Now about MY vacation (February-March 2018)

I do this from time to time when my wife leaves on her 3-4 week trips (winter 2016, summer 2017)

So, I’ll do it this time too. I have more to say about my mental state; it is a bit funky, I think due to being unable to do long workouts (running/walking or swimming; more on that in the next post).

11 Feb. (Sunday) partner yoga with VC
13 Feb. partner yoga with VC plus dinner
14 Feb. dinner and BB game with VC
16 Feb. dinner with AG
17 Feb. dinner with TH
18 Feb. BB solo
19 Feb. Dem Dinner with MT
23 Feb. dinner with AG
24 Feb. dinner and BB with TH
25 Feb. partner yoga and lunch with VC
1 Mar. drinks with LD, VC and LK
2 Mar. dinner and concert with VC
3 Mar. bball with VC and sister

Now about today’s Bradley game: ISU overpowered Bradley 53-41 though BU lead at the half. When ISU made their run in the second half, BU repeatedly turned the ball over and fell apart.
Bradley won by 20 in the first meeting, but the teams have done in different directions since then; BU lost 12 of their final 15 games (all in conference) after winning their first 3 conference games on the road.

The men came back valiantly but lost to Loyola in St. Louis (and Illinois State won in overtime vs. Southern; I’ll be cheering for them tomorrow).

It is hard to win when you only score 41 (that was the final total)

Vickie and her sister Linda went to the game with me; it was FUN.

It was senior day; wish they could have been sent out with a win. But there is the tournament and ..well..if only our team could develop the confidence to not fall apart the first time the opposition makes a run and makes few shots. They *should* win their opener. Should. But then…

March 4, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , | Leave a comment

Get the Led Out..and the lead out too.

I got home later than usual; Ms. Vickie took me to a Led Zeppelin tribute band concert. It was fun. But I do have a few tasks to do this weekend and I want to work out this morning (some mixture of swimming, lifting and stationary cycling..2 of the 3 would be good)

The campus has a 5K but my foot is not in shape to do it. 3-4 more weeks…

Bradley Basketball (men) had their first “conference quaterfinal” victory since 2010, scoring on a rebound with 1.5 seconds left to beat nemesis Drake. Now, Bradley has defeated every Missouri Valley Conference team it has faced at least once, though it took 3 tries to get it done vs. Drake.

I listened to the game on the radio as I worked in my office.

Today the Bradley women’s team hosts Illinois State; Ms. Vickie *might* go to that with me (she is an Illinois State graduate).

Heel progress: oh-so-slightly sore,; my guess it is from the 4 mile walk yesterday.

We ate early last night; I took Ms. V. on a mini campus tour. This is outside my office.

At the concert…

Micheala got this one of me in our box.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , , , | Leave a comment

Tough weekend for Bradley Basketball (so far)

Last night: I had dinner with a dear friend and drove home to catch most of the second half of Bradley at Drake in women’s basketball. Though Drake is going through their second season of being undefeated in league play, Bradley fought hard and lead until the middle of the 4’th quarter or so. They went down 77-71 but played valiantly.

Today, I took Tracy to the Indiana State at Bradley game. Indiana State, lead by a 45-29 rebounding advantage (17 on offense, and a 16-8 edge in second chance points), lead most of the way, though BU took brief leads in the second half. And it WAS tied until a 15 seconds to go or so when ISU scored on..what else, a put back off of a missed shot.

That made it 66-64, which is how it ended. Bradley faces Drake on Friday at 2:30; Drake is the only MVC team that BU hasn’t defeated at least once. Conference record: 9-9, 5’th out of 10..and that is a MAJOR step up from where BU was over the past several years. ISU seemed to want is just a bit more; if they won they would not have to play in the Thursday night “play in” game, whereas BU had either 4’th or 5’th wrapped up.

Still, it was an exciting game and Tracy was fun company, as usual.

Two shots of the high drama. 7800 of the season.

Good Middle Eastern food afterwards.

February 25, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , | Leave a comment

Gray day…

We have an unusually warm day for February and hence, rain instead of a blizzard. So..that is a bit of a mixed bag.

Bradley Basketball:

The men’s team lead Valparaiso by 10 late in the first half when Valpo started to attack the basket. BU’s defense didn’t adjust, but the offence kept them in the game for most of it; Valpo got the lead with 7 minutes to go but BU rallied and lead by 4 with 5:56 left to go.
The next 4:30 or so saw Valpo go on a 21-0 run to lead 77-60 and they won going away 77-64.

That was on the road.

Next day: went to see the women host Indiana State: the women have won 6 conference games, all against the bottom 4 teams in the conference (4 against Evansville and Valpo). BU lost by 15 at ISU-blue.

So, Bradley raced out to a 31-16 lead early; ISU had open 3 point looks but missed.
They stopped missing in the second half and BU fell apart and trailed in the 4’th quarter. BU still pulled to 71-70 with 18 seconds left but ended up losing 74-70. ISU is no. 4 in the MVC right now. BU is now 6-9 in MVC play but still has a home game against Illinois State, a team that they beat by 20. BUT…that was some time ago; ISU-red has improved.

Workout notes
It was weird..I slept a long time last night…too much?

usual pt
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 …not as peppy as I’d hoped but I got them problems.
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 4 x 185 (not my best, not nearly my worst though)
incline: 10 x 140 (ok)
military: barbell: 8 x 95, 10 x 85 (good), 10 x 90 (each arm) machine
rows: 10 x 110 3-sets (machine)
goblet squats: 10 x 53, 10 x 62 (to the window sill)
abs: 2 sets of twist crunches (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10), moving bridge (10)
headstand: ok..a bit frantic getting into it but I calmed down
side planks, 2 minute front plank (that went well?)
bike: 35:27 for 10 miles (about 1 minute slower than last Wednesday)

heel: some whining …

I just feel a bit..well, not quite light-headed but not quite right either.

February 19, 2018 Posted by | basketball, bicycling, Peoria/local, weight training | , | Leave a comment

A remarkable first week and basketball game

Once again, Barbara has gone on a lengthy winter trip; if memory serves she has done this since 2015. It isn’t a bad time to go as she gets to miss 2-4 weeks of the Illinois winter and one of the more hectic parts of my academic year.

And interestingly enough, instead of being mostly alone, I’ve been more social than normal. Yes, I am dealing with a heel injury, but I’ve also returned to swimming; a long lost friend. I am also getting more into yoga; last Tuesday I had a double class (yoga for the back, then partner yoga) followed by dinner with my teacher.

Then came Valentine’s day.

Ok, that wasn’t exactly true this year. Yes, it was a couple of days after some snow:

Then I went out to dinner (ok, burgers and fries) with my yoga teacher and then to the Bradley vs. Illinois State basketball game. Ms. V. is an ISU alum and I took her to that game last year, where Bradley got blown out.

This year, Bradley is improved and ISU had one starter out and one hobbled with a sore knee. Therefore, Bradley held ISU scoreless for about the first 6:30 of the game and, built the lead to 16 points. ISU fought back gamely but Bradley won 70-58.

Ms. V. wore her ISU shirt with pride…but as the game wore on, she threatened to make me walk home. 🙂

Early action.

This was Bradley’s second best crowd (7700 or so) for the season; but this wasn’t the sell out that this game used to be. Then again, ISU won the previous 8 games in this series so..maybe this might become a genuine rivalry again?

Two days later (Friday): I went to dinner with a dear friend. Afterward, I went to catch the second half of the Bradley women’s game vs. Evansville. The first game (at Evansville) saw BU build up a 60 point lead (not a misprint) and coast to a 117-59 win.

When I turned on the radio…Evansville was a head and lead 31-30 at the half!

In the second half, Bradley upped the defensive pressure. Still, the first 4 minutes of the second half were very competitive. But eventually the short handed Evansville team wilted under the pressure and BU went on a 25-2 run, getting open looks at 3’s, uncontested lay ups, steals etc.

BU outscored the Aces 42-14 in the 3’rd quarter (10 minutes). The Braves emptied their bench in the 4’th but still outscored EU 20-2 in the final quarter (EU was running on fumes).

I was happy for Bradley but I also remember Evansville having a competent women’s team last year. This year has been a nightmare of injuries for them. Oh well; Bradley (both the men and women) had to fight through such adversity in previous seasons.

Today and tomorrow: dinner with Tracy tonight; then tomorrow more partner yoga and lunch with Ms. V.
Somewhere I should get some work done, I suppose. 🙂

February 17, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, Personal Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball weekend: 1 out of 3

Well, Bradley started out well on Friday night. The women hosted Valparaiso and raced to a 35-14 half time lead, holding Valpo to 16 percent shooting. The second half was a different story; Valpo cut the lead to 6 points before Bradley won 69-58. That was a sign of things to come. But that completed the season sweep..a very good thing.

Next, the men, overconfident off of a hard fought home win against Loyola, hosted Drake. Drake had won a hard fought 66-64 game at home in the first meeting. The second game appeared to be on its way to being a good one; it was 36-33 at the half. But Drake kept knocking down big shots outside (41 percent from 3 point range; 47 percent overall) and their star guard lit us up for 32. Though Bradley closed to 3 points at times, Drake answered every won and won going away 78-68. Bradley shot 37 percent overall and 19 percent from 3 point range; when BU doesn’t hit its 3’s it isn’t a good team. We just don’t have the balance to overcome a bad shooting night.

Then this afternoon, the women hosted Loyola. It was close at the half 29-26, though Bradley shot poorly, shooting 34 percent overall, and 26 from 3 point range for the game. And yes, Loyola played good defense. Loyola pushed the lead to 58-38 before Bradley rallied to cut it to 7 with 2 minutes to go. But BU gave up many key rebounds and turned the ball over and Loyola won 71-61.

Well, I can say this: I’ve gotten used to BU winning its home games; weekends like this one USED TO BE the norm. No longer.

Note: the men drew 7800 or so, which is the best crowd in a while.

February 4, 2018 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

Mixed weekend for Bradley Basketball…

Ok, the women had a tough weekend. After an incredible 117-58 win against an overmatched Evansville team on the road (EU had not lost this badly to anyone until this game..then got bombed by Valpo)…The Braves struggled badly on offense in a 51-40 loss to Northern Iowa at home. The first quarter score was 12-6 and at the half it was only 26-20. Though BU’s defense was good, Northern Iowa’s was smothering.

Then on Sunday, BU hosted the best team in the MVC: Drake. And Drake’s lead was up to 19 points in the second quarter and 15 at the half.

But BU fought back valiantly and cut the lead to 3 with 6 minutes to go in the game. It was to end 84-75 though; BU was in a position where they had to play perfectly in order to win, and that is a bad position to be in.

The reason I said it was “mixed”: the Bradley men won at Indiana State 81-73, its first MVC road win on the season. That was huge. ISU-blue is not a great team, but the did blow out ISU-red by 30 a week ago or so.

Of course, shooting 61 percent from 3 point range..that really help (and will not happen often).

January 28, 2018 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

Bradley’s good weekend vs. Evansville

Yes, it ended well; in fact BU raced to an early 14-2 lead..let the lead diminish, opened it to 10 at the half, let Evansville back, then pulled away at the end.

Every Evansville rally was stopped; BU played great defense (6 blocked shots) and spread the ball around on offense..and actually hit some open shots.

The Jesse White Tumblers performed at halftime and they are always excellent.

Then, today, the women went to Evansville and raced out 27-0 lead and lead 40-7 early. It was 62-26 at the half and the lead eventually extended to…60 points (not a misprint) and it ended 117-59. I watched the game from the second quarter on ESPN3 and could not turn away. And yes, BU played everyone, early. It was just one of those days where Evansville did nothing right and Bradley did nothing wrong.

January 22, 2018 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

Cold walk; hot shooting (for a half)

It was 9 F when I started, 17 F when I finished with icicles in my beard.

It was an 11 mile plus route in 3:14; W. Peoria to Bradley Park (two excursions to the portopotty) and 2 out and backs; then one mile back home. I’d guess a 16:30 mpm pace average. It was cold but clear and I was bundled up.

Then we watched the women scrap but lose to Missouri State 71-65; Bradley had the lead at the half and held brief leads in the second half. But what kept BU in the game was torrid first half shooting (50 percent overall, 50 percent from 3); there was a balance of 3 point shooting and slashing drives for lay ups.

But overall, it appeared to me that Missouri State had a bit more depth. BU had started out conference play 3-0 (all on the road) and lost to Southern Illinois (who lost to Illinois State today…and Bradley beat ISU) and Missouri State at home.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | basketball, walking | , | Leave a comment

20 pence “I cannot feel my face” run

Last night: the Bradley women’s team lost to Southern Illinois 63-62, though Bradley did rally from being down 30-15 in the second quarter to take the lead a couple of times, late in the game.

Early on, it appeared that SIU was outworking Bradley and that situation reversed itself. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start. And to be fair, while BU had won its first three MVC games (all on the road), SIU brought in a 3-1 conference record, with only a loss to a strong Drake team; they had wins over Northern Iowa and Indiana State. So this was a step up in conference competition for the team and BU almost measured up! Almost.

Like the men (who got crushed 81-65 at a game that was even worse than the score might suggest), the women are not a top 2-3 MVC team. BUT, they are a respectable “middle of the pack” team which is a step up from where they once were; they have a serious chance of having a winning conference record. There is very visible progress.

About the title of the post
I slept in too late and did not start my “run” until 10 am. It was a slow 1:21 shuffle/slog in 10 F temperatures; sunny day, clear roads. Course: Bradley Park 5.1 plus an extra “upper to lower” hill, plus an extra segment on Bradley Ave.

I had a sweat icicle hanging from my beard:

And near the top of Bradley Park, I found a British 20 pence piece.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | basketball, running | , | Leave a comment