Prior to the game

Well, isn’t that a hoot: this is my “2 free tickets” game, and I can’t find anyone who even wants to use the ticket my wife isn’t using! Well, at least I have “dates” for the next three games (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio State)

But I did take advantage of the late start to get in a local 5K run; this is the Tippet 5K that I’ve done several times.

The course is slightly long (3.16-3.18 or so); that makes up for last weekend’s 3.03 “5K”. The weather was perfect; cool and sunny.

Time: 26:54 (I was 16:54 at the turn just past 2 miles) Place: 12 out of 35. Funny how I place higher in races where there are more alumni than students. I felt good though I had no chance at catching my two “faculty” targets; and a young guy and another faculty guy got me at the end.

Here are previous times on the same course. This trend is…troubling. :-)

October 2011 26:21
April 2012 25:41
October 2012 25:45
May 2013 26:12
September 2014 26:38
September 2015: 26:54

September 26, 2015 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Gompertz Law and my sports..

The average exhaustion of a man’s power to avoid death to be such that at the end of equal infinitely small intervals of time he lost equal portions of his remaining power to oppose destruction which he had at the time of commencement of these intervals.”

This was written by Benjamin Gompertz in 1825. What this means: the force of mortality increases exponentially, or put another way: the decline to due age is the exponential of an exponential.

One might write: f(t) = Ae^{-Be^{Dt}} where f(t) is your ability to carry out some physical task which stretches your limits.
I’ve noticed that I am at about 80 percent of what I could do as a young man, both in weightlifting (bench press at roughly this body weight) and in the 5K (3 mile) run. I base this on: when I wasn’t especially focused on weight lifting, I could bench press about 250 pounds at my current body weight. Now I can do 200.

When I wasn’t especially focused on running, I could run 3 miles in about 19:45..roughly a 20:30 5K. Now, on a good, cool day, I can do 25:30 (this spring). That is about 1.25 times longer, or an increase of \frac{1}{.8} .

I might be morbid enough to see if I can gather data from earlier to compute a fit to a Gompertz curve.

I have to admit that races sometimes trouble me. On one hand, I still enjoy them and I enjoy seeing people. On the other hand..well..let’s just say that when I saw the photo in the paper, I saw the size of the runners and knew that I wasn’t in the photo. If someone is younger and around me, they are probably reasonably heavy:

I’d say somewhere between these two runners:



The days of my finishing around younger people who look like runners are over and are not coming back. The days of my lifting with younger guys who look like lifters are gone as well.

Ok, something positive: I finished two boring administrative tasks (one more to go), and I have tickets to a baseball playoff game tonight! Weather should be great…

Workout notes

Weights (weight: 183.5 after the workout)

rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10 then one more after presses
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (strong), 8 x 170 (strong)
incline press: 10 x 140
military presses: 2 sets of 10 x 85 barbell, 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 110 machine
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160

running: treadmill; increased the speed from 5.2 every 2 minutes: 11:05, 21:20, 30:40, 31:40 for 3.11 miles (5K)
bicycle: 15:30 for 4 miles
yoga: about 15 minutes worth; head stand is now easy.

September 9, 2015 Posted by | big butts, running, Uncategorized, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Turning the corner and Trump yet again…

Workout notes: 4 mile run outside (untimed); I ran past the Bradley track team doing strides.
Then 2 miles on the track: 8:53/8:46 (17:39) which wasn’t that easy (lane 2)

Then 15:15 on the bike (4 miles) to make the knees feel good.

This anti-Karl Rove tweet by Trump amused me.


Yes, Paul Krugman said something similar…BEFORE the 2012 election.

And, Bill Maher’s comments about Mr. Trump’s success amused me too:

I think people are asking the wrong question about Donald Trump. It’s not “why,” it’s “why now?” It’s not as if “me build big wall” is a new idea. So why this Republican primary cycle? And the answer is that serious, committed racist know-nothings have nowhere else to go.

This is so crazy-obvious that it’s right in front of us and no one has seen it: For true, hardcore xenophobes – you know, “the base” – the current crop of Republican candidates is too diverse. They look the same to us, but that’s because we’re not a lynch mob.

Here’s how they look to white supremacists… I’m sorry, I mean “commonsense conservative patriots who want their country back”

Surf to see what he says: he points out that the serious bigots would have trouble with the remaining candidates; troubles that we liberals wouldn’t see.

But I should also point out that Trump’s positions of taxing the rich, strengthening Social Security and repairing our infrastructure ARE popular with the Republican base, even if loathed by the economically elite Republicans.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

slower than I wanted…


Well, this 18.2 took 4:38 to do; my pace was 15:15 mpm which was slower than I wanted. I think that I lost focus on the long uphill segment starting at Springdale Cemetery. It was cool; I saw a few others out there. The threat of rain kept a few away.

But my “after a decent 5K running race” training walks are always a bit slower than those I do “fresh”.

August 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, walking | | Leave a comment

And I let it bother me…

Higher Education Increasingly, it isn’t about education anymore.

Paul Krugman: bad ideas don’t deserve respect. I think that there is a reason that I like Krugman, Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher and yes, Donald Trump. They have no patience for bad ideas, or at least in Trump’s case, ideas that he considers “bad”.

And speaking of “The Donald”, you can read about why some like him here and here. Oh, there is the smug liberal spin on it:

The controversy following Donald Trump’s comments about Megyn Kelly may have hurt him among some GOP insiders, but, according to post-debate polling, it hasn’t cut into his popular appeal with Republican voters. Why not?

The mystery of Trump’s hold on Republican voters is no mystery. As many, including me, have said, his xenophobia and misogyny have long been orthodoxy among the party’s base. Just look at the Fox News debate itself. Though Kelly called Trump out on his history of misogynistic insults, none of his nine opponents onstage took exception to his crude attack on Rosie O’Donnell or to the laughter and cheers it aroused from the audience.

But I think that Bill Maher might be closer to the truth here:

I’ll explain it this way: one can support women’s rights, without thinking that women are so tender that every public insult of a woman should be called out as “misogyny”. For all I know, Mr. Trump may have well called Christ Christie “fat”. And it isn’t as if Rosie O’Donnell didn’t issue her own insults.

That is how liberal “social justice warriors” roll: they have a code and think that people should always have to answer TO THEM; that THEIR issues are the ones that should be “front and center”, at all times. You sometimes see this on college campuses:

I’m familiar with freshman “orientation sessions”, a lot of which are frankly ludicrous, trying to shame and bully new students into a “politically correct” frame of mind, one that comports with the college’s need to eliminate anything that might considered offensive…

(I recommend reading the whole article)

Frankly, it is refreshing to here someone tell such people to “go jump in the lake”.

As far as the rest, Mr. Trump might have some stupid views, but is he really that different from the rest of his party?

This was, according to many commentators, going to be the election cycle Republicans got to show off their “deep bench.” The race for the nomination would include experienced governors like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, fresh thinkers like Rand Paul, and attractive new players like Marco Rubio. Instead, however, Donald Trump leads the field by a wide margin. What happened?

The answer, according to many of those who didn’t see it coming, is gullibility: People can’t tell the difference between someone who sounds as if he knows what he’s talking about and someone who is actually serious about the issues. And for sure there’s a lot of gullibility out there. But if you ask me, the pundits have been at least as gullible as the public, and still are.

For while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure, so are his rivals. If you pay attention to what any one of them is actually saying, as opposed to how he says it, you discover incoherence and extremism every bit as bad as anything Mr. Trump has to offer. And that’s not an accident: Talking nonsense is what you have to do to get anywhere in today’s Republican Party.

For example, Mr. Trump’s economic views, a sort of mishmash of standard conservative talking points and protectionism, are definitely confused. But is that any worse than Jeb Bush’s deep voodoo, his claim that he could double the underlying growth rate of the American economy? And Mr. Bush’s credibility isn’t helped by his evidence for that claim: the relatively rapid growth Florida experienced during the immense housing bubble that coincided with his time as governor.

(there is much more in this article, including immigration issues, “birthers”, etc.

And it is unclear that any Republican which gives a coherent discussion of economics even stands a chance. Listen to an official in the first Bush administration.

All that being said: I still think that Mr. Trump is benefiting from the race having so many candidates; my guess is that he is near his ceiling right now.

August 16, 2015 Posted by | political/social, politics, social/political, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Columbus, Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio for the night. On my trip from Peoria to Cleveland, I took the southern route (30 miles further). No tolls, better road, far, far fewer trucks. It is well worth the extra half-hour.

I went off the highway for gas and saw a “Slow down, runners ahead” sign on the road off of the highway. At the gas station there was a young woman in spandex: tiny crop top and tiny spandex shorts; I asked her if there was a race going on. She said that she didn’t know but thought that sign was for the trail.

Last night: I saw a Chiefs baseball game. They won 2-0, though the opposing catcher was 5 out of 6 in catching Chiefs stealing bases (all 5 attempts to steal second were “throw outs”)

In the morning I walked 10.45 miles (the course you see, plus two extra goose loop laps (about .7 extra) in 2:30:40; it was 82 F, 67 percent humidity at the finish.



August 9, 2015 Posted by | travel, Uncategorized, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Longish walk and…

Well, we had a lunch date with a friend and I got a latish start and, well, I didn’t feel super when I started out. But I went out anyway.
It was sticky (75 F, 84 percent humidity at the start; 85 F, 67 percent humidity at the end. But it wasn’t raining. Out: I was at the 7.91 mile mark in 2:03 (15:35 pace) and I made the return trip in 1:54 (14:25 pace); then I added a 90 seconds out, 90 seconds back along Cooper to get me to a full 16 miles.

1. A couple of young men saw me walking back and said “he is powerwalking like a MOFO”…and it was said in a cheerful way. I remarked that I had 15 down at that point.
2. Along the trail between Affina and Bishop Hill, there are some green frogs (rana clamitans) that were just croaking their hearts out.
3. A couple of cute GILFs were riding their bikes and came up on me and said “on your left” which sort of startled me. One said “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to startle you” but I was pleasant.
4. The return trip was 10 minutes faster than my out trip, even though I really didn’t have that much of an elevation change advantage.
5. My knees and legs felt great during the walk, but I “felt it” afterward. But yes, this was one of my better “longish” walks over the past 5 years or so.

I think that I’ll do this sort of alternating; maybe 20 next weekend, then 16 the weekend after that and keep that pattern up until it is time to taper for my October marathon (Peoria). I might take on a winter challenge; either a straight 50 mile event (15 hour time limit and a paved bike path course) or perhaps one of those “Saturday/Sunday” marathon challenges. I am not sure; I need to see how my training goes. Or I might enter a 55 hour event with the goal of getting 100 miles in under 48 hours (easy bike path course). Who knows. But I think that for right now I need to focus on walking a “respectable” marathon (read: sub 5:30 in good weather).



July 12, 2015 Posted by | frogs, Uncategorized, walking | , | Leave a comment

Day after…

Workout notes: I woke up sore and stiff.

TMI to follow (for my own records): I had my first BM since before the 24 hour race started; not sure what that means except that I didn’t eat that much during the race.

Back to not TMI: I figured that I’d do some light exercise. I jogged 2 miles on the treadmill in 21 minutes (11:05 first mile; sped up on the second; first 4 minutes were HARD for me but then I loosened up.

Then I went walking for 22 minutes in the Minnesota Wildlife Refuge just across the street; I made some crows very angry though they did not dive bomb me.

So that was 2 miles of running; 1 of slow hiking.

There is something about my ritual of pressing “reset” on my watch after a race; that means the last race is really over and it is time to think about the next one.

Seeing the Centurions inspired me but I have to remember that isn’t going to happen for me; if I ever want to walk 100 miles again, I should think about a 30 hour time limit and train HARD for it.

A few more photos:

DSC_4632 Ollie

Somewhere around mile 20 (I’ve moved my number to the front); my form has already started to fall apart (over striding, bent forward); that is a conditioning issue from not doing enough long walks. I said that this was “participatory” (and they didn’t judge knees at this race, thank goodness).

DSC_4577 Ollie

Early in the race, coming off of the gravel section.

DSC_4541 Ollie

Early in the race; note my support leg is nice and straight.

June 8, 2015 Posted by | running, travel, ultra, Uncategorized, walking | , , | 1 Comment

Talking past each other: version N

I believe that it is difficult for people across the cultural divide to understand each other.

The following letter to the editor got me thinking about our cultural divide:

A couple of weeks ago at a summit on poverty at Georgetown University, Obama explained that unrest in American cities could be traced not to a lack of values but to a lack of cash, which he suggested could be attributed to a lack of luck. He labeled those Americans who are doing better financially than others as “lottery winners.” He added that we should confiscate wealth from these people and redistribute it because that’s “where the question of compassion and ‘I’m my brother’s keeper’ comes into play.”
What lottery in hell did I and many others win? I have been working for more than 50 years. My first jobs were babysitting and working on a farm for 50 cents an hour. I worked swing shift in a sweltering glass factory for minimum wage two summers before college. I have had several jobs in retail, worked at a grocery warehouse and worked for a few newspapers and a radio station. I worked for a graphic arts company for 20 years. I am still working part-time. I have never relied on the government to pay my way.

(Note: there IS some correlation between poverty and social pathology, though there is some data driven research that suggests that poverty is the cause of the pathology, rather than the other way around)

But, just what did the President say? You can read all of it here: but here is the relevant parts:

Part of the reason I thought this venue would be useful and I wanted to have a dialogue with Bob and Arthur is that we have been stuck, I think for a long time, in a debate that creates a couple of straw men. The stereotype is that you’ve got folks on the left who just want to pour more money into social programs, and don’t care anything about culture or parenting or family structures, and that’s one stereotype. And then you’ve got cold-hearted, free market, capitalist types who are reading Ayn Rand and — (laughter) — think everybody are moochers. And I think the truth is more complicated.

I think that there are those on the conservative spectrum who deeply care about the least of these, deeply care about the poor; exhibit that through their churches, through community groups, through philanthropic efforts, but are suspicious of what government can do. And then there are those on the left who I think are in the trenches every day and see how important parenting is and how important family structures are, and the connective tissue that holds communities together and recognize that that contributes to poverty when those structures fray, but also believe that government and resources can make a difference in creating an environment in which young people can succeed despite great odds. […]

Now, part of what’s happened is that — and this is where Arthur and I would probably have some disagreements. We don’t dispute that the free market is the greatest producer of wealth in history — it has lifted billions of people out of poverty. We believe in property rights, rule of law, so forth. But there has always been trends in the market in which concentrations of wealth can lead to some being left behind. And what’s happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better — more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages
— are withdrawing from sort of the commons — kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks. An anti-government ideology then disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together. And that, in part, contributes to the fact that there’s less opportunity for our kids, all of our kids.

Now, that’s not inevitable. A free market is perfectly compatible with also us making investment in good public schools, public universities; investments in public parks; investments in a whole bunch — public infrastructure that grows our economy and spreads it around. But that’s, in part, what’s been under attack for the last 30 years. And so, in some ways, rather than soften the edges of the market, we’ve turbocharged it. And we have not been willing, I think, to make some of those common investments so that everybody can play a part in getting opportunity. […]


When I, for example, make an argument about closing the carried interest loophole that exists whereby hedge fund managers are paying 15 percent on the fees and income that they collect, I’ve been called Hitler for doing this, or at least this is like Hitler going into Poland. That’s an actual quote from a hedge fund manager when I made that recommendation. The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all the kindergarten teachers in the country.

So when I say that, I’m not saying that because I dislike hedge fund managers or I think they’re evil. I’m saying that you’re paying a lower rate than a lot of folks who are making $300,000 a year. You pretty much have more than you’ll ever be able to use and your family will ever be able to use. There’s a fairness issue involved here. And, by the way, if we were able to close that loophole, I can now invest in early childhood education that will make a difference. That’s where the rubber hits the road.

That’s, Arthur, where the question of compassion and “I’m my brother’s keeper” comes into play. And if we can’t ask from society’s lottery winners to just make that modest investment, then, really, this conversation is for show. (Applause.)

First of all, the President acknowledges that values plays a role. Next: he lists “luck” as ONE of the things helps one be successful. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone can argue with that. After all, one doesn’t choose their parents, their neighborhood, the level of nutrition and schooling that they get growing up, the genes that they inherited (both with regards to talent and with regards to health), whether they had bad luck (getting hit by a drunk driver, crippled in an accident, etc.).

Then in a later section, he makes the “lottery comment”, with regards to billionaire hedge fund managers.

If you are some middle class person who has been diligent and thrifty and say, have 250K, 500K, or even 2-3 million dollars saved up…HE IS NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU. He is talking about the kind who think nothing of eating, say, a 1000 dollar (or MORE!) ice cream dish.

Now, of course, there are perpetually indigent (or sort-of-indigent) people who are leeches, moochers and morons. Many families have “that one relative that….”. But that does not explain poverty on a statistical level.

Social issues and violence
Recently in New York City, a 14 year old gang member was murdered. According to the New York Post:

He flashed gang signs in selfies, posted a photo of a Smith & Wesson on his Facebook page, and had a rap sheet even a veteran street gangster could be proud of.
And now he’s been murdered — at age 14.
Bronx seventh-grader xxxx xxx was stalked and gunned down on a sidewalk near his Bronx home Friday morning — the victim, cops believe, of gang violence.
“He was a gangbanger,” one law-enforcement source said of Christopher, a child known in his Morrisania neighborhood as already well on the road to doom when he was shot dead.
“He terrorized the neighborhood,” said a woman who passed by the grim crime scene.
“xxxxxx is no good,” another neighbor said.
“I saw him fighting last summer in the street,” the man said. “We told them to quit fighting, but he would not listen. The person he was fighting wanted to quit, but he wouldn’t quit.”
xxxxxx had been walking to school with his little brother just a few paces from his Sheridan Avenue doorstep when his killer — who had been lying in wait with a lookout posted down the block — pulled a gun.
As the little brother watched, the gunman pumped a single bullet into xxxxx’s neck, sources said.


Despite his youth, the victim had a lengthy criminal record that includes five arrests — one for an attempted assault with a brick, sources said.
Photos posted to his Facebook page show xxxxx flashing what appear to be gang signs. There is also an image of a Smith & Wesson pistol with an extended magazine.

That isn’t so much the issue. Here is the issue: when a couple of ex New York Policemen discussed this:


This is another place where conservatives and liberals are at odds, both with incomplete pieces of the truth.
The conservatives are realistic in pointing out that this kid WAS well on his way to being a career criminal and would think nothing of harming someone else. Sociopaths exist and there is little we can do, save taking them out of society to keep everyone else safe.

On the other hand, liberals understand that a society that loses sight that some homo sapiens are human beings and that their demise is a tragedy to be mourned rather than something to be a society that is less worth living in. Hence the apparent callousness displayed by the ex officer is alarming to them…even if the ex officer has a valid logical point.

May 31, 2015 Posted by | social/political, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Progress: but is it the correct kind?

Workout notes well, workouts for the next 2-4 weeks will be lighter than normal.

Bodyweight: 184.0
Weights: 3 sets of 10 pull ups
Bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195 (hard), 3 x 180, 10 x 155 (rotator cuff)
pull ups: 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 5
military: standing, 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 150

That isn’t that much easier than normal, but it is a start.

Then running (pouring rainstorm outside)
treadmill run: 3.11 miles (5K) in 28:56; first mile was 11:04 then 2 miles in 17:00 (.5 6.8, .5 6.9, .25: 7-7.1-7.2-7.3, .11 in 7.4)
1 mile walk on the track (started going the wrong way for Tuesday: I was using Monday’s direction) Ooops!

Afterward, my legs felt refreshed.

The bench press (195) was my best of 2015; I am going to have to see when the last time I got 200. In August 2013 I got 205. (August 23). I haven’t seen heavier since then.

May 26, 2015 Posted by | running, Uncategorized, weight training | | Leave a comment


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