Short but sweet…and painful ….indoor workouts

Winter is coming; we will have the usual snow, sleet and cold. That is typical for this time of year. And yes, I already did my usual blood donation, so my aerobic capacity is down.

And yes, I am dealing with the effects of aging; while I might run faster, say, this week than last week, my running times from a decade ago are all but impossible for me to meet. And there is the fact that I’ve had some injuries too.

But at times, I get the feeling that “I just can’t get “into shape”, no matter what I do!”.

The same applies for swimming (which I need to get back to) and lifting (which I do regularly).

This year: I am going to try to reclaim a bit of 5K “speed” (can’t say that with a straight face) which means doing some indoor workouts. I’ll also have to have, say, a “once a week” “sort of long” run (1:30 to 2 hours).

But what about the intense stuff? These typically take less than 1 hour to do, even with the “loosen my back” stuff to start with.

Yesterday, I did the “Deek” workout (which is one of the favorites of Robert De Castella, a famous marathon runner)

Warm up (1 mile on the treadmill works)
8 x 400 at a 5K effort pace, with 200 run between 800’s..NO WALKING..this 200 should be at my “basic training pace”, 200 to make 5K. My time was 30:44; typically I am about 2-3 minutes slower than my 5K race pace. I could do this in 22-23 when I was running a 20 minute 5K, and 26-27 minutes when I was running 24 minute 5K races
cool down.

Others: warm up, a few strides, 1 mile HARD, cool down (track)

warm up: then 3-5 of the following on the treadmill: (2.5 minutes at increasing speeds (6.7, 7.0, 7.5, then 6.0 for 2.5 in my 25 minute 5K days), cool down. or
warm up: then 3-5 of starting at a tempoish pace (say 6.3-6.5 mph) and doing the following elevation changes: (1-2-3-4-0), cool down

Anything to mix it up and not make it too emotionally tough.🙂

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

Workout catch up

Classes ended yesterday, and I am going to write up some final exams.

Workouts: Sunday: light yoga prior to the Bears game trip.
Monday: 3 miles on the home treadmill; 34:30 (“run”)
Tuesday: weights then a reasonably serious 6 mile run on the treadmill in 1:03:10. I did the 5.2 for 4 minutes and increased the speed every 4 minutes until 52: mile 5 came at 51:50, 4 at 42:20. Then I walked to 54 minutes, then jogged the rest.

Weirghts: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, nice shoulder burn), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 145. military: 2 sets of standing 10 x 50 dumbbell, 20 x 50 seated, supported. 3 sets of 10 x 50 one armed row, head stands (shaky entry), 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches.

I seem to have recovered somewhat from Wednesday’s blood donation.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

More head scratching….

This is just nuts: Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is now about 2.5 million, and her percentage lead is 1.9 percent? And yes, the Democrat has won the popular vote in 6 of the previous 7 elections, though the Republican won the Electoral College thrice.

Nevertheless, our elections, for now, are decided by the Electoral College. Somehow, it makes sense to spend attention to a few “swing states” as opposed to where more people live? That no longer makes sense to me.

But Trump won. Oh, there will be consequences; for example many will lose their health insurance.

So, where do we go from here? I completely agree with this:

As Democrats contemplate their losses in November’s election, most have settled on a solution. They believe that the party needs more economically populist policies. But this misses an essential reality: Most people don’t vote on the basis of policies.

There is excellent research by political scientists and psychologists on why people vote. The conclusion is clear. As Gabriel Lenz writes in his landmark 2012 book, “Follow the Leader?”, “Voters don’t choose between politicians based on policy stances; rather, voters appear to adopt the policies that their favorite politicians prefer.”

And how do voters pick their favorite politicians? It is a gut decision that is more emotional than rational. Mostly it hinges on whether they identify with a politician in the social and psychological senses.

In an important recent book, “Democracy for Realists,” Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels show that “group attachments” and “social identities” are key to understanding voting behavior. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt reinforces this view with mountains of research showing that people choose their political views based on their tribal attachments.

I agree with this. However these sorts of solutions are problematic:

Barack Obama is a singularly charismatic politician. But he might have made Democrats forget that the three Democrats elected to the White House before his election came from the rural South. They knew that world; they were of it.

With these insights in mind, on the campaign trail, perhaps Clinton and the Democrats should have rallied not with Beyonce and Jay Z but rather with George Strait. And if you don’t know who he is, that’s part of the problem.

I agree that Barack Obama is so good of a politician that he may have masked problems that Democrats have. But as far as Beyonce and Jay Z: remember that a Democrat cannot not win without the base. True, they can’t win with ONLY their base, as we found out; we do need at least a few votes beyond our base. But you can’t disrespect your base either.

It is a tricky line to walk.

Workout notes: yesterday, weights only (day after whole blood donation): pull ups (5 sets of 10), rotator cuff, incline bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 10 x 150, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 dumbbell seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single armed rows, headstand, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches.

today: run only; 5.1 mile shuffle on my hilly course; hills were a chore.

December 2, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, Uncategorized, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

building back up…

Workout notes: treadmill: 10 minutes of warm up (4 at 5.2, 4 at 5.3, 2 at 5.4), then 20 at 6.7, 6 at 6.8, 1:52 at 6.9, 15 minute mile walk to cool down (52:52).
Technically: 3.128 miles in 27:52 or 8:54 mpm, very close to what I averaged for the race this past Thanksgiving.

But it was easier as it was indoor (0.5 elevation) and I started out a bit slower.

Then I did some light leg stuff, (goblet squats, dumbbell lunges); some of the stuff I discussed with Mama T this past Sunday. My left hamstring has a very minor ping.

What should my goals be? A 24:00 5K at 49 years of age (my 2009 best) translates to 25:38 at 57; I was in the 25:50’s this year at my best. Ah…that is doable. Going under 25 …ugh..going to have to work hard for that.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | running | , | Leave a comment

Fun, social weekend

Ok, my football teams did not do well; in the NFL the Bears and Colts lost; in college: Texas, Notre Dame, Illinois all lost big; Illinois State lost a heartbreaker playoff game..but Navy rolled by a basketball score like 75-31 over SMU.

But workouts were fine: Saturday I walked 2 miles of the FOLEPI course with Barbara and then 4.5 more miles on my own. Sunday; weights then a nice run/walk with the lovely Mama T; that was a real treat for me.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), inline (10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 135), military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm.

Photos: First two from the FOLEPI walk


Barbara with Mama T at lunch today.


Barbara, Jennifer and Me after the Second City Improv. Production at ICC last night.



The Bradley Women actually trailed D-3 Eureka after 1 quarter and lead by only 8 at the half. The third quarter saw Bradley go on a 31-8 run and BU won going away 103-58; however it was a competitive game for a half.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Congratulations to us for not being out there shopping…

Yes, that is what one lady said as she ran past me out on the Riverfront trail. I was out for an easy 5 mile walk on a gray, but seasonal day…after lifting weights.

One my way back to the locker room, I heard two Trump supporters talking; one mentioned that he hoped that Trump’s 35 percent tariff would “bring back manufacturing”.

The walk: I was thinking about running but my legs said “no way”. Building back up is going to be a long process.

The gym was not crowded at all.

Bodyweight (after weights, before walking) 191.7 on the Riverplex gym scale

Rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then one 5-5 where I switched grip)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170 (strong)
incline press: 10 x 135
military presses: 2 sets of 8 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 180 machine.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm.
headstand (shaky), 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches

Running: from yesterday’s waddle:


I wanted to catch these two women who beat me by 11 seconds (by the clock, 3 seconds by the chip). And I wanted to catch the gray beard (10 years older than I) who beat me by a few seconds. No dice.


What gives? I haven’t done those 1:30 runs that give me strength, nor those steady, good effort 1-1:10 runs. Everything, save one little tempoish run a week has been at recovery pace, and not much of that.

Plans: I think that it is time for me to focus on getting some 5K “speed” back and not worry about distance for a while.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Damned course keeps getting longer every year (Chocolate Turkey run)

Ok, I did the Peoria Chocolate Turkey Race again, and did it slower than ever: 26:54 for 3 miles: 8:48, 8:47, 9:20. Yes, that last split was for a mile, not 1.1 miles. I faded; I could tell by how much I got passed. Oh, I could make an excuse; I was tracking a MILF who was rocking some cute VPLs and she stopped to tie her shoe..and that took away some of my spirit. But mostly, my legs were getting heavy.


My place wasn’t terrible; almost upper 1/3 of my 50-59 age group (I am 57), just better than half of all males and a bit better than upper 1/3 overall. That is what happens at large races.

And yes, this was simply a glorious day to run (high 30’s, no rain, usually that means a fast time for me).

Highlight of the race: as I was warming up, a nice looking lady yelled “nice ass” as I ran past. Those who know me well know who yelled that.

2013 24:56
2014 24:53
2016 26:54

Note: the race has grown steadily; over 800 finishers this year; just 187 the first year, then 400 then 610.

No, it isn’t all age; I’ve gained a few pounds…and am lifting heavier weights than I could a few years ago. Bodyweight: 193.0 Bradley gym; 194.5 home digital.

The other factor is that in the two “slower” years, I did a marathon in the fall. I did NOT do one in the two “faster” years (did a spring marathon or longer instead).

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

I’ve given up…this has been coming for a long time

This morning, I wasn’t under work pressures so I slept in longer and reluctantly pushed myself out of the door.

I ran..shuffled really…10K plus on my hilly Cornstalk/Bradley Park course. It was a lovely fall day; sun..chilly windy, and leaves everywhere. Traffic was mostly minimal.

And I didn’t bother with my stopwatch; in fact, MOST of my runs and walks over “known” courses are like that. I might do a timed track or treadmill run; and once in a while, I’ll do a race.

But, more and more, performance during a workout has become less and less important to me, at least in most workouts. And GodDAMN, I am slow. I am more shuffling than running.

I’ve reached the point where I really don’t want to know my workout times, at least for most of them. Even in weight lifting, I’ll do more when I can, but getting a spotter so I can squeeze out “one or two last reps”…just not what I do anymore.

Who knows; maybe I am still in the “post marathon blues” period.

But I sure enjoyed today’s run/shuffle or whatever you want to call it.

November 22, 2016 Posted by | running | | 1 Comment

Getting caught up on workouts

Yes, this is a workout post:

Friday: weights only; rotator cuff, pull ups (15-15-10-10), bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm. headstand, abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts. Weight: 193 (gym)

Saturday: 4 mile treadmill walk (46:35)
Sunday: 4 mile treadmill run (hotel) 43:15)

Monday: weights only; rotator cuff, pull ups (10-10-10-10-10), bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 140, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 200 machine. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm. headstand, abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts. Followed by: 2 mile walk.

Ok..that should do it.

November 22, 2016 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Post election blues

I really have not talked about this election all that much, at least compared to how much I said after the 2008 and 2012 elections. Oh yes, I am furious at our losing; as a party we really failed. The top political consultants ought never be used in a national campaign again. We failed to campaign beyond our base and were grossly overconfident (here and here)

Oh yeah, it is great that our popular vote margin is up to 1,000,000 votes and counting. The Electoral College is what counts, and we ended up underperforming any Democratic candidate since Michael Dukakis in 1988. That is inexcusable.

Oh, we still don’t get it, at least as a party. Here is a House Republican “selfie” with Mike Pence…of course it is all white. BUT THAT ONLY MATTERS TO LIBERALS. That is between “of no consequence” to “that’s the way it should be” to about half of our country.

Ok, I am digressing.

I notice that I’ve done a few things differently. My spouse tells me that I am humming to myself a lot; it is kind of like a constant “sitcom” theme tune. That is what my civic/social life appears to be right now.

And I’ve made the effort to get out more; I made impromptu football games, the regular basketball games, did a race that I wasn’t prepared for (see my workout notes) and even made a yoga/pilates type class for the first time in several years.

And I’ve talked up a storm on Facebook; lots of PM conversations too. This just sucks…though the coming together with others actually feels good in a weird sort of way.

Workout notes: 1 mile warm up on the treadmill, 8 x 400 Deek workout (lane 2): 31:08 for a bit over 5K. 9:54, 10:11, 10:00, 1:02. Roughly it was 9 minutes a mile for the “fast” (lol) part, 12 mpm for the “float” part. This was roughly 2 minutes slower than what I did during 2015. And it wasn’t as if I was not trying; I think that I’ve slowed down again.

Some of it was that my butt was somewhat sore from the exercise class with Ms. Vickie the night before; I think I need to do that class some more.

November 17, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, running, walking | | 1 Comment