blueollie

Taper mode and a way too early check of the weather

A guy can dream, can’t he?

It would be nice, but that is a week from now.

Yesterday: my “almost pi” pre-Chicago-trip run:

Yes, it was work…not super hard work, but work. Today: did a “just over 4 mile” walk; good enough. It was warm.

Plan: lift on Monday and Thursday, with short runs after. Short walks/runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Then..showtime. Ok, maybe not showtime but, if the predicted weather holds up, 5:50 if I have the most awesome day, and 6:15 if I just walk ok? 6:30 is a 15 minute pace and that should be doable.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

Getting caught up..workouts

Yes, I’ve still hit the gym:

Wednesday: 3 mile walk after weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 10 x 135 incline, 5 x 170 decline, military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 machine, rows: 3 x 10 with 110, usual abs, etc.

Thursday: 192.0 before working out. 5 miles total in the morning: 3 mile run (10:55, 28:38 for 3 miles (17:43 for 2), 29:30 for 3.1, walk on the mill to 3.5, then 1.6 outside.

PM: 2 mile walk to Dozer.

Friday: weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (ugly), 5 x 150 incline, 10 x 155 decline, military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 machine, rows: 3 x 10 with 110, usual abs, etc. Then 2 mile walk outside.

Yes, I am in taper mode and yes, I did watch some ball.

September 14, 2018 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Post I: college football and Peoria Chiefs baseball

Spectator sports has been a nice release from dwelling on stuff that I don’t like but really can’t change (social media, politics). I will talk about it some in a subsequent post though.

Peoria Chiefs Are in the finals! Game 1 and 2 are tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The way this works in the Midwest League (low A): on even numbered years, the western champion hosts the first 2 games of the “best of 5”; it is just the opposite in even numbered years. The opponent: the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

I fear attendance won’t be great due to the fact that championship series are hard for fans to plan in advance and much of the draw for A league games is “outing” rather than baseball. And in the minor leagues: your playoff team will often not be your initial team. In Peoria’s case: the new players did struggle a bit at first..but there was a ton of talent. And now that talent is jelling so I like Peoria’s chances. But Bowling Green might be in a similar position (they are a Rays affiliate; Chiefs are a Cardinals affiliate).

In any event, these will be the last two games of a very fun season for me.

College Football I had a bad week of predictions last week:

Here is what I said:

Western Illinois at Illinois (spread: Illini by 8, ESPN: 73.8 % prob. for Illini)

WIU isn’t what they were last year and they are just off of a tough road loss. Illinois stinks and just lost their back up QB and best WR. And it could be played in heavy rain.

Nothing between a 3 point WIU win and an 11 point Illini win would surprise me. I’d go with: “similar to last week”; 27-20 Illini.

ND favored by 34.5 over Ball State. 99.1 % ND by ESPN. Why? ND could win 35-3 and not cover. Hard to tell. I’d say
“take ND and give the points” but maybe BSU gets a garbage time TD to cut the spread?

Memphis favored by 6.5 at Navy; ESPN 85.1 % for Memphis. Pains me to say it, but Navy’s defense is suspect. Mids will have to control the ball to keep it close. I am afraid that the Mids lose a shoot out like last week.

Texas favored by 23 over Tulsa: Texas 92% on ESPN. Tulsa beat an FCS program (a good one) by 11 last week; UT lost to a Big Ten team. I think that UT wins..but by how much? TU is better than San Jose State last year (who UT blew out).

Win: Illini, ND, Memphis, UT
Cover: WIU, ND, Memphis, Tulsa.

Last week: 3-1 vs. the spread, 2-2 straight up.

Ironic: the most competitive game of the 4 is..the Illinois vs. Western Illinois. Kind of sad..really.

So, how did I do? Straight up, I got 3 of 4 (Illini, ND, Texas). Spread: 1-3 (only Tulsa was right), though I was DELIGHTED to get the Navy game wrong. The Mids really came through.

So for the season:
Straight up: 5-3 (missed the Navy game both times, once in each direction, and the UT vs. MD game). Spread: 4-4 (which is what one would expect) I missed Navy twice, Illinois once, ND once.

I am really no better than a coin toss. 🙂

So what about this week? Yes, I am going to the Illinois vs. South Florida game in Chicago.

South Florida – 10 at Illinois (Chicago). This is a mismatch from the ESPN power index which gives USF a 65.7 percent chance. Last year: USF was a 16.5 point favorite and won 47-23, covering easily.
Personally, I think that Illinois MIGHT be getting too much credit, being a Big Ten team and USF being an AAC team (non-power 5, technically).

BUT, in their first game, USF cruised 34-14 over Elon (no. 12 in the FCS); they lead 31-0 midway through the 3’rd. So while Illinois also beat an FCS team 34-14, it was 24-14 going into the 4’th with Western Illinois driving. Illini scored on a punt block, set up a TD on an “almost pick 6” (to the 3) and another field goal via a fumble. USF vs. Elon: total yards were 515-234. In the Illinois vs. Western, it was 376-361.

The other game: USF beat a tough Georgia Tech team 49-38 whereas Illinois escaped a terrible Kent State team 31-24, with total yards being 469-453.

Even more worrisome is that USF’s receiving corps is outstanding and the Illini secondary is suspect.

I am excited about the game, but, objectively, well, 41-20 USF looks about right to me, UNLESS they are overconfident. And yes, way back in 2013, Illinois demolished a decent Cincinnati team 45-17 on its way to a 4-8 record. But that team had more offensive punch than this one and a more established quarterback.

So, I have to pick USF to win and cover.

Vanderbilt + 14.5 at ND: ESPN gives ND an 88.8 percent chance of winning. Both teams are 2-0 with ND beating Michigan 24-17 and stopping Ball State 24-16. Vanderbilt rolled over Middle Tennessee 35-7 (MTSU was a bowl team last year..Sun Belt) and Nevada 41-10 (they were bad last year). This might be hard; ND is a step up in competition for Vanderbilt and so ND should win. But Vanderbilt is an SEC team that might well be bowl bound..this game might be competitive.

I pick ND to win but Vanderbilt to cover the wide spread. They are NOT that bad.

Lehigh at Navy: (no line; Navy 96.8 percent) Leigh is a so-so FCS team who had a narrow win over a 5-6 FCS team (St. Francis) in the opener and was dominated by Villanova in their second game. Navy is coming off of an emotional win over Memphis but has too much talent for Lehigh, I think. I see a comfortable Navy win.

USC + 3.5 at Texas (ESPN: 55.9 percent for Texas) Texas lost at Maryland and beat Tulsa, narrowly. USC was dominated by Stanford 17-3 but beat UNLV easily (43-21). This is a big game at Texas with tickets being priced at over 80 dollars (per Vivid Seats). But how will that work; Texas has been very average against bad to so-so teams and USC did get dominated..by a team that is much better than Texas.

Ugh.toss up. Will pressure to beat an average team with a big name get to UT? I am really unsure.

Let’s say Texas wins by 4? But I wouldn’t bet a penny on this game, either way.

Note: this is BRUTAL.

Yes, TCU is a 13 point underdog and ESPN gives OSU an 86.6 percent chance. BUT…who knows…TCU might pull off the upset. I still remember the Iowa game and TCU is a lot better than Iowa.

My picks: straight up: USF, ND, Navy, Texas (very reluctantly). Cover: USF, Vanderbilt, (no line for Navy), Texas

Workout notes: yesterday, weights and a 2 mile run in 19:38 (5.2 for 3 minutes, upped it then at 10 minutes, 6.7 up to 7.0) weights: different order: pull ups (15-15-10-10), military (10 x 50, 10 x 50, 10 x 45 standing), bench: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell, incline: 9 x 135 (ran out of gas), decline: 5 x 165 (fatigued), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110, plank: 2:30 (easy), boat, side plank, twist

today: 3 mile walk in 38:30; 5K in 39:40 prior to fasting blood work.

September 12, 2018 Posted by | baseball, college football, running, walking, weight training | , | 1 Comment

Peoria Chiefs advance to the Midwest Championship series

The Chiefs were crisp on defense, got great pitching from their starter (8 innings of 4 hit, shutout ball with 9 k’s) and had a massive 5 run 3’rd inning to defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-0, giving them a sweep of the semifinal series. In fact, the Chiefs are 4-0 in playoff competition.

Just over 600 fans showed up…on a perfect day.

As I said previously, most who show up at any given Chiefs game are there for an outing; there really aren’t that many hard core baseball fans and my guess is that most of them were here today.

We have our Championship series tickets for what will be the final 2 games in Dozer this year, as the next 1 to 3 games will be at the Eastern Conference host. It is the best of 5.

Workout notes: easy 4 mile walk..to shake it out. I am sleepy.

September 10, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Last long and Illini special teams

Today’s Illinois football game was set for 6:30 pm and so I walked longish in the morning.

I wore long sleeves (2 shirts) though it wasn’t cold; I modified the first part of Boredem by taking the bike path back from Bishop hill. I also had a spur in lower Glenn Oak park (to get 18) and then did some wide swings to avoid traffic on the way back. I did slow some toward the end.

I saw deer, a squirrel with a mouse (yes, squirrels will sometimes eat mice) and a riverboat.

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Not the best focused photo. But I had company.

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On my 30 km training walk.

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Then, after Indian food, it was onward to Champaign, where the promised monsoon conditions did not materialize (yes, I was comfortable with a sweatshirt and vest).

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Storm clouds in Champaign.

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12 min. to kickoff. 3 in 1.

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Here is some early action:

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Early action. 7 to 0 Leathernecks.

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And, as usual, though it was 14-7 at the half, Illini “fans” left and by the end of the (very long) game, the place was all but empty.

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27 to 14. Fans have left. About to be 34 to 14

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The game itself:

It ended 34-14 but the first quarter didn’t go well, at all. Western got the opening kickoff and drove it..easily. 7-0; total yards were totally dominated by them.

But some key things happened in the second quarter. First, the starting Illinois quarterback got hurt and a freshman went in and played reasonably well.

But the real key came after a stopped drive: the Illini pulled off a pooch punt off of a fake field goal. That set up a short field (after the defense got a stop) and the Illini drove for a 45 yard touchdown drive which appeared to switch momentum. Another drive put the Illini up 14-7 at the half.

3’rd quarter: running set up a field goal and a 17-7 lead. Then came another exchange of punts which pinned Western Deep. Blocked punt! That made it 24-7.

But then Western’s passing game lead to a 75 yard drive to make it 24-14 going into the 4’th quarter.

Western was threatening and inside the Illni 20 when a hard, but clean hit after a catch caused a fumble which not only stopped a scoring drive but lead to a field goal and a 27-14 lead.

Then WIU threw into triple coverage which lead to an “almost pick 6” (down to the 3) when the Illini punched it in.

More desperate passes lead to yardage, but another interception.

Total yards: only 376 to 361 (Illini had 238 rushing and continually made good yardage off of an off tackle play). But the Illini will struggle against USF and against Big Ten competition.

We may have seen our final win of the year, though 1-2 more wins is POSSIBLE.

September 9, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | | Leave a comment

Chiefs defeat Bandits 3-0 in soggy playoff game

The game had a 48 minute weather delay and it occurred in the top of the 8’th inning. But it was worth it..at least to me. The game itself: the burly first basemen hit a two run home run in the 4’th and then in the 5’th, drove in the 3’rd run with an outfield fly. Otherwise: good pitching on both sides kept the batters at bay.

By the way, the place was EMPTY after the rain delay; small crowd prior to it (about like a Bradley game). AT the end, I got shown in the “lonely cam”. It was hilarious. 🙂

Other thoughts: the Illinois vs. Western Illinois game might be played in heavy rain and perhaps, chilly temperatures? I’ve got my windpants ready to go.

College football week 2:

Western Illinois at Illinois (spread: Illini by 8, ESPN: 73.8 % prob. for Illini)

WIU isn’t what they were last year and they are just off of a tough road loss. Illinois stinks and just lost their back up QB and best WR. And it could be played in heavy rain.

Nothing between a 3 point WIU win and an 11 point Illini win would surprise me. I’d go with: “similar to last week”; 27-20 Illini.

ND favored by 34.5 over Ball State. 99.1 % ND by ESPN. Why? ND could win 35-3 and not cover. Hard to tell. I’d say
“take ND and give the points” but maybe BSU gets a garbage time TD to cut the spread?

Memphis favored by 6.5 at Navy; ESPN 85.1 % for Memphis. Pains me to say it, but Navy’s defense is suspect. Mids will have to control the ball to keep it close. I am afraid that the Mids lose a shoot out like last week.

Texas favored by 23 over Tulsa: Texas 92% on ESPN. Tulsa beat an FCS program (a good one) by 11 last week; UT lost to a Big Ten team. I think that UT wins..but by how much? TU is better than San Jose State last year (who UT blew out).

Win: Illini, ND, Memphis, UT
Cover: WIU, ND, Memphis, Tulsa.

Last week: 3-1 vs. the spread, 2-2 straight up.

Ironic: the most competitive game of the 4 is..the Illinois vs. Western Illinois. Kind of sad..really.

Workout notes:
5 mile walk on the treadmill in 1:04; very steady. Maybe a bit much; I kind of coughed in the afternoon. I do NOT need a relapse. Is “less is more” the deal with this weekend’s “long walk”?

Photos

Not promising:

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So, will we have playoff baseball tonight?

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Go away.

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Was it something I said?

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Sprinkles. Goat moves to the front row.

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Sprikles off and on…grounds crew is busy tonight.

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Aw. 7 completed.

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Yay!

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Few of us left after the weather delay. Yellow arrow: roughly where I was.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | baseball, college football, football, walking | | Leave a comment

College athletics and the educational mission

Yes, I am aware of some of the problems at “power 5 programs” though MOST college athletes are NOT at power 5 programs:

While across the board in Division I, black male athletes do graduate in higher percentages than black college men who don’t play sports, that’s not the case with the 65 institutions that comprise the Power 5, the NCAA’s wealthiest leagues: the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences.

I am thinking of sports such as practiced by my university. Here, I suppose the problem is that only a statistical handful have the potential to compete at a D-1 level and so that limits who can directly benefit from an athletic scholarship.

But as for those who do: Well, time commitment aside (and it is substantial), I can see the benefits.

I’ve been in conversation with other academics on Twitter and, all too often, it sure appears that at least some professors seem to enable underachievement or at least excuse it. Yes, not everyone starts college on an equal footing and some have better support than others.

But….well, let’s look at sports. In sports, what matters is if you can help your team win, whether that means performing at an appropriate level, making the right plays, etc. It really doesn’t matter if you are anxious or, say, come from a different background, etc. Can you perform? That is it.

But in academia: there are concerns about first generation students. Yes, I can see why it might be a problem if the family in question is not supportive. But in sports, there is a family of sorts right there. And no one is worried about “where you came from”; it is “can you play.”

In my case: I was only an average high school athlete. But I was also a “first generation to even finish high school” student. Yes, my family was VERY encouraging. That sure helped. But I was also performance oriented; e. g. I could not feel like I didn’t belong in college when I was helping others with their calculus homework! If I can perform, what is the problem? And I think that ethic is learned or at least reinforced in sports.

Workout notes It was sticky outside and my cold isn’t quite gone; so I walked 6.5 miles easy (3 1.25 mile loops of lower Bradley Park, plus the 2.8 “there and back”)

September 5, 2018 Posted by | social/political, walking | | Leave a comment

Parting thoughts on my college football kool aid drinking

I spent much of today finishing up a project and writing a report.

I did work out though: weights and a 4 mile walk. Cold is better..almost well: weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups, rotator cuff, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 5 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. plank, (2:30), side, twist crunch, then a warm 4 mile walk outside.

I got to think too. Yes, two of my favorite teams wear orange (Texas, Illinois), two wear blue and gold (Navy, ND) and one wears blue (Illinois); I suppose I’ll have to add Illinois State to the mix as I’ll probably make a couple of their games this year. I’ve got tickets to the Western Illinois game and will probably get them for South Dakota State.

I talked about Illinois’ escape against Kent State. I keep hearing “well, Illinois is young”. Well, so is Kent State. So, unless Kent is drastically underrated…ugh.

Navy: got soundly whipped by Hawaii 59-41. It is hard to believe that you can score 41 and still get blown out. I know that Hawaii can be a tough place to play. But ..Hawaii is 2-0 with a road win so…maybe they are underrated?
Still, getting to 6 wins will be tough for Navy this year.

Notre Dame beat Michigan 24-17, but from what I saw, the game itself was somewhat more one sided than that. ND lead 21-3 and, aside from giving up a touchdown return off of a Kickoff, seemed to be in control.

Why Michigan, who finished FOURTH in the east DIVISION of the Big Ten got so much love from the pollsters is beyond me. They were 8-5 last year! I honestly think that there are 5 Big Ten teams better than they are.
ND: ah, good…but not top 5 material..perhaps not top 10. Second 10 though…

Texas: got beat by Maryland..again. Why they were a 13 point favorite is beyond me. Look at the past 5 years: the only Big Ten teams to do worse: Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue and, yes, Maryland. Still…I don’t get it. Maryland will play several teams that are much better than Texas in conference action.

Ah..and who are the most overrated teams (early in the season, anyway)?

A handy chart shows that Notre Dame and Texas belong to the first group of 5 (70 percent of the time: underperforming their early ranking), Michigan belongs to the 3’rd group.

For the season: 2-2 Straight up (picked Navy and Texas to win), 3-1 vs. the spread (missed on Navy..picked Kent, Maryland and ND to cover).

September 3, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, illness, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

It is a cold

Dang it..but at least it is now rather than 3 weeks from now. So I took it easy: 4 miles at 15:30-16:00 mpm walking in glorious weather.

August 30, 2018 Posted by | illness, marathons, walking | Leave a comment

Do we have an obligation to socialize with the unlikable?

Holidays: ok, if you know that someone doesn’t like you, are you still offended if they don’t show up to the family function? If so, why? If you knew that they didn’t like you, would you want to stay at their house or socialize with them?

Do you have an obligation to like someone else (family or not, or in-law?) Are you a bad person for not liking someone?

I think that these answers are not always that clear. And as to what makes someone “likable”…it isn’t always what we might be tempted to say on a survey, is it? Much of it has to do with..yes, physical attractiveness, health, wealth (enough to do stuff), etc. though I supposed we’d swear up and down that this isn’t true.

But it is my *guess* that we can look at someone’s photo and determine how easy it is for that individual to find people to socialize with (on the average; there will always be a few “exceptions to the general rule”).

Workout notes: weights, 4 mile walk in 54:40 (28:00, 26:40); increased the speed from 3.6 to 4.5 mph at an incline of 0.5 (15 min. first mile) then did 1-0-2-0-3-0-4-0 then 1 mile at 5.0, then a pyramid of sorts again.

weights: pull ups 15-15-10-10, (good), military (10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, standing, 10 x 140 Hammer), rows: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell (that hurt), 10 x 110. Bench: 10 x 70 dumbbell, inline: 10 x 140, decline: 7 x 170.
abs (usual: 2:30 plank, boat, side plank, leg lifts, twist crunch).

Note: scratchy throat; burning nose; came on this afternoon…with sneezing at times. Allergies or cold coming on?

August 30, 2018 Posted by | Friends, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment