Attitude matters

I was just a bit off in the weight room. Since I did not do all that much over the weekend, my guess is that attitude has something to do with it. I just don’t feel that “get up and go”; winter just messes with my mind. BUT, I have some fun events coming up.

Usual PT
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (went ok)
bench press: (sluggish) 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 5 x 185, 7 x 175
incline press: 10 x 135
military (went well): standing, 2 sets of 10 x 50, seated, supported: 1 set of 15 x 50
rows (single arm dumbbell) 3 sets of 10 x 50
abs: twist crunch (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10, 10)
core: side planks, 2 minutes front plank (tough, but better than last week)
headstand: got up ok, but never felt steady..a bit shaky
goblet squats (to the window sill) 10 x 53, 10 x 62
bike: 10 minutes (butt hurt)
AMT: 2 miles (23:35) easy; didn’t want to aggravate the heel

Heel: not close to being well (ached a bit when I walked on the cold, cold snow outside) but much, much, much better.


February 12, 2018 Posted by | weight training, whining | , | Leave a comment

Ugh..heel is fried

One weird thing: the heel feels best when I wear my shower shoes…nothing touching it. But I’ve accepted that it is really injured and so, I begin a (hopefully short) hiatus from running or walking…probably take a couple of days off of AMT and elliptical too.

I only lifted today and right now, it feels good. We’ll see a few days from now.

Workout notes: full weight workout: usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 4 x 185 (off), incline: 10 x 145 (good), military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm. Abs: 2 sets of twist crunches: 50, 24, yoga leg lifts (2 sets of 12) planks (side, side, 2 minutes front..hard), goblet squats: 10 x 53, 10 x 62 (to the sill).

And the Winter Olympics are on..that means women’s speed skating.

February 9, 2018 Posted by | butt, spandex, weight training, whining | , , | Leave a comment

Winter sucks!

Cold. Wind. Dark. Snow everywhere. Snow getting tracked in the house. Bundling up..time to bundle and to unbundle. Getting shocked all the time (touching metal).


Yes, I am here because I like being employed more than I despise Illinois winters…

Workout notes: weights plus cardio machines

usual pt; pull ups were strong (5 sets of 10), bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 7 x 185, incline 10 x 135, military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 45, then 10 x 180 machine, 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer (very quick today)

Then abs: 50 twist crunch (25 each side), moving bridge (2 sets of 10), yoga leg lifts (12), planks (side, 2 minutes for regular plank ..that hurt), goblet squats 10 x 53, 10 x 62 to the sill, then machines: 21 minutes for the AMT (2 miles), 20 minutes (2.15 miles) elliptical trainer.

Foot: feels much better; not well though.

February 5, 2018 Posted by | weight training, whining | , | Leave a comment

Damn you Father Time…

An unrelated post about Track and Field got me to thinking about my own performances. Yeah, they are declining.


1. One’s potential decreases with age. Competitive athletes told me that they notice this in their early 30’s. Of course, if one starts later in life, or decides to up the level of their training, they can see improvements in performance; after all it is possible for, say, 80 percent of a lesser capacity to exceed 50 percent of a greater capacity. But one’s upper bound does decrease and that decrease accelerates when one reaches their 50s and really accelerates in their late 60’s and early 70s. See: Gompertz law.

2. Injuries accumulate; I noticed a “jump” in my decline after my last knee surgery (2010)

3. Attitude: now-a-days, I tend to do “what is fun” when I workout rather than what is optimal training. And I don’t push as hard…I need to be able to recover to do the rest of my day.

4. Prior performances have taken something out of me: I know that I am not a real athlete. But there are some performances where I felt like I left a bit of myself out there. May 2004: I did 2 24 hour events in the same month: 101 miles and 88 ..then the next year (caustic 100 miles on a trail in just under 30 hours); I just haven’t been the same since.

But hey, it is still fun and even though I don’t have new PRs to look forward to, I still get joy out of a “good for this year” performance.

Workout notes: weights and an easy 5K walk on a beautiful day.
rotator cuff, pull ups (5-5, then 4 sets of 10), incline press: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 6 x 150 (attention to hips), military press with dumbbells (20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, 10 x 45), Hammer rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200.
Headstand (got in easier) and goblet squats (sets of 5) 45-50-55-60-65-65-70-75. These ARE getting easier.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training, whining | | Leave a comment

Recovering from a stinging rebuke (resentment and whining alert)

Workout notes: easy 2 mile jog on the treadmill (22:15). I just had breakfast and am waiting for rush hour traffic to lighten up a bit before getting on the road.

Weird FANS note: I did one lap with Centurian John Greene. He is also a math professor; he was working this years event as a volunteer. We..talked math.

He told me about two of his published results. One was about unique factorization domains (UFD): his result showed that every UFD has an “almost Euclidian algorithm”. His other was about the trace of 2 x 2 matrices and how the trace behaves under matrix multiplication. It turns out that when 3 matrices are multiplied (in various orders), a certain property is obeyed with probability p = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} . Note: the assumptions is that the matrices have real entries and that the entries are selected via a normal probability distribution.

Now how cool is that? I had a moving mathematics seminar. πŸ™‚

Note on yesterday’s baseball game and today’s hotel stay
Yes, I had club seats (splurge, though I paid a discount price). I was uncomfortable with all of the service (being deferred to by attendants, etc.). I ate breakfast at the hotel. I got the “full” breakfast and ate..what I normally eat. My tummy just can’t hold that much anymore. I don’t like trying to drive while stuffed.

For me, luxury (middle class luxury anyway) is a big waste of money (even when purchased at discount rates), or at least these luxuries.

I’d never cut it as a Republican. πŸ™‚

Accepting defeat and moving on

This result stung. I won’t pretend otherwise. I was struggling 1/3 of the way into the race and that is not a good place to be, at least so early on. I’ve thought about what went wrong, and it is possibly one of two things:

1. I didn’t do enough of the “right kind” of training (e. g. monthly 6-8 hour training sessions) even if my total weekly milage was ok.

2. I just can’t do these events any longer.

And yes, there is a bit of envy when I see the successful basking in the glow of their successes …my thinking “dammit, that used to be me”. Well, it is not me any longer. When it comes to sports, you are what you do…that is, what you CURRENTLY do, not what you did 10-12-15 years ago.

But there is still plenty of time for redemption. I have some ideas for a math paper (more important than my sports), and I still am on track to attempt to run a marathon this fall, hopefully in less than 5 hours. My “long run pace” is right as is my training mileage, and this weekend’s event didn’t set me back. So I have goals to work toward, and striving for these, rather than envying others or longing for past successes, is the way to emotionally heal. Nurturing resentments doesn’t help.

And there is my home. My wife: yes, I am glad that the fitness bug bit her in a minor way. This should add some quality of life for her and I want to remain encouraging. But: last night, she listened to my whining for about a minute or two and then wanted to know if I remembered her text about what SHE did…parked 2.5 miles away from lunch, walked to lunch, and walked 2.5 miles back. Yeah, I know, my first marathon and 50K were very slow (7:12, 8:40 respectively, but remember I was going at my “I hope to go much longer than this pace”) but in my current emotional state, it is hard for me to work up much enthusiasm for my wife’s “feat”, even if she got a ton of “likes” for it on Facebook, way more “likes” than any of my marathons/50 milers get. πŸ™‚

But that’s how it works. A “I got an A on my calculus test” gets more attention than “I published another math paper”; it is WHO you get the kudos from that counts.

June 6, 2016 Posted by | mathematics, relationships, walking, whining | , , | Leave a comment

The lies we tell ourselves..

I had planned to do 6 treadmill miles today, but the day was too pretty to stay indoors.

So I jogged my hilly Cornstalk 8.1 mile course. I didn’t bother to time myself as frankly, I didn’t want to know; but the pace was somewhere in the 11:45-12:00 mpm range. It was a slow but easy “lope”.


It was breezy but perfect running weather.

While I was in Bradley Park, the university track team was doing hill repeats. Yep…they blew past me as if I were merely waddling in place. Wait..that is what I was doing.

Now the reality is that our track team is a strong one; I never was nearly as fast as the men NOR the women; my lifetime PB for the 5K is a hair under 19 minutes and for the 10K: 39:50. That is “young man slow”, compared to serious runners. I last broke 20 minutes for the 5K in 1998. Today’s run: same effort would have been perhaps 1:05 and change.

Now: I am “old man slow” and “old man slow” is slower than “young man slow”. That is really it.


The same goes with the weight room: I never was “strong”; lifetime PB for the bench press was 310, but that was at a much heavier body weight than I am now. At my current bodyweight (or within shouting distance of it), we are talking 260 lbs. Now I do 200 on a good day. That is “young man weak” vs. “old man weak”. πŸ™‚

November 19, 2015 Posted by | ranting, running, whining | | Leave a comment


Chilly, rainy day, life contingencies class…yuck.

Workout notes: 2 mile treadmill jog (21:10) then I attempted an all out mile: 2:00, 1:58, 1:58 (5:56) and then…splut. I had to walk and ended up jogging in an 8:26 mile.
I think that part of the reason is that I panicked when I got to that “intense oxygen debt” that one gets in a mile, and I was solo (lane 2).

Then 1 mile walk, and 2 more miles on the treadmill (21:30) to call it a day at 6 miles, plus some yoga.

So I’ll make it an “end of the year goal” to get a sub 8 minute mile; I think that I am about 200 meters away.

Back to class preparation.

November 17, 2015 Posted by | running, whining | Leave a comment

arrrgh…admin nonsense…

Don’t ask. I just spent 2.5 hours working on a binder; my big tasks:

1. table of contents
2. getting dividers arranged
3. using a template to make sure those little divider tabs were printed out rather than simply handwritten…

And not a bit of that time and effort went into helping me do my job better. *&^%$

But that is much of where our time goes, doesn’t it? We are selling our stuff to someone else rather than working to make the product itself better.

Workout notes weights followed by a very hot Cornstalk classic walk (4 miles)

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10
incline presses: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 3 x 160, 7 x 150. Note: The 160 was done by mistake; when I tried I panicked: “oh my goodness, I’ve gotten weaker” without realizing that I had 10 pounds more than I had intended.
military presses: 2 sets of 10 x 40 (dumbbell), 10 x 85 standing barbell
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 each arm (dumbbell), 10 x 110 machine.

Then the walk, then cutting the backyard jungle.

College Football:

Texas stunk up the joint against Notre Dame. ND has a competitive team, but the looked elite against Texas. They aren’t.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | college football, football, walking, weight training, whining | Leave a comment


Note: this joke post makes no sense unless you know that I have a tendency to overreact to small discomforts and that my “online persona” is a very stupid, very smelly, ornery, self-pitying goat. I doubt that real goats suffer from self pity; I probably just offended them. So if you are a goat or love a goat, I apologize.


I feel like complete crap at the moment (cold level crap). So I had enough; I braved the cold temperatures and walked to the slaughterhouse.

The officials sized me up, pinched their noses and sent me away…”too smelly, too rancid, too old for human consumption” they said.

They did drive me to the woods and leave me out where the local coyotes can get to me.

They came up, howled in pain (stinky) and ran away…”too smelly, too old, too rancid for predator consumption” they concluded.


The game warden came by, put me in the back of a pick up truck, tethered…and drove me home where I head butted my way back into the house and am typing this.


February 22, 2015 Posted by | illness, whining | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am getting too darned old…

1. Yes, I gave blood on Friday. Today is Monday: I got up early, shoveled snow ($%#@!), cleared most of our long driveway with the snow shovel, then lifted weights. This afternoon, I went to write up some early notes, decided to “rest my eyes” for a second and then…zzzzzz……

2. About this article about men who don’t work:


Look at what is considered “prime age”:

At every age, the chances of not working have changed in the last 15 years. Teenagers are far more likely not to work. Older people are retiring later and working more. In the ages in between β€” the periods of life when most people work β€” the changes have been smaller, but they are still substantial.

In the late 1960s, almost all men between the ages of 25 and 54 went to work. Only about 5 out of every 100 did not have a job in any given week. By 2000, this figure had more than doubled, to 11 out of every 100 men. This year, it’s 16. (People in the military, prison and institutions are excluded from these figures.)

Of course, the economy was stronger in 2000 than it is today, with a lower official unemployment rate β€” the share of people not working and actively looking for work β€” than today. But for prime-age men, the rise in official unemployment explains only about one-third of the increase in not working.

“Prime age men” are men from 25 to 54….. oh *&^%!!

3. I now have received a “senior discount” twice in my life (at IHOP).

4. Look at my weight workout:

pull ups: 5 sets of 10, rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 180, 8 x 160 (rotator cuff rest)
incline: 10 x 135
super set: rows/pull downs/military press: all on the machines: 3 sets of 10 each. (110 rows, 130 pull down, 90 each arm (180 total) military.

My calves felt a bit heavy so I skipped running or walking. I hope to go longer tomorrow, or perhaps do a swim/run combination.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | weight training, whining | , , | Leave a comment