What to do?

Well, I am at a crossroads with some research. We shall see. I need to rewrite a large section. But the rewrite will be easier than the original.

Workout notes: 3 miles on the treadmill, 3.1 on the track. The track walk came after a break (TMI) and the treadmill run was 10 minute warm up, 10 minutes medium tempo, 10 minutes faster tempo (11:17, 21:06, 29:53; going 6.1 mph for the second 10, then 6.7 for 5 minutes, 6.8 for 3, 6.9 for 2).

Long goal: try to rebuild walking speed then focus on a 2 week cycle with main workouts as follows:

running tempo
walking pacing (sub 13 walking for 4-6 miles)
Then one long workout per week: one week building up to 15 with segments at “marathon walk” pace (say, sub 15 minute per mile walking), the next being a conventional getting in the distance (up to 18-20).
Sprinkle in a 5K here and there for social reasons (and this replaces the running tempo)

Aim for either Quad Cities (late September, 7 hour time limit) OR Des Moines (mid to late October, 7 hour time limit..if QC weather is hot). Tentative goal: 6:20 (14:30 mpm pace).

Now my plan is to get on the road shortly to check out the Normal Cornbelters (independent baseball; Frontier league; roughly low-A level of competition)


June 19, 2018 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

2018 Steamboat: sweltering, sweet failure (and climate change is killing me)

Ok, I complain about this race every year (MY PERFORMANCE, not the execution of the race, which is always stellar). And today, I did far, far worse that I’ve ever done; more than 20 minutes slower than my walking PB, and I actually ran parts of it.

I’ll get into the reasons a bit later in this post; some are on me (the excess weight I am carrying) and some are unavoidable (injury earlier in the year, age, and the suffocating temperatures)

But I got to spend time with a friend that I don’t see nearly enough of and that made it MORE than worth it. I enjoyed the morning, even with my comically bad performance.

The race itself: I jogged out of the gun easily (so I thought) and was 10:55 at mile 1 and 22:15 at mile 2. Yes, I would have loved to have maintained anything resembling that pace. But I was already sweating and knew I wouldn’t last much longer, so I basically slow walked it (mixing in a bit of jogging here and there) the rest of the way. My 5K splits were a complete joke:


I did talk to a few fellow stragglers. I saw Tracy and Jason before the race, and Vickie handed me water just past mile 7.
But the highlight of the race was the social aspect. Lynnor met me at our house at 5:35 am; we visited and walked 2 miles to the start. We started together; I got ahead, she passed me just prior to mile 3 and it was “see you later”.

We had an ongoing “war of words” on Facebook and she (good naturedly) rubbed it in when she crushed me (2:01). We visited afterward and then walked 2 miles back, stopping at Starbucks for coffee and refreshments (my breakfast).

Bad performance on my part, but a good time nevertheless.

Usual: my feet sometimes hurt; it feels as if there is a rock in my shoe at times, even when there isn’t. But mostly, I kept the effort below the “risk getting sick” threshold. My left heel ached a bit afterward but really didn’t affect me during the race itself.

Reasons for my poor performance: too heavy (199, that is MY fault), too hot (I never did well in heat and I am getting worse), and I didn’t start running (and seriously walking again) until March. Even then, it was short stuff and my longer stuff has been “easy intensity” (16-17 mpm). If I am serious about a fall marathon (7 hour time limit), I need to lose 10 lbs. and to do some walking speedwork ..get comfortable with a 14 minute pace again. And I need to choose a race where the weather is likely to be cool. A day like last year’s Quad Cites: I’ll just drop to the half. I cannot handle heat for any length of time.

Photos: (more will follow)

Before she kicked my butt!

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Before our warm up walk. Steamboat 15k.

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Lynnor took the finish photo. Note the shirt: I got that at a half marathon in 2014…that I ran in 2:15 (ok, in cool weather).

Climate ChangeThe historical average for this time of years (days within plus/minus 7 days of today) has been: Low 61, high 82, which would translate to about 63-64 at the 7 am start.

But here are the past few years (at 6:54 am via Weather Underground)

2011 70 F, 90% humidity (+6)
2012 74/68 (+10)
2013 68/73 (+4)
2014 56/84 (-8)
2015 68/78 (+4)
2016 67/66 (+3)
2017 73/90 (+9)
2018 76/82 (+12)

Climate change is kicking my butt in this race.

Race data: yes, there was a tiny bump up from last year, which was unusually small, by historical standards.

year 4m 15K 4k/2m big 2 all change 2 % change change all % change
2013 3124 866 98 3990 4088
2014 2613 776 111 3389 3500 -601 -0.150626566 -588 -0.143835616
2015 2443 805 156 3248 3404 -141 -0.041605193 -96 -0.027428571
2016 2347 822 157 3169 3326 -79 -0.02432266 -78 -0.022914219
2017 1781 666 151 2447 2598 -722 -0.227832124 -728 -0.218881539
2018 1859 653 122 2512 2634 +65 +.0266 36 +.0139

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.
2017: walk 1:55:52: 37:04/39:41/39:07 Just not in very good shape.
2018: 2:15:55 walk/jog…gave up after 2 miles and mostly walked (22:15). 39:20/48:19/48:16

June 16, 2018 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | , , , | Leave a comment

Yelling F-Trump…

The twitter discussion here is..well, interesting.

It is “oh no, saying “F-Trump” won’t make our case more appealing! And no it won’t, but the person saying it is an entertainer. And yes, those cheering are those who would hate Trump anyway.

But look at some of the comments:

“we have to fight” (uh, yelling curse words isn’t exactly fighting)

“look at the ovation” (yeah, but within that group…)

“it feels good” (ok, I buy that one)…

Bottom line: yeah, some are going to be butthurt over this, but those will never be with us anyway.

IMHO, this means …well…nothing, either way.

Rant: Democrats will always have a tougher time of things. Reason: so many of our causes benefit (or are aimed at benefiting) people who do not vote:

refugees, legal and illegal immigrants, convicted criminals and public aid recipients (ok, some of the poor vote, but not in large numbers). Appeals to the heart are tough political sells; appeals to one’s own well being are political winners.

Oh yes, wait, you might say: “don’t lower middle class and poor white Republican voters benefit from liberal policies?” Sure…but many, I think, vote their aspirations and not their reality.
Example: you say D’s are for expanding Medicaid and raising the minimum wage. True, but who wants to BE on Medicaid or to be stuck in a minimum wage job for very long? Accepting that is your reality is pretty grim.

Think about it: which message has more appeal:

1. We are doing things to help the lower and lower middle classes and these will benefit YOU right now?

2. You are a winner..or would be one if only that stupid government would get out of the way and quit over taxing your hard earned salary and giving it to lazy poor people…”Them”.

Accepting “1” means accepting the reality that you are probably destined to stay where you are; “2” means that you have some hope of moving up.

workout notes easy 3 mile run in Bradley Park (heavy legged, just a bit) and a 1 mile walk.

Past: the one showing the 1:35 was from the 2000 Madison Half Marathon. The other one: was taken a few weeks earlier in Ottawa, Canada. I had done a 44 minute 10K on Saturday night and did the half marathon on Sunday morning just to see the course (the marathon was two loops; half was only one). I ran a 1:42. I tried to hold off the guy in black behind me but could not. He shook my hand and said “sir, you did very well FOR YOUR AGE”. I just said “thank you” and did not tell him about the 10K the night before.

And…let’s just say that I almost certainly won’t run 1:35 for Saturday’s 15K (about 4 miles shorter than a half marathon) and will be lucky to “run” 1:42. Sigh…

June 14, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics/social, running, social/political | Leave a comment

The athletic struggle continues

It seems as if every few years, I hit a sports low…only to rebound a bit…then sink again.

I am having trouble getting out of this particular low; in part it is caused by weight gain. I was 199.1 this morning, before running.

I really want to be 10-15 lbs. lighter but lose no upper body strength. Is that possible?

Today: I started my “Steamboat 15K taper” and did the following:

treadmill: 5 minutes at 5.2, 3 at 5.3, 2 at 5.4 (11:16 mile 1), 5 at 6.1, 5 at 6.2 (21:03 for 2) then 10 at 6.7 (29:56 for 3); walked to 3.1 then walked 2 miles outside.

18:40 for 2 miles was the main set (or about 2.14 in 20 minutes). It was enough.

Yesterday, before yoga class, I tried “shoulder stand” while keeping my legs vertical. That lead to huge cramping in my abdominal muscles. I also need to review crow pose.

Forecast for Saturday: dreadfully hot. Typical Steamboat weather. I can see why this race is dwindling.

June 12, 2018 Posted by | running, yoga | Leave a comment

Now that was ugly

I did a brief 4 mile run between rainstorms. It wasn’t much and yes, I had to walk in the first .75 miles. But then I settled down to a steady jog.

Later: saw a Chiefs game. Ugh; the game was delayed by 1 hour due to rain.

Rain delay?

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But the tarp came up and we played.

First pitch, Bandits at Chiefs.

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Many did not show up.


And even Al, the corn who dances when the Chiefs score, lost interest.

We got pounded 9-0; The Bandits (whose record is within 1 game of the Chiefs record) shelled us for 13 hits, including 3 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs, one of which completely over the berm. The Chiefs pitcher also walked 8 batters. Chiefs: 4 hits, 2 walks. It was really no contest; their pitching was a whole lot better than ours today.

Note the shift that the Bandits used against certain left handed batters.

I circled the infielders in yellow.

Still, despite the bad day, the Chiefs are sitting very well for a playoff spot (based on the first half of the season; minor league clubs do this as rosters change with call-ups).

June 11, 2018 Posted by | baseball, running | | Leave a comment

Hot topics and hot weather (Trump, Me Too, Nazis…the real ones)

I was somewhat amused to see the Miss America pageant,…er..competition, drop the swimsuit and evening gown “competition”. I wondered “is that even a thing?” (about 5-6 million viewers watch). But then I heard the decision was, in part, related to “me too”? Yeah, I know…”women as sex objects”, etc. (I really saw Miss America as an old, outdated thing that only modern day “plastics” aspire to.

Then I recalled: bad sex is considered part of “me too” by some. Boorish, clueless behavior is considered part of “me too” by some.

Even the case where a subordinate comes on to the superior and the superior doesn’t reject is called “me too”.


Well, I suppose they can make their movement about anything they want. And as long as the movement was about sexual assault and sexual harassment (especially in the work place), you could count me in. No one should be forced to engage in sex acts against their will, and certainly, no one should have to tolerate sexual harassment to keep a job or get a promotion. What a nightmare that must be!

But, increasingly, “me too” appears to be becoming some sort of catch-all phrase to indicate something that some woman, somewhere, doesn’t like because they feel it contributes to sexism or misogyny (or what they think is “misogyny” anyway).

Good luck with that.

Note: I am not sure that this expansion of “me too” is going to help politically. I do know that in 2012, Obama got 42 percent of the white women vote and 55 percent of the women vote, and in 2016 Clinton got 43 percent of the white women vote (1 point higher, well within MOE) and 54 percent of the women vote (1 point lower, again within MOE). (per CNN exit polls, 2012 and 2016). Given the publicity that Trump had..well, evidently women, on the whole, did not see Trump’s behaviors and statements to be disqualifying. In fact, he was very open about his attitude from the get-go.

If we beat Trump in 2020, it won’t be because of “me too”, pussy hat marches, or other such things.

Now, of course, “me too” really isn’t purely political. But I do think that keeping it a bit more narrowly focused might help win allies (say, Republican women who don’t like sexual harassment either).

Back to Trump and the Republicans: I have to agree with this assessment. I do not know how the 2018 midterms will go (D’s are a slight favorite to take back the House..but barely more than a 50/50 favorite) but Trump is NOT in free fall. If anything, he may well get reelected.

I cannot tell you how much this distresses me. They are incompetent and proud of it! Administration officials boast that D-Day was part of our long relationship with Germany. Republican Congressmen cannot tell the difference between Nazi and US troops.

And still, Republican voters do not care. Sigh…

Workout notesIt was a bit warm and sticky outside and I wanted some turnover so I went to the (still warm but out of the sun) gym.
Treadmill: slow 10 minutes then 2.234 miles in 21:21 (9:33 pace, 6.1 for 10 minutes, then 6.2-6.6 every 2, 6.7 for 1:21). Then walk/jog to get to 43 minutes for 4, 56:40 for 5. Then a slow walk outside; it was enough today.

June 7, 2018 Posted by | political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political | , | Leave a comment

One bit of good news

I think that I finally figured out how to proceed on a problem Now to get to it this afternoon. Who knew that knots in tori could cause so much trouble?

For the uninitiated: imagine a solid torus (bagel) that is twisted into some knot. Now imagine a more complicated curve inside the knotted torus that goes all the way around, possibly several times. The knot represented by the solid torus is said to be the companion knot of the more complicated knot, and the more complicated knot is said to the be the satellite knot of the knotted torus.

In the second diagram, the crudely drawn red represents a knotted solid torus that contains the more complicated black knot. Note: there are at least two other “obvious” companions: the figure 8 and the trefoil.

Workout notes it was only 76 F with 57 percent humidity ..but the non-shade of the 5.2 mile course got to me; today’s “easy” run (shuffle) wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. I then did 15 minutes on the bicycle to cool down. I really need to practice bending my knees as I run.

June 5, 2018 Posted by | mathematics, running | Leave a comment

W. Peoria Jamboree 2018

Past: I frequently missed this due to travel, FANS and other long races.

Last night: 84 F, 63 percent humidity. I “warmed up” just a bit, started out with a 9:30 mile (seemed slow) but it wasn’t slow enough for the conditions. So 4 minutes into the second mile I gave up and went into the old “walk and jog”; I was not exhausted but I could feel the heat building up and my legs getting very, very heavy. So my goal was to avoid feeling bad and little else. I ended up going back and forth with Marty Baker just a bit (he finished 15 seconds ahead of me)

I’d jog, walk, jog, walk, etc. 9:31, 11:11, 11:42, 11:41. 44:07.

I am too fat to handle this heat. Oh well. And the problem is that, at my age, it takes so long to adjust the body. But I am going to try.
Socially: I really did enjoy it: Cassie, Mat, Larry, Crystal, saw Herb helping out as a monitor….Mr. Bill and of course Tracy, who went with me to eat Mexican food afterward. We wore our race t-shirts…and really didn’t coordinate ahead of time.

Trivia: I looked up the conditions on Weather Underground. in 1981 I did a 4’th of July race in the evening in San Antonio, TX. It was 86 F, 64 percent humidity. My time: 26:3x. Age matters.

I’ve done this race (same course) several times. I walked it in 2010 (47 minutes, cool weather)
But as a runner:

1997: 27:55
1998: 25:58
1999: 26:56
2005: 30:53
2012: 33:52
2014: 33:25
2017: 37:21
2018: 44:07 (pm race)

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Friends, running, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Sometimes I get it right (workout wise)

Pink bismuth appears to have calmed my stomach down a bit…wonder what was wrong?

It was sticky when I went out this morning (76 F, 76 percent humidity) and well, gagging. But I wanted to do SOMETHING with a bit of quality and anything resembling distance would have been a foot dragging shuffle. So I settled for a hilly 5 mile run/walk where I jogged 1.3 miles to the bottom of Bradley Park and then ran the uphills hard (and one straight away) and walked/jogged the recoveries.

I did it right; by the time I got to the top of each hill, my legs were heavy and I was gasping for air. But I had enough recovery to do the next one hard; so in a 3 mile stretch I had 6 repeats lasting between 1:30-2:30, all were slightly different, and all eventually hurt. I focused on knee lift.

I need to do this workout more often. This isn’t enough work for the serious runner or the younger runner, but it was fun for this old man to do something other than a foot dragging shuffle.

And I didn’t even think about my foot..not even once.

May 31, 2018 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Economic power (Roseanne)

Well, Roseanne said that a former Obama official (a black woman) was a combination of the Muslim Brotherhood with the Planet of the Apes. That twitter quip got her show cancelled.

I am sorry to be so cynical, but it is my guess that the ABC officials knew that her show would become radioactive to sponsors afterward.

And that is where I think that we liberals have some power. Conservatives will always be over represented in Congress (Wyoming has 2 Senators, just like California) and a combination of gerrymandering plus conservatives being more “spread out” means that they will be over represented in the House…and also in the Electoral College.

And let’s face it: members of Congress from Idaho and Texas don’t care what I think.

But people who make the stuff that I buy certainly do..and if there are enough of us, we can have some influence, at least on social issues. Perhaps 62 million might overlook Trump’s racism (or see it as a desired feature) but there is quite a bit of economic power held by the rest of us.

Workout notes

I was deader than a doornail (legs, everything) so I started my run on the treadmill. I reached 4 miles in 43:40 (22:38 for the first 2); moved up every 5 minutes, and then walked jogged to 55:36 for 5 miles.

I was a sweaty mess. My effort is there, even though my results really stink.

I want a hug!

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May 29, 2018 Posted by | running, social/political | Leave a comment