What we SAID that we did versus what we actually did…..

Running notes: it turns out I finished 21 out of 128 in last weekend’s 4 mile race. That is one of my better places.

Workout notes
Weights: rotator cuff (full), MacKenzie, planks (90 seconds front, 30 seconds side), hip hikes, Achilles

pull ups: 10, 15, 15, 10
bench: 10 x 135, 10 x 160, 10 x 160 (not bad)
abs: 3 sets of 10: crunch, v. crunch, twist, sit backs
military: 3 sets of 12 x 50 lb. dumbbell, seated (supported)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 65 (each arm, dumbbell)
curls: 2 sets of 10 x 30 dumbbell, 1 set of 10 x 65 EZ curl
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
incline: 2 sets of 10 x 135.

This went fine; leisurely pace.

What we did versus what we said we did:
My wife wanted me to do something around the house. This is how *I* described it:

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 8.15.24 AM

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 8.15.05 AM

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 8.14.47 AM

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 8.14.32 AM

(seriously, check out the video)

So that is how I described the chore. What I actually did:


(note: you can see some arch in my back! That is a nice improvement)

Ok, no biggie.

But at last weekend’s NFL game we sat next to a man who had described himself as a starter for the Missouri Tigers football team (in the late 1960’s). He described the era. And…and….the rosters of the period show no such player, much less starter.

This happens more frequently than you’d might think; why do people make stuff up?

Ok, MY football career in high school:

I started JV in the 9’th.
I started on the varsity in the 10’th (offensive tackle); I was at a small, Air Force base high school (Yokota)
I started JV in the 11’th (Travis, in Austin; the rule was that you had to sit out a year of varsity)
I sat the bench on varsity in the 12’th grade, though I played in several games, saw extensive action in 2 games and lettered.

Now, in my opinion, I was good enough to start on my 12’th grade team….BUT…that was because our team wasn’t very good. I wasn’t good enough to start for the stronger Texas high school teams; I’ll readily admit that now. College: LOL. Had I worked very very hard, I might have been able to make the 3’rd string of an NAIA or a division III program…as a senior in college…if I were fortunate.

Athletically, I wasn’t in the same league as the guys who played football for Navy; there were guys my size who played but they were much stronger and faster than I.

I suppose that is one reason I enjoy watching college and NFL ball; I like seeing those who do what I couldn’t do.

In the Rams game, a Ram defensive lineman had beaten his pass block and was about to draw a bead on the Titan quarterback. But a Titan offensive lineman who was “uncovered” swiveled his head, saw this and peeled back and got the block, thereby saving the sack.

That was a play I wouldn’t be able to make in 1,000,000 years. That is why that guy is an NFL offensive lineman. 🙂

November 5, 2013 Posted by | football, NFL, shoulder rehabilitation, social/political, weight training | , , , | 2 Comments

Buried by grading

Quizzes, exams, bleah.

Workout notes
Hip hikes, Achilles, McKenzie, planks, leg lifts

Pull ups: 2 sets of 15, 2 of 10
military presses: dumbbells, 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported)
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 75 (machine)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 (Hammer)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
abs: 3 sets of 10: twist, sit back, crunch, v. crunch

bench press: one set of 10 x 135 (narrow grip); ok, but that was enough.

walking: 3 miles outside; too pretty not to.

Academic BS:

I have very little tolerance for this. Evidently, it is a bad thing not to be an egomaniac.

September 27, 2013 Posted by | education, shoulder rehabilitation, social/political, walking | | Leave a comment


Workout notes
Leg weights (up to 200 on adduction and abduction; 135 on push backs; some lunges and hip hikes)
Swimming: 2200 yards: 10 x 25 fist, 25 free, 5 x 25 fist, 75 free, 5 x 25 free, 25 back, 50 free, 5 x 25 fly, 50 side, 25 free, 200 cool down.

It went ok.


Fallacies of thinking: there are times when I commit some of these. I am ok at overriding my “natural” distrust of probabilities. But there are times when I make up my mind on emotion and then try to “argue the case” with logic; that is, use logic to reinforce my current opinion. Giving up securely held beliefs is tough. I am good about avoiding some of these.

