Warm walk..but better this time

It was humid: 79 F, 82 percent at the start, 85 F, 69 percent at the end. But I walked my Cornstalk 8.1 plus 2 more (extra double back from Main/Parkside down to lower Bradley Park and one non-cornstalk loop) in 2:15:48 (roughly 10.1-10.2 miles); my 8.1 segment was 1:48:42 (54:57/53:54), 2 miler was 27:06 and the finishing 1.03 was 12:39. My knees: probably not 100 percent legal, but they were not terrible either.

Weight: 188.5 prior (after really drinking a lot), 182.0 after. That is about right for me; 2 hours of moderate aerobic activity sweats off about 6.5 pounds. Hard activity: 9 pounds (as I did at Steamboat).

July 28, 2015 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

KO’ed by heat…

Bottom line: I slept in too late and started too late. My plan was to get 3:30 outside and 1:30 inside (air conditioning).

I did the first part; 13.7 miles in roughly 3:30 (walking); 1:02 for the first 4 miles then on the track (8.4 miles, 2.1 per section): 30:38, 30:32, 30:28, 31:34 (dying), then I limped home with my tail between my legs. BUT, there is no reason I can’t try again on Tuesday..this time GET UP EARLY and go at a medium pace. My “track” miles, while not fast, were too tough for me given that these were 2.1 mile segments.

I did see Tracy and Larry while I was out there and I also saw a big red tailed hawk and smelled a skunk (could have done without that).

Temperature: started off at 81 F, 72 percent humidity and ended at 82 F, 69 percent. Gag.

July 26, 2015 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

I’m too danged lazy!!

Workout notes: I started on a run and, upon seeing flashes of light and a very overcast sky, quit 4 miles into it (half of a Cornstalk 8). It turns out it was just car lights.

But I ate a light breakfast and then headed to the Riverplex to lift:

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (strong) and lots of rotator cuff stuff (slow and deliberate)
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (quit), 9 x 160, dumbbell: 10 x 70
military: standing, with dumbbells: 10 x 45, 2 sets of 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of 10 on the prone machine: 70, 55, 55. (it turns out the foot rest settings matters)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 150

Then a 3 mile walk outside (humid) then 10 minutes on the stationary bike.
All in all, I spent a lot of time and did several things, but really didn’t “do” all that much; I really just went through the motions today.

1. I saw a feather moving on the ground…a small one. It turns out that an ant was carrying it!
2. I saw a ground hog, several bunnies and a lot of geese. The goose loop is partially underwater (still)
3. As I ran on Parkside drive, a MILF was out working in her yard; she was wearing old, faded leggings. She waved at me..and as I went past…clear as a bell VPLs. Love ’em.

That got me thinking: attractiveness is a commodity that some women can use to get ahead, at least initially. Check out this “weather woman” sensation:


(click the screen shot to see the video)


(click the screen shot to see the video)

I posted one of these videos on Facebook, and someone reminded me that she has a Facebook fan page.


You can surmise what is on it by the photo selection in the corner. :-)

However, I was mildly surprised to find this:


Evidently, being “the next Kim Kardashian” is something to be aspired to! :-)

Yes, the article is a real one and this is a photo from it:


Oh my.

But…I suppose this is part of the entertainment business and, if you wish to stand out for your beauty, it had better be extraordinary. After all, only the finest athletes, actors, singers and artists can command a media audience; even being “very good” isn’t good enough to get you to appear on people’s screens.

And, as far as the “beauty queens” and “athletes” go: THAT level of ability only lasts for a brief time; better strike while the iron is still hot and the body is still responsive.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | big butts, running, spandex, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Democrats and “activists”: this is how we roll

Workout notes: easy 4 mile walk (Cornstalk course); basically a “day off”. I took Barbara to the bus stop for her trip to O’Hare airport.

Post topic
If you are unfamiliar with Democratic infighting, it is a bit like this:

Yes, right now I am backing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. I feel that she is a better politician than the other candidates; she is a bit more level headed and accepting of expert consensus (example: science of GMOs)

But now, Bernie Sanders is coming under fire from…some “activists”:

Black Twitter has a bone to pick with Bernie Sanders.

The 2016 lefty darling’s seeming unwillingness to talk about race on the campaign trail is not sitting well with some black activists and observers, and a tense moment turned #BernieSoBlack into a dominant trending topic over the weekend.

Confronted Saturday by protesters at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix chanting “Black lives matter!” and “What side are you on?” Sanders was clearly annoyed. “Black lives, of course, matter,” the populist and self-described socialist senator said. “I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity…If you don’t want me to be here, that’s OK. I don’t want to outscream people.”

And that is how we roll. “Activists” get a cause and expect everyone else to put their cause “front and center” and to accept their claims uncritically. No, this is far from the only group (example, example)

Not accepting their claims at face value or not allowing them to jump to the front means that you are: immoral, ignorant, deluded, evil, stupid or possibly all of these. Anything but cheering “Yay team” is betrayal. Never mind many (most?) of the activists are themselves ignorant of the basic facts and data pertaining to their pet cause; what they have instead is an belief in a dogma, energy and enthusiasm.

So, why am I a Democrat? It isn’t because I like activists; for the most part I can’t stand them.

I am in favor of Keynesian economics because there is evidence that it works; supply side economics, whenever it has been tried, has been a failure.
I am in favor of following science. Yes most Democrats accept astronomy, geology and evolution, but when it comes to vaccines, GMO acceptance and energy issues, well, it is a bit mixed.
In terms of moral values, I believe in inclusion as much as practically possible (example: someone of my athletic abilities doesn’t belong in professional sports, and someone of my intellectual abilities shouldn’t be full professor at MIT).

I believe in social liberalism; example, what sort of sex you have with another consenting adult is none of my business.
I believe in freedom of speech, including some speech that I don’t care for (opposed by some liberals)

So the Democratic party is a better fit for my beliefs.

And so it goes.

This coming election season, I’ll be voting the same way as a lot of people that I don’t really care for. :-)

\end rant.

July 24, 2015 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, walking | | Leave a comment

wasting too much time…

But it is summer.

Workout notes: lifting, running, walking.

Lifting: 4 sets of 10 pull ups (ok), rotator cuff recoveries. Barbara scolded me about “swinging” through these; she was right.
incline presses: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 7 x 150 (strong)
pull ups: 1 set of 10
superset of pull downs, dumbbell military presses, rows:

military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 150 double pulley, 10 x 150 alternate machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 (each arm), 10 x 110 alternate machine

Then to running: 11 minute mile on the treadmill, then 8:53/8:31 for 17:24, enough to get to 3.18 in 30 minutes. 6.7/6.8 for mile 2, 6.9/7.0/7.1/7.2 for mile 2.
Then walking outside; great day (4 mile Cornstalk course, untimed).

Note: I’ve had recent left knee soreness (not so much this week) and some light rotator cuff soreness; I need to stay diligent with stretching and rotator cuff stuff.

In a nutshell:
running is really sucking.
walking is getting stronger (significantly so)
lifting is getting stronger
swimming: what one would expect on one swim a week. Time to bump it to 2.
Bodyweight: hovering in the 187-189 range right now, up from the pre FANS 183-185 range.

But the extra weight doesn’t really show, at least visually:


More photos: here are some of my favorite shots from June’s FANS 24 hour event. Though my 59.9 miles was, well, what I could do while untrained..dang..”if only” I had picked it up, perhaps 10 minutes earlier?

COULDAWOULDASHOULDA doesn’t count, does it? But I did have fun and here are some shots of the 12 hour winner, 2 centurions, and a strong 24 hour runner who entered as a walker and still picked up 80+ miles.







July 23, 2015 Posted by | running, ultra, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

It is happening: walking meeting my running

Gloriously pleasant morning, cool, sunny. I walked my Cornstalk 8.1 in 1:49:23 (55:43/53:40, 12:27 last 1.03). It was a medium intensity effort.


More people were out than usual; smiles all around.

Alas, this was only 16 minutes slower than my slowest run of the same course, and 23 minutes slower than a “medium” running time.

My spiral to athletic oblivion continues, but at least I am having fun along the way. :-)

July 21, 2015 Posted by | walking | 1 Comment

Wow…freedom of speech and all that….

Workout notes I started late and was worried about the thunderstorms in the area. So I started walking on the Riverplex track with the intention of taking it outside after the storms were over. But I was on a roll:

14:06, 13:51, 13:46, 13:20, 13:44, 13:42,13:43, 13:42, 13:30 13:27, (2:16:55), 13:03, 13:16, 13:32 (2:56:47 for 13.2). Each “mile” was really 1.0159 miles. I had a rhythm going and didn’t want to break it up. I then cooled down with 10 minutes on the stationary bicycle..I wanted some knee bend.

So this cycle: 18, 16, 13 (faster) seems to be ok; maybe add 1-2 miles to the next 3 week cycle of long walks.

I had intended to blog and read more, but I got in a very long winded internet discussion with an European liberal about the US freedom of speech laws. They didn’t seem to get why it was legal for the KKK to yell anti-black sentiments out loud. This was similar to when I had to explain to non-US Muslims that the President of the United States did NOT have the power to halt a proposed Koran burning.

The bottom line: when it comes to free speech, American liberals and conservatives see more eye to eye with each other than we do with our political cousins in other countries.

Side note: this photo is ironic, no? The civilian is wearing a Nazi t-shirt.


And now we have this: evidently some people want to “play the activist” and go around removing “Confederate flags” from other people’s property.


This is theft and vandalism, and it isn’t helping things. No one has the right to do this. Even worse: there is the potential for some hothead to blow away one of these morons…and wouldn’t the fall out from that be just great? Sadly, some liberals are intolerant of speech; it caused me great embarrassment when some kook went around our neighborhood stealing Aaron Schock signs (this was, 2004 I believe).

And yes, there are conservative idiots who do this sort of thing as well; something similar happened to my wife’s car.

July 19, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, racism, walking | | 1 Comment

I’ve alienated almost everyone….:-)

Workout notes: it was a bit sticky when I went out: 80 F, 71 percent humidity at the start, 82 F, 67 at the end. But that was better than the 98 F, 71 percent humidity that we had yesterday.

So I did my hilly 8.1 mile Cornstalk course in 1:54 (58/56)..walking.


Sadly, my slowest run of this course was about 20 minutes faster. :-)

But it was a decent clip for such a sticky day and hilly course. And more importantly, my knees didn’t hurt afterward.

Post I’ve made some FB people angry. How?

1. Applauded the Obama administration Iran deal (yes, we need to see how it works out, but I feel that we have to try and this is a good first step).
2. Said that Hillary Clinton was not the same as the Republican candidates.
3. Wondered (asked the question) if it is appropriate for an obese person to be a personal trainer at a gym.
4. Said that I would patronize a restaurant that didn’t allow young kids.

Oh well, perhaps I’ll anger some more people. :-)

I think that Charles Krauthammer wrote a good column.

Dick Morris attacked Jeb Bush for his “Americans should work more” remarks. Oh, he did the old “Obamacare is killing full time jobs” attack. Uh, no. But never mind.

No, it is NOT TRUE that 71 percent of Obama voters regret voting for him. Here is where that 71 percent came from:

YouGov polled about 1,000 voters over two days in early February, asking voters of Romney and Obama if they would make the same decision today that they did in November 2012. YouGov found 90 percent of Romney voters would vote for Romney again, while 79 percent of Obama voters said they would stick with Obama.

Of the remaining 2012 Obama voters, 10 percent said they would not vote for him again, and 11 percent said they were unsure.

The 10 percent who would not vote for him again got a follow-up question: Do you regret voting for Obama?

Of 35 people in that group, 25 said yes. That’s 71 percent.

So of the people who voted for Obama, 396, 6 percent said they had regrets.

Note: some of those regrets come from the left.

Cranks Dinesh D’Souza is one of the biggest. Yes, that D’Souza. Well, as part of his sentence, he has to get psychological counseling:

“I’m not singling out Mr. D’Souza to pick on him,” Judge Berman said. “A requirement for psychological counseling often comes up in my hearings in cases where I find it hard to understand why someone did what they did.”

He continued: “That Mr. D’Souza committed this crime involves a colossal failure of insight and introspection. The case notes also say Mr. D’Souza has weaknesses in controlling his own impulses and that he is prone to anger in reaction to criticism.”

July 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, republicans political/social, social/political, 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


Workout notes: I stayed up too late and ended up getting up too late (6:40?)

Walk: 5 miles on the treadmill (58:11 (12:21/11:24/11:25/11:25/11:35)) then 3 outside. The 5 on the treadmill was becoming…well..too similar to a race effort so I backed off. Also, the rain had subsided a bit so it was time to get outside and to the course to Bradley Park (Maplewood, Parkside, down and up).

While on my way back it sounded as if the world was ending; West Peoria did its 10 am, first Tuesday of the month siren test.

For all of my fantasy, I am not in shape to walk a fast marathon just as yet. I need to be able to double the distance I did on the treadmill with roughly the same effort to have a chance at a reasonable walking marathon result.

But I’ve made progress though.

Some other stuff
So, Chicago public schools are increasing their graduation rates. How?

Get a high-school student through freshman year and the odds skyrocket that he or she will graduate. Chicago was a pioneer of the strategy, first applying it in 2007, and has the numbers that would seem to prove its worth, even after accounting for inflation by principals possibly gaming the system. The potential is huge for school systems across the nation, especially those in urban areas plagued by low graduation rates.

Between 2007 and 2013, the number of freshmen in the Chicago Public Schools making it to the 10th grade grew by 7,000 students. The school system’s four-year graduation rate also jumped, from 49 percent in 2007 to 68 percent in 2014. Graduation rates are up across the country, but Chicago’s double-digit growth stands out.

Wow, that’s pretty good, right? How did they do it?

chools like North-Grand that have successfully improved freshman pass rates employed variations of the same set of interventions. They adopted data systems to track freshmen progress, carefully picked the right teachers for ninth-graders, created weekly grade checks, provided mentors and tutoring sessions, stepped up truancy monitoring, set aside one day a week for students to make up work, and started freshman seminars that teach kids to “do high school.”

Yay! Oh wait:

Some schools also switched to forms of grading that are designed to be more fair and modern—less emphasis on turning in homework on time and more emphasis on actually learning—but have been accused of inflating GPAs.


At Manley High School on Chicago’s West Side, students frequently skip first and last periods, according to attendance records provided by three teachers. The records show that administrators frequently change absences marked by teachers as “unexcused” to “school function,” a notation that once covered field trips or assemblies but now appears to cover almost any reason for being out of class. This change marks the child as present, boosting attendance data for the student and the school.


Meanwhile, many teachers across Chicago fear that the new grading policies—with names like “standards-based grading” and “no zero” grading—make passing too easy. Some schools go too far, they say, by declining to penalize students for late work and prohibiting teachers from giving grades below 50. Traditionally, a student who didn’t hand in work would get a zero.

A single zero can disproportionately pull down a student’s average, but teachers at some schools say the new grading tactics come with a destructive practical effect. At Manley, some students refuse to work until the very end of the quarter—in some cases just cutting classes—when teachers must give them a make-up packet for any classes they attended but for which they failed to submit assignments, or those classes marked as a school function. If the student completes most of the work, they are likely to pass.

Ah. In other words, lower the bar far enough….

What this means, practically speaking, is that these kids will be unprepared for college and unprepared for the work force.

Now about criminal activity: does it work to…pay delinquents not to shoot people? I am still trying to wrap my head around this one. This is counterintuitive to me…but the results were better and cheaper than what we’ve tried earlier.

On the other hand, people in my old stomping grounds (Bastrop, TX) were concerned that the United States was going to invade them? Why? Well, “President Obama”.

I am so glad that I don’t live among them anymore.

Health notes: Why is the percentage of people with celiac disease going up? Evidently humans are evolving a maladaptation?

July 7, 2015 Posted by | education, health, social/political, walking | , , | Leave a comment


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