The Peoria Steamboat Days race: changing character?

You can see my post of my personal experience at the Steamboat 15K here. The upshot is that I had a blast, even if my finish time was pretty lousy. This post will be about the race itself.

I first did this race back in 1998 (as a runner; did the 15K) and have participated in the event every year, except for 2003 (in Utah) and the fall 15K in 2000 (marathon the next week). For a few years, they split the 15K and 4 mile into a summer/fall event and for 2 of those, I did both races.

I’ve walked the race with my wife, walked both events for time, ran both events for time. Obviously, I’ve never been near the “front of the pack”, but I’ve experienced the race as a “just under 28 minute” 4 mile runner and a “just under 1:08 15k runner”, and yes, as a back of the pack person (walks with my wife, and well, the two times I walked the 15K).

I’ve always been pleased with the traffic control, aid stations, the course, etc. There was one year (2016) where some 15K aid stations were staffed by untrained volunteers and they ran out of water; I wasn’t affected as I typically only drink every 5K or so.

This year featured a “funnel start” instead of the usual “wide start”. I worried about that a bit, but given that age group awards were based on chip time, people were well behaved, lined up more or less where they were supposed to, and the first right turn was easy; no crowding. The crowd had been “lengthened out” and you really were with similar pace people.

In the past, the turn was hectic.

But there is something else: (I got data from “finishers”, not “starters”)

year 4m 15K 4k/2m big 2 all change 2 % change change all % change
2013 3124 866 98 3990 4088
2014 2613 776 111 3389 3500 -601 -0.150626566 -588 -0.143835616
2015 2443 805 156 3248 3404 -141 -0.041605193 -96 -0.027428571
2016 2347 822 157 3169 3326 -79 -0.02432266 -78 -0.022914219
2017 1781 666 151 2447 2598 -722 -0.227832124 -728 -0.218881539

Though there was a big decline from 2013 to 2014, there was a massive drop from 2016 to 2017. Note: the short distance was either 2 miles or 4 km. I compared the drop in all three races and the drop in the total of the “big 2” (15k and 4 m put together). I show the absolute drop, and the percentage drop.

I can’t say for sure what the cause was. I can say that in 2016, there was a big change made in the “Building Steam” programs (designed to prepare people for the race” and in 2017, the Building Steam program was eliminated completely, with the local running store offering a couple of programs.

I also note that there are other events 90 minutes away (one in the Quad Cities); I stayed with Steamboat as I just love seeing everyone.

One irony: I actually, well, I don’t want to say it, but…”liked” the smaller race as there was more room to walk and no n00bs just unexpectedly coming to a complete stop right in front of you (slow, out of shape beginners are prone to doing this and it is maddening).

But I wonder if these are healthy numbers for the event.


June 19, 2017 Posted by | running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Steamboat 2017 and Gompertz’s law

How this post is organized: intro, race itself, social, photos, past races.

Introduction: Basically, the Gompertz Mortality Law states that the rate of decline as we age is an “exponential of an exponential”; the proportional rate of decline year by year increases exponentially with respect to time; that is: \frac{\frac{dD}{dt}}{D} = be^{at} where D can be thought of as a “failure rate”. How it applies: I walked the 15K about 48 minutes slower than my best running time, and almost 8 minutes slower than I walked it 6 years ago. There are some caveats there though; I was better trained in 2011, it wasn’t quite so hot, but there is no getting around that my 5K run time was about 1 minute faster too..and my half marathon was about 13 minutes faster (albeit on a much cooler day).

But never mind that; getting to spend time with a friend that I had mostly communicated with on social media really helped make this one special for me.
There was a downer too: Barbara had worked toward finishing the 4 mile, but was laid low by allergies and the heat; she couldn’t start the race. She did join in for socializing afterward though.

The race itself:

As you can see, the weather was suffocating: 73 F with 90 percent humidity at the start, rising to 77 F with 84 percent humidity at the end. And, I did NOT do myself any favors going out as fast as I did; in fact, I went out faster than I did in 2011 which was a big mistake. 5K splits: 37:04, 39:41, 39:07.

