Kicking off the taper

5 mile walk outside (light drizzle) then 2 on the track: 23:52 (lane 2); there was a swarm of students from some sort of fitness program. Whatever they were doing, it wasn’t that hard. But it was better than zilch.

Gun control: there is little that is less pleasant (in terms of social interaction) than to start talking to someone about this issue and have a gun advocate jump in. Even worse: the case when the said advocate thinks that he is smart and logical and accuses me of making a logical error.

Frankly, the time and energy isn’t worth it; it is to the point where I’d like to have some filter that makes someone pass a quiz on basic statistics in order to talk to me.

But certain things keep coming up over and over again.

So, here is a balanced report about Chicago, its gun deaths, murder rates, and “people being shot” rates. Summary: Chicago has problems, but they aren’t as severe as the gun advocates say that they are.

And here is the stupid “Honduras vs. Switzerland” meme.

And no, putting out stupid memes isn’t just a gun advocate problem, nor is it only a conservative problem. I frequently complain about stupid liberal memes.

So, this really isn’t a rant about gun advocates or conservatives (and yes, I have the pleasure of knowing several smart, successful conservatives and I enjoy talking to them) ; it is more about people who think that they know a lot more than they do and, at the same time, lack the intellectual tools to fact check themselves.

But alas, there is no graceful way to say “STFU; you don’t know what you are talking about. Go bother someone else. “

October 6, 2015 Posted by | morons, social/political, walking | | 3 Comments

I’m ready

No, my long walk didn’t set any records. In fact, it was slow, by my old standards (14:31 mpm). But I covered 16.1 miles in 3:53 and 16.5 in 4 hours.


It was down to the River, along the trail via the Goose loop and ball field wall, to the Woodruff track 1:19 for 5.5, 1:11:40 for 29 laps (16 in lane 2, 4 in lane 1), 1:22 back (net uphill, got fatigued). The trail was empty due to the 50’s and windy conditions. I loved it.

So, my long walk progression has been like this, starting on July 5 (1 month after by miles at FANS):
18, 16, 13, 13, 20, 18, 19, 18, 18, 18 (half marathon in 2:38, 3 prior, 2 after), 22, 20, 16. Now there is not much I can do, other than avoid cold germs.

More football
Someone is angry that their team lost to Illinois:

“Nebraska lost to Illinois, of all teams, which should be automatic elimination from Big Ten West consideration for the sheer embarrassment, if no other reason. It’s largely because of a horrendous offensive game plan and inexplicable, unacceptable and downright ludicrous clock management — not the first time this staff has mismanaged the clock, either. The overall “F” for this game goes directly to the coaching staff. Suddenly, making a bowl game seems iffy, at best.”

Here is a bit of fact: Illinois has won its previous 3 Big Ten games in a row (dating back to last season) and 3 out of 4 of its Big Ten home games (Minnesota, Iowa (oops..that was the loss), Penn State, now Nebraska). Ok, we are talking about winning by 4, 2, and 1 point(s)…but they were wins nevertheless.

October 4, 2015 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

Felt surprisingly good…

I was a bit stiff and my butt was somewhat sore (glutes)..and I even thought about doing a rest day/recovery workout. But it was cool outside so I figured at give it a shot and do my hilly 8.1 mile course and walk it “deliberately” (not all out, but at a good clip and challenge myself a bit).


It went surprisingly well. I had a bit of spring to my step and got to mile 1.03 in 13:20; so I picked it up a little going down the hill. I got to half way in 52:36 and I challenged myself to walk the second half in under 50 minutes (the halves are identical). It ended up taking me 49:30 (last mile in 11:15) which is my fastest training walk in a while (1:42:07). While this is not fast, the course is hilly and features just a bit of gravel here and there.

That was encouraging … and only 10 minutes or so slower than my slower run times. Yes, that is embarrassing. :-) But, it appears that my walk training is working. One more serious training walk prior to taper time.

Other notes
I suppose that Donald Trump isn’t that “populist” after all, though his tax plan gives us a decent tax cut (a bit over 500 dollars a month!).

And this video is…ahem…uplifting.

September 29, 2015 Posted by | big butts, butt, walking | | Leave a comment

What is reality anyway? (in terms of sports)

Workout notes: I was still sore from yesterday’s “too slow” 20 mile walk.
But I figured a swim would help:
500 easy, 5 x (50 drill (fins), 50 free)
ladder: 200, 150, 100, 50, 100 on the “1 min per 50” interval: 3:42, 2:51, 1:53, 0:57, 1:48
100 back, 100 IM

Weights: rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (struggle)
bench press: 3 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbells (ok)
military press: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbells (standing)
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 200 Hammer machine
yoga: 15 minutes; got headstand easier than before.
poses: warrior II, triangle, pyramid, revolved triangle, reverse warrior (2 sets each side)
up/down dog, bow, then headstand to finish)

Reality I really don’t know how hard to take it out this marathon; my guess that I ought to ignore the clock and just focus on walking easily and quickly. IF I can make it to mile 20 before feeling bad, then I’ll do fine. But it is not 2002 or is it 2009 (my last “good” year for marathons/ultras).

September 28, 2015 Posted by | swimming, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Long walk: being a head case…

My mood: I am not filled with anger and rage..but rather with unease and angst….malaise if you will. I think that I know what is causing it. But never mind that.

I just know that if I don’t do my long walks, I won’t be able to walk my upcoming marathon in a time that I want. So I got out the door just before 8 am and went for 20.24 miles: I started from the house to the River trail..and came back the same way.


While on the trail I did three out and backs:


and I threw in 3 laps of the Goose loop to get 20:


The weather was fine: low 60s to high 70’s; a bit humid at times.

Along the Illinois River I saw a train engine pull a load along the track, come back, and then come back with another load. I saw a few runners, a few dog walkers, cyclists (the 10 mph variety mostly), duck feeders and two college club baseball teams warming up to play a game (Bradley vs. Northern Illinois). They were excited when the umpire showed up.

There was an art fair going on; one of the attendees asked “how far are you walking?” I said “I dunno” and he said “You were out walking 2 hours ago!”

Head case
And there you go. It was tough to get moving. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I stepped out the door and started on a direction. I figured I’d get to the river and decided what to do and after noticing how pleasant the river section was, I thought “why walk anywhere else?” I played all sorts of mind games on what spur to take to get the distance, but it really doesn’t matter. At this state of my training and life, there is no easy way to walk 20 miles. I can choose terrain, speed and pace (within my abilities) but, one way or another, it is going to involve a level of effort that gets me out of my comfort zone. There is no escaping that.

I also admit that I acknowledge other runners and exercise walkers with a nod, wave or smile. But as far as others, I merely move to one side of the trail to give them room and I keep going. For some reason, the loud, affected greetings annoy me. So, in that sense, I prefer the more impersonal lack of interaction that one has on, say, the Austin Hike and Bike or the Chicago Lakefront.

I think that when I am going hard, I am doing an exorcism of sorts.

September 27, 2015 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

A fun “promise” to myself and the state of the race

Workout notes: Conrnstalk 8.1 walk; I didn’t time the first half but did the second in 51:25 (11:27 final 1.03). I told myself that I needed to do some indoor track work, but the day was so pretty I made the bargain: do the final 4.05 in under 52 and we can do it all outside. It was a very pretty day.

Then 10 minutes on the bike, and yoga. I did plow for the first time in a while..and failed at headstand once (too far over) but got up and got it right back.

No damage at all.

State of the race: I don’t know what to make of Trump Walker dropping out has no effect. Sam Wang thinks that he might be fading. Others feel that this was merely a lark by Trump and he is surprised that he has a bonafide shot.

The betting odds:


Democratic nomination: Clinton 4/9, Sanders 11/2
Republican nomination: Bush 2, Trump 9/2, Rubio 6
Election: D 5/6, R 5/4 Clinton 6/4, Bush 9/2, Trump 10, Biden 12, Sanders 12.

What this means: x/y means that if you bet y dollars and you win, you get your y dollars back plus x more. “1” means “even money”. The smaller the ratio the more likely the outcome. Example: if you bet on Sanders to be President, IF he wins, you get 12 dollars to every 1 dollar you bet.

September 22, 2015 Posted by | politics, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Yin/Yang long walk

The good news: I stood up to 22.2 miles. Bad news: too slow (5:46, or 15:37 mpm.) The pace on the uphill sections was kind of ghastly.

The course: 4.72 mile River course to start. Then 15.2 mile out and back to the 4 mile turn around on the East Peoria trail, with a 2.3 mile “spur” (.16 extra spur getting lost just a bit) so this would have been just 22 miles sans that little dip.




The 5K race yesterday may have taken a bit of starch out of me. Weather: nice.

55 F with 84 percent at the start. (8 am) 73 F with 37 percent at the end. Sleeves were a bit too much.

On the East Peoria part, there were a few cyclists and a couple of runners; perhaps a few slow walkers.

Of interest:

1. on the “from Bass Pro to the Fondulac part” there were some old ladies on recumbent bikes. They saw me again near the 4 mile run around on the East Peoria trail; one of them told me that I was “a determined walker who was doing well”.

2. On the path, I watched a cardinal hunt a grasshopper. It was both fascinating and sad: the little grasshopper fighting for its life and the cardinal trying to eat to live. Sorry, but nature, while pretty at times and fascinating, is also a brutal, cruel struggle for survival. Reasonably wealthy, first world humans have it good.

September 20, 2015 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

When you curse a little too loudly…

Workout notes: 7 mile run (The Cornstalk 5.1 plus a 1.4 loop and a .6 loop), followed by 3 miles of walking on the track (lane 2): 12:33, 12:21, 12:20 (37:15) and stretching.
Given that I was a bit stiff at the start, it was an ok workout.

But while running the 1.4 loop, I was startled by a car…(it had been car free up to then) and I cursed…but one of those curses that was intended to be under my breath but wasn’t. And the driver was going slowly (doing nothing wrong) and had his window down. He started to slow down and look…

I sheepishly turned the corner to make my intended 1.2 mile loop into a 1.4 and include a hill. The driver wasn’t scary at all…some old guy but I don’t want to get into a fight when I am in the wrong. I was ready to apologize if I saw the guy again but I didn’t.

September 15, 2015 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

2015: my final Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon ever….I say that every time. :-)

Ok, i’ll be blunt about the event: very hilly and much of the course is gravel/crumbly road. That makes for tough walking; I found that I need heavier shoes on this course. That can be hard on the shins if one is walking.
Every year, I say that I am going to get this right. And I never do. And I always vow “never again”. And I always return with a new plan…only to fail yet again. :-)

There are upsides: potluck lunch afterward (hamburgers and hot dogs provided), great traffic control and while the course is..well…I’d say “trail half marathon” difficult (albeit with better footing), it is pretty. There is no denying that. Just remind yourself how pretty it is when your legs are screaming at you. :-)

I didn’t keep track of splits (not exactly) though I did the first half in 1:18, second in 1:20:18. and time was 2:38:13. I was just under 2 hours at mile 10.

The day couldn’t have been any better for running/walking. Perfect weather.

I showed up and did 3 miles in lane 2 on the track (12 laps) in 40:06. Then I did the 13.1, then I got a diet Pepsi (nice and cold), walked to the track and did 2 more miles (31:30) and that gave me 18 miles for the day.
I looked at my past records and while I have walked faster, I’ve also been slower….in 2011 no less.

I was far back enough to where I didn’t have many to chase, though I did have a fun “back and forth” with T. She got away from me and beat me by about 0.1 miles or so. Yes, I could tease about her spandex but I really did want to catch her for performance/athletic reasons and wasn’t able to. I never did catch that older man who was jogging, though he finished right when I entered the “hair pin” turn part in lower Glenn Oak park.

What I learned: I wasn’t organized when it came to taking the salt tablet. I need to anticipate the aid stations.
I am not fast, at all. BUT, I did have enough left to finish two more miles on the track, albeit at a slow pace. I am going to have to take it out very easily in the marathon.

I am also going to have to do some “marathon pace” work during my 8-10 mile Tuesday walk; that means 12:30-12:45 type miles. My shins are sore and that usually means weak shins.

2011 2:40:53 (1:19:45/1:21:20) (slightly warmer)
2012 2:24:46 (1:10:21/1:14:25)
2013 2:29:51 run attempt (hot) (1:08/1:22)
2014 2:34:59 (1:18/1:16)
2015: 2:38:13 (1:18/1:20:13)

Update: I looked at last year’s race; I was only 3:19 faster last year and I was within 20-30 seconds of last year at mile 10. I lost 2:40 of the difference in the final 3.1 miles. And last year I had a 2 mile warm up at 14:30 mpm; this year I had a 3 mile warm up at 13:20 mpm. It wasn’t all bad.

September 13, 2015 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

Bridge to Bridge: some photos

Workout: 8 mile walk (Cornstalk 8.1 course); second half was 56:53. It was humid and my legs were a touch heavy from yesterday.

Some images from the Bridge to Bridge run (included: Tracy, me, the lady in turquoise who ended up putting a LOT of time on me during the last mile, and one “just because”)






September 8, 2015 Posted by | running, walking | Leave a comment


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