The NCAA Basketball Trip: Gritty effort by Bradley, great women’s games too

We drove to Des Moines to watch Bradley play in the NCAA tournament.

First session: first game was Louisville vs. Minnesota. Minnesota started well and built up a 16 point lead and held off a late Louisville charge to win 86-76.

Then came the Bradley vs. Michigan State game; BU was given little chance. But BU lead 10-4 early and the game continued to be back and forth. BU lead 35-34 at the half and 55-54 with 7 minutes to go in the game. Michigan State began to pull away with 3:34 left in the game and held on to win 76-65. The Spartans shot 25-26 from the free throw line; that was a huge difference in the game. Yes, they WERE better but BU was able to hang with them for most of the game. I sure wish we had drawn a 4-5 seed instead of a 2 seed.

During the first session, I sat between Barbara and a very pleasant woman (Christy) who was there to cheer for Michigan.

Then it was off for some Asian food, and back for the second session.

The first second session game was Florida vs. Nevada and Florida built up an 18 point lead. Nevada rallied to cut it to 2 points with 3:30 to go in the game, but Florida hit big shots down the stretch to win 70-61, in what was billed as an “upset” (to me, it looked like the better team won, but whatever).

The second game was Michigan vs. Montana which was never really competitive. It was 34-21 at the half and the lead grew to 66-39 with 6 minutes to go in the game. Michigan put in everyone for at least a few minutes.

Next day: almost hung over, (no, I don’t drink but I was up late) we drove to Peoria, stopping at Iowa City (about half way) to catch two women’s NCAA games. The NCAA gives the first 4 seeds the option of hosting 2 rounds of home games. The arena: was dug into the ground..a huge 15K bowl. There were 10,700 there and there was a ton of energy!

First: a gritty Mercer Team gave Iowa fits..even leading 55-51 deep in the second half. But Iowa’s big center was too much. She had 30 points and 16 rebounds. But Mercer got several steals and several offensive rebounds to stay in the game.

Next: was a thrilling overtime between Missouri and Drake: Missouri won 77-76 with the key play coming when a Missouri player was fouled on a 3 point attempt with 1.1 seconds left in overtime. She made 1 of 3 and Drake’s last second shot…looked good but wouldn’t stay down. It was one of those games where both teams really deserved to win.

Afterward: Ethiopian food (very good) then the drive home.

5K run first:

Tip off: Minnesota vs. Louisville


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March madness!

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BU Michigan State

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Bradley up 10-4 early. Go Braves!

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Florida vs. Nevada

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Session 2: Florida v. Nevada.

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Michigan vs. Montana

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Michigan vs. Montana. Michigan up early.

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Dance team

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Montana Dance team.

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Big Screen

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Half time on the big screen.

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Rest Area I-80

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Rest stop off of I-80.

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Carver-Hawkeye Arena:

Cello for National Anthem

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National Anthem..with a cello?

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Player introductions

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Flames for player intros!

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Missouri player intro.

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Mercer vs. Iowa

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We are underway with Iowa vs. Mercer.

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Drake vs. Missouri

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Drake vs. Missouri

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64-64 with 2 seconds to go in Drake v. Mizzou. OT?

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Fan support

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Flames for player intros!

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Ethiopian Restaurant in Iowa City.

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Ethiopian food for the trip back to Peoria.

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March 24, 2019 Posted by | basketball, travel | , | Leave a comment

Des Moines

But before I left, I did walk 3 plus miles and lift: rotator cuff, usual PT, pull ups 5 sets of 10, 2 of 5 (strong), incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, decline: 10 x 160, military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (single arm), squats: 2 sets of 6 with 25, 6 with 40, 6 with 50 (full depth), plank, headstand, wall handstand (getting used to it) knee stretching.

Weight: 189 before.

Two photos: one of the arena, one of the Iowa State capitol.

4 men’s games tomorrow (2 sessions), 2 women’s games on Friday in Iowa City.

Bradley plays Michigan State in game 2 of the first of two sessions tomorrow, and is an 18.5 point underdog. But there is a reason they play the game. Go Braves!

I am the one on the left.

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Kaboom and me.

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March 21, 2019 Posted by | basketball, travel, walking, weight training, yoga | , | Leave a comment

Impending trip: Spring Break

I do have things to say; I’ve thought about stuff.

But in terms of politics: sigh. Seriously, I see us losing the 2020 Presidential election; it is almost as if the rabid wing of our party is doubling down on what failed in 2016. Yes, Trump is a bold liar:

On its release last week, President Trump’s $4.7 trillion 2020 budget was pronounced dead on arrival, and was quickly lost in the cacophony of his presidency. The New York Times suggested it provides a “declaration of Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign priorities.” In fact, its pages include not only the president’s campaign rhetoric but also an accounting of his actual values and priorities that reveal the scope of his betrayal of the working men and women who voted him into office. This is not “A Budget for a Better America,” as its title reads. It is a budget for a bitter betrayal.

The first page of the president’s budget message promises to “protect future generations from Washington’s habitual deficit spending.” But tax cuts for the rich and corporations, not deficits, remain the president’s priority. Even with its laughably rosy economic projections, the budget projects trillion-dollar annual deficits for the next four years, while doubling down on the president’s tax-cut folly, calling for making them permanent.

Yet the deficits do provide the excuse for across-the-board cuts in domestic programs. Here, too, working people, their families, individuals with disabilities, and the most vulnerable of the elderly take the biggest hits. The president, once more, calls for ending the Affordable Care Act, reversing the expansion of Medicaid, and turning the latter into a block grant to states, capped at a level that does not keep up with rising costs. […]

And yes, Trump plans to cut Social Security and Medicare..stuff he pledged not to do.

Well…now, ok, I know, Trump’s budget is dead on arrival in Congress. But why do I think he will get away with it?

Well look at the stuff leading Democrats are running on: reparations for slavery. Now, I know, that is not the sole platform, but it sure appears that the Democratic candidates are trying to “out woke” each other (at least those polling at above 10 percent) and, well, I sure hope that the Democrat nominee does more than say “don’t you see what a racist/sexist/misogynist Trump is?” That works on liberal twitter and perhaps in college faculty lounges..but I doubt that will work anywhere else.

Yes, I know; this is Godfrey Elfwick, a satirical character. But this sure *sounds* like what I’ve seen:

So if it didn’t work last time..well. yell louder and double down.

Joe Biden looks as if he will run. That might clear out much of the field, leaving Bernie Sanders and perhaps 1-2 legitimate contenders. I sure hope this isn’t a Biden-Abrams ticket; I do not see Stacey Abrams as a fit representative of our party.

I’ve also had things to say about the Rep. Omar/criticism of AIPAC fiasco…let’s just say that it is ok to question money in politics and it is ok to question the relationship of the United States to its allies, and one should not have to walk on egg shells to do so.

The positive: It looks as if I have an interesting second half of spring break: NCAA basketball featuring Bradley vs. Michigan State (along with 3 other entertaining games: Louisville vs. Minnesota, Michigan vs. Montana and Nevada vs. Florida. Ironically, I have better tickets for the second session as those tickets aren’t as in demand as the first all of the first session teams are driving distance away. And on Friday: I have tickets for the Iowa women’s subregional: Iowa vs. Mercer, Drake vs. Missouri.

On Saturday: the first spandex chase since last November. Am I in better shape now?

Math stuff: a professor I once TA’ed for won the Abel Prize (sort of like a Nobel Prize for mathematics) and I spent time writing this up.

Workout notes: slow 10.5 mile walk (River trail, Glen Oak park hill, Forrest Hill, etc.) 3:01 (good weather, just slow
Monday: weights (planks, rotator cuff, pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 1 of 5) bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 8 x 165, military: 15 x 50 seated, supported (could not get standing), 10 x 45, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer, headstand, plank, did some other practice (wall handstand), light squats: 6 x 25, 35, 50 goblet, go all the way down, knee stretches (down to 4 lb. uncomfortable..heel sit), 3+ walk outside.

Today: yoga with Ms. V, 7 mile Glen Oak/Springdale hill run in 1:24 (freezing); 1 minute faster than a week ago, 3 minutes slower than Thursday. Felt stiff and awkward.

March 20, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Democrats, politics, politics/social, running, walking, weight training, yoga | , , | Leave a comment

When a loved one screws up

This has been embarrassing on several levels.

First, this.

And now, this.

Yes, the ad was corrected and yes, the athletic department apologized.

But man…talk about unforced errors.

Workout notes: today, 39 F and sunny, so I did 5 miles in 59 minutes (Cornstalk course) charging up the hills and walk/jog recoveries; I’ve done this workout before. This was 6 “harder segments” in total (5 uphill, one from the hill to the bridge on Parkside.) It felt good though I wonder if I was too timid on the hills.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | education, running | | Leave a comment

Bradley’s Missouri Valley Tournament Championship

Ok, first things first: I did see one of Bradley’s 3 MVC tournament games in person. I watched Friday’s game on TV (after my classes) and had a “pizza and watch” party with Tracy for today’s game. Yesterday, I drove to St. Louis to watch Bradley beat Loyola and then watch Northern Iowa escape a gritty, depleted Drake team. Yes, I cheered for Drake as I thought they’d be an easier “out”, given how many of the good players they are missing.

But prior to driving to St. Louis yesterday, I jogged an easy 6 miles (ok, 6.3, or just over 10K) before the rain hit; I used the Cornstalk 5.1 plus a 1.25 loop.
Today, I walked more or less the same course, using the 1.4 hill loop instead of the lower 1.25 lower loop (6 uphills on Saturday, 7 today). Weather was glorious; high 30’s and sun! My calves are a bit sore though.

Now, here is what I said a week PRIOR to the tournament. I looked at the “recent” Sagarin ratings..and noted that no team stood out..though the best two were..yes, UNI and Bradley. But we were talking about margin of error differences between the teams and thought that the top 6 teams had roughly equal chances:

The games: well, today saw Bradley trail 27-15 and then fall down by 18 points looked terrible. BU only shot 22 percent in the first half. The second half appeared to get worse; UNI lead 35-17 with 17 minutes left in the game. But..somehow…BU regained composure and rallied to cut the lead to 38-34 and it was mostly 3-6 point leads after that..BU actually took a 49-48 lead with just under 3 minutes to go. A key play: it was 50-49 when a BU small forward was fouled on a shot..and after the play was dead, he caught an elbow to the head which was ruled a “flagrant 1 foul”. So that lead to 4 free throws…ALL MADE…then possession which Bradley scored on. That put BU up 55-50 with 90 seconds to go. UNI rallied to cut the lead 55-54 but couldn’t convert; BU sealed it with 2 more free throws with 2.4 seconds left in the game. BU outscored UNI 42-27 in the second half.

Now I am hoping that BU gets in the Columbus or Des Moines sub regional…or..not hoping they are in the first 4, but if they are, those are in Dayton. If any of those happen: ROAD TRIP.

But first, BU had to get past defending champion Loyola, which they did, in style.

Ok, it was 53-51, which was the score with 1 minute to go…in this case, BU used their 3 fouls go give to slow down the Rambler attack. BU’s 6’th man lead the way with 19 points (5-8 from 3 point range). BU appeared to control the action with aggressive defense inside the paint, but Loyola got just enough outside shooting to stay in the game. It was a tough one.

In the second game, UNI and Drake went back and forth which lead to an exciting final minute. Basically UNI had a 2 point lead with 12 seconds to go, Drake tied it at 58 with 8 seconds, and UNI hit a basket with 2 seconds to win 60-58. I was limp from the Bradley game and still found myself yelling during this one…a great game where a gritty, injury depleted Drake game gave its all against a tough, hard working UNI team. Great basketball game.

Bradley had a contingent at the Loyola game:

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Bradley is well represented.

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This seat was similar to our Carver seats.

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5-4 Loyola early.

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Down to the wire:

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I am too old for this.

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I moved to the Loyola section for the second game.

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Northern Iowa vs. Drake. Winner plays Bradley.

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And I was treated to a “bonus thriller.”

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Another good game!

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March 11, 2019 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking | | Leave a comment

I’m working this evening

because I took the afternoon off to watch Bradley Basketball advance to the semi-final round of the MVC tournament. It was an exciting game; BU trailed 29-22 at the half but Missouri State hit some tough to lucky shots.

But eventually took the lead about half way to go and then held on for a wild ride. BU lead 58-52 with 1:30 left. But eventually the Bears cut it to 58-56 and stole the ball on an inbound pass with 13 seconds to go but missed a long 3; BU got the rebound and got fouled. 60-56 when BU hit 2 free throws; Mo. St. got to 60-58 with 2 seconds but had to foul; BU hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1.4 seconds left and the desperation heave failed.

So…off to St. Louis for me for the two games tomorrow (I’ll say for both) and then return. I have some work to do on Sunday, should Bradley whip Loyola. Right now, Drake is pounding Illinois State but it is early and Southern Illinois plays UNI tonight.

Workout notes: morning; weights with a 2 mile warm up intensity run, followed by light squats (25, 35) and knee stretches; managed to work to the 4 lb. medicine ball (uncomfortable).

Rotator cuff, pull ups (5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10, 5), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, decline: 8 x 165. military: 6 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 45 standing: rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, 10 x 125 machine.

planks, headstand (2:30 front plank, as usual), then the knee stretches.

I use either 2 yoga blocks stacked in the manner shown (photo from here), or a medicine ball (hard rubber one); 8-10 lb. is getting comfortable; 4 lb. is uncomfortable though I can “touch”.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, weight training | , | Leave a comment

My quest to be more like Kellyanne and other topics

Workouts and basketball in this post.

Basketball: the Bradley women beat Valpo on Thursday night.

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Was it something I said?😂🤣

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The Bradley defense was not good at first; Valpo at 15 points in the first 5 minutes, and lead 47-44 at the half; they were 8 of 16 from 3 point range. But in the second half, BU switched to a press defense to wear them down and Valpo ended up 13 of 34 from 3 point range. BU ended up winning 87-76. It was a nice adjustment. BU also shot 27-31 from the free throw line; that was huge.

Now the women are at 19 wins with Loyola at home today, followed by 2 tough road games (at UNI who is no. 3 in the MVC and at league leading Drake). But BU is at 9-6 and is guaranteed to avoid the “play in” round of the MVC tournament and can finish as high as 4’th. A win puts BU at 20 wins and guarantees a winning MVC season..a big improvement over recent years.


Friday: 4.2 miles in just under 1 hour (walking)

Today: weights followed by a run and walk:

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10, then one ending set of 5 after other exercises
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 185, 3 x 185, 5 x 170. Decline: 10 x 165
military: 7 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing 10 x 40 standing, 8 x 140 machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
machine incline: 10 x 140 machine
planks, knee stretches, light squats

run: 11 minute mile on the treadmill.
16 laps lane 2 in 17:37 (9:09, 8:27)
8 laps walking in lane 1 (tired)

This was an effort. I sweated off 3.2 lbs.
weight (prior) 192.5 (usual 194 with shoes and shorts/shirt, then deduct 2.5)

No motivation. I am getting miles and lifting and doing yoga. But this is directionless working out.

President Donald Trump, right, meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Also at the meeting are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on the couch. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

I did a lot of knee stretching (and planks) and did 30 seconds on the medium medicine ball..20 on the small 4 lb. green and white medicine ball. THAT is progress, however pathetic.

I want to be able to kneel like Kellyanne Conway. Currently, I need a prop under my butt (2 yoga blocks, 4 books, or a medicine ball). I have made progress.

March 2, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

another workout catch up

Here I go:
Tuesday: yoga, then 6 miles of running on the treadmill. 32:24 for 3 miles (5.3-5.7 froggy), slow mile (5.1-5.2 to 43:30 for 4), then 6.7-6.8 mile (8:54) for 52:24; walk jog to get to 6 in 1:08.
Wednesday: somewhat empty weight room: rotator cuff, planks, etc. pull ups: 10, 10, 10, 10, 5, 5, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (ugly), 10 x 135 incline, military: 3 sets of 10 with dumbbells: 45, 45, 40, rows: machine (110 for 3 sets of 10)
walk outside (3.2 miles W. Peoria)
Thursday (today): yoga, then 3 two mile runs: 22:20 treadmill, 16 laps of lane 3 (2.13) in 19:38 (10:00, 9:37), 24:10 walk/jog on the mill.

Note: I’ve worked on my knees; I am down to sitting on either 2 yoga blocks (easy) OR the medium orange and black medicine ball (8 lb.) It is getting better but I’ve got a long way to go.

Last night: Bradley defeated Valpo 67-42. BU started “all seniors” which included a walk on and a guy who does not play much; and they played Valpo to an 11-11 tie. BU lead by 9 at the half and it was never competitive in the second half.

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Not much drama in this one.

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Now the Missouri Valley is a mess: two teams (Loyola and Drake) tied at 11-6, Missouri State at 10-7 and four teams tied at 9-8 (Bradley, Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Illinois State (one of those teams will “play in” on Thursday night). Of the 6 teams that don’t play on Thursday night: any of them could win..there really is no favorite. So Bradley’s chances are as good as anyone else’s.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Two great games: Bradley over Evansville and Illinois State over Drake

The transitive property does not apply in sports. In Missouri Valley Conference basketball: Drake swept Bradley ..and blew Bradley out by 17 points at Bradley. Illinois State swept Drake, and blew Drake out at Drake. And Bradley swept Illinois State, winning easily at home and reasonably comfortably at Illinois State.

Go figure.

About Bradley: Bradley completed its sweep of Evansville winning 63-61 when Evansville’s shot off of a rebounded intentionally missed free throw came a bit too late. BU lead 40-28 in the second half and built the lead to 8 with 3:20 to go but pulled to within 1 point at 61-60 with 29 seconds to go. BU hit some big free throws down the stretch…but Evansville’s defense kept them in it the whole way.

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Evansville at Bradley.

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Down to the wire.

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About Illinois State: ISU completed its sweep of Drake with a thrilling 67-60 win that was only 61-59 with 19 seconds to go. ISU had built up a 13 point lead in the first half and lead by 9 at half time. Drake had missed ALL of their 3 point shots and didn’t shoot well from the free throw line, at all. But in the second half, Drake took the lead with just over 5 minutes to go, but ISU kept their composure.
Drake shot 50 percent from the free throw line, as opposed to 86 percent against Bradley..and that was a huge difference.

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Senior day. Drake at Illinois State.

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Evidently there is not much student support for basketball; there were almost more students on the floor (cheerleaders, dance team, players) than in the student section.

Note: with 2 conference games to go, there are 3 teams tied for first with 10-6 records (Loyola, Drake, Missouri State), Northern Iowa in 4’th by themselves (9-7), and 3 teams tied for 5’th at 8-8: Illinois State, Bradley, Southern Illinois. Much could happen in those final 2 games and the tournament: anyone’s guess. No clear favorite.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

catching up again

Wednesday: light weights (10 x 135 incline, 9 x 165 decline, usual 4 sets of 10 pull ups, 3 sets of 5, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm, planks, etc. then 3 mile “froggy” walk on the treadmill (39:50)

Thursday: 5 mile run, 2 mile walk on treadmill after Ms. V. run was 55:24 on the track (5.3 miles; lane 3 40 laps) 11:58, 11:12, 11:08, 10:52, 10:13), then 2 mile hill walk.

Friday: 4 mile walk (lower Bradley park, some snow covered stretches..but mostly good footing)

I’ve also done my “sit on my heels” stretching. I can sit down to 2 yoga blocks or 4 large books.

Weight: 190.0

Caught a great basketball game tonight; the women completed their sweep of Illinois State 75-65. BU built a small lead in the second quarter only to see it end at 28-28 (half); shooting was terrible (26 percent) but free throws kept BU in the game. BU built up a 16 point lead in the 4’th only to see Illinois State roar back to within 7 with 4:25 to go but could get no closer.

February 23, 2019 Posted by | basketball, running, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment