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. 🙂

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 | | Leave a comment

Sluggish 10 mile walk

Today’s 10.1 mile walk took 8 minutes longer than a walk on the same course back on December 29, but it did come after leg work and some intervals two days ago. And this was certainly “comfort, not speed” today. It was just under freezing and there wasn’t much wind. Footing was excellent; almost no ice was left on the sidewalks.

Below is a couple of photos of the “sort-of” frozen Illinois River. In the second one, there is a barge in the distance and some geese (hard to see). This is less frozen than it often is at this time of year (mid January).

Of interest:

1) There are some “labrador black” squirrels in the grass next to MLK just as I was turning onto Moss. They’ve spread; I did not see them 20 years ago; about 5-6 years ago I saw a few in Bradley Park.

2) No runners or walkers on the bike path..with one big exception. As I passed by some flocks of geese, I noticed that they were very, very agitated; much more so than when it was just me. It turns out that the Bradley University Men’s track/XC team was out training (perhaps 5:45-6 minute per mile pace) as a group; I moved over for them and many greeted me. I could lie and say something about age, but when I was their age, my “cruise training” pace was 7:30 mpm-ish…considerably slower than they were going.

Still, there was a “cycle of life” aspect to this encounter though.



January 15, 2017 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, running, walking | Leave a comment

Glowing shoulders

Yes, my shoulders have that glow. I slept in and decided to do a weight workout followed by a recovery walk on the treadmill; I don’t know what conditions will be like tomorrow morning (icy roads?)

I did weigh at 197 afterward (no shoes, no shorts) and was 201.5 with shoes and shorts beforehand (thank you chili).

The workout: 3 sets of 10 pull ups (wanted to use the bench), rotator cuff
incline press: 10 x 135, 6 x 160, 10 x 150 (the younger guy getting 6 x 315 on the regular bench didn’t hurt my feelings at all)
2 sets of 10 pull ups
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 2 sets of 10 x 180 machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 54 (each arm) machine
legs: sets of 6 goblet: 25, 30, 40, 50, 50, 6 x 45 Smith Machine, 7 x 180 free weight leg press. Heavier on the Smith machine hurt my knees.

Treadmill: Froggy, 3.9 and up every 3 minutes to 4.8, then 1,2,3,4 to 42 minutes; 41:48 5K; 40:30 at mile 3.

Abs: 2 sets of 10: yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunches, exercise ball back stretch
Headstand (easier..harder surface)

I felt good.

I went at a time when more people were starting to show up. My goodness, one exercise class was jam packed. There was a real mix; male powerhouses, bespandexed women, old people, casual people, etc., along with a few people I knew.

I complemented the powerhouse who got 6 x 315 and he said “you can do it”. I laughed and told him that 30 years ago, I got ONE rep with 310 and it about killed me. You should have seen his eyes widen when I said “30 years ago”; he probably had not been born then.

January 14, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

On the way down…

Weight: 196.4 prior to working out. Normally, that would be too high, but this is down from where I was right after the holidays. I like the direction.

Workout: weights, then a 5k walk on the treadmill in 43:07. I used a broken treadmill that you could RAISE the incline on, but never lower it! so I started slowly and added .1 mph every 2 minutes until I got to 16 minutes (at 4.6 mph). Then I raised the incline to 1-2-3-4 and kept it at 4 until 28 minutes and then tried to go down…I couldn’t. So I lowed the speed a bit and toughed it out finishing 3 miles in 41:45 and 5K in 43:07.

This was after a weight session:
rotator cuff
4 sets of 10 pull ups
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190, 8 x 175 (change)
incline press: 10 x 150 (hard)
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 20 x 50 seated, supported
1 more set of 10 pull ups
3 sets of 10 x 110 row machine.
abs: 2 sets each of 12 twist crunch 10 leg lifts
headstand (still not quite comfortable)
squats: had some free ones, 6 x 25, 40, 50, 50, then 10 x 210 leg press.

There is a nice ice storm outside, so I’ll lay low today.

January 12, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment

wasted day

Well, I am having trouble making myself go; if this happens tomorrow, I’ll just work on lesson plans. I might just do that anyway.

Social/Political: I saw President Obama’s farewell speech and heard some reporting on Trump’s press conference. The difference is so stark. I wonder if some people really prefer Trump, or they just hate Obama so much, “not Obama” will do.

I don’t get it. Yeah, I “get” arguments over the size and type of safety nets, arguments over the degree or regulation businesses and industry should have, how much of our infrastructure should be private and how much should be public, etc.

But, well, President Obama sure seems presidential and scandal free and Trump is anything but.


Oh well.

Workout notes:

I felt sluggish and my legs didn’t feel great. But I ran 4 miles (42:48) going 5.2 for 5 minutes and continuing this until mile 3 (just under 33 minutes); then I went up a bit at various times during the final running mile. Then I walked a mile to get to mile 5 in 57:25.

Then 1 mile walking outside; it wasn’t that bad outside.

That is 55 miles for 2017; not outstanding but I am getting a bit more comfortable.

Now to think about math.

January 11, 2017 Posted by | running, social/political, walking | Leave a comment

Introspection ….

I often engage in introspection; to me there is no other way to get better. I do this with myself and I do this both socially and politically.

But my goodness…to this politically and, unless I am careful about permissions, I get attacked by people who do not know me. I get reminded of the Dunning-Kruger effect which basically says that we are unaware of our blind spots. This makes perfect sense to me; after all I know mathematics more than I know anything else, and I am painfully aware of the gulf between me and the top people in my field. And that is in what I know best!

I am doing some introspection in sports too:

bodyweight: 198.2 (prior to lifting weights and walking 24 laps in the outer lane in 15:04/14:10/13:34 (42:50).
Lifting: rotator cuff, pull ups (not bad; 5 sets of 10)
incline press: 10 x 135, 2 x 170, 6 x 150, 10 x 150 (good)
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell, 20 x 50 seated, supported, 6 x 95 barbell (down to parallel)
rows; 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm.
abs: 2 sets each of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts
headstand (tough to get into today but did it)
legs: lots of free squats, 2 sets of 6 x 30, 2 sets of 6 x 50, leg presses: 2 sets of 10 x 210 (one after walking)

What I look like right now: too heavy to either finish a marathon under the time limit or a 5K in under 26 minutes. I’d like to be 10 pounds lighter.




Hey, since you made it through the unpleasantness above, here is a reward

January 10, 2017 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training | 2 Comments

I am in horrible shape! Sad!

It has been about 6 weeks since my blood donation. But it has been about that length of time since I did regular “hard” running, and the latter is a is the weight (192.8 after running..should be 188 or less).

But alas, I think that my body needed a break and so it got one. Now time to rebuild. Ugh.

Treadmill: 20 minutes easy, then 11 at 6.7, 4 minutes walk/jog..ok, mostly walk, 2:30 at 6.7, 2:30 walk, 7:30 at 6.7, walk, 1 min at 6.7, 2 min walk, 2 min at 6.7, 2 min walk, 3 min at 6.7, walk/jog to get 1:03:36 at mile 6. Total: 11+ 2.5 + 7.5 +1 + 2 + 3 = 27 minutes at 6.7, or just over 3 miles of “tempo” (or more intense than that?) running. Then 2 miles of steady walk.

I am just not in good shape right now. I can say it was my legs that felt heavy during the intervals; maybe I can do 15 minutes at this pace next week.

Personal Issue

I sometimes wonder if I feel my age more than those who don’t workout regularly. One one hand, I can do more at my age than most can; for example I remember getting applauded as I went up and down these stairs about a half-dozen times:

bearslionsbarbarasteps (we were at row 33, a few rows from the top).

It wasn’t hard for me.

On the other hand, I am acutely aware that my old 20-21 minute 5K is now 26-27 and that my old “10 reps with 200” in the bench press is now ONE rep with 200…10 with 170. 27 pull-ups in one set is now 15, and that is on a good day. Most days I do sets of 10.

So I have awareness….and with it, the attitude.

I do know this: I am improving from where I was a week or two ago, but wow..I’ve got work to do prior to the spring 5K races! The calculator says that I should be capable of 25:38 on a good day (based on 24:00 on my best day as a 49 year old) but I am not in shape for that yet. Maybe a month or two from now?

January 9, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | , | Leave a comment

First week is in the books …

I finished the first week of 2017 with a weight session and then a nice 6 mile walk with Mamma T.

The temperatures outside:


That was brisk. There was a bit of snow here and there on our route but it wasn’t too bad; and Mamma T is such wonderful company.

The weights: I was a bit off (up too late?)

rotator cuff
pull ups: ok; 5 sets of 10
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 190 (didn’t feel right), 5 x 185 (ok..wider grip), 8 x 170 (got lazy)
incline press: 10 x 135
military press: 7 x 50 standing dumbbell, 2 sets of 10 x 180 machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 55 (?) machine.
abs (2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts)
headstand (somewhat better this time)
some exercise ball for the back.

Weight: 197 after lifting (no sweating).

This week: 4 lifting workouts: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
walking: 3 miles on Monday (hotel), Wednesday (4 miles hill), Thursday (6 miles, mix of hills on the treadmill and flat), Saturday (brisk 4 miles on the track), Sunday: 6 miles with T outside 23 miles total
running: Tuesday 5 miles (4 x 400, 2 x 200 intervals), Saturday 6 miles “Froggy” (just under 1 hour for 6 miles). I had intended to run on Thursday but my legs just weren’t into it.

January 8, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Got some work to do..weight to lose

Basketball notes
Tonight, Bradley plays Loyola at home. Loyola has a higher RPI and an 11-5 record. The lost a tight game (2 points) to NC. State, lost a shootout at Drake and got BOMBED by Illinois State. They are 5.5 point favorites, but the paper is picking Bradley.

We will see how Bradley deals with expectations. I don’t know what to think; I feel that Bradley can win this game, BUT that might be a fan’s wishful thinking.

Workout notes

Ok, my weight (199.5) alarmed me, but it was post breakfast, post “gallon of coffee” and a late dinner..and this was a different scale (Riverplex as opposed to Bradley U.)

Ok, excuses aside, my weight has to come down if I am to run effectively, and my comfortable “fleece lined jeans” are slightly uncomfortable. On other other hand, pull ups are still ok (they usually become more difficult) and I am getting stronger in all of the upper body lifts.

Today’s run: still some loose snow on the ground so I decided to go to the Riverplex and grind on the treadmill. I did the “Froggy”, starting at 5.2 mph and going up every 3 minutes (by .1 mph) until I got to 51 minutes (6.8)..and got a bit too tried and lowered the pace until 54 minutes, then inched it back up over 6.0 mph until I got to 6 miles in 59:4x. (21:50 at 2 miles; 4 miles in 37:50)

Afterward, I walked just enough to get to 10K (1:02:40) and then took it to the track to walk in lane 1, when possible.

55/8 laps per mile, so I did 4.07 miles in 55:35 (14:13, 13:51, 13:55, 13:35) or 13:39 mpm. The track was a bit of a zoo; you had a Wisconsin track runner in her tiny, super tight “not quite a bun-hugger) doing strides, elderly people, people coming to a complete stop, walk joggers, normal runners, normal walkers…and as it turned out, crowd for a length, then empty. But hey, 10 miles is 10 miles.

January 7, 2017 Posted by | basketball, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

Training/working out: all in my head

Workout notes: today, I started to try to run on the treadmill (snowy outside) and I just couldn’t make myself run. I didn’t want to. Perhaps the interval workout 2 days ago affected me; or was it last night’s rather innocent exercise class?

Nevertheless I switched to walking and walked 2 miles in 29:44. Then after a quick pit stop, I got back on the treadmill and walked 4 more miles in 51 minutes (12:45 pace); I did a .5-1.5-2.5-3.5-4.5-5.5 incline progression, moving up every 2 minutes. Then back down after spending 3 two minute segments at 5.5 (moving at 4.5 mph) and stayed at 0.5 to get to 2 miles. Then I upped the speed every so often until I got to 5 mph, which I maintained to 50 minutes; then 5.1 mph to get to 51 minutes (4 miles).

Then some squats: 4 x 6 goblet squats (0, 25, 40, 40) then 10 x 210 on the leg press.

So I got a workout..but not running.

I wonder how much of this is mental.

I remember yesterday’s bench press workout, which included 5 x 190 (hips down). That is the best I’ve done in several years; sometimes even 3 x 185 is tough for me (bodyweight: 195.7). Then my mind started to race…”hey, 10 x 205 is coming back baby!” uh, no. For one, that 5 x 190 was hard; my left shoulder ached toward the end. And that was, realistically, 1 more rep with 5 more pounds …which is a “margin of error” type of improvement, not a quantum leap.

But I am so desperate for success that my mind sometimes just takes off and makes stuff up.

January 5, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | Leave a comment