No a penny dropped off the Empire State Building won’t kill you; it reaches terminal velocity at a drop of 50 feet. But a ball point pen is another matter.

Religion and fundamentalism
This is how some creationists see evolution.

Surf to PZ Myers’ blog to see more.

So yes, this claim about “Village Idiots” is not really an exaggeration.

Then we have this:

That is right: Pat Robertson said that prayer could have turned the tornadoes away. It is astonishing how superstitious some adults are.

March 6, 2012 Posted by | mind, religion, science, shoulder rehabilitation, superstition, swimming | Leave a comment

Marginal Improvement

Today’s workout
Early I ran my 6.5 mile course in 1:04:14; it features 7 hills; 2 small and 5 decent sized. I was 25:15 at the 5.1 turn around. It was 22 F (-6 C) and windy (13 mph (20.5 km/hr_, gusting to 27 mph (42 km/hr) but it was sunny.

I felt better and nothing hurt; I wore my high tech jacket and a nylon undershirt and that was sufficient.

After a quick breakfast I went and lifted (usual circuits):
rotator cuff (pulley, dumbbells)
rows: 10 x 180, 10 x 230, 10 x 230
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160 (better depth)
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (pulley)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 175, 4 x 175, 10 x 160
pull ups: 10 (shoulder friendly), 10 (regular), 10 (regular), 6 shoulder friendly
sit ups: 6 sets of 30
incline presses: 8 x 135, 7 x 135
seated military presses: 15 x 45, 14 x 45.

Note: I saw Tracy and then later Barbara.

My shoulder was somewhat sore after yesterday’s swim and still is slightly achy, but it didn’t affect my weight workout at all.

For some reason, I felt better than I did on Thursday.

February 25, 2012 Posted by | running, shoulder rehabilitation, weight training, workouts | Leave a comment

Sleep, Theocracy and swimming

Workout notes I overslept my leg weight session; I can get that done tomorrow.
But I managed to swim 2200 yards: 2000 in 37:11 (9:59, 9:13 (19:13), 8:58 (28:12), 8:59 (37:11) or 19:13/17:58.
200 cool down. Though not at all fast, this was better than last time and my first sub 18 1000 in months.

During the second half I did have someone pushing me just a bit in the inner lane. His crawl was faster than mine, but he mixed in other strokes.
Later: my shoulder was oh-so-slightly sore; nothing serious. But I do have to stretch it carefully and remember my PT exercises.

Sleep: I’ve noticed that the week after a very long ultra (24 hours or 100 miles) I tend to sleep in 4 hour chunks with some “awake time” in between…in fact this is my “very tired” sleep pattern. Perhaps there is a reason for that. This BBC article argues that the 8 hours at a time sleep pattern is really new in human history.

Theocracy Yes, this country has had its brush with theocracy in smaller communities. But separation of church and state appears to be a national bedrock…but won’t be if Rick Santorum has his way.

February 24, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, health, politics, shoulder rehabilitation, swimming, time trial/ race, ultra | Leave a comment

Zebras, Cranks and Values

Workout notes Yoga with crazy Ms. Vickie, then 6 miles outside. It was 19 F when I started (-7 C) and just over that when I finished hence the “faster” parts of my run were slower than usual; my “do one lap harder, 30-40 seconds jog recover) gooseloop 3.24 miles took 30:17. But that was 6+ more miles (about 10K) in the bank; it was sunny and there was hardly any wind. Footing was excellent.

Shoulder: slightly achy; too much fly yesterday, I think.

Science Why did the zebra evolve its black/white stripe pattern? One conjecture: it aids in keeping the blood sucking flies away. Researchers have found that flies are not attracted to such a pattern. But to make the claim work, one would have to show that the flies harm the reproductive success of the zebras in a way that they don’t in other similar animals that don’t have the stripes. It probably isn’t just one factor.

Humans have learned to find associations and correlations:

The problem is that we did not evolve a baloney-detection device in our brains to discriminate between true and false patterns. So we make two types of errors: a type I error, or false positive, is believing a pattern is real when it is not; a type II error, or false negative, is not believing a pattern is real when it is. If you believe that the rustle in the grass is a dangerous predator when it is just the wind (a type I error), you are more likely to survive than if you believe that the rustle in the grass is just the wind when it is a dangerous predator (a type II error). Because the cost of making a type I error is less than the cost of making a type II error and because there is no time for careful deliberation between patternicities in the split-second world of predator-prey interactions, natural selection would have favored those animals most likely to assume that all patterns are real.

But we do something other animals do not do. As large-brained hominids with a developed cortex and a theory of mind—the capacity to be aware of such mental states as desires and intentions in both ourselves and others—we infer agency behind the patterns we observe in a practice I call “agent­icity”: the tendency to believe that the world is controlled by invisible intentional agents. We believe that these intentional agents control the world, sometimes invisibly from the top down (as opposed to bottom-up causal randomness). Together patternicity and agent­icity form the cognitive basis of shamanism, paganism, animism, polytheism, monotheism, and all modes of Old and New Age spiritualisms.

Agenticity carries us far beyond the spirit world. The Intelligent Designer is said to be an invisible agent who created life from the top down. Aliens are often portrayed as powerful beings coming down from on high to warn us of our impending self-destruction. Conspiracy theories predictably include hidden agents at work behind the scenes, puppet masters pulling political and economic strings as we dance to the tune of the Bilderbergers, the Roth­schilds, the Rockefellers or the Illuminati. Even the belief that government can impose top-down measures to rescue the economy is a form of agenticity, with President Barack Obama being touted as “the one” with almost messianic powers who will save us.

And yes, at least in the United States, religion actually encourages the belief in superstition.

Speaking of superstition:

Mr. Santorum:

They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.

Really…guillotines???? (hat tip: Mets102 Daily Kos)

And to think: this is the person that swept Willard “Mitt” Romney this week…not only beat him but beat him badly in two of the three contests (and won all three).

As bad as this is, he probably actually believes what he says; he isn’t one of those “don’t tax the rich and the rest of us will prosper” hacks.

But the values people are saying stuff that is just as false; note that while marriage is down, so is violent crime and teenage pregnancies; the latter is down among all races. Paul Krugman notes:

So here’s a thought: maybe traditional social values are eroding in the white working class — but maybe those traditional social values aren’t as essential to a good society as conservatives like to imagine.

February 10, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, evolution, religion, republicans, running, science, shoulder rehabilitation, social/political, superstition | Leave a comment

Plus Size Win….

Workout notes I didn’t feel great this morning; it is almost as if I am coming down with something. My throat is sore and my eyes burn a bit and I feel tired. Also I had some mild shoulder ache last night; shoveling snow? Is it from the half marathon plus half-blood donation? Or do I just suck? 🙂

Nevertheless the workout went ok:

Weights: rotator cuff (pulley plus dumbbells)
Rows: 2 sets of 10 x 230 with standard grip, 1 set of 7 plus 3 with the narrow grip (Hammer Machine)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 47.5 (pulley)
sit ups: 5 sets of 30 at the highest incline (made an effort to touch my head the whole way and mostly succeeded)
pull ups: 4 sets of 6 (2 regular grip, 2 shoulder friendly)
bench press: 10 x 135, 2 sets of 4 x 170 (pleased)
incline press: 6 x 135, 5 x 135
military press (seated): 2 sets of 15 x 40 lb. dumbbells.

I stretched a bit and then ran:
3 miles on the track (9:11, 9:05, 9:18 for 27:34), that tired me. Then 1 mile cool down on the treadmill at 10:40.
I have to remember that the 3 mile workout I described is a de-facto tempo run, given my previous 5K running races.

Professional I got a “revise and resubmit; we like your work but you have to fix it up” on a paper that I submitted so I have something to work on. I’d rather work on something new, but this will take priority…and I really want this paper to appear in the journal that I submitted it to.

Plus Size Win
This size 12 lady doesn’t look “plus size” to me, but here we see the contrast between her and a normal sized model

And here we see her “touch your toes” pose:

Click on the thumbnail to see the full size photo at the source. The idea: today’s models are unrealistically skinny. Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with a sexy “greyhound” if they are naturally that way. But “rounded” can be very sexy and very athletic too.

Example: these two women are very comparable athletically and are in the same age group…and vastly superior to me (low bar, I know)

Very different body types, and very comparable results. The lady in the top photo just walked a judged 50K racewalk in 5:16 (10:10 per mile, WALKING) and the one in the bottom has walked a 1:56:24 20K (12.4 miles of judged racewalking at a 9:24 mpm pace…(equivalent to a 2:04 half marathon…WALKING).

So “accepting one’s body” does NOT mean “accepting athletic/fitness failure”; not at all!
Of course, one might not be as good (or in my case, as bad) in one sport as another sport.

Update I got permission to use a couple of other photos; they are both fun:

January 13, 2012 Posted by | racewalking, running, shoulder rehabilitation, sickness, social/political, spandex, sports, training, ultra, weight training | 3 Comments

Back In Peoria….2012

We got back from St. Louis (dropped my daughter off at the airport. 😦 )

I managed to lift weights while checking the television for Rose Bowl scores. It seems as if every time I rested between sets, the score had changed.

The whole workout (more crowded than usual)
rotator cuff: pulley and 5 lb. dumbbells
sit ups (as rest sets): 4 x 30 reps at the highest incline
lunges: 3 pull sets of 10 each leg, but front and back.
Hammer row: 3 sets of 10 x 230
Pull downs: 10 x 140, 2 sets of 10 x 160
Bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 170, 3 x 170, 3 x 170, 5 x 155
Pull ups: 6, 7, 6, 5 (2 sets regular, 2 sets shoulder friendly)
Incline bench: 2 sets of 7 x 135
military press: 15 x 40 lb. dumbbell, 10 x 40 lb. dumbbell, 15 x 40 lb. dumbbell seated (supported)
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (pulley)

Note: I drove a lot, hence a tiny bit of shoulder ache. I need to make myself do the rotator cuff exercises a couple of more times per week than I am currently doing them.

I am watching the Oklahoma State vs. Stanford track meet…er…football game.

January 3, 2012 Posted by | family, shoulder rehabilitation, travel, weight training | Leave a comment

Lebanon, MO, December 27 2011

We’ll be leaving within a short time for Peoria, IL. I’ll just post some random thoughts:

1. I didn’t stretch enough; though I don’t like taking the time for yoga classes, the time is a worthwhile investment.

2. I noticed a couple of different approaches to highway speed limit enforcement. In Illinois, the state police usually hide off to the side so that they can catch speeders. Reason: they want the money. On the other hand, when I was crossing the Lake Eufala bridge on highway 69 in northeast Oklahoma, there was a police car parked by the construction site with its lights going. It was there when I drove by on the 23’rd of December and it was there yesterday. They WANT people to see it and slow down.

3. I was amused at this collection of “I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas” posts. (This was a bunch of “boo hoo, I didn’t get an I-pad” or “I am mad at dad for not getting me a car”, etc. I was even more amused by the comments. Well, I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas either:

a. She wasn’t under my tree:

As far as the photo: I think it is from one of those facebook spammers who are trying to get unsuspecting men to their sex photo page. Perhaps not.

b. Rams and/or Bears win. Both teams got whipped (big shock). 🙂

c. Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich getting deported. Didn’t happen. 😦

d. Red States seceding from the union forever. 😦

e. My running a sub 20 minute 5K. In fact, I ran my high school training course (3.55 miles) and it took me about 7-8 minutes longer…then again high school was 35 years and 5 knee operations ago. 🙂

f. A paper accepted in a top math journal. Then again, that means that I have to write that paper and that takes work. 🙂
I do have one at the referees though and if that one is accepted, I’ll celebrate just a bit. If it is rejected, I’ll fix it up and send it elsewhere.

g. A 225 pound bench press. Nope; not even close though I was finally able to do a few pull-ups without pain. I did get 210 prior to my shoulder going south and I might have to settle for a “repetition” goal (say, 170 x 10…I can get 170 x 5 now). Reps seem to hurt less than one all out max type lift.

Well, time to clean up and to blast my teenage daughter out of bed. I’ll have to use a very long stick to wake her up.

December 27, 2011 Posted by | big butts, bikinis, family, humor, republicans, shoulder rehabilitation | Leave a comment

Running: the impromptu race

Workout notes Weights followed by a 4 mile walk in 48:49: 12:09 (2-1), 11:37 (3-1), 11:41 (3-1). Yep, I am still weak.
The weights: I’ll just list what I did (at a more relaxed pace than normal)
rotator cuff
Rows: 10 x 180, 10 x 200, 7 x 230
curls: 10 x 47.2, 10 x 47.2, 10 x 55.2 (pulley)
pull downs: 10 x 140, 6 x 160, 7 x 160
bench press: I fiddled with the power rack:
10 x 135, 1 x 170, 2 x 170, 1 x 170, 3 x 170, 6 x 155
sit ups: 4 sets of 30 at the highest incline
legs: 3 sets of push backs 10 x 130
adduction: 3 sets of 10 x 190
abduction: 3 sets of 10 x 190
pull ups: two sets of 5: different grips. The shoulder felt fine.
incline press: 10 x 125, 9 x 125
military (standing) 2 sets of 10 with 40 lb. dumbbells.
lunges (1 set)
Running: if I had some imagination, I’d embellish these stories and submit them to the erotica sites under “I never thought it would happen to me”, but here they are, sans embellishment. 🙂

In each case, I was just running just to run a workout and ended up in an impromptu race…sort of.

Case One: this was at the University of Texas over a leave from the Navy; if I remember correctly it was during the fall of 1983 (note: Friday, September 23) on a warm day. I went with my cousin who played basketball at the outdoor courts near the football stadium; round the courts and a grass field was an old running track. It was irregular in shape but was about 4 laps to the mile. It was early evening and the lights were on.

I decided not to play basketball but instead to run some laps and so I just started running. In those days, I could run a 10K in about 44 minutes or so (on a good day). I started running easily for me (maybe 8:30 minutes per mile) and just soaked up the atmosphere.
There was a blonde woman running some laps and I quickly gained on her. I moved over and started to pass her…and she picked up the pace to stay up with me.

And so it went; the pace migrated from about 8:30 to 8:15…to about 8:00 and she stayed side by side with me (I ran on the outside). We didn’t say a word to each other, but we stayed side by side for about 3 miles; eventually I stopped and so did she.

We smiled at each other and went our separate ways. No…I didn’t get her number as I was still in the Navy and was soon to join my submarine in Connecticut.

What I remember: her hair was long and wavy; she was slender but had a kind of broad face.

Fast Forward almost 30 years (to July of 2011)
I was in Chicago with my family and decided to go running in the morning; I chose a route that took me from downtown and along the Lakeshore path. I was running south toward the Museum campus.

At about 1 mile or so I came up on a 30’ish year old woman; she had long dark hair and was wearing a ball cap…she also had a white jog bra and a black spandex “skort”. I was stumbling along at perhaps a 10:30 minutes per mile pace and started to pick it up slightly. I moved to the side so as to not startle her and when I tried to pass…she wouldn’t let me.

And so we went for the next 1.5 miles; I’d start to get ahead and she’d strain to stay with me. Eventually near the Shed Aquarium she gave out and I continued on…then I doubled back to finish my 5 miles.

No; these weren’t the only times that this happened but these were the only times when someone I didn’t know did this. In other cases, people who were jogging but who knew me from races or from the gym would strain to stay ahead of me while I racewalked. But these were people I talked to afterward; there is something a bit different when it is a total stranger.

December 20, 2011 Posted by | running, shoulder rehabilitation, sickness, walking | Leave a comment