blueollie

Back to reality

Cool, sunny, just perfect weather. Ok, I was a bit heavy legged from yesterday’s 18.3 so today’s 11.3 was done at a much slower pace (2:56:09, 15:36 mpm), last 3.2 in 47:30 (14:50..but on much flatter ground). I focused on posture, posture, posture.

The weird: as I was coming up the big hill from lower Bradley to upper Bradley, I saw an animal scurrying away. I saw a hole…and sticking out of the hole was the ringed brown/black ringed tail of a raccoon.

Yesterday, I saw a bird fly right into a window and fall dead.

Bottom line: my cruising pace is slower than it once was. My faster pace is slower than it once was. But that was a 29 mile weekend.

But I am 18 miles; maybe 20 next week? I should have several 20’s prior to my marathon attempt.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

Better things ahead for my walking?

Ok, this was solo. No Lynnor. 😦 And no, it wasn’t fast; I was just over 15 minutes for the fist mile; I walked through the construction at Sheridan/McClure and decided to risk getting divebombed on the river (red winged black birds); that didn’t happen. I was 1:23 at the Peoria Heights Tower (as opposed to 1:20 during my best walk of the year), 1:57 at mile 8, where I picked up the bike path at Bishop Hill.

There was some crowding near the River Market and with a group of charity walkers going out. And yes, a guy on crutches said something to me: “I want to be out doing that”; he had the look of being injured and champing at the bit to get well…very fit. I reminded him that it wouldn’t take him long to get back.

But overall, the walk, while deliberate (14:43), was…easy. The distance is starting to become less intimidating.

I had a few tingles in the left leg; nothing serious. And I kept reminding myself “posture”.

1:57:02 at mile 8 (where the bike path meets Bishop Hill)
3:51:39 at 15.7 (at my door)
3:57:26 at 16.1 (after the extra Laura/Rebecca loop)
4:28:53 at 18.27 (after the Main, University, Moss, Cooper, campus, Laura loop)

Upshot: this was not an especially long walk, nor was it a fast one. But, the distance is getting easier again; this one was actually pleasant. I am getting into the “looking forward to the long walks” mode, as opposed to sort-of dreading them but doing them to get ready. That is a big positive.

June 24, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

Sciatica returns

Last night; lots of tingling in my right foot. This appeared to take care of it (I did take some Naproxen even though I had no pain; only tingling)

I need to be very diligent.

Workout notes: 6 miles of walking; 1 easy, 10 laps of West Peoria, 1 easy. Focus was on POSTURE, POSTURE, POSTURE. Walking was pain free; slight tingles.

Laps: 54:48 (27:57/26:51) of on to the lot, off. Then more McKenzie exercises. I’ll be doing a LOT of these. I slacked, and paid the price.

June 22, 2017 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

The cycle of athletic life

I am getting lapped by Jason (1:01:22)

This is probably my favorite photo from the Steamboat 15K this past weekend. Background: the course features an almost 2 mile out, then two 2.7 mile loops starting out at the bottom of Glen Oak park, going up the hill, some hairpin turns and then back down. During this stretch, some of the faster runners lap some of the slower runners.

The runner in red is Jason, a Religious Studies professor; I’ve swam with him before. He finished the course in 1:01:xx a bit over a 6:25 mpm pace. I walked the course in about 1:56, a hair under a 12:30 mpm pace. He was literally close to twice as fast as I was; when the photo was taken, I was just past 5K and he was not quite at 10K.

I was never as fast as he is; in my 20’s I ran a hilly 15K in 1:04, and in my late 30’s I ran a low 1:08 and a high 1:07 (the 1:08 was in conditions very similar to this past weekend). But yes, my 1998 and 1999 self would have lapped my 2017 self (walking).

But I can still beat the time limit, even as a walker. So, I’ll do this race as long as I can.

Workout notes: weights, 3 mile track run (32:45; last mile was 10:30), which was after weights:
rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, 7-3), incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 7 x 150 (good), military: 15 x 55 dumbbell seated, supported, standing: 10 x 45, 10 x 40, 2 sets of dumbbell rows (10 x 55), 10 x 110 machine.

Then the run, then a 2 mile walk (leisurely).

Note: platelet donation yesterday, so I backed off a bit.

June 21, 2017 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

How can Democrats do better?

Ok, what do we do in 2018, and in 2020? That is a tough question with no simple answers. These three opinion pieces offer up some ideas, and yes, these pieces offer (sort of) competing ideas, though there is some overlap.

First of all, why did some Obama 2012 voters defect to Trump? One possibility: though they voted Obama in 2012, they still had some resentment toward at least some liberal constituencies (e. g. black people, Muslims, feminists, etc.) But in 2012, the economics won out. In 2016, the “identity” won out. Perhaps that can change in 2020, or even in 2018? Yes, this is a small percentage of voters, but big enough to swing the critical states in 2016.

This makes some sense to me. After all, I don’t like many liberal activists; some of the social justice warriors are, well, loud and clueless. I too get disgusted with the excesses of the political correctness crowd. But, to me, policy wins me over.

Of course, turnout hurt us; many who broadly agree with us don’t show up. The candidates will have to have some show-biz appeal to excite people.

On the other hand, we can’t be too stuck on the current electoral map. After all, I am old enough to remember California and Illinois being Republican states.

Workout notes: 8 mile walk (8.1 Cornstalk course) in 1:58:20 (59:06/59:14) 14:36 pace. It wasn’t much of an effort, though I walked “with purpose”. Cool weather.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, walking | | Leave a comment

Oh boy…dark days ahead

Tomorrow, Georgia 6’th Congressional District will vote on a replacement for Tom Price’s old seat. He won 62-38 in 2016, but resigned to take a post in the Trump administration. Though Trump narrowly won the district 48-47, this seat was considered safe..until..recent events.

The Democrat Jon Ossoff got more votes than anyone else in the primary, but narrowly missed the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. So now he is locked in a tight battle with Karen Handel with the polls being so close. Ossoff did have a 7 point lead in one of them, but most have been 0-2 points with Ossoff leading; the latest had Handel up by 2 (but the day before, Ossoff was up by 1 and 2 points).

In other words: toss up.

And in the Senate, Mitch “the Turtle” McConnell won’t let anyone outside of his narrow circle see the Senate’s bill, and he will force a quick vote on it.

My guess is that he wants to avoid public scrutiny AND to keep Trump out of the loop. And if it fails..well, he wants to move on to tax cuts.

I think that is the way to read this: whatever gets them to tax cuts the quickest…that is, tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.

I am not sure how much he will put into the health care bill itself.

Workout notes Bonus walk with Barbara after weights (2 miles)

rotator cuff, hip hikes, calf raises
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (ok)
bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 8 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
military: seated, 15 x 55, then 10 x 45, 10 x 40
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 10 x 60
yoga: abs, 1-2 sun salutes, headstand (good?), plank for 2:30

I saw Barbara on the way home and so walked a leisurely 2 miles with her.

Note: I am getting the old “piriformis tingles” again; brought on by the onset of longer, faster walks, I think.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

The Peoria Steamboat Days race: changing character?

You can see my post of my personal experience at the Steamboat 15K here. The upshot is that I had a blast, even if my finish time was pretty lousy. This post will be about the race itself.

I first did this race back in 1998 (as a runner; did the 15K) and have participated in the event every year, except for 2003 (in Utah) and the fall 15K in 2000 (marathon the next week). For a few years, they split the 15K and 4 mile into a summer/fall event and for 2 of those, I did both races.

I’ve walked the race with my wife, walked both events for time, ran both events for time. Obviously, I’ve never been near the “front of the pack”, but I’ve experienced the race as a “just under 28 minute” 4 mile runner and a “just under 1:08 15k runner”, and yes, as a back of the pack person (walks with my wife, and well, the two times I walked the 15K).

I’ve always been pleased with the traffic control, aid stations, the course, etc. There was one year (2016) where some 15K aid stations were staffed by untrained volunteers and they ran out of water; I wasn’t affected as I typically only drink every 5K or so.

This year featured a “funnel start” instead of the usual “wide start”. I worried about that a bit, but given that age group awards were based on chip time, people were well behaved, lined up more or less where they were supposed to, and the first right turn was easy; no crowding. The crowd had been “lengthened out” and you really were with similar pace people.

In the past, the turn was hectic.

But there is something else: (I got data from “finishers”, not “starters”)

year 4m 15K 4k/2m big 2 all change 2 % change change all % change
2013 3124 866 98 3990 4088
2014 2613 776 111 3389 3500 -601 -0.150626566 -588 -0.143835616
2015 2443 805 156 3248 3404 -141 -0.041605193 -96 -0.027428571
2016 2347 822 157 3169 3326 -79 -0.02432266 -78 -0.022914219
2017 1781 666 151 2447 2598 -722 -0.227832124 -728 -0.218881539

Though there was a big decline from 2013 to 2014, there was a massive drop from 2016 to 2017. Note: the short distance was either 2 miles or 4 km. I compared the drop in all three races and the drop in the total of the “big 2” (15k and 4 m put together). I show the absolute drop, and the percentage drop.

I can’t say for sure what the cause was. I can say that in 2016, there was a big change made in the “Building Steam” programs (designed to prepare people for the race” and in 2017, the Building Steam program was eliminated completely, with the local running store offering a couple of programs.

I also note that there are other events 90 minutes away (one in the Quad Cities); I stayed with Steamboat as I just love seeing everyone.

One irony: I actually, well, I don’t want to say it, but…”liked” the smaller race as there was more room to walk and no n00bs just unexpectedly coming to a complete stop right in front of you (slow, out of shape beginners are prone to doing this and it is maddening).

But I wonder if these are healthy numbers for the event.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

A little bit sore..and some Chiefs baseball

Workout notes: I started out to go on a purposeful walk; wasn’t into it so came home, took off my pack and just strolled an easy, untimed 10 miles in Bradley Park (Cornstalk, 1.25 loop, .65) and then went 2 more super slow miles with Barbara.

That did the trick, I think.

The Chiefs won their game against the Burlington Bees 4-3; they had a 3 run home run in the 2’nd and added a solo shot to go up 4-1. Their reliever pitched very well into the 7’th inning when he got a relief pitcher, who did his 1 2/3 innings well. So it was 4-1 going into the top of the 9’th when the Chiefs brought in a “closer”, who promptly gave up a single and 2 walks to load the bases with no outs.

Two runs scored on fielder’s choices (attempts at double plays) and a fly out mercifully ended the game.

I am not sure if the Peoria coach did that (put in the final relief pitcher) because he thought that was the best way to win the game, or because the Cardinals wanted to get him some pitches.

But hey, 2 home runs and a minimum of 2 double plays…

June 19, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Steamboat 2017 and Gompertz’s law

How this post is organized: intro, race itself, social, photos, past races.

Introduction: Basically, the Gompertz Mortality Law states that the rate of decline as we age is an “exponential of an exponential”; the proportional rate of decline year by year increases exponentially with respect to time; that is: \frac{\frac{dD}{dt}}{D} = be^{at} where D can be thought of as a “failure rate”. How it applies: I walked the 15K about 48 minutes slower than my best running time, and almost 8 minutes slower than I walked it 6 years ago. There are some caveats there though; I was better trained in 2011, it wasn’t quite so hot, but there is no getting around that my 5K run time was about 1 minute faster too..and my half marathon was about 13 minutes faster (albeit on a much cooler day).

But never mind that; getting to spend time with a friend that I had mostly communicated with on social media really helped make this one special for me.
There was a downer too: Barbara had worked toward finishing the 4 mile, but was laid low by allergies and the heat; she couldn’t start the race. She did join in for socializing afterward though.

The race itself:

As you can see, the weather was suffocating: 73 F with 90 percent humidity at the start, rising to 77 F with 84 percent humidity at the end. And, I did NOT do myself any favors going out as fast as I did; in fact, I went out faster than I did in 2011 which was a big mistake. 5K splits: 37:04, 39:41, 39:07.

I warmed up by walking 2 miles with Lynnor and then took it out way too fast. At 11:28, I was sweating too heavily. My form: we’ll have to see the photos. I was not breathing heavily and my legs never went dead, but in the final 5K, I had no “gear”. It was “same old, same old”.

I bent my knees going up the steep hill; it was at this point Lynnor let me go and I passed T. I wasn’t serious about racing at this point; I wanted to get to the first 5K and I was still averaging under 12 minutes per mile; in fact, I got to mile 4 in 47:47. But the fade had started and while I knew better than to pay attention to my 5 mile split (it is long); I was creeping up to the low 13’s. At least I didn’t have to worry about getting in the way of the faster runners in the second loop.

And yeah, my “plan” to push the final 5K was a big fat bust. I did a back and forth with about a half-dozen ladies and talked to a few of them. The steep downhill mile cheered me some, but my dreams of going sub 11 in the final stretch didn’t materialize; I haven’t done enough fast walking. Ok, and I am slower. Period.

Mile by mile:

11:30, 11:48, 12:37 (steep uphill) 11:51, 13:16 (mile 5), 13:45(?), 11:41 (?), 12:24, (final mile: 12:51)

Looking forward: lots of work before that fall marathon. I have half marathons in July and August to perk me up.

Social: this is what I posted on Facebook:

I did my first Steamboat 15K in 1998 as a runner; I ran 1:08:xx and was somewhat disappointed in my time. 2017: did it as a walker in 1:55:52 (12:26 mpm) I was ok with my time. I was over 7 minutes slower than my fastest walking time (2011) but it was 70 F with 90 percent humidity at the start. And I STILL went out too quickly.

But I’ll be honest: the highlight of this experience for me was getting to know Lynnor better. We walked from the Bradley Campus to the start and, after the race, walked back to Campustown to have coffee.
Barbara was suffering mightily from allergies and couldn’t do her 4 miles as planned, but was a good sport and had coffee with Lynnor and I afterward.

I think that, for me, Steamboat is a reunion of sorts. There are longer races, and there are harder races (though the 15K is a bear to try to run hard). But I see many of my friends all at one place.
I missed Barbara being there, but I got to meet up with Tracy, Theresa, Vickie, Cathy Rupert, Cassie, Herb, Andrew McGlothlen.and my colleague Mat (who ran the 15K) went back on the course to jog a few steps with me. Also, Lori, a math colleague who I did not see at the race, finished her first Steamboat 15K in fine fashion.

It was fun to hear my name from the volunteers AND from some of the faster runners who lapped me in the “2 loop portion” Yes, my 1998 and 1999 self would have lapped me today!
And mid race, I got in a conversation with a woman my age who longed from the days when she was top 25 (she ran 1:11, I think…”in the day”) and it reminded me that time indeed takes its toll on EVERYONE. But I can still beat the cut off and I should savor that as long as I can. Even if Lynnor didn’t want to stay with me today.

Photos:

Cassie and Lynnor together.

Cassie and me.

Herb Kasube, a math colleague

Lynnor finishing up

Lynnor, Rich and me.

Mama T and me before the start.

Waiting for the start; tattooed ladies.

Theresa, Cathy and Vickie (3 yoga teachers)

Tracy…in her cat shirt and no, she was not “the last one”, as she always says that she will be.

Lori, one of our newer math professors finishing up.

Another one of Lynnor.

My posture and leg do not look that bad.

Another good one of Vickie.

Mama T finishing up…yes, that is me in the background (Lynnor was about 1 minute back).

Toni from our walking group driving it home.

Evan from our walking group.

Barb finishing her race.

Evan and Brian from our walking group.

About 2.1 miles to go; I was to pass this lady and stay ahead of her.

Here, we had just come down off of the big hill for the last time; we had about 2.1 miles to go. My leg is not that bad. The lady in back was to catch me, and we went back and forth the rest of the way. She won.

I am where the red arrow is. I am still holding walking form; the woman in the camouflage tights is passing me.

Though this woman passed me, my “chip time” was still just a tad faster. Note that I kept walking.

Theresa, Katie and Georgia about mid way.

I am getting lapped by Jason (1:01:22)

Colleen and me, having a conversation about 4 miles into it.

Cassie (in the black) about midway through the 4 mile event.

Mat

Mat chasing a runner

Past results

1998: 15K 1:08:22 183/844 (sticky) Was running just under 20 for 5K in those days. 22:50/23:05/22:27, 29/71 AG
1999: 15K 1:07:53 place was a bit worse; roughly 20:40 for 5K in these days 22:38/23:01/22:13
2000: 4m 27:51 After a 10K/half marathon double and 1:35 half a few weeks earlier.
2001: 4m 29:13 Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40
2001: 15K 1:11:16 (126/381) Fall 15K 23:20/24:04/23:51
2002: 4m 43:15 (walk)
2002: 15K 1:14:33 (run; fall) 167/405 24:10/25:07/25:16
2004: 4m 33:10 (two 24 hour walks in May; 101 and 88)
2005: 15K 1:23:13 (26:40/27:39/28:43) McNaughton 100 in April, Marathon on Memorial Day.
2006: 4M 42:10 (walk), FANS 24 in June (83 miles)
2007: Walk with Barbara
2008: Walk with Barbara
2009: run 1:27:23 (9:22 mpm) Place: 519/726 29:21/29:49/28:43, 34/43 AG
2010: walk 4 miles 39:32.
2011: walk 15 km 1:48:02 37:12/36:24/34:26
2012: run 15 km 1:36:55 29:26/33:54/33:35 679/835
2013: 15K 1:29:04 (29:34/29:53/29:38) 40/50 AG, 552/866
2014: 1:29:57 (29:22/30:46/29:49)
2015: 1:34:28 (30:49/32:49/30:50) (2 weeks after FANS 59.9) 579/804, 376/461 males, 173/219 male masters, 36/43 AG
2016: 1:41:57: 31:40/34:37/35:40 667/822, 413/458 male, 196/221 master male, 30/33 AG.
2017: walk 1:55:52: 37:04/39:41/39:07 Just not in very good shape.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | , | 1 Comment

Partisanship, civility and threats

I’ve been very critical of stuff like this:

So now, we have…Ted Nugent denouncing such rhetoric?

Funny, that it took a Republican getting shot by a nut job for him to rethink. But that is how it goes, isn’t it?
Yes, they get all high and mighty talking about “Second Amendment remedies” (even Trump)

Yes, we saw the signs:

So now, a left wing Bernie supporting loon went out and shot a Republican Congressman (and a couple of law enforcement officers too). NOW, maybe they are “getting it”.

That thing that you threaten others with may well be used on you.

That is why I find such threats to be disgusting.

I rather like being able to walk around sans a bullet proof vest and, yes, unarmed. Unarmed this time, and the next time too. And the time after that. I can’t say that I’ll never own a gun. There was a time where I held a marksman ribbon (pistol) and I once went target shooting. It is sort of fun. And perhaps, oh, I might live in a rural area where there are possible wildlife threats.

But no, in my day to day life, and what I anticipate to be my day to day life, I want nothing to do with guns.

All I am saying is that if you threaten me, someone else might threaten you. And I have no desire to live that way.

So let’s keep politics a ballot box thing, ok? That is how civilized, first world countries do it.

Now our politics can certainly use improving. And please spare me this “both sides” bullshit; there is nothing on the Democratic side that is the analogue of Fox News, talk radio and the massive spin/lie/disinformation machine that operates on the right. And it is easy to see why: the Republican agenda, at the very top, is “tax cuts for the rich”. That, in and of itself, is a tough sell. So one needs a cover of some sort, be it right wing religion, resentment of minorities, or social issues (e. g. “war on Christmas”, “bathroom wars”, blah blah).

The current administration is reeling in a morass of paranoia and self pity. No, I am not foolish enough to think that they are finished. But, aside from some executive orders, they haven’t really done that much. My hope is that we can beat back this health care bill stuff and keep the works jammed with scandal until the 2018 midterms..and we have to pick up some seats! Hopefully we can win a chamber, or at least win enough seats to get the moderate Republicans to cut some deals.

Really, a type of coalition with “non-flat-earther” Republicans wouldn’t be so bad.

News of the weird: yes, women can rape men. It doesn’t happen that often. But here is a case in which the woman, who raped a cerebral palsy sufferer, is using “facilitated communication” as a defense. I don’t know how the trial will go; part of the case will be putting the hoax of “facilitated communication” on trial. But now matter how the case goes, the woman is a monster and I don’t want her in society.

Workout notes: lazy workout: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, good), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 190, 8 x 170 (lazy, empty gym), military: 15 x 55 (seated, supported), 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 1 set of 10 x 60 (one arm dumbbell), stretching, easy 2 mile walk outside.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political, walking, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment