one more tough workout between now and the Quad Cities Marathon.

September 9, 2016 Posted by | running | Leave a comment