Nostalgia and Victimhood

My victimhood and whining: well, it was overcast and sort of cool. I “ran” (slogged?) outside at a bout 11:30 mpm; I chose my Cornstalk 8.1 mile course (1:33 or thereabouts..this was time of day. I didn’t start my stopwatch).

About .6 miles into it (1 km) I turned onto Parkside and a university runner came running by; she had on cropped shorts and it was easy to see how athletic she was. She smiled and said “hi” right about the point where we were side by side and within a minute or so she was already at Main Street and I had advanced about half of the distance she did.

Oh well…what are you going to do? My options: quit or be content to manage the pace that I can manage.

That reminded me of this article: in politics, some politicians pine for a “return to…and earlier era”. Now that did NOT work with my parents; they grew up dirt poor during the depression era. Personally, I wouldn’t mind returning to an era when I was faster, stronger and my mind was a bit quicker, but I don’t think that a politician is going to help with that.:-) And I rather like the internet, modern medicine, and more tolerance.

Now, of course, some may really be pining for a less diverse time in US history; e. g. not putting up with accents, people who dress differently and who either worship no god at all, or worship differently. But seriously, what some politicians call “Real America” really isn’t. THAT might be what some are nostalgic for. Not me.:-)

Example: I like our first black president and am looking forward to electing our first female president this year.

But alas, those who might be on the losing end of an election are…well, “victims”. So they say. Hey, I know that losing an election hurts; I felt like crying after the 2004 loss. But instead I joined the local Democratic party and worked to help make 2008 different.

Another topic This is an interesting article as to why one should…ahem…be skeptical of skeptics.

April 28, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political | Leave a comment

Bernie Math Joke

Workout notes: beautiful day so I took it outside for my hilly Cornstalk 8.1 mile running course, followed by a 1 mile walk.

1:26:13 (44:12/42:01); last 1.03 miles was done in 9:06 (8:50 pace…THAT is picking up the pace?:-) )

the 1 mile (plus) walk was untimed.

There are a series of primary elections today. One poll came out that showed Sanders ahead in Rhode Island, so perhaps I should walk back my prediction for a sweep? Still, Maryland should be blowout and Pennsylvania should be more or less like New York, so I see Hillary Clinton adding 40-50 pledged delegates to her lead..and more “delegates in play” will come off of the table.

It is getting time for us to carry Senator Sanders off on his shield. Yes, he fought hard, and I respect the campaign that he has run. But today should be yet another 10-8 round for Clinton.

Don’t expect the more hard-core Sanders supporters to accept it though:

April 26, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

sore shoulder but…

Yeah, my shoulder is slightly sore. I might give in and take some NSAIDS, though I really don’t want to.

And I’ll confess something: I have some mild “anxiety” before my long run attempts; in my head I remember my failures and not my far more numerous successes.

But I got out there:


That took 2:53:47 (1:27:47/1:26:00) Though the return is downhill, I started to fatigue. Pace: 11:15 mpm.
Then I got a drink of water and kicked myself into walking my 5.2 mile West Peoria course (flat); pace was about 15:55 or so (just under 1:23 “by the day” time, which included breaks for traffic, etc.) My legs (calves especially) were like rocks.

Total workout: 20.6 miles in 4:13, or roughly 12:25 mpm.

The shoulder hurt a little; I had to tell myself to relax. There were a few runners out there including two beautiful middle aged ladies in the Tower Park building.

Now lunch and grass cutting (zzzzz) await…

April 23, 2016 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Now that was humbling…

Today’s workout: 5 mile run, 3 walk. Run: 22:30 treadmill warm up (2 miles), lane 2 at Markin: 8:51, 8:46, 8:42 (26:21), 27:36 for 25 laps..walked a bit on the last lap then chased a student. For most of the 3 miles…almost all of it I was solo and that was tough. But only the final mile felt bad.

Then 3.1 miles outside, walking.

Posts Gin and Tacos talks about a book that interests me:

Mike Konczal gave me a heads-up on Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, a non-fiction tale of people in Milwaukee living on the bottom rung of the housing market: black families in the north side ghetto and white families in a trailer park that sits literally atop a biohazard. For a casual reader this book is a Rorschach Test, a study in confirmation bias; whatever your existing beliefs about the root causes of poverty and the underclass, you will find ample evidence to support it here. The most remarkable achievement is the ability of these stories to make the reader sympathize with everyone involved. You feel for the poor single parent living in a house with no refrigerator; then you feel for the landlord who stopped putting in refrigerators after six of them were destroyed or sold for beer money. You feel for the people who have to clean up foreclosed, abandoned, or evicted houses that resemble landfills. For a few pages I even felt bad for the cops – Milwaukee cops.

When it comes to poverty (or many other issues) we tend to get tribal and forget that there are reasons that different people feel different ways. It is so frustrating.

Marijuana: yes, I am for legalization. But we shouldn’t just assume that it is harmless; evidence is that it isn’t.

April 22, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Irrational Irritation

Today: Hilly Corntalk 8.1 in 1:26:54 (43:56/42:57). That is my best since January of this year, and the best I’ve done coming off a weekend of long stuff. But it is nowhere near what I’d need to have a really good performance in an upcoming race; in fact 2 years ago (when I was in the 24’s for the 5K) I did the same workout in just under 1:20 (pushing it a bit more though, and no, not after a “double long” weekend workout).

Irrational Irritation
Last Sunday’s longish walk included a bit of bike trail, and the weather was good. Hence there were some fair-weather 10-12 mph cyclists out and about.

In big cities with more crowded trails/paths (Austin Hike and Bike, Chicago Lakefront), people leave you alone. But here, when these “family cyclists” come toward you: “Good Mooorning!” in that irritating, faux-cheerful voice. “Yeah, try getting your heart rate over 80 and see how cheerful you are” I often think. That just irritates the daylights out of me, especially when I’ve reached the “tunnel of concentration” that I often do in longer workouts …ok, sometimes it is the “tunnel of pain”.

I respond much better to a knowing nod and wave from someone who is also out working up a good, hard sweat (often running) and I always return these.

Hey, said it was an “irrational irritation”, didn’t I?

Update If you are a friend, I am NOT talking about you, ok?:-) I enjoy greetings from friends, including those not working out at the time.

April 19, 2016 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Progress on long workouts

Today, I wanted to break in new shoes; my teeth were starting to rattle when I wore my old ones. They are still good for walking, dirt trail running and the treadmill.

So I chose courses that would keep me close to home; no problems though.


Basically, it was my West Peoria 8.1 plus my Bradley Park 5.1; that took me 2:27:41 to do. This included 43:11 at 4.05, 45:12 for the return leg (getting a bit warmer by now), 59:17 for the 5.1. I then walked the 5.1 course in 1:18:26, or 18.3 in 3:46:07, which was 14 minutes faster than last Saturday’s “run 15, walk 3” workout. My time for running 13.2 and walking 2 more was faster than my “run” 15.25 last Saturday by 8 minutes! (2:59). Ok, it wasn’t very fast, at all.

The run portion was interesting. I saw a bespandexed MILF on Sterling; we converged on the same intersection and I moved over. I had zero chance of staying with her. Then I saw a very purple Cassie at Heading and Western.


I didn’t even think about chasing her; I still had 9 miles to run at that point and I wouldn’t have lasted.

Then going up the Cornstalk Hill (on the way back) I saw 3 bespandexed MILFs doing “squat walks” up the hill..

squatwalks. One apologized for almost getting right in front of me; I smiled and said “you are good.” And I smiled for a while longer.

My walk was at a 15:25 pace; a bit too slow but it was ok. If I do FANS (as I expect to), I’ll be walking a lot slower than that at times.:-)

April 16, 2016 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | Leave a comment

Creature of habit (and missing workouts)

I have to cover for someone’s class, which cuts into my morning workout. Hence today I ran 5 miles over lunch (about 5.2 actually)

Good news: it was very pretty, though there was a breeze. I did 2 lower Bradley loops (1.22-1.24 miles each) in 21:39 (8:44-8:52 mpm) with the laps being 11:05/10:34. I walked the big hill coming out of the park after these two laps, and then slow jogged it home. Hey, 5 miles are better than zero.:-)

I do have to get new shoes though as my teeth are starting to rattle as I run.

Think of this: suppose you have an ordered list of ingredients of a food stuff (say, water, salt, sugar, gelatin..), the weight of a serving, and the amount of say, protein, fats, sugar (nutritional information on the label).

You can use linear programming (and similar techniques) to determine upper and lower bounds for the various ingredients and have a phone application do this.

Why is this important? Some people have dietary restrictions (e. g. some can’t process phenylalanine) and therefore have maximum amounts of this substance they can have in their daily diet.

Who knew?

April 14, 2016 Posted by | mathematics, running | | Leave a comment

Why Hillary Clinton fails to excite (many)

Workout notes: easy 8.1 mile Cornstalk run (hilly); 43:37 second half. 1.2 mile cooldown walk. Pretty weather; easy effort. It may be time to get new running shoes.

Hillary Clinton


I think that Paul Krugman is onto something:

OK, so I’m not happy with magical unicorns as a campaign strategy. But I understand the problem, which is also the problem Clinton faces: among young people in particular, being a wet blanket is no way to be hugely popular. “No, we can’t — at best, maybe a little” isn’t all that inspiring to people who want uplift. Realistically, the slogan should actually be “They shall not pass”, which actually could be inspiring. But that’s probably for the general.

This poses an interesting problem for Clinton — who will, if nominated, be pretty good at portraying herself as the defender of Obama’s achievements, but needs to get to that point. Can she try to match Sanders in uplift? Probably not, because it would be insincere and come off that way. She’s a veteran of many years of partisan trench warfare, of personal vilification, of seeing how hard positive change is (and yes, some of that applies to me too, although not to remotely the same degree.) She’s not going to be able to promise magic without being obviously false. Sanders, on the other hand, probably believes what he’s saying; the rude awakening still lies ahead.

Now, Clinton will probably get the nomination — in part because African-American voters, much more than young whites, know all too well how hard it is to achieve change. So far, at least, polls don’t show Sanders making major inroads in the minority vote. And, as I said, she’s actually pretty well-positioned for the general.

But you see the problem. It’s a rough time for progressives who don’t believe in magic.

I see two things. First, she knew how hard things will be (e. g. she predicted that Obama would get no cooperation when he got into office)

And she sees nuance in things; “bumper sticker answers” just aren’t for her. Her position on GMOs is an example (she takes the position that many (most?) scientists takes)

The second thing is that she seems so politically measured in what she says. Her position on abortion is an example.

Now the above makes her attractive to me; I happen to like someone who is measured, thoughtful and knowledgeable. But for those who want slogans and easy to remember bumper sticker phrases… just leaves them a bit cold.

April 12, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running | , | Leave a comment

The 2016 Democratic Debate, in one photo

Workout notes: last night, 2 miles with Barbara at Building Steam (I am a “student” this year)

This morning: treadmill: 5.2-5.3-5.4-5.5 warm up (20 minutes: 1.78 miles)
Then 10 minutes at 6.7, 5 at 6.8, then 6.9 to mile 3, then every .25 miles: 7.0-7.1-7.2-7.3, 7.4 for 0.1
(I was at mile 2 in 22 minutes, mile 5.1 in 48:54, so 26:54 for 3.1 miles or 5K; or 28:54 for 3.32 miles)
walk/jog to get to 6 miles; then 1 cool down mile on the track (14:55, walking)


And that is really it for me.

Yes, Hillary Clinton took some positions that I didn’t like (example, example, example) and she has made some embarrassing gaffes and political moves.

She is not perfect. And I think that she isn’t a good campaigner.

But she is intellectual, thoughtful, smart and knowledgeable, which explains why she appeals to me more than Bernie Sanders does.
Unfortunately, “I can do the math” is not an inspiring campaign slogan.

April 7, 2016 Posted by | politics, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Sun, wind…baseball…

I just ordered Peoria Chiefs tickets (vouchers; discounted) and finished an 8 mile run.

Wisconsin Primary: the Clinton campaign admitted that Sanders was probably going to win:

For weeks, this team has been knocking on doors, calling voters, and making sure that folks in Wisconsin know what Team Hillary is all about — but Ollie, the truth is, we were outraised and outspent last month, and we could very well lose the Wisconsin primary tonight.

You’ve been in Hillary’s corner since Day One, and I can’t thank you enough for that. If we can stay focused and stick to our plan, the nomination is in our grasp. Coming off a string of losses, our commitment to fighting for every last vote and every last delegate is going to matter more than ever.

Chip in $38 to help Hillary fight in New York, Pennsylvania, and every other state still to vote in this primary election:

April 5, 2016 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment


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