Progress: local, and non-linear

After having a few “I feel great” days, I had a more typical one. It happens. But the old injuries don’t hurt so that is good.

I was amused when I read about someone’s joy about getting stronger in running. Her feat, while not very good (she has done much better in the past), was an improvement from where she had been recently. And I “get” it; I really do.

So, I am someone who enjoys the workout posts, be they good (they uplift me) or bad (hey, I am not the only one who has a bad workout from time to time).

Workout notes: weights plus an easy 2 mile walk outdoors.
weights: usual PT
pull ups: 3 sets of 10, one 5-5, one 10 (not as good as Monday)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 180 (getting there; no pain in the left shoulder but still being oh-so-careful)
incline press: 10 x 140
military (standing, dumbbell) 10 x 50, 15 x 45, 20 x 40
Hammer rows: 10 x 200
usual abs; headstand was easy
The 2:30 plank: I reeeeally wanted to skip this one today. Really.

April 25, 2018 Posted by | walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

That’s what it feels like

Short note: doing pull ups felt easier than it has in months. Then I weighed after my weight workout: 195. Ah. Probably artificially low but what the hell.

easy walk afterward in chilly but lovely conditions.

usual pt, pull ups 15-15-10-10, bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 175, 7 x 170 (weak), military: 10 x 50, 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer.
usual abs; headstand was easier and plank (2:30) was hard. I really didn’t want to do it.

April 23, 2018 Posted by | walking, weight training | , | 3 Comments

Brrrbaseball and other trivial topics

The unusually wet, cold and snowy spring has played havoc with baseball schedules and kept fans away in droves.

But ironically, I got one free game out of all that: Wisconsin played the Chiefs this past weekend, but faced heavy snow at home.

So, some calls were made, and Wisconsin stayed in Peoria and “played host” to the Kane County Cougars. I couldn’t make today’s noon game but I did make yesterdays “clear but chilly” game.

It was a wonderful game; the Timberrattlers started strong and took a 4-1 lead; they hit a couple of home runs. But the Cougar relief pitching was strong and their bats woke up; Wisconsin also made some fielding errors. Kane County took the lead in the 8’th and held on. Still, the game was fun to watch.

It was even colder for tonight’s Western Illinois at Bradley game and there was some snow showers in the last hour. Western started quickly and scored 2 runs in the first inning; BU helped their cause with a walk and an error. But with bases loaded and 1 out, BU got a double play. Then BU promptly got 3 runs (first two batters got hits) and lead 3-2 after one inning; that inning took about 38 minutes to play.
From then on Bradley’s defense dominated and though the Braves came up empty when they had the bases loaded with no outs, they scored enough in the rest of the innings to win 9-2. BU had a bit of everything: bunts, a home run, extra base hits, etc.

I was impressed that Western had some fans; many (most?) of the BU fans took advantage of the “suite” seats that had an indoor section.

And yes, at the start, the snowflakes were very well defined.

Workout notes
The shoulder continues to improve.

Usual PT, pull ups: 2 sets of (5-5-5-5), 1 set of 10. Note: the 5-5-5-5 were a bit higher quality and burned in a good way.
bench: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, not much pain at all…very slow reps. 10 x 135 for the incline.
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 45 standing, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine. Rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. Usual abs; did the plank at first; everything else burned.

I didn’t want to run so I walked 5K outside, briskly.

April 19, 2018 Posted by | baseball, Peoria, Peoria/local, walking, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Peoria Chiefs win a rain/snow double header

Workout notes: yesterday, 8 mile walk (convoluted course); sort of damp. The weather was to get worse. Time: 2:17..easy pace; no heel pain at all.

This morning: walked through some crunchy “soft ice” to get to the gym. Weights plus a 2 mile hill walk on the treadmill.

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April 16?

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weights: usual pt, pull ups (5 sets of 10 done slowly), bench: 10 x 135, 7 x 160 pain free but cautious, 10 x 135 incline, military: standing dumbbell: 10 x 50, 15 x 45, 20 x 40. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine.
Usual abs (2:30 plank; headstand: had to focus).

walk: started at 3.8 mph worked up 1.0-5.0 every 3 minutes then stayed at 5; sped up to finish 29:38 for 2 miles. Was not into the bike at all.

Yesterday: snowy baseball. It was gray..drizzled, rained then snowed toward the end of the double header. So I sat for most of the fist game; walked around for the second game.

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Coffee! It took Carmen long enough to get it.

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It was snowing. Really.

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I wore: thermal underwear tops and bottom, rain pants over my regular pants, long sleeve, sweat shirt, vest, rain jacket and STILL got a little bit cold.

Oh the game: actually, an exciting double header. In the first the Chiefs took a 3-0 lead, getting back to back home runs in the 3’d. Wisconsin stormed back to tie it at 3 going into the final inning, but in the bottom of the 7’th the Chiefs scored off a bad throw on a ground ball (should have been an out, I think).

The second: the teams traded runs in the first, then the pitchers dominated. Still the Chiefs had their chances to take leads. They stranded two runners on base twice AND hit into a double play with the bases loaded and 1 out.

So it was 1-1 going into the bottom of the 7’th (and yes, it was snowing). The Timber Rattlers put in a relief pitcher who retired the first two batters, BUT both were long fly balls to center field where the center fielder made excellent plays. The third well hit ball fell for a single, then a double drove him home, ending the sweep.

They recorded attendance as 1340 in the box score, but there were maybe 40-50 people in the lower part..a few in the upper deck boxes..probably no more than 100.

But others have it worse. The Timber Rattlers are staying here and playing Kane County here on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (night game on Tuesday) and the weather should be decent. I’ll be working during the day games on Wednesday and Thursday.


April 16, 2018 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment

Not quite with it…here is what I think is going on…

I’ve felt off during my past 2 workouts.

This morning: 2200 yard swim, (2 km), 3 mile run, 2 mile walk (mostly outside). The run: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 for each mile but didn’t enjoy 5.4 mph, so I just stopped, walked .25 miles, then 1.75 miles outside in the wonderful weather.

The swim: 500 free, 250 of drill/swim (fins), 250 of fist/free, 5 x 100 IM (free in place of fly), 200 pull, 200 fins, 200 swim, 100 swim. 200.4 before, 198.8 after the swim.

Yesterday: weights plus 4 miles of walking (3 on the track was at 15:00 mpm). I had tried to run..but didn’t like it.

Weights: usual PT, usual abs afterward, 5-5-5, 5-5-5, 10, 10 pull ups (good), military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, (dumbbell), 20 x 40, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer. bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 155, 5 x 155 (careful and conservative to protect the shoulder), 2 sets of 10 x 140 Hammer incline press. The shoulder is healing.

Later: yoga; Vickie did more of a traditional class I remember.

I had told her that I thought she had “gotten soft”. 🙂

What is going on with me: for the past couple of days, I’ve felt achy..a bit tired but not extremely so. Digestion is not smooth. Old injuries hurt just a tiny bit.
I wonder if I have a mini-bug OR if Tuesday’s run was, well, tough for me. I remember doing a similar run on Thursday of last week and then struggling in Saturday’s run.

April 12, 2018 Posted by | running, swimming, walking, yoga | , , , | Leave a comment

Believing the worst about those you hate..

First in the news: yes, the FBI raided the office of one of Trump’s lawyers. No: you do not have attorney-client privilege if you are trying to use a lawyer to commit a crime or cover it up.

This is old news, but I saw this on a friend’s Facebook wall:

There are a couple of things wrong here. One: not all of us would consider one unkind mocking a disqualifying event “on the spot”, though, IF true, it is a bad thing. This isn’t the same level, but remember Obama apologizing for making that “Special Olympics” remark (about how bad of bowler he is)?

But, more importantly, there is quite a bit of evidence that Trump uses this mannerism to mock *everyone* he wants to mock.

So, I really believe he was just mocking a reporter.

Now if you want to say that mocking people in this manner isn’t “presidential” behavior, well, I might agree with you.

I think the lesson here is that I (and many others) really want to believe the worst about those we dislike. Therefore, I must approach all “did you see what Trump just did” stories with a bit of skepticism.

Note: I really do not believe that Trump will be removed from office; I see that as a very remote possibility. And it probably isn’t helpful for Democrats to run “on impeachment”..especially those who are running in Republican held states and Congressional Districts.

But I do think things like this MIGHT help us beat him when he runs for reelection.

Personal and workout stuff (TMI)

For the past couple of days, I have not felt “Right”; lower GI while, not bad, I ache more than normal (joints, old injuries) and last night, after yoga, my right knee was somewhat unstable (too much kneeling in class?) The stomach stuff: probably our campus tragedy …that really, really bothered me. It still does..I just felt dejected .

Yesterday: weights and bike. Weights: usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (slow), military press: 10 x 50, 10 x 50, 15 x 45 (all standing), rows: Hammer: 3 sets of 10 x 200. bench press: dumbbell: 2 sets of 10 x 40 (full motion). incline press: Hammer: 10 x 90, 10 x 140 (45 + 25). full ab set (2:30 plank). Then 34:40 for 10 miles on the bike. Evening: yoga.

Today: swim: 250 (slow, off), 250 (better), 5 x 25 fist, 25 free, 5 x 25 drill, 25 free (fins), 3 x (100 free, 100 pull), 4 x 100 modified IM (free instead of fly), 100 pull, 50 free, 50 side.
run: 10 min: 5.1, 5.2, 5 min: 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6..up to 44:50 (4 miles), then 6.1-6.4 (every .25 miles) for 54:32

Note: this morning, my heel hurt a bit..was fine on the run for the first 30-35 minutes, then “there” for “faster” (less glacial) paced running.

April 10, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, running, social/political, swimming, weight training, yoga | , , , , | Leave a comment


Ok, now I am working both my left..well, not quite shoulder but pectoral? and my left foot. Hmmm…

weights: I modified it a bit; usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10, NO SWINGING), standing dumbbell military: 15 x 40, 10 x 45, 10 x 50 (all ok), rows (Hammer) 3 sets of 10 x 200. Then I used the Hammer incline press machine for two sets of 10 x 90 (45 on each side), striving for slow, full range reps. Yep.the soreness is there and while it isn’t debilitating, it is enough to keep me from straining in that motion.

Did the usual abs, headstand, 2:30 bent elbow plank.

run/walk: 3 minute froggy 5.1-5.3, then up..11:25 first mile, 8:41 second mile, walk 15-15:30, then jog the final mile at 5.2-5.3 going up 1-2-3 in incline (last .5 at 3) to finish 4 in 46:50. Foot: ached the most during the walking phase, not much at all during the run.

I am a mess. 🙂

Later: fly to Mobile, Alabama. Fly back on Friday. It is only a seminar talk, but I am a bit nervous/anxious/excited. This is only my second “invited” talk to a math department (last one was in 1993) and I really don’t want to lay an egg.

What is different is that this is a non-specialist audience so I have to explain what is obvious to specialists (those who have looked at this stuff for years) while not being insulting by giving an undergraduate level talk.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | running, travel, walking, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Statistical Illiteracy

One of things I am most amused by are approval ratings polls. If you follow the social media of Trump haters (I do not approve of him as president), you’ll hear that his ratings are dropping..always dropping…

But Trump supporters will crow about his ratings…going up and you’ll even hear stuff like this from Trump himself:

Here is what they are linking to:

Yep, he popped above Obama …THIS POLL. Note how the TownHall screen shot managed to put that box right over the recent polls.

But what about those other polls?

Real Clear Politics polling average; (41.8 as of this writing) (40.6 approval as of this writing)

Trump vs. Obama in the Fivethirtyeight average

What is going on:

Even an average of polls shows some “fluctuation”; the polls go up and down with time, even when the trend is steady. This is due to randomness of sampling and perhaps some sample error. So, if in one poll, Trump is 38 in one poll and 40 in the next, his supporters say “Trump is gaining in the polls”. But then if he goes to 37 in the next one, Trump opponents cry “he is dropping like a rock!”

If you hang around Trump opponents, you hear only about the drops, and if you hang around supporters, he hear only about the gains.

Sam Wang got it right:

Reality: Trump is at about 41 percent approval (low for an economy in this shape) and there will be a few minor fluctuations in either direction that don’t mean much, if anything.

Workout notes; sore shoulder special swim: 250 free, 250 fins, 250 pull, 250 free, 250 free/back, 250 breast/free, 100 fins drill/swim, 100 free, 100 drill/swim, 100 swim, 100 pull, 100 swim 50 side, 50 swim. Just got it in; protected the shoulder.

treadmill run: 5 minute froggy to get to 44:50 for 4 miles, then walking (17 mpm, 16 mpm, 14 mpm, 13:30 ) to get to 59:40 for 5 miles. Foot did ok until the faster walking. Still ok.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | political/social, running, statistics, swimming | , , , , | Leave a comment

What else am I going to whine about? (and protests)

Protests: I suppose one can do disruptive protests for many reasons: fire up those who think the way that you do, vent, deliberately anger others, etc.
But if you want society to come around to your way of thinking …well, maybe what you are doing does not work so well:

The backlash to violent protest may have changed the course of American history. For his own working paper on protest movements, Omar Wasow, a politics professor at Princeton University, carefully tracked both violent and nonviolent protests by African-American groups in the 1960s and attempted to measure their impact on white voters. His most important finding was that, as he explains in the abstract, “In presidential elections, proximity to black-led nonviolent protests increased white Democratic voteshare whereas proximity to black-led violent protests caused substantively important declines and likely tipped the 1968 election from Hubert Humphrey to Richard Nixon.” In other words, all else being equal, whites who were exposed to nonviolent black protests were more likely to vote for the candidate who was more liberal on racial-justice issues than were those who were exposed to violent black protests (and yes, Masow controlled for a variety of potentially confounding factors in his analysis).

Masow explains in the paper that this is, to his knowledge, “the first article to establish a causal effect of protests on voting,” and that his findings support that idea that “subordinate groups” like African-Americans, “can help shape national agendas and frame demands” in important ways — but that when it comes to big, broad movements, backlash can lead to severe consequences.

For what it’s worth, while Masow’s empirical approach may be new, the idea that the riots and violence of the 1960s sparked a white backlash isn’t: Among political scientists, this is a widely accepted idea. It doesn’t mean, of course, that the violence in question wasn’t often sparked by meaningful, urgent grievances — it means that there was a potentially preventable cost to expressing those grievances in a violent manner.

Now this is talking about rioting..and not less violent but disruptive things. I’d recommend reading the rest of the article.

It was icy when I walked to and from the gym, and to work. Ugh..

The workout: kind of a disaster. usual pull ups and PT went ok; bench: 10 x 135 (ok) 1 x 190 (ok), 5 x 185 (good). But then I attempted 10 x 170 in the decline, got a ding at reps 8 and 9 (left shoulder). That precluded doing any more chest pressing, though rows (2 x 200 Hammer, 1 x 110 machine) were ok, and careful, slow standing military presses with dumbbells (10 x 40, 10 x 45, 10 x 45) went ok too. Usual abs, 2:30 plank, 10 miles cycling (switched bikes to get one with the footstraps at mile 5) was ok.

Still that left shoulder..every once in a while I get careless and “ding” it. I might need 2-3 weeks rest..or to just be careful with my next set of presses.

So that is what I am whining about (someone asked me on Facebook: “what will you whine about next”. So now you know, Stripper Girl.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | bicycling, weight training | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sore shoulder but…

Yeah, my shoulder is slightly sore. I might give in and take some NSAIDS, though I really don’t want to.

And I’ll confess something: I have some mild “anxiety” before my long run attempts; in my head I remember my failures and not my far more numerous successes.

But I got out there:


That took 2:53:47 (1:27:47/1:26:00) Though the return is downhill, I started to fatigue. Pace: 11:15 mpm.
Then I got a drink of water and kicked myself into walking my 5.2 mile West Peoria course (flat); pace was about 15:55 or so (just under 1:23 “by the day” time, which included breaks for traffic, etc.) My legs (calves especially) were like rocks.

Total workout: 20.6 miles in 4:13, or roughly 12:25 mpm.

The shoulder hurt a little; I had to tell myself to relax. There were a few runners out there including two beautiful middle aged ladies in the Tower Park building.

Now lunch and grass cutting (zzzzz) await…

April 23, 2016 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment