blueollie

College baseball thoughts (and rain)

46 F and drizzly …which was an improvement from the weather earlier in the day. Forget the lovely day we had the day before; start was delayed by 75 minutes.

The stadium was pretty empty with a few in the upper parts, under the overhang. I had on my rain pants and bombproof rain coat and was reasonably comfortable. That is weird for May baseball.

Oh yes, I also had on a thermal shirt, sweat shirt, fleece lined jeans, and water resistant boots too.

Bradley won the teeth-chattering contest 7-2 via 2 runs in the first and 5 runs in the 6’th (at which they lead 7-0); Southern Illinois hurt themselves with 4 errors. The Bradley starting pitcher did very well, getting a shutout for the first 7 innings before loading the bases in the 8’th (no outs). The first reliever had a tough time of it, getting one out prior to walking in two runs. But the next reliever retired the side without further damage.

That is one thing about college baseball: a 7-0 lead in college ball isn’t as safe as a 7-0 lead in professional baseball, due to specialty pitchers, aluminum bats, and the fielding not being quite as sharp.

Why I like it: I’ve rediscovered my love of baseball; I did play up to 2 years of pony league. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I enjoy watching others do what I could not. I’ll give but one example: when I played first base, I remember going after a pop-up. I ran, and ran and ran and ran…seemingly forever..and got to it. I had reached…the grassy part of the infield after all that running.

On the other hand, several times, the Bradley firstbaseman has caught flies that were, say, about 1/3 of the way from the bag to the fence and made it look “relaxed and easy”.

And don’t even talk about hitting; I could hit (barely) some of the younger, mediocre high school pitchers but forget about the good ones. But these guys: no problem.

And, while I enjoy watching the games and seeing the students play, I can also see the difference between the “low A” Chiefs and college ball. There are a couple of levels (“short season”, “rookie leagues”) in between.

Good stuff..I am looking forward to today’s game, weather permitting.

Workout notes: after 3 miles with Barbara last night,

I decided NOT to run though I did some goblet squats, which ARE getting easier.

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (which felt good) 5 sets of 10, bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 140, military: 20 x 50 dumbbell, seated, supported, 2 sets of 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer Machine rows. Abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, 3 sets of 10 moving bridge, headstand (very tough to get into yesterday…but got it)

Goblet squats: 5 x 25, 25, 45, 45, 50, 55, 65, 70

Bodyweight: 199.5 prior…after a ton of coffee, to be fair. I am going to have to drop 10 lbs. if I want do do well at a fall marathon.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Lynnor Special training run and Bradley baseball…

I made this into a meme…saying “OMG, you can’t be serious” when I saw my time (1:41:57). It was, by 5 minutes, my slowest time “as a runner”. NOW, I am wondering: “can I even do that time”?

But a friend issued a challenge to stay up with her, and so I am training. Today, in weather conditions VERY similar to last year’s race (72 F 61 percent at the start, 76, 50 percent at the end) I slugged out a 1:49:08 training run on a hilly course, about 30 seconds faster than 2 weeks ago. 47:24, 31:26, 14:21, 15:55 (47:24, 47:22). I didn’t feel that bad at the start, but I was totally without speed, even trying to move on the downhills. I was relieved that I finished upright, but that was about it.

Then I caught a Bradley vs. Southern Illinois baseball game (11 am start, due to a Chiefs game tonight).

SIU won 8-3; they had a 3-0 lead when Bradley got 3 runs in the 3’rd, off of a home run (to start, hit, walk and triple). SIU had 2 home runs as well. SIU got 3 more runs in the 6’th and 2 more in the 8’th to put the game away. Bradley hurt themselves with 2 errors and a couple of baserunning errors (embarrassing pick off, trying to get an extra base that just wasn’t there). But SIU did get 12 hits (BU got 9).

May 18, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running | , | Leave a comment

A (new to me) workout

I’ve gotten a bit behind in keeping up the workout logs. I also enjoyed the Bradley vs. Illinois baseball game (though BU lost 8-6, it was a very entertaining game featuring towering home runs, good fielding plays and yes, even good pitching (2 innings anyway; first inning saw 5 strike outs between the two pitchers).

3 of the home runs (2 by Illinois, 1 by Bradley) went further than the white fence in the distance; 1 was actually over it.

Workout notes Yesterday: it was pouring rain so I went on the home treadmill: 20:38 for 2 miles. then 4 x (2 minutes hard, 6 minute walk), 2 x (1 minute hard, 3 minute walk) which got me to 3.5 miles (past the original 2) so I walked for 10 minutes outside.

Those 2 minute repetitions just about killed me; I didn’t look at the pace, but these were “knee lift” runs at, say, “mile run” intensity. Those hurt; in the second minute I felt the heavy legs. Those 6 minute recovery walks felt shorter than they were.

Today: I slept in and worked out after my 9-10 class:

rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10)
incline press: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, 4 x 150 (very strict)
military: 20 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbells), 10 x 45, 10 x 45 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.

Then a 2 mile run: 2-2-2-2 warm up; then I went to 6.7 (at 8 minutes) to .75 miles and then every .25 I went up: 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1 then 7.2 for the final seconds.
10:37/19:17 were the mile splits. I finished with 2.08 miles; last 1.367 took 12 minutes (8:46 pace, 8:37 for mile 2)

Note: the back is still a bit sore.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | baseball, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

resting and more baseball

I wondered if I was getting rundown so I went to the Forest Park Nature Center (left from the Heights tower) and walked 2:12 (about 7 miles). Normally I don’t doubt the distance but this time Wakerobin was closed. So I took Deer run back to Possum Path to the Valley, then to Bee Tree to Cardinal, back to Valley and then to Wilderness (1:05 which is about my outer loop time) Spurs: 23:16 out, about 27 back (uphill..and tired).

Then it was time for some baseball. Bradley beat Illinois 8-6 to win the series 2-1. Of interest was the fielding. One one hand, 4 errors (3 in a 2 innings 5-6) kept ISU in the game. On the other hand, fielding saved the day. The center fielder made an “over the shoulder” catch on the warning track (near 400 feet) with 2 out and the bases loaded, and the first baseman made some great plays too.

A 2 run home run in the bottom of the 8’th provided the winning margin.

A Political Science professor and his wife (also a Ph. D. in political science) sat next to me.

April 23, 2017 Posted by | baseball, hiking, walking | | Leave a comment

Fun with the mundane….

Yes, I ran a 5K this morning. And yes, I cut the grass for the first time in 2017. That wasn’t fun, though I wanted to get a photo of the tulips for Barbara, who is in Cuba.

But I also saw something more gruesome: there were the remains of a bunny that became a meal for a predator. Nature…

No, the yard was not entertaining. But I did have dinner with a dear friend on Friday, and a different dear friend tonight. THAT was fun.

And there was Bradley baseball: it turns out that the starting pitcher and one of the relief pitchers were/are students of mine. Oh the game: that didn’t go so hot; Bradley lost to Illinois State 9-4 based on the first inning (3 runs) and the 7’th (5 runs, all of which came AFTER 2 outs). ISU got 4 hits and 3 runs in the first and were more or less held in check for the next 5 innings. But the ISU starter struck out 7 in 5 1/3 innings.

The day was sunny but windy which made it chilly in the shade; note the fans seeking out the sunny areas.

For a few innings, I had the volleyball team sitting next to and around me (they came next to my seat when I went to the restroom between innings; they were seeking the sunny areas.

So, the loss aside, it was a fun weekend so far.

April 23, 2017 Posted by | baseball, Friends | | Leave a comment

Dropping the ball for baseball…

I’ve disconnected a bit due to..well, baseball games. Tuesday night I saw the Chiefs lose to the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-0.

The highlights were a couple of great outfield catches; one was just off of the ground and the other was over the shoulder.

Then last night I watched Bradley rally from 4-1 down in the 7’th inning to win 6-4, getting 2 in the bottom of the 7’th and 3 more in the bottom of the 8’th. The 8’th inning was really the key. The first batter singled and the coach put in a fast pinch runner. The next batter made an excellent bunt…but Iowa made a bad throw to first which lead to the fast runner rounding the bases to score and the batter to make it to 3’rd. Then the runner at third was singled in, and another double gave Bradley the padding it needed.

A crowd of 571 enjoyed the game.

I also came to notice that Bradley uses the third base dugout as the home dugout whereas the Chiefs use the first base dugout. It has to do where the respective clubhouses are.

I’ll really OD on Bradley baseball, as there are 5 home games from Friday to Wednesday. I should make 4 of these (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday).

Workout notes: PM: walk with the group; 3 miles. We lollygagged on the way out (27 minutes or so) and then on the way back, Tammy wanted to turn it up a bit; that only took 24 minutes for us.

AM: I slept in (Bradley games are usually about 3 hours; more scoring than in pro ball) So I worked out after my 9-10 class. I’ve got some catching up to do.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10: good), bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 185, 9 x 170 (empty gym, basically), 10 x 135 incline, dumbbell military: 20 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, 10 x 45, 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine rows. Then run: 20 minutes on the treadmill: 2-2-2-2-2 (5.2-5.6) then 2-2-2-2-1-1 (6.7-7.2) 10:57/8:40, 2.04 miles total.

Bodyweight: 195.7 before, 193.8 after.

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

Walk and Baseball…

Today was consumed by a 3:37 walk and a 2:40 baseball game, Indian dinner (plus a good hamburger) and writing up a statistics exam.

The walk:

It was similar to last week’s walk, but slightly slower: 1:46 out (as opposed to 1:41:30 last time) and 1:48 (correcting for an extra loop; I was almost 1:52) back, as opposed to 1:41:30. But the 8 miles the day before did tire me out a bit. It was still an acceptable effort, if a slower one.

It was all but deserted; I saw two pairs of cyclists, one solo cyclist and perhaps 3-4 walkers total.

Then to the Bradley vs. Wichita baseball game; this time Wichita won 8-5 (so BU takes the series 2-1). Wichita had a 4 run 3’rd inning and Bradley could not quite close the gap. Each team hit 2 home runs.

It was a pretty day for a game though:

Barbara joked about “womanspreading”

One of Bradley’s better crowds among the games I was able to make (they had more the day before).

6’th inning action.

April 17, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

A bit of everything in this game: Bradley 6, Wichita State 5

I got to the game at the top of the second when it was 1-0 WSU; I had a meeting and dinner with my wife first. But rain delay pushed by the start of the game (and kept attendance down a bit)

And this game featured a bit of everything. Through 5 innings we had seen (between both teams): 5 errors, 8 runs and 13 hits. Through the top of the 9’th, we stayed at 5 errors, 11 runs, 21 hits, one manager being ejected (for arguing a “step out of the batter’s box strike call”), one apparent home run in which the hitter was called out as he passed the runner on base between first and second:

The Braves added an insurance run in the seventh when an apparent Ivelia two-run homer turned into a single and just one run scored when Ivelia passed Ian Kristan on the base paths and was called out.

And then came the 9’th: Bradley was up 6-4 and had two outs, when Wichita State hit two doubles in a row to pull to within 6-5, but a line drive was caught in center field to end the game. Whew…

One of the mothers of the player cheered …very …enthusiastically and yelled BOOM at just about anything Wichita State did (strike, routine ground ball fielded, etc.) Toward the end, some Bradley fans started to yell BOOM when BU did something..that made me giggle.

Workout notes: 4.2 Conrstalk classic walk in 56:44; 13:30 final mile. Not fast but not the usual slow stroll. I paid more attention this time.

April 15, 2017 Posted by | baseball, walking | | Leave a comment

Longish walks, regret, and baseball…

Today’s walk: left the house at 7:15, walked down Cooper, Moss, Union, MLK, Kumpf, Rivertrail around the goose loop (20-30 meters are submerged), ball field fence loop (around the wall..mostly to visit the port-o-potty) then the bike path through the Cemetery to the northern gate. Touch the gate, double back.

VERY consistent: 1:41:43 out, 1:41:17 back for 13.8 miles at a 14:43 pace. That may not seem like much..ok, it is a slower pace than I averaged for a 100 mile walk in 2004…(OMG, I’ve slipped that much!) but it is the best “day after a 5K sort-of-long walk” I’ve done in a while. And, this was nowhere near a hard effort, though it was a deliberate, “pay attention to your walking” pace. If I can work up to adding 7-8 more miles at this pace with this effort, I should be ready for an “under the 6 hour time limit” walking marathon. And hey, I have 5 more months to go.

yes, the days of my just doing a marathon (or 50K) on a whim are long, long over.

Regret: I followed the progress of some of my friends doing a trail 30 mile (48 km)..McNaughton. Yes, I’ve finished several ultras on that course; the fall 30 4 different times, the spring 50K once, the 50 mile twice, the 100 mile twice. So, it isn’t as if I haven’t finished the race, but the reality is that after my 2010 knee surgery, I’ve had 3 very slow 30 mile finishes and two DNFs (once on a 30, once on a 50 ). Mud on the course just kills my knees, so signing up in advance doesn’t work. And now-a-days, going in on a whim doesn’t work either.

So, I miss it, though there is no reason I can’t be a fair weather hiker or perhaps be a last minute sign up for a 30 IF I had a recent marathon under my belt …recent enough to have some conditioning under my belt but not so recent as to come in tired, as I did the last time (11 hours for the 30! that was humiliating)

Baseball
So I saw the Bradley baseball game; good day for it. Bradley took a nice 2-1 lead off of two solo home runs. Milwaukee tied it and then came the 6-7-8’th innings where Milwaukee got most of their 14 hits and 3, 3 and 5 runs respectively. BU got 2 of them back in the 7’th…but the final was 13-4.

Small consolation but BU “won” the home run derby 3-2 though they did hit a spectacular 400+ foot shot to center.

One of the Bradley home runs made it to the dark SUV in this photo

Though I’d rather BU had won, it was a great day for a ball game. My wife is the redhead in the front row. There were 308 at this game. I attend many Chiefs games (one this afternoon) but I’ll get my baseball fix at Bradley games until their home season ends.

April 9, 2017 Posted by | baseball, marathons, walking | , | Leave a comment

Bradley Baseball Fun: 8’th inning explosion to defeat Milwaukee 11-5

We had a great day for it; sun and warmth…a bit of wind. Even better: a student I’ve had in class was pitching.
So what went down: Milwaukee opened with some ground ball hits and took a 1-0 lead. The lead grew to 2-0 in the 5’th though both pitchers were doing well. But in inning 5, Bradley got a walk, and the shortstop hit his first (of 2 total) home run to left field to tie the game.

Then came the 7’th when the Bradley pitcher, who was starting to tire, got 2 outs. But a botched play at first on a ground ball) kept Milwaukee alive, and then they cashed in ..eventually driving in a go ahead run. A reliever came in.

But in the bottom of the 7’th, Bradley got a lead off home run to tie the game at 3 (on the at bat where I took the photo).

Then Bradley held Milwaukee scoreless in the top of the 8’th, and then came an 8 run explosion in the bottom; this rally featured 3 home runs. It went from 3-3 to 11-3 very quickly.
Milwaukee rallied for 2 in the top of the 9’th (loaded the bases and got a hit) but BU finished the job.

All in all, this game had a bit of everything; pitcher’s duel at first, then a ton of hitting.

Barbara went with me.

I kind of relaxed so Barbara did a “womanspread” to compete with my “manspreading”.

I wanted a shot of the field; this came just before the home run which tied the game at 3.

April 8, 2017 Posted by | baseball | | Leave a comment