Peoria Chocolate Turkey 3 mile run: I stink. Literally.

Yes, as I sit here, I am stinking. This is why. I think that my body chemistry really reacts badly with these high tech shirts.

The day came up sort of gray; we had drizzle before but none during the run. The “cat crap” worked great on my glasses; no fogging at all.

My performance: well, not so good but I didn’t expect much


This is about a 27:00 5K. The mile splits: 8:36, 8:31, 8:54. The last mile was against the wind and the middle mile was win aided. The main mistake I made was looking at the finish clock and forgetting that I was over 20 seconds faster than that; I really wanted to go under 26 and just missed it.

I think that my strenuous 6 miler two days ago hampered me a bit, and it was about 1 minute slower than last year.

I jogged my warm up from the house and then walked back to cool down. So it was 5 run (2 warm up, race) and 2 walking to cool down.

I saw my doctor and we joked about aging; we’ve been running these for quite a long time. He told me he hit his 5K PR at the 2 mile split. I was never that fast; but I have run a few 4 milers faster than this.

But hey, I am grateful that I have the health and means to do these.

Shoe Store Note Yesterday, I bought new shoes at Running Central; the owner really has turned an old, almost cult like mom-and-pop into a professional enterprise. They are very efficient.

But some of the younger workers amuse me. I got waited on by a young woman with a nose ring who was wearing running leggings. She quickly brought out some shoes that would work for me. But she did amuse me a bit; when she asked me if I was running today’s race, I told her “yes”. She wondered if I’d be wearing the new shoes and I told her “no” and explained at how I usually break into new shoes. She just wanted to remind me not to run the race in shoes I haven’t worn before.

I stifled my desire to say “honey, I ran my first marathon in 1980.” It is better to assume that the customer doesn’t know, and I suppose I don’t look like a runner.

By the way, I wore those old red and grey NB 730 for that race. My time was a pedestrian 3:33 but my sub 3 hour marathon friends had to wait for me since I drove us to the race!


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

What’s the difference?

Workout notes: still low energy. I wonder if I have a low grade bug or something. I lifted and walked.

Walk: 4 miles outside (Cornstalk classic course in heavy sweats); they now have the hills closed off for the winter, but the footing was good.
Lifting: (leisurely pace)
rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, then one more set of 10 after bench/incline
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 7 x 170 (strong, but didn’t really push because of no spotter; I did have safety catches)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported).
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine
abs and McKenzie exercises.

Post: What is the difference between a “butt shot” and a mere “photo from behind”? I had a (former) FBF complain about what she thought was spandex shots of women..though many (most) were posed shots. That made me think: “what is the difference between these two race photos”, other than one appeals to me and the other one doesn’t?


Both of these photos were shot at races and put up on websites (I know the one on the left was without the permission of the subject in the photo..and no, he did not care at all)

November 25, 2015 Posted by | butt, Uncategorized, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Donald Trump: much more politically savvy that many think.

I still remember Scott Adams (the creator of the comic strip Dilbert) writing about Donald Trump having a “clown genius”. I highly recommend reading that article.

I really think that people are underestimating Mr. Trump’s political skill too.

I am on his mailing list and I just got a “campaign update” from him. I’ve reproduced it at the end of this post.
Frankly, it was better written and more effective than most of the BS that I get from candidates that I intend to vote for! It just gives a few snapshots and a brief summary of the events of the campaign.

He has a twitter account and frequently retweets messages from supporters, thus giving the supporters a chance to play a “brief moment of fame lottery”.

Now as far as his policies? Well, let’s just say that he is usually in a “hey, I am a successful rich guy, so I’ll hire “great people” to figure it all out” mode.

Now he has said some things that outrage many people who vote the way that I do. For example, at a recent campaign event, a vocal “Black Lives Matter” protester wasn’t just taken out of the area by security (and I think that is a reasonable thing to do; no one is entitled to a captive audience), but the protester was physically roughed up. When asked about it, Mr. Trump’s campaign said that it didn’t “condone” such behavior but Mr. Trump himself said “maybe he should have been”.

But you know what? I have contempt for those who try to disrupt campaign rallies and the like: how does THIS make you feel?

No, she wasn’t roughed up and the BLM protester shouldn’t have been roughed up either. But Mr. Trump’s answer plays well with many who are exasperated by these self-righteous, noisy, obnoxious “activists”.

Mr. Trump retweeted some of the most ridiculous (satirical troll?) memes I’ve ever seen:


(for those uncomfortable with numbers: these “statistics” are gibberish and signify nothing)

Mr. Trump also told a whopper about Arab Americans in New Jersey openly celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

But who in the heck really fact-checks their own candidate? The more important thing is that the candidate makes the followers feel welcome and that the candidate appears to share the resentments that their followers share.

I really believe it is a mistake to underestimate this man; I wonder if the Republican establishment does.

Trump’s newsletter to follow:








November 23, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Refugees take II: I say: “take some, but with conditions”

I’ll add to my previous post.

I am for the US helping out and dismiss much of the rhetoric coming from the various governors as “not in my backyard” stuff to placate the more reactionary members of their constituencies. And yes, an overreaction against these refugees plays right into the hands of ISIS.

But I have some concerns too.

Yes, some (not all) of the refugees are feeling war. But not all of them are; many are already safe from war.

Next: refugees have to adapt to our more universal cultural norms, and that includes freedom of expression. Some Muslims have a big problem with that:

Many coming from outside of the US do not understand that one’s religion is not “protected from insult/death penalty for apostasy” here nor are things like having a death penalty for religious crimes acceptable in the United States.


I think that when many people see things like the above (taken in Australia, I believe) they have pause. Of course, no one wants this in the United States, save a few of our own wackos (mostly Christian fundamentalist wackos).

So, new people here will have to accept our ways (which is true for all immigrants). Of course, aspects of their culture will enhance our culture.

I suppose that I am saying: yes, we should take refugees, but I see why others might have concerns and these concerns are not merely about bigotry.

And, of course, I think that using a religious test is morally wrong, though I am ok with using “do you understand that in the US we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion” test is fine…when used on ANYONE, regardless of origin or creed.

November 18, 2015 Posted by | social/political, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

College football: mixed for me

Workout notes: 5K run on the hotel treadmill. about 11 minutes for mile 1, followed by 5 minutes at 6.7, 5 at 6.8, 2.5 at 6.9, 7 to 2.5 miles and 7.1 to mile 3, then 6.9 to 3.1 (29:40, I think).

It was enough to get sweaty and take the edge off.

Rams vs. 49’ers in a couple of hours! We are literally across the street from the Jones Dome.

College Football

Illinois vs. Penn State: 39-0 loss.


Illinois: I am afraid that the team was what I thought they were. I warned people that the Illini got too much credit for blowing out a sleep deprived MAC team and an FCS squad…as I have said (and someone else says here)

Illinois’ early season performance with Bill Cubit at the helm was a nice story — it was. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it’d be to fight through a coaching change one week before a season starts. But fast forward a few months and the reality is that Illinois is a missed Middle Tennessee field goal and a stunning mental gaffe by Mike Riley away from being 2-6.

My call: Penn State 28-17. So my straight up pick and “against the spread” was right.

Note: I had commented on how bad Illinois has been on the road recently. But when I looked at it further and ignored the non-conference games: 2011: 1-3 home, 1-3 road. 2012: 0-4 home, 0-4 road. 2013: 0-4 home, 1-3 road. 2014: 2-2 home, 1-3 road. That is 3-9 home, 3-9 road, exactly the same. The weak non-conference home opponents skew the home/road record a bit.

Texas vs. Iowa State: 24-0 loss

Texas stunk, again. Here there is a difference between the home/road performances: Texas beat Rice and Kansas State at home, had narrow losses to good California and Oklahoma State teams at home, and beat Oklahoma on a neutral site (still puzzled). But the road games: 38-3 to Notre Dame, 50-7 to TCU, 24-0 to Iowa State. That is 112-10. WTF?

Stupidly, I picked Texas to win AND cover.

Navy vs. South Florida: 29-17 win.

Navy went to 6-1 by rallying for a 29-17 win against a decent South Florida team. It started rough when the Bulls returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but Navy played well, especially in the second half.


I got this one right: both straight up and against the spread.

Note: Navy will play in the Military Bowl unless Navy somehow wins out and makes a “big bowl”: that would require being Houston and Memphis on the road and probably beating Temple in the championship game…and beating Army. That is too tough of a task, I think.

To me, 8-4 to 9-3 looks about right.

Notre Dame vs. Temple
Notre Dame won 24-20 in an excellent game between two good teams.


ND scored the winning touchdown with 2:09 to go and then made a key interception. This one wasn’t easy. Though ND had a good edge in total yardage (467-295), Temple played good red zone defense to keep themselves in the game.

I got this one right too: picked ND to win, and Temple to cover.

Predictions this past week: 3-1 straight up, 3-1 vs. the spread.

Now to watch some NFL ball. :-)

November 1, 2015 Posted by | college football, running, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

This was going to happen sooner or later…

Workout notes: swimming and weights.

Swimming: best in a while; 2000 yards. 500 warm up, 5 x 50 drill (fins), 50 free. 8 x 100 on the 2:10: 1:44, 1:46, 1:44; the rest were 1:42-43. Then 100 back, 50 side, 50 fly (fins)

Weights: 4 sets of 10 pull ups, rotator cuff, incline press (10 x 135, 8 x 150, 10 x 140), 10 more pull ups, military: 5 x 95 (barbell), 1 x 95, 8 x 85, 10 x 40 (dumbbell), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Body weight (before: 188, home scale)

Swim note: Jason, who ran a 3:09 marathon, finally has caught up to me in swimming, and in today’s “first 500”, he passed me for the first time. A year ago I lapped him. Then it became “1 length”, then “1/2 length”, then “even”, now he is ahead. I knew that this was coming sooner or later. But that is more about his improving and my, well, hitting a local plateau. And 5 years from now, I’ll be wishing I could swim at my current pace, providing I am fortunate to have a healthy 5 years (I feel good right now, but life offers no guarantees).


Fun: enjoy this “leggings aren’t pants” rant!

Why is academic writing so complex? I got into a discussion about this topic; at times, it is because the subject itself is complex.

Speaking of academia: though this is an Onion article, there is a lot of truth here. Where does appropriate encouragement end “giving false hope” begin?

Iowa Republicans: Jerry Coyne is having fun with this survey on what Iowa Republicans like about Dr. Ben Carson.

I got a taste of them when I attended a McCain rally in October, 2008. In the early part of the rally (before Sen. McCain made his entrance), this went on:

I bit my tongue hard; I wanted to avoid laughing out loud. It was difficult.

October 26, 2015 Posted by | education, politics, swimming, Uncategorized, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

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


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