I warmed up by walking 2 miles with Lynnor and then took it out way too fast. At 11:28, I was sweating too heavily. My form: we’ll have to see the photos. I was not breathing heavily and my legs never went dead, but in the final 5K, I had no “gear”. It was “same old, same old”.

I bent my knees going up the steep hill; it was at this point Lynnor let me go and I passed T. I wasn’t serious about racing at this point; I wanted to get to the first 5K and I was still averaging under 12 minutes per mile; in fact, I got to mile 4 in 47:47. But the fade had started and while I knew better than to pay attention to my 5 mile split (it is long); I was creeping up to the low 13’s. At least I didn’t have to worry about getting in the way of the faster runners in the second loop.

And yeah, my “plan” to push the final 5K was a big fat bust. I did a back and forth with about a half-dozen ladies and talked to a few of them. The steep downhill mile cheered me some, but my dreams of going sub 11 in the final stretch didn’t materialize; I haven’t done enough fast walking. Ok, and I am slower. Period.

Mile by mile:

11:30, 11:48, 12:37 (steep uphill) 11:51, 13:16 (mile 5), 13:45(?), 11:41 (?), 12:24, (final mile: 12:51)

Looking forward: lots of work before that fall marathon. I have half marathons in July and August to perk me up.

Social: this is what I posted on Facebook:

I did my first Steamboat 15K in 1998 as a runner; I ran 1:08:xx and was somewhat disappointed in my time. 2017: did it as a walker in 1:55:52 (12:26 mpm) I was ok with my time. I was over 7 minutes slower than my fastest walking time (2011) but it was 70 F with 90 percent humidity at the start. And I STILL went out too quickly.

But I’ll be honest: the highlight of this experience for me was getting to know Lynnor better. We walked from the Bradley Campus to the start and, after the race, walked back to Campustown to have coffee.
Barbara was suffering mightily from allergies and couldn’t do her 4 miles as planned, but was a good sport and had coffee with Lynnor and I afterward.

I think that, for me, Steamboat is a reunion of sorts. There are longer races, and there are harder races (though the 15K is a bear to try to run hard). But I see many of my friends all at one place.
I missed Barbara being there, but I got to meet up with Tracy, Theresa, Vickie, Cathy Rupert, Cassie, Herb, Andrew McGlothlen.and my colleague Mat (who ran the 15K) went back on the course to jog a few steps with me. Also, Lori, a math colleague who I did not see at the race, finished her first Steamboat 15K in fine fashion.

It was fun to hear my name from the volunteers AND from some of the faster runners who lapped me in the “2 loop portion” Yes, my 1998 and 1999 self would have lapped me today!
And mid race, I got in a conversation with a woman my age who longed from the days when she was top 25 (she ran 1:11, I think…”in the day”) and it reminded me that time indeed takes its toll on EVERYONE. But I can still beat the cut off and I should savor that as long as I can. Even if Lynnor didn’t want to stay with me today.


Cassie and Lynnor together.

Cassie and me.

Herb Kasube, a math colleague

Lynnor finishing up

Lynnor, Rich and me.

Mama T and me before the start.

Waiting for the start; tattooed ladies.

Theresa, Cathy and Vickie (3 yoga teachers)

Tracy…in her cat shirt and no, she was not “the last one”, as she always says that she will be.

Lori, one of our newer math professors finishing up.

Another one of Lynnor.

My posture and leg do not look that bad.

Another good one of Vickie.

Mama T finishing up…yes, that is me in the background (Lynnor was about 1 minute back).

Toni from our walking group driving it home.

Evan from our walking group.

Barb finishing her race.

Evan and Brian from our walking group.

About 2.1 miles to go; I was to pass this lady and stay ahead of her.

Here, we had just come down off of the big hill for the last time; we had about 2.1 miles to go. My leg is not that bad. The lady in back was to catch me, and we went back and forth the rest of the way. She won.

I am where the red arrow is. I am still holding walking form; the woman in the camouflage tights is passing me.

Though this woman passed me, my “chip time” was still just a tad faster. Note that I kept walking.

Theresa, Katie and Georgia about mid way.

I am getting lapped by Jason (1:01:22)

Colleen and me, having a conversation about 4 miles into it.

Cassie (in the black) about midway through the 4 mile event.


Mat chasing a runner

Past results

1998: 15K 1:08:22 183/844 (sticky) Was running just under 20 for 5K in those days. 22:50/23:05/22:27, 29/71 AG
1999: 15K 1:07:53 place was a bit worse; roughly 20:40 for 5K in these days 22:38/23:01/22:13
2000: 4m 27:51 After a 10K/half marathon double and 1:35 half a few weeks earlier.
2001: 4m 29:13 Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40
2001: 15K 1:11:16 (126/381) Fall 15K 23:20/24:04/23:51
2002: 4m 43:15 (walk)
2002: 15K 1:14:33 (run; fall) 167/405 24:10/25:07/25:16
2004: 4m 33:10 (two 24 hour walks in May; 101 and 88)
2005: 15K 1:23:13 (26:40/27:39/28:43) McNaughton 100 in April, Marathon on Memorial Day.
2006: 4M 42:10 (walk), FANS 24 in June (83 miles)
2007: Walk with Barbara
2008: Walk with Barbara
2009: run 1:27:23 (9:22 mpm) Place: 519/726 29:21/29:49/28:43, 34/43 AG
2010: walk 4 miles 39:32.
2011: walk 15 km 1:48:02 37:12/36:24/34:26
2012: run 15 km 1:36:55 29:26/33:54/33:35 679/835
2013: 15K 1:29:04 (29:34/29:53/29:38) 40/50 AG, 552/866
2014: 1:29:57 (29:22/30:46/29:49)
2015: 1:34:28 (30:49/32:49/30:50) (2 weeks after FANS 59.9) 579/804, 376/461 males, 173/219 male masters, 36/43 AG
2016: 1:41:57: 31:40/34:37/35:40 667/822, 413/458 male, 196/221 master male, 30/33 AG.
2017: walk 1:55:52: 37:04/39:41/39:07 Just not in very good shape.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Friends, running, walking | , | 1 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

Two more Steamboat photos that tell a story


Maybe I have just a bit too much tension in my right arm?


Being left behind…lamenting how slow I’ve become. 🙂 She was to beat me by about 1 minute, though we were together with 2.2 miles to go.

June 28, 2016 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Just one bite at the apple..

Though my legs felt sore (from that sissy leg routine I did yesterday?) I decided to go outside and turn back when I didn’t feel good. I ended up running my Cornstalk 8.1 mile course 1:27:21 (44:11/43:10) plus a 1.23 mile lower loop (13:18) to get 15K in 1:40:39, or 1:18 *faster* (less glacial?) than my Steamboat 15K, which was run on a course of comparable difficulty in similar conditions. Note: I gave platelets effect at all.

The differences:
1) real coffee this morning and
2) I went out fairly slowly (10:48 for the first 1.03 miles) so I had a heck of a lot left.

Yeah, that wasn’t a race but it made me feel better. And while it was a workout, it wasn’t bad; I feel fine.



Steamboat gallery of friends:


Herb; math department member.


Larry (sans shirt): 70+ years old; crushed pelvis 3 years ago, STILL under 8 minutes per mile for the 4 mile.


Stephanie, Bears fan..gave me a head butt prior to the race. She’ll be back in 4:30 marathon shape soon.


Cassie finishes the 15K with a kick…10 minutes ahead of me.


Mat (my department chair..sans shirt) banging out a 1:25 15K


Tracy (my bestie) taking 3’rd in her age group in the 4 mile.


Powerful Jason (religious studies professor) smoking a 1:02 15K


Andreas from Bradley running a 1:23 as a Clydesdale



T was injured for this one (note the boot) but will be back, strong. She worked the finish line.


This is a big improvement for Barbara from where she was 1 year ago. She is thrilled to be able to go to races with me again (where they have allowances for walkers).


Not quite the rear, but pretty darn close.

More of me:





June 21, 2016 Posted by | Friends, running | | Leave a comment

Finisher’s medals, distinguishing events, etc.

Workout notes: rotator cuff,
pull ups 15-15-10-10
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135
military press (dumbbells) 9 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 40
rows (dumbbell) 2 sets of 10 x 60, 10 x 110 machine
legs: 3 sets of weightless squats (5, 10, 10), 5 x 45 (not kidding)
front single legged dead lift (2 sans weights, 1 with…10 lb. dumbbells (not kidding))
abs: 2 sets each: 24 crunches, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts

My legs are weak, weak, weak.



Steamboat medals 1998-2016 (a few gaps)

The question is about: “finisher’s medals”. What sparked my thinking about this: a friend had made it a goal to run the STeamboat 15K and get the finisher’s medal. She had previously done the 4 mile a few times. In the past, only 15K finishers got a finisher’s medal.

Well, this year: EVERYONE got a finisher’s medal. Well, this did not set too well with my friend. Note: she has gone longer in the past; she even finished a marathon on a brutally hot day (that is where I met her; during that race I remember a cutie with a small wedgie in her spandex passing me at mile 16; to my surprise she came by to say “hi” to me as I lay spread eagled on the ground afterward..)

But I won’t speak for her but rather give my own thoughts on the matter.

What I think happened: in the past, some of those who completed the “finish the 4 mile Steamboat race” program complained bitterly that finisher’s medals were only for the 15K and this change in policy was probably in response to that.

My feelings: remember that when I started running, finisher’s medals were mostly unheard of. The first 3 marathons I did had only “merit” awards; the Maryland Marathon required you to be in the top 50 to get a medal (around 2:40 for the males); my friend who ran 2:38 barely got one.

So, I was like “ok, that’s nice, I guess” about them. And these things play NO role in which races I sign up for. None.

Now how I feel about them: well, they might be a keepsake but, well, think of it this way: training runs/walks up to 20 miles for me are, well, more or less routine. So does a half marathon “finish” really mean much? Not really, at least in my state of health and at my current age. For me, it is about performance. So, if I did a half marathon run in, say, 2:05, or a walk in 2:30, I’d be happy, finisher’s medal or not. If it took me 2:20 (run) or 2:40 (walk), I’d be bummed, medal or not.

But that is from MY current perspective.

That being said: IF a race has different events and decides to give finisher’s medals, the medals should be different for the different events.

I remember doing my first Steamboat 15K. There was something about walking around after the event and seeing those with the medals on; it was some sort of symbol of “hey, we survived that brutal course” that gave a sense of community.

Now I am not going to say stuff about accomplishment; after all, it is much harder to run a 25 minute 4 miler than a 1:10 15K (I could do the latter but never could get below 25:20 for the 4 mile). So doing the 4 mile *well* is an excellent accomplishment and one well worth working for. But it isn’t the “survival” test that the 15K is, especially given the course. And I feel the same way about the half marathon/marathon events that give the same medal for both. Really? How about at least using a different ribbon for the medal?

One way to do it: I remember doing the National Capital races in Ottawa, Canada in 2000. I did the Saturday night 10K for time (44 minutes) and the Sunday morning half marathon (1:42). There the 10K medal was bigger than the 5K and rectangular. The marathon/half marathon was on a loop course; one loop for the half, 2 for the full. If you finished the half, your medal was a half a maple leaf. The full marathon finishers got the full maple leaf. All events had their own, distinctive medal. I liked that.

June 20, 2016 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Steamboat photos and a Chiefs game..

Workout note I walked the West Peoria course with a diversion to the W. Peoria ball field port-o-potty. That added about .3 miles to the usual 4.1 and I stretched it to the the usual “Cornstalk out and back”, one 1.4 mile Cornstalk loop then returned home past Markin Center and along Bradley ave.


Yes, it was hot (and was eventually get to 97 F) and the course took me 2:42 to do (modest effort)


Along the way I saw Dave P., Larry and Cassie. Afterward, I saw that Tracy had won an age group award in the Steamboat 4, so I called her up to tell her. She really didn’t know.

And I had some time to think about my running/walking plans for the fall. I can sign up for my goal events now; what remains to be seen if these turn out to be walks or runs, or perhaps one of each.

Chiefs games
Barbara and I went last night; the Chiefs won 8-3, mostly because of the second inning which saw a home run and multiple extra base hits. The Bees rallied somewhat but the damage had been done and they were in too big of a hole. It was 8-0 after 2.

Today saw the Chiefs win 2-1. It was scoreless until the 7’th inning where the teams traded runs. Then in the bottom of the 8’th it was 2 outs and the Bees pitcher hit a Chiefs batter. Then came a walk, followed by a single with got the runner from second in. Then in the top of the 9’th, the final out was made by an excellent catch by the left fielder; I though it was going to drop for a hit.


We wore our Steamboat shirts to the Chiefs game last night. It always feels good to go out wearing the race t-shirt when Barbara also has one.


Barbara’s finish. The thing to remember is that she thought that her days of even doing these were over.


My finish. Seriously…34 minutes slower than my PB? That is what happens when I go out too fast for the conditions. And yes, I had long, slow runs in my background, and short, “fast” runs. But no longish “sustained effort” runs.


Does this shirt make my butt look big? T took the photo.


Here I am with Cassie; she beat me by 10 minutes or so. I saw her early and had sense enough to let her go; I did see her on a switch back and yelled..she responded.

When I looked at the paper to see the results…yes, I remember that I stated off in the first column. 4-5 years, later..second column. Now: last column. There were times during the race where I felt that I was merely in the way (as the faster runners lapped me in the upper part..2 2.65 mile laps) and I remember during my first couple of 15K races, *I* was one of the ones lapping people. Sigh…

But hey, it was a long, community run and I don’t know how many of these I have left.

I do have one thing to say about finisher’s medals (yes, Steamboat gives them) but that is for another post. Dinner calls.

June 19, 2016 Posted by | baseball, Friends, running, walking | , , | Leave a comment

My annual Steamboat flop (2016 version)

Well, this was my worst Steamboat 15K ever.


But socially, well, I enjoyed running “with the group” and I enjoyed the interaction with many. And it was a pleasure that Barbara was there; she walked her first Steamboat 4 miler in 7 years; a year ago she thought that her foot would no longer allow her to do these (1:18:29 was her time, or a 19:38 pace).

It was muggy at the start; 67 F with 66 percent humidity and it was to get to 76-77 by the time I finished. Time: 1:41:57; my worst as a runner. The wheels came off on the start of the second loop, after the second climb. I was just under 41 minutes at 4 miles but fell apart prior to the 10K mark.


What lead to this debacle:

1. Too fast of a start for the conditions: 9:50, 9:50 were my first 2 miles (slight incline). I am not in shape to sustain that.
2. I weigh too damn much. No, I don’t look fat and I don’t think I am. But 191-193 is too heavy for me to run long effectively. I can do lots of pull ups though. 🙂
3. Heat; it was sweltering out there. This wasn’t the worst I’ve endured, but it was a factor.
4. 36 mile walk two weeks ago/
5. I accidentally made decaf coffee this morning. Yes, the one “bad” long run attempt I had this year came when…I had decaf by mistake. I think that I didn’t interpret my “feeling bad” correctly.

The race itself: I lined up close to the 10 minute per mile pace sign. I took it out at 9:50 per mile and was already feeling it. I tried to ease it up going up the first hill but I think that I was spent by then. While my first 5K was not horrible, (31:40) it took too much out of me. So while I was just under 41 minutes at mile 4, I was shot. I tried to hang in there on the second loop but started to walk just prior to the 10K mark; it was pretty much over by then.

I did the old “walk/jog” until there was 1 mile to go. Then I tried to pick up the pace (downhill mile): 10:35. Goodness gracious. I could tell that I was merely shuffling.

Athletic lesson I really wonder if my legs have become too weak for me to “run” longer distance and if I am not simply better off walking them instead. I do have two marathons on my radar screen: Quad Cities on September 25, and the PNC Peoria on October 16. I did the latter last year as a walker and made the 6 hour time limit with 11 minutes to a walker.

I had set a goal of running one of these in under 5 hours that possible? I know that I’ve been able to maintain 15 mile training runs at about an 11:15 mpm pace or so and do so comfortably. But that was in cool weather conditions. And 15.x is NOT 26.2. I wonder if I am better off focusing on walking training and walking these or perhaps walking one, running the other.

I really have some thinking to do; I suppose that I can sign up for these marathons right now and drop to the half marathon if my training doesn’t go well. Time will tell.

Social This was by far the best part. The Steamboat 4 mile/15 km is THE community race in Peoria. The 4 mile race attracts Olympic caliber runners (genuinely) and both races attract the hard core “club runners”. The 4 mile attracts many newbies and casual runners and fitness walkers.

I jogged a warm up from my house (and felt a slight headache; now I know why). In my usual “restroom/mill about” activities, I saw Tracy (my “bestie”), Mat, another Bradley person..and I exchanged head butts with Stephanie (my Facebook persona is a goat). And yes, I got a hug from T, who is out with an injury but worked the course. One female said “you got to quit hugging all of those men” and both T and I replied “no way, I like it” almost at the same time! I also got to see “shirtless Bob” who was running with..yet another female (as he always does).

Later I walked with Mat to the start line and we saw Tracy bending over to tie her shoes; I told her that I was “checking out her legs and butt”..and Mat whistled. All in good fun.

Then I saw Barbara who drove to the start line; more hugs all around.

During the first mile of the race, I saw a very fit, slender woman running with her grade school son; it was Peggy, someone who won the women’s 15K division multiple times in the past. I joked that I never dreamed that I’d pass her in a Steamboat race. Yes, she was jogging easily to help out her young son. 🙂

There were the usual kudos and cat calls during the run (someone told me to quit sandbagging) and I got to yell at Cassie during the second switch back. I had been following her from a distance early but accurately figured her pace was too quick for me today.

I’ll post some photos later; as you can probably tell that I had fun, despite my…well, simply horrible performance. Basically, this was a “long run with friends” for me.

I’ll admit that I had bits of anger when it became clear that the wheels were going to come off yet again. But there was some acceptance too; I did things like chase Melody (didn’t ever catch her and stay ahead), chase one person or another, and that “last mile challenge”. And yes, some of the bad mood was about the coffee, though I didn’t know about it at the time. Realistically, that probably made a 1-2 minute difference; I was far more hurt by starting too fast for the conditions.

Next year, and yes, I’ll try yet AGAIN, I’ll line up with the 11 minute folks and try to take it out in 10:30 or so (if it is this warm again).

And I can’t stress this enough: I really enjoyed it that Barbara did building steam (the training program) and finished this race; this is an unexpected bonus. I think that it lifted her spirits to be able to participate again.

So, emotionally I have mixed feelings. I thought that I was in better shape than that. I was grateful that I can still “run with the group” (if you can call what I did “running”). But at times, I felt that I was just “getting in the way” of the more competent people (when the fast runners lapped us) and that I no longer belong “out there”.

Past results

1998: 15K 1:08:22 183/844 (sticky) Was running just under 20 for 5K in those days. 22:50/23:05/22:27, 29/71 AG
1999: 15K 1:07:53 place was a bit worse; roughly 20:40 for 5K in these days 22:38/23:01/22:13
2000: 4m 27:51 After a 10K/half marathon double and 1:35 half a few weeks earlier.
2001: 4m 29:13 Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40
2001: 15K 1:11:16 (126/381) Fall 15K 23:20/24:04/23:51
2002: 4m 43:15 (walk)
2002: 15K 1:14:33 (run; fall) 167/405 24:10/25:07/25:16
2004: 4m 33:10 (two 24 hour walks in May; 101 and 88)
2005: 15K 1:23:13 (26:40/27:39/28:43) McNaughton 100 in April, Marathon on Memorial Day.
2006: 4M 42:10 (walk), FANS 24 in June (83 miles)
2007: Walk with Barbara
2008: Walk with Barbara
2009: run 1:27:23 (9:22 mpm) Place: 519/726 29:21/29:49/28:43, 34/43 AG
2010: walk 4 miles 39:32.
2011: walk 15 km 1:48:02 37:12/36:24/34:26
2012: run 15 km 1:36:55 29:26/33:54/33:35 679/835
2013: 15K 1:29:04 (29:34/29:53/29:38) 40/50 AG, 552/866
2014: 1:29:57 (29:22/30:46/29:49)
2015: 1:34:28 (30:49/32:49/30:50) (2 weeks after FANS 59.9) 579/804, 376/461 males, 173/219 male masters, 36/43 AG
2016: 1:41:57: 31:40/34:37/35:40 667/822, 413/458 male, 196/221 master male, 30/33 AG.

June 18, 2016 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, running | | 2 Comments

Steamboat 15K: like trying again with a woman who always mistreats you.

Workout notes: yesterday, 4 mile walk.
Today: weights only: rotator cuff, pull-ups (15-15-10-10), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 10 x 170, incline press: 10 x 135. Military: dumbbell, 10 x 50 standing, barbell: 7 x 95 standing, 10 x 85 standing. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer Machine. Headstand, 2 sets each of: 24 crunch, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts.

I am a bit up in weight (193 bathroom scale on waking up; about 4 pounds too much) but, ironically, this is NOT showing up in pull ups. Usually when I’ve gained weight, pull ups become more difficult. Now, they are actually getting *easier*. What gives?

Yeah, I’ve talked a lot about Steamboat. No, I am NOT prepared for the 15K, though I’ve done more long runs than I have in years. But those were low intensity runs, aimed at building a base to train for a fall marathon. And while I did an ultra two weeks ago, my performance was pitiful and didn’t take much out of me.

Weather forecast is for 65 F, 73 percent humidity at the start, with low 70’s, 67 percent by the time I finish. While this is far from ideal, there have been much worse weather for Steamboat.

So, while I am expecting my usual poor performance, I am, well, excited about it. It is rare for me to get excited about a non-goal event.
Barbara is walking the 4 mile (first time in several years) and I am happy for her. She was once worried that she’d never be able to walk a 5 K again, and now she will tackle 4 miles. Perhaps that is one reason I am a bit more pumped than normal.

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be bitching and whining about how much this race sucks.

One Steamboat Memory I was jogging back home after one of my usual Steamboat disasters. This guy in a suit comes out of a building to see a couple of the elite women walk past him; they were clad in the usual “bun hugger” running attire that the elite women runners often wear.


He saw me and said “I can see why you like running”. I laughed and replied that, aside from the warm ups, I am nowhere near fast enough to see such women during a race. Of course, I do NOT complain about the women I actually do see; I rather like the hot grannies and moms that I actually do get to see.

And make no mistake about it: I am grateful that I can “do it at all”; there will come a time in my life when I am no longer able to.

1998: 15K 1:08:22 183/844 (sticky) Was running just under 20 for 5K in those days. 22:50/23:05/22:27, 29/71 AG
1999: 15K 1:07:53 place was a bit worse; roughly 20:40 for 5K in these days 22:38/23:01/22:13
2000: 4m 27:51 After a 10K/half marathon double and 1:35 half a few weeks earlier.
2001: 4m 29:13 Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40
2001: 15K 1:11:16 (126/381) Fall 15K 23:20/24:04/23:51
2002: 4m 43:15 (walk)
2002: 15K 1:14:33 (run; fall) 167/405 24:10/25:07/25:16
2004: 4m 33:10 (two 24 hour walks in May; 101 and 88)
2005: 15K 1:23:13 (26:40/27:39/28:43) McNaughton 100 in April, Marathon on Memorial Day.
2006: 4M 42:10 (walk), FANS 24 in June (83 miles)
2007: Walk with Barbara
2008: Walk with Barbara
2009: run 1:27:23 (9:22 mpm) Place: 519/726 29:21/29:49/28:43, 34/43 AG
2010: walk 4 miles 39:32.
2011: walk 15 km 1:48:02 37:12/36:24/34:26
2012: run 15 km 1:36:55 29:26/33:54/33:35 679/835
2013: 15K 1:29:04 (29:34/29:53/29:38) 40/50 AG, 552/866
2014: 1:29:57 (29:22/30:46/29:49)
2015: 1:34:28 (30:49/32:49/30:50) (2 weeks after FANS 59.9) 579/804, 376/461 males, 173/219 male masters, 36/43 AG

June 17, 2016 Posted by | butt, running, spandex, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Remembering my first Steamboat 15K

Workout notes: weights plus 5K training run.
Weights: rotator cuff,
pull ups: 10-15-15-10
incline press: 10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 140
military press: 10 x 85 barbell standing, 7 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 10 x 85 barbell standing.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 60 dumbbell (single arm)
headstand (better)
abs: 2 sets each: 24 crunch, 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts

run: treadmill, warmed up with 10:45 mile (5.3 up every 2 minutes to 10 minutes), 6.7 to 15, 6.8 to 17:30 (1.75 miles), 6.9 to 2 miles (19:40) 7-7.1-7.2-7.3 to 3 miles (28:04) then 3.11 (5K) in 28:56. (17:16 for 2 miles)

Steamboat 15K
I am doing the 15K for the 12’th time this year; I have done 10 of these as a runner, 1 as a walker. But only twice was it a race that I actually aimed for and those there the first two. Other times: it came as I had prepared for something else or had finished an ultra beforehand.

The event draws grizzled club runners. While the 4 mile event is the elite event with prize money, it also draws a lot of new people and causal runners. So the front of the pack as intense competition as many “home for the summer” college runners attempt to mix it up with the professionals. And the competition for the age group awards is also intense. But the mid pack is very slow; in fact, it is often the case that the mid pack of an age group in the 15K runs a faster pace than the midpack of the same age group of the 4 mile, even though the course is more than twice as long and features two very tough climbs.

Well, in my first I was psyched, tapered and ready to go! It was warm (started at 7:30 in those days, or was it 7:45?) and I lined up right behind the 7 minute per mile sign, as that is what I hoped to average. My best 5k of the year (up to then) was 19:53. When the race started, it took me 9 seconds to get to the start line.

At first I was a bit annoyed at the “lined up too far in front” folks slowing me down. I didn’t do too much weaving though and I was dismayed to find my first mile to be in the 7:20 range. And it just never got better.

I kept on going hard though I got more and more depressed and angry as the race progressed. Yes, I was behind my intended pace (22 minutes per 5K segment) but…I found myself catching ..and passing (?) rivals. I had underestimated the effects of heat, humidity and the brutality of the course (by road standards). I remember telling a rival that I had passed (and who had gotten me back) “I got nothing left” as we headed into the last part.

I tried to pick it up in the last part but all I felt was pain ..physical and emotional. The data:

1:08:22 overall place: 183/844 5K segments (last 5K is net downhill) 22:50/23:05/22:27, age group place: 29/71

For this race, that wasn’t that bad. But my TIME was appallingly slow; I remember crying out “I am tired of SUCKING!” afterward.

The next year: I was recovering from an injury lay-off and consistent Achilles problems. I was healthy enough to do the race and while my time was actually a bit faster, my place was a bit worse. Reason: overall times were about a minute faster, due to the day being much cooler than 1998. I remember one of my rivals telling me that I had “kicked ass”…what I do remember is that I wore newish shoes and they gave me a bloody blister on my left bunion. In fact, my left shoe had a very visible blood stain on it after the race. My official time was something like 15-20 seconds slower due to my lining up further back.

1:07:53 5K segments 22:38/23:01/22:13

Note the pattern of my SECOND 5K segment being the slowest one. In the 10 times I did this race as a runner, my second 5K was the slowest 8 times. The other 2 were cases where I walked a bit of the final 5K.

Anyhow, I am going to try to do my best. What happens? Who knows? I just hope that I parcel out my energy wisely and keep going in that final 5K.
Averaging my past data suggests going out at just under 10 minutes per mile and expecting something like 30:20 for the first 5K, 30:45 for the second and who knows for the 3’rd? We shall see.

June 15, 2016 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment