Peoria Race for the Cure decline (but with a silver lining)

This weekend’s Peoria Komen Race for the Cure had just over 5500 participants, including 216 in the “time run” division. I remember back in 2012, there were 201 men running and over 840 females; in fact, I “won” an age group award in the 50-54 male division but would not have placed in the same age group among the women! (reason: the larger female division attracted good runners; most of the men were people like me).

This Peoria Journal Star article from 2015 has a nice timeline of the Peoria race:

1986: The first Race for the Cure outside of Dallas is in Peoria, established by the Junior League of Peoria. The first Peoria race had 1,275 entrants raising $20,000.


1995: Peoria Race for the Cure registration reaches a record number of 15,000 on the race’s 10th year.

(personal note: someone I know wore shiny purple spandex leggings to this…with clear as a bell “V” shaped VPLs….with the most feeble “my long shirt will cover this…(nope)” excuse. πŸ™‚


2001: Record number of participants with 27,547. For the first time, one of the race co-chairs also runs the race, Jo Bertolino.


2005: Peoria’s Race for the Cure opens to both men and women. Peoria was the last site to allow men to participate in the Race for the Cure. The first year for Kids for the Cure.

My note: in these years, the men started several minutes behind the women..


In 2010: there were still 18,000. There were 824 timed runners.

In 2013, the men and women started together. I missed having the women to catch.

But the numbers have fallen off…and evidently that has not just been here. Some really resented men being included, but remember that there were still 18000 participants in 2010..5 years after men had been included. My guess is that the 2012 rift (where funding was cut off to Planned Parenthood) was a major factor; this hurt them with liberal women and reversing the decision angered some conservative women.. This further put their spending under a microscope …and how much “cure” is there in their spending?

As for me: well, I still like the race (and even prefer a less crowded course, which is the silver lining for me) and so fell on the “participate” side of skepticism. But in terms of size and scope, it clearly isn’t what it once was.

Workout notes my legs were a bit heavy from this weekend so my walk was an easy 2 miler. But first came weights: leisurely pace. shoulder pt:

pull ups: 2 sets of 5-5-5-5, 1 set of 10 (these went well today; the 4 sets of 5 with brief rests are challenging)
bench press: the physics profs were there so I had a spotter: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195, 1 x 200, 4 x 185
decline: 10 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
military: failed with 55 dumbbell seated, 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 2 sets of 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer
abs: usual twist crunch (50, 24), moving bridge, yoga leg lifts (2 sets of 10), headstand (easy), planks: 2:30 (sucked), side.
Then came the walk.

Lifting is just plain weird. The weights do not feel heavier than they did 20-30 years ago; I merely lack the strength to make the lift. It is as if my muscle has been replaced by jello. I talked to a former Bradley athlete who is in his late 80’s and he had some interesting observations. One was that his MIND has slowed down..and his mind is very much involved in his athletic movements.

Mine really isn’t; in terms of kinesthetic intelligence, I am “special needs”. I often have no idea what my body is doing..only a mental video of what I *think* it is doing…and that video often does not match reality. I had a a terrible time when I was growing up.

I remember once embarrassing my dad at a baseball game; I was at bat, hit a pop fly and fell down in the batter’s box when I tried to run to first. I got back up but was thrown out (they dropped the fly..hey it was Little League). Dad came up to me in the dugout and said that he would pull me from the team if I couldn’t do any better than that. Yes, he was man enough to apologize to me later in the day. But the fact remains my body is easily confused; that is one reason that I am a dreadful trail runner; if someone is with me in, say, a road 5K, they will probably crush me in a trail race (if they have any experience at all).

Oh..that was a digression. But the point is that an athlete ages a bit differently than the rest of us as his/her mind is very much a part of their sport, and the mind declines with age.

May 14, 2018 Posted by | running, social/political, spandex, walking, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Ugh..heel is fried

One weird thing: the heel feels best when I wear my shower shoes…nothing touching it. But I’ve accepted that it is really injured and so, I begin a (hopefully short) hiatus from running or walking…probably take a couple of days off of AMT and elliptical too.

I only lifted today and right now, it feels good. We’ll see a few days from now.

Workout notes: full weight workout: usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 4 x 185 (off), incline: 10 x 145 (good), military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm. Abs: 2 sets of twist crunches: 50, 24, yoga leg lifts (2 sets of 12) planks (side, side, 2 minutes front..hard), goblet squats: 10 x 53, 10 x 62 (to the sill).

And the Winter Olympics are on..that means women’s speed skating.

February 9, 2018 Posted by | butt, spandex, weight training, whining | , , | Leave a comment

Spring Semester 2018: about to start and…

Ok, some academic stuff is on my mind…not all of it serious.

I just finished the book The Teacher Wars by Dana Goldstein (New York Times book review is here). It talks about the issues involving K-12 teaching from the founding of the country up until the later years of the Obama administration, and ends with an epilogue which has some interesting suggestions.

What I was struck by is how many of the current issues we are having really have been around for a long time. Controversies: how educated should the teachers be? (and yes, often, they were not and still are not “the brightest”) How well paid should they be? (missionaries or well paid professionals?) How should teachers be evaluated?(whims of the administrators, local school boards/parents, “value added test them to death?, “peer review”?) How should teachers be obtained and trained (converts? straight from teacher education programs?) What should be emphasized? (academic stuff, or “being a good citizen”) When it comes to who is best for a certain group of students: teachers who know how to control a class room but have poor mastery of the academic material?

Obviously, a thorough study would have to be volumes of very big books, and this is just one 280 page one, but IMHO, well worth reading. Bottom line: it was not necessarily “better back then”, at least not in every aspect.

The tough social issues (racism, sexism, the feminization of the teaching profession) are not dodged.

Current academia
Yes, there has been quite a bit of “mission creep” in academia. The number of administrators have gone up over the years I’ve been teaching at the college level, and so has the number of “very important issues” that the “professors have to be educated on”. And there are have been trends such as “assessment”, and yes, these new duties (piled on top of the old ones) really do not add a thing to student learning. And there is the old “do more with less” mentality which tends to spread us a bit thin.

Here is a small thing: I teach mathematics and yes, that means I don’t have to grade a ton of essays. That means that adding a couple of extra students to my section doesn’t increase my work load that much. But you can increase the class size to the extent that one never gets to know any of them and leads to a more “assembly line” type of class, at least for the larger sections.

And what makes it very though is a wide variation between the student abilities in a given class: a 2 standard deviation in the math ACT of a given section can make it difficult to keep the better students interested while not blowing away the lower end of the class. (and yes, the ACT is reasonably predictive).

Math related humor

I chuckled when I saw this posted in a science group:

Now I can say that even the most dedicated, hetero male mathematicians love women but yes, mathematicians tend to see mathematical patterns in many (all?) places.

Riddle me this: Many years ago, I met a girl in high school that I was sweet on; this was in one of those 1 week summer camps. Once she wore tight pants and showed panty lines that looked a bit like …well…this.

(this isn’t her; this photo was taken from cheekygenie)

And..of course I liked them…but I also thought of a mathematical graph: of a branch of the secant function!

Of course, a parabola is really a better fit.

Workout notes: this one didn’t go well…I was thinking about running 10K but..on the track..I resorted to 2 miles of “jog a lap, walk a lap” then “jog 2 laps, walk a lap” and that workout took..28 minutes! The second mile, though it included more jogging, was the same time as the first. Then I walked 2 more miles in 27:36 (yes, my “all walking” pace was faster than my “walk/jog” warm up) then 2.2 more miles on the treadmill (every 2 minutes: .5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, then .5 miles at 6, .6 at 5 (to 2.1) then .1 at 0.5; total time was just under 32 minutes for 2.21 miles of hill walking)

So, bad day, but still 10K. The body is sputtering a bit; the old “cold as hell outside but I gave blood” bit. It is almost as if I have a mild cold, sans the cough, runny nose, blah, blah.

January 17, 2018 Posted by | books, education, mathematics, running, spandex, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Not quite stuck in neutral (sports)

Well, my weight has been stuck in the high 190’s for some time. The reality: last year, I did a LOT of 25-30 mile WEEKENDS (not weeks, weekends); this year I’ve averaged 35 running/walking miles per week, almost like clockwork.

No swimming, and yes, I’ve been lifting reasonably hard 3 times a week.

The result (TMI): a bit stronger my because of my goblet squats, the butt and thighs are stronger. This hasn’t helped me run faster, but my lower back feels better now that my butt is actually strong enough to contribute to my posture, just a bit anyway.

Today: typical: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10..first set of 10 was dreadful and the last set of 10 was hard),
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (shoulders felt a bit sore), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150 (strict, kept the hips in place)
military: dumbbell, standing: 10 x 50 (good?) 10 x 45, 10 x 45. Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Then I went to the treadmill: 2-2-2-2-2 warm up (5.2 to 5.6 warm up), the 2-2-2-2-2 second 10 (6.7 to 7.1); 10:56/8:41.
then leg weights: walk 1/2 a lap and do 5 goblet squats: 3 sets with 45, 3 with 50.

Last night: exercise with Mamma T. What a character: “You’re in trouble”. Me: “why”? “Because you’re here.”

Silliness: I love it.

Walk with the group tonight.

Sometimes I feel better with a second, post work (or lunchtime) walk; my guess is all this sitting isn’t good for me (on the days when I don’t teach much).

And no…when I run with a female friend, we do not look like that. Oh hell, yeah, “cute young woman’s butt” but to be blunt, at my age, it is better to chase after the more age appropriate women. They have bigger butts (a good thing from my point of view) and, at least as of now, I have a prayer of catching at least a few of them. Ok, most of them (NOT all).

April 6, 2017 Posted by | running, spandex, weight training | Leave a comment

So, now I know…

Last week, I did a 2.5 minute on, 2.5 minute off workout and was reduced to walking some of the recovery intervals. So this time I decided to limit my “recovery” speed to 5.3 mph (11:20 mpm) and after a 10 minute warm up, 2.5 on, 2.5 off for the next 40 minutes (6.7 x 4, 6.8 x 4) and I was able to run all of the intervals, both the on and the off. But in the final 10 minutes, I did some walking and two .25 mile intervals at 6.9 (8:40 mpm). So I had 10 repetitions (8 at 2:30, 2 were .25 miles) with run recoveries for the first 8, walk for the final 2.

Then I jogged to get to 6 in 1:02:20, and 6.21 (10 km) in 1:04:30.

I feel good, and have enough time left to recover before my first running race of the year (an on campus 5K; I am going to get totally waxed as it will be a mostly student crowd (35-38 years younger than I) , but I’ll have people to chase throughout.

So for some levity…I call this “I am bummed out”:


March 1, 2017 Posted by | butt, running, spandex | Leave a comment

Pavlov’s Dogs, 5Ks and Purple Spandex

On Facebook, I do a series of “You’ve been Dissed” memes; these are memes that make fun of my awkward past when I attempted to date. I had zero confidence in myself and always took rejection hard.

Now I can laugh. So I do. A few ladies allowed me to use their photos for such memes and when scouting the photos, I found a couple which brought back memories.

Back in the mid 1990’s (1995, I think), I bought my then ladyfriend (and currently wife) some purple spandex running tights. Here, she is wearing them in a play where she plays a Peg Bundy type character.


It turns out that she wore these when she walked a Race For the Cure; she also wore a “long shirt” (snicker) that did not quite make it all the way down; the result was “clear as a bell” VPLs…a nice triangle that I still remember. But alas, I had no camera at that time, but I think that from then on, purple spandex reminded me of that. And now to the photos for the memes:


The above was taken at the 2011 4’th of July Firecracker race. I was racing T during those days; this time the weather came up sweltering (I do poorly in heat) and I had not recovered from my double red cell blood donation. But I saw her at the starting line and foolishly went out too fast trying to keep her in sight. At the end, I was doing the “walk of shame”.

Then this is Cassie; we often swap workout stories and workout motivation, and she loves to take workout selfies. From time to time she tags me in them or will PM me with one. I felt that this one (purple spandex) would make a good meme.


February 10, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, spandex | Leave a comment

Start of the semester: friendship, workout and basketball

Ok, I’ll focus on fun stuff for this post. Yesterday was the first day of the semester. While I’ll be crazy busy with teaching, I have three interesting courses (Calculus III, differential equations, second half of probability and statistics.) These are time intensive but feature interesting material.

My wife is away for a work trip. So I had the evening to myself and took Vickie (my yoga/exercise class teacher) to the Illinois State vs. Bradley basketball game. She is an Illinois State graduate.

But the game started at 8 pm so I had a chance to take the 5:30-6:30 exercise class, (core body/pilates type stuff) which Mamma T ably led. It didn’t break my heart to be lined up next to the very lovely Jennifer.


Friendship, sweating and fun…can’t beat it.

Then it was off to the Bradley Basketball game. Yes, Illinois State came in with an RPI of 27; Bradley’s was 212. Illinois State soundly defeated two teams (Wichita State, Loyola) who had dominated Bradley.
So what happened was no surprise; late in the first half ISU galloped out to a 36-11 lead and cruised to an easy 69-49 win…the game was more lopsided than the 20 point spread might indicate.

I think that ISU can win a game or two in the NCAA tournament.

But it was fun to spend time with Vickie and the visiting ISU fans.

She is saying “Go Birds”…


Us together


High energy prior to the game: 7700 plus (though the place holds 11000) The schools are only 45 miles apart, so many fans were visiting ISU fans.


And the reality:


Still, Bradley has equaled its conference win total from last year, and I STILL expect to see 3-4 more wins in the conference. Bradley HAS made progress; we just aren’t ready for such a strong team.

Workout notes:

yesterday: Cornstalk hill 4 mile walk. PM: the exercise class I talked about. πŸ™‚

Today: early am: weights. later am (after my 9-10 class): 4 mile walk; same as yesterday

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then 1 more)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190, 8 x 175
incline press: 10 x 150
military press: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported (left elbow/forearm pain late), 10 x 110 machine with rotated grip
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm
headstand: rough…had trouble getting into it, fell over once, and the second time, never got steady.

January 19, 2017 Posted by | basketball, Friends, spandex, walking, weight training | | 1 Comment

I am a whale…no…fatter than that.


198.8 prior to weights; 197.3 after weights (and peeing away some of my morning coffee).

Weights: rotator cuff, light squats throughout
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (I’ve done better, I’ve done worse)
incline presses: 10 x 135, 5 x 160, 10 x 150
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported, may have forgotten my third set
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 200 Hammer Machine.
abs: 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches
headstand: lots of trouble at first; never got up and steady until AFTER abs, then when I finally got up there, it was good.

Then a 5.1 mile walk on my Cornstalk course.

I had better trim down some if I want to stay up the pack this coming spring:


December 28, 2016 Posted by | big butts, running, spandex, walking | Leave a comment

Too slow, too weak, too old….

Yesterday, I “ran” a 10K in 59:07. When I finished the race, the announcer said “welcome back Ollie”; evidently they noticed my hiatus from running races. It was the marathon and my preparation for it.

Miles: 9:10, 9:50, 9:24, 9:02, 9:26, 10:17, 1:55 (final 0.2). Guess which mile was net uphill and against the wind at the same time? πŸ™‚

Yeah, I was unprepared and so I went at a “just don’t blow up” pace and tried to pick it up at the end. Yes, it was an effort but I did not take a “race risk”. But yeah, I faded just a little but never slowed to a walk and though my finish place was “deplorable” (36/58 overall, 20/28 among the guys, 4/6 in my age group), at least I was close enough to “the pack” to have people to run with at the end.

But it was good to “run with the group” and chat with my running friends.

I need to do more runs at this intensity. This 11:30 mpm bullshit that I usually do in training isn’t going to cut it.

Today: weights only (not that sore) and I was stronger than anticipated. Have I gained weight? (that would explain my 10K time)

rotator cuff, pull ups: 10-15-10-10-5 (ok, not much rest in between sets), bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170 (strong), incline: 10 x 135
military: 7 x 50 dumbbell standing, 20 x 50 dumbbell seated, supported (strong), 10 x 200 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm.

headstand, 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts.

This was posted at the official run Facebook Page from the awards ceremony. No I did not win one, nor did I deserve to. But had I just told them at the finish line that I really did the 5K instead of the 10K, and used my 10K finish time, I would have “won” one. πŸ™‚ (and been just as unworthy of one). I love statistical quirks.


November 14, 2016 Posted by | running, spandex, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Yoga Pants Protest Parade ….

Workout notes: so-so; my “treadmill tempo” went better than last week but not up to snuff: 11:03 mile 1, 10 min. at 6.7, 10 min. at 6.8, then 5 minutes at 6.9 before I gave into it and walked a bit; 38:10 for 4 miles (27:07 for 3). Hey, 25 minutes isn’t a bad tempo run, but I just was not into pain today. Then at 40 minuted (4.1 miles) I got off and walked 8 laps in the inner lane (15:30) to cool down.

Next week, I’ll do better.

Yoga pants: You know the drill: some old curmudgeon wrote a letter to the editor expressing his opinion about yoga pants. OF COURSE, someone took offense and there was a yoga pants parade to “protest”. Photos:



A Yoga Pants Parade photo posted on Instagram - healthylivingdreams??Beauty comes in ALL shapes and sizes??Today, we hit the streets of PDX with amazing @evolvefitwear to celebrate Body Positivity and the choice to wear what we want, regardless of age, shape, size, or gender!???? Check my instastories to see what the #yogapantsparade was all about!? Such a rad day of Body Love, Human empowerment, great conversations, new friends, donuts and Yoga!You have the choice to be whoever you want, wear what you want, and Love Yourself a little more everyday. Let's choose Self-Love & Keep rocking it babes!????? #BodyPositivity

A Yoga Pants Parade photo posted on Instagram – healthylivingdreams??Beauty comes in ALL shapes and sizes??Today, we hit the streets of PDX with amazing @evolvefitwear to celebrate Body Positivity and the choice to wear what we want, regardless of age, shape, size, or gender!???? Check my instastories to see what the #yogapantsparade was all about!? Such a rad day of Body Love, Human empowerment, great conversations, new friends, donuts and Yoga!You have the choice to be whoever you want, wear what you want, and Love Yourself a little more everyday. Let’s choose Self-Love & Keep rocking it babes!????? #BodyPositivity


I suppose I should laud the yoga pants wearing women for their …well, wearing yoga pants. πŸ™‚ Seriously, check out the article I linked to. Sometimes I think that there is a certain “status” one attains (in some circles) by being “offended”. πŸ™‚

Yes, you have the right to wear what you want (within reason; e. g. you can’t walk into a bank with your face covered) but you don’t have the right to have your attire accepted by other people.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | big butts, butt, running, spandex | | Leave a comment