Inching my way back

Not 100 percent. Weight: just under 183.0 after swimming.

Weights: rotator cuff,
pull ups (5 sets of 10: weak first and last set)
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (weak), 7 x 170 (weak)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: standing, 8 x 85, 7 x 85, dumbbell: 10 x 40
rows (machine): 3 sets of 10 x 110
abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 2 sets of 10 yoga leg lifts, headstand (surprisingly easy)

swim: 500 (held off Jason)
5 x 100 drill/swim (fins)
4 x 100 (fly, free, back, free)
4 x 100 (alt 100 pull, 100 free)
1800 = 1 mile.

Early day.

Yes, I missed the Republican debate; attacks on Donald Trump appear to be ineffective.
I did watch Bradley go down fighting during the first play-in game vs. Loyola. I think that next season will be much, much better. Good kids and some talent; I am already looking forward to next season.

Great advice, but right now, I am not there. Not even close. My usual reaction is “I don’t do THAT to (person X); why do they do this to me?” But this gives a great personal goal; maybe I can get there someday.


March 4, 2016 Posted by | swimming, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Paradox of time dilation (metaphorical, if you please)

On one hand, 2016 is just blowing by. It seems as if only yesterday I was watching the New Years Day Bowl games. Now the Bradley Basketball home seasons are over…just like that! Where has the time gone?

On the other hand, I looked at my Valentine’s Day post and, while that was made on the 14’th of February, that seems like last year (as in, February 2015). I think that I know what is going on; it is a lot of things, including this head cold which is clearing up nicely.

It is just bizarre.

February 24, 2016 Posted by | Personal Issues | , , | Leave a comment

Aging and endurance sports: the difference in photos (personal and trivial)

early 1980-1982

My first public race (10 miles in 1:21, August 1980), my first marathon (3:33, December 1980), my only sub 40 10K (39:50 in 1982), and my “out of shape 4:24” marathon in October 1983. I transitioned from “mostly lifting” to “mostly running”. I was never fast though.


My trip to morbid obesity: 225 in 1985, 250 in 1987 and then to 300 in 1991..then at 320 in early 1992. One thing I did right: I kept working out and during this phase I could bench press 300 pounds (best was 300 at a bodyweight of 226; I got 310 but weighed more) I did exactly ONE 5K during this time (23:00 at 230 lbs in 1985)


My transition away from morbid obesity: 1995 (early; back down to 220) and 1996 at 190 or so. I picked up running again and ran a 23:15 5K in basketball shoes. I actually teared up when I finished.


My second running phase: 1997-2001. You see the Quad Cities marathon in 1998, the Prostate 5K in 1999, Lone Star 10K in 2000, and Lake Geneva Marathon in 2001. (my last “good” one: 3:40). I had a couple of sub 20 5Ks, a couple of sub 42 10Ks and 4 sub 1:40 half marathons; best marathon was 3:38. Though these are not “real runner” times, these were the last running times I felt good about.


Utramarathon walking phase. You are seeing a couple of judged racewalks 2003, 2004, a running 15K in 2005, and a 24 hour (83 mile walk) in 2006. I finished 3 of my 4 100’s during this phase, and had 3 more 81-88 mile 24 hour performances. I did some judged racewalking to help out my ultra walking.


Limbo: mostly I battled a torn meniscus and a damaged rotator cuff during this phase: 2007, (5K walk, taking on a runner), 2009 (last sub 5:30 walking marathon), main street mile (disaster) in 2011. 2011 was probably my low point; I was recovering from both the knee problems and the shoulder problem, hence I could neither lift, swim, run nor walk fast for a long time. It showed. But I did get my PR in the 5K swim (1:36 open water, 1:34) in 2009 and 2010, before things really went south.


2012-2015: where I am now. I can’t really train for anything but I participate a lot. I did run a couple of 24:xx 5ks in 2014 when I was training to try to break 7 minutes for the mile (and I failed the latter); I had one token “marathon or longer” finish each year. All my long performances were very poor.

July 7, 2015 Posted by | running, swimming, ultra, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

A moving post by a terminally ill man

WisePiper at Daily Kos is terminally ill with cancer. He lives in a state that allows for physician assisted suicide and has planned a farewell party for him and his friends. This is one of the most moving posts I have ever read; I teared up upon reading it.

June 3, 2015 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment

more later…maybe much more? :-)

Workout notes
Riverplex. Weight: 182.0 before

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (4 sets of 10 then one more set of 10 after bench pressing); rotator cuff recoveries.

bench press: 10 x 135, 4 x 180 (better), 10 x 160

Note: I once thought that the Riverplex benches were different or something; then I realized that I almost always lifted at the RP AFTER a 5K (or longer) race; that accounted for the weakness.

military press: 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbells (standing), 10 x 85 standing (barbell)

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 70 machine (45 + 25)

Then to the treadmill (rainy outside); 10 minutes slow then 6.7 to 1, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1 then at mile 2, I had to back off a few seconds and then resume at 6.7-6.8, then up again to finish at 7.1. Time: 28:21 for 3 miles, 29:11 for 5K; then walking to get to 3.25
Then 6 more laps around the track.

Yep; that is it; I’ve had a very easy week and an even easier few days coming up.

Uplifting: reception for Cheri Bustos at Colleen Callahan’s place (and her husband). Barbara was one of the “official” hosts.

Yes, she is more conservative than I am. But I don’t go by “policy only”; I also look for political skill. I have no use for someone who agrees with me on most (all?) positions but can’t get any bills passed or any policy enacted.

That is one reason I am not supporting Senator Bernie Sanders even if I like his policy positions. I think that Secretary Clinton has more political skill and savvy.

Somber: memorial service for one of Barbara’s long time friends at the UU Church. Yes, he had a great life and a whole church (overflowing) with people. But his death is a genuine loss to the community.

May 30, 2015 Posted by | Cheri Bustos, IL-17, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

When ridicule works…

Today’s walk: well, it was shamefully slow (3:18 for a half marathon): I walked down to the river, past the Riverplex, around the Goose Loop, to the dam at the marina, then doubled back. When I got to the trail exit, I doubled back (1.5 each way) to add the miles. Day: sunny, chilly (just above freezing) and very windy; typical Illinois spring.

1. When I was coming back I saw two large buzzards land on a pole near the marina. I thought: “gee, I know that I am slow but do I look THAT bad?” Then I thought: “probably”.

2. I went out planning 10 miles, “maybe more if I felt better”. I didn’t feel bad but I could generate nothing in the way of speed. Then I thought: “you don’t feel that bad; why not make it 13 miles (21 km)?” I started to go through the list of excuses and then the thought came to mind: “do you want the “bling”? Don’t you want that car “mileage” sticker?” I laughed and when I got to the turn around to get the extra 3, I took it.

In other words, “if you think it is so easy…DO IT or STFU and GTFO!!!” I tell myself that a lot.


March 22, 2015 Posted by | walking | , | 4 Comments

Onward and bracing for the return of my wife.

Well, I got a call from my wife; she is “tired” from flying and will probably make Chicago O’Hare tonight. She has been on the road since February 1…actually in Southeast Asia.

So…yep…she’ll be back with expectations and demands (albeit minimal ones).

But as for me: I have the doubly whammy of a very cold winter (the sinusoidal jet stream is south of us and that frigid arctic air mass is parked right on top of us) and having one of those “please shoot me now” caliber viruses. Hey, I suppose it would have been worse; I was pretty much bedridden (not quite) on Sunday and was able to stumble through class yesterday. So classes and search committee stuff will take up time and energy tomorrow, but it won’t leave much for “Oh Sweetie, let me do X, Y, Z” for you.

So, in the long run, I’ll be glad that she is back, let’s just say that the reception I give her will be as dead as Sarah Palin’s presidential chances.

Virus log: somewhat better; the bottled stuff kept the coughing way down, but I had periods of chills and getting unreasonably hot. I still feel rundown and whipped; just not quite as awful as yesterday and nowhere near as bad as on Sunday.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | illness | , | Leave a comment

Hating your job and personal life…

There are a couple of articles about “day to day” life that I found interesting.

One of them is about parenting:

Sometime between when we were children and when we had children of our own, parenthood became a religion in America. As with many religions, complete unthinking devotion is required from its practitioners. Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring. Children always come first. We accept this premise so reflexively today that we forget that it was not always so.

In our recently published book, Sacred Cows, we took on our society’s nonsensical but deeply ingrained beliefs surrounding marriage and divorce. We often get asked whether we will next address the sacred cows of modern parenting, at which point we ask the speaker to please lower his voice, and we look nervously over our shoulders to make sure that nobody has overheard the question.
To understand the frightening power of the parenthood religion, one need look no further than the 2005 essay in The New York Times by Ayelet Waldman, where the author explained that she loved her husband more than her four children. On “Oprah Where Are They Now,” the author recently reaffirmed the sentiments reflected in her New York Times article, and she added that her outlook has had a positive impact on her children by giving them a sense of security in their parents’ relationship. Following the publication of her essay, Waldman was not only shouted down by America for being a bad mother; strangers threatened her physically and told her that they would report her to child protective services. This is not how a civil society conducts open-minded discourse. This is how a religion persecutes a heretic.

I recommend reading the rest of the article; I think that it is quite good. And let’s face facts: no matter how you slice it, the vast majority of kids are pretty average who will lead rather unremarkable, average lives. Aside from their own parents, few will see them as special. That is a statistical fact.

But the larger picture is the idea that we sometimes feel pressured to cave to social pressures to see our kids, our spouses, our groups and our lives in some sort of way. You see such pressures lampooned here:

Yes, MY daughter is special….TO ME (and her mom). MY wife is special…TO ME (and to perhaps her kids). But otherwise, they are in the thick of the bell curve, just like me. The idea: we are “slightly deluded in each other’s favor” but the key word is “deluded”.

So, my wife came back after 2.5 weeks. Sure, I missed her. But I’ll also miss having the freedom to do what I want…the weight loss that comes with my eating at home all of the time (food just isn’t important to me), using the dryer as a place to store clean clothes, etc.

In fact, when she got home at 2 in the morning, one of the first things she did was to…MAKE THE BED (prior to my going back to bed). Sigh….

I had a few things to tell her when she got home, but I didn’t want to bury her with my stories about work. But stories I have. Evidently, I am not alone. No, my job is not bad compared to others; the pay is low (relative to my educational level) but so are the hours and pressures; I work no where near the hours I worked in the Nuclear Navy, and no where near the hours that my corporate accountant friend works.

But the piling up of the BS does detract. Yes, I like to teach the students and work with them. I love to research and discover new mathematics. But, there are *always* times when some non-academics thinks that “professors should do x, y or z” decide to e-mail us with one request or another, or think that we should have to undergo “mandatory” training in this or that. Or, they might decide to “schedule a professor to meet with a family of a prospective student”, right during a time slot when….THE ENTIRE DEPARTMENT IS TEACHING CLASS. (how you do this: schedule an hour long 1:15 appointment slot which eliminates everyone teaching from 1-2 and 2-3, which is basically all of us).

Of course, they made these appointments without consulting “that squirrelly faculty”. 🙂

There are times when it feels like this:

October 3, 2014 Posted by | Personal Issues, social/political | , , , , | 1 Comment

July 28, 2014 in Peoria …

1. I was going to go outside to sit on the porch and work…but it is honestly too chilly to do so! It is a bit like September today; pity we didn’t have this on Saturday for the 5K race. Note: there is a brisk breeze.

2. My hips are sore; my guess this was from yesterday’s 18 mile walk in which I threw in some 1.5 to 2 mile “pick up the pace” segments. This means that I’ll probably have to add more walking in the next few weeks. I’ll probably have to move to 2 lifting days (say, Monday, Friday) but be able to swim 3 times (M, Th, F); Thursday’s swim (or Wednesday’s) can come after a walk.

3. I’ve watched more baseball than I have previously; Barbara and I made 3 games together and I made one on my own.

Now as far as research: I might have to make “away from the computer” time:

I did get another paper accepted this summer but I need to get a head start on my next idea before the fall admin BS sucks up all of my time.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | walking | , | Leave a comment

I lived through today….I had to be nice. :-)

Workout notes
Weights: pull ups: 2 sets of 15, 2 sets of 10.
Rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles.
Incline bench: 10 x 135, 10 x 140, 4 x 150
dumbbell military: 3 sets of 12 x 50
dumbbell upright row: 3 sets of 10 x 25
Hammer row (got tired): 2 sets of 10 x 210, 10 x 200
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
I did this all in 45 minutes. That took a toll.

Then swimming:
5 x 200 on the 4:10 (3:55 at first, then down to 3:45)
200 of drill/swim (fins)
4 x 50 of fist/free
200 of drill/swim (fins)
4 x 50 fly/back

Yeah, the young women continued to blow right past me. 😦

The day: 3 lectures, one hour long meeting with a prospective student and family, then meeting with a job candidate, attending the job talk, then a meeting (off campus) then dinner with the candidate.
That is a lot of “being nice” from me. I am not used to that. 🙂

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Personal Issues, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment