Political Correctness and selling of ideas

There are times when I wonder if some liberals are more interested in getting that self righteous finger wag than they are in actually changing policy. Yes, both sides “do identity politics”, but the right wing does it more effectively.

This infuriates liberals. But we insist on throwing around our precious “isms” at all costs. Example: notice how Will Bunch seems to imply that the critique about Elizabeth Warren not being ‘likable” is, well, sexist?

LOL…that charge hurt Al Gore and John Kerry as well.

And note that when a female politician is attacked, especially unfairly and by dishonest means, said attack is labeled as “sexist“? Yes, such stunts are tried on men, all of the time.

Then there is the subject of race. I honestly think the whole concept of “white privilege” really doesn’t help race relations at all. There is some evidence to support my conjecture.

Her team was curious about the impact of teaching people about white privilege. Would it make people more sympathetic toward poor blacks? As part of their research, Cooley and her colleagues offered study participants a reading on white privilege—based partly on the seminal work of Peggy McIntosh, who originally formulated the concept in the 1980s—and then described to them the plight of a hypothetical man, identified as either white or black, who is down on his luck.

What the researchers found is that among social liberals—i.e., participants who had indicated that they hold liberal beliefs about social issues—reading a text about white privilege did nothing to significantly increase their sympathy toward the plight of poor blacks. But, as Cooley told me, “it did significantly bump down their sympathy for a [hypothetical] poor white person.” (Among conservative participants, there was observed no significant change in attitudes at all.)

What accounts for this? One possibility is that social liberals are internalizing white-privilege lessons in a way that flattens the image of whites, portraying all of them as inherently privileged. So if a white person is poor, it must be his or her own fault. After all, they’ve had all sorts of advantages in life that others haven’t.

When we talk about racial inequality, it is important to understand that we’re often talking about structural or society-wide averages, not the status of all individuals at all times. It is true, for instance, that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by poverty. That means a higher percentage of African Americans live in poverty as compared to whites. But the largest number of individuals in the United States who live in poverty are white. We can’t, and we shouldn’t, assume anything about any individual’s life solely based on his or her race, or based on larger facts about racial inequality.

Racism exists, of course, and its impact is disproportionately felt by society’s minority populations. I have personally spent a decent chunk of my reporting career documenting this. But the fact that disparate treatment is inflicted on racial minorities doesn’t prove the existence of an all-encompassing pattern of white privilege. “If you’re white, chances are seeing a police officer fills you with one of two things: relief or gratitude,” writes one advocate of a privilege-centric worldview. But around half of the people who are killed every year by U.S. police officers are white. True, police violence falls disproportionately on ethnic minorities, especially African Americans. But if you’re white and you’ve been abused by a police officer, your individual experience may be just as painful as that of a black person who’s suffered similar abuse.

And speaking of racism: it might be possible that white nationalist groups becoming bolder is driving more people to become…LESS racist. Really:

A new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania suggests there is room for doubt, despite rising incidents of hate crimes, notably in the very counties that hosted a Trump rally in 2016.

Racial prejudice has not increased among white Americans since the explosive 2016 election, argues political scientist Daniel J. Hopkins. It has actually decreased by some measures, he found, possibly as a reaction to Trump’s unexpected ascension to the White House.

Hopkins told The Washington Post that the results initially surprised him. Upon reflection, however, “it’s quite conceivable that Trump has simultaneously galvanized a small number of highly prejudiced white Americans while also pushing millions more to affirm that they are not as prejudiced,” he argued.

In other words, Hopkins believes the study provides evidence that the racially incendiary rhetoric and policies issuing from Trump’s White House have pushed the majority of Americans in the opposite direction.

Yes, it is only one study. But it is interesting. But think about it: do you think that, say, the KKK marching incites people to join with them?

The outrage bandwagon Remember the headline “lunch lady fired for paying for a poor kid’s lunch?” There may have been more to this story…and these sorts of situations keep me from jumping on the “righteous outrage bandwagon” too quickly.

Democratic debates I’d rather the major candidates go after each other; I don’t want to listen to the fringe ones.

Hitting the bat with the ball…

There is an interesting article about batting practice for major league baseball players: can making batting practice more challenging (in terms of hitting faster and harder to hit pitching) improve one’s batting?

I remember that, as a kid, my dad would lob the ball for me and I’d hit it reasonably well. But when I raced a pitcher trying to strike me out…very different story. I did NOT do so hot. I had an emotional panic, so to speak.

Sometimes, the wrong kind of practice can make you overconfident and make you perform worse.

And speaking of baseball: the practice of using lots of relief pitchers might be hurting the game, at least in terms of attendance. It is tough for batters to continually have to face fresh, hard throwing arms.

MVC championship

Jacob and I got to see game 1 of what is was to be a 2 game series for the championship of the the MVC. As of this writing, ISU leads DBU 11-1 in the 7’th in the second game. Wait..make that 16-1 in the 8’th. I did NOT expect that.

The game: Dallas Baptist struck first with 1 in the first, and a solo shot in the second. ISU got two in the second though…then DBU got a 2 run home run in the 3’rd to lead 4-2. Small ball got Indiana State two more runs (1 in the 3’rd and 1 in the 4’th) and it was all tied up.

ISU loaded the bases with no outs in the 6’th and a fly ball and a ground ball scored two of those runners; that made it 6-4. Then came some fireworks in the 7’th. A disputed 3’rd strike non-call almost got the ISU manager ejected…then on the next pitch, the DBU batter hit a solo home run to make it 6-5. That is where it stayed until the bottom of the 8’th where ISU got two runners on and hit a home run to drive it to 9-5. DBU couldn’t score on the top of the 9’th and the game was over.

Great catch

Can you spot us?

The teams:

Drama: bases loaded, no outs.

Note: there were foul line umpires and umpires on each base.

River Run 2019 edition

River Run: it was about 70 F, with 70 percent humidity at the start of the race. Not terrible, not perfect. I had a rough Thursday workout and wondered how I would do. If nothing else, it would be a good way to spend time with Tracy.

I managed 2 miles of warm up and my legs felt ok. I went out gently and was feeling ok at the mile 1 marker (8:37) though I wondered if this was for the old course. We turned into the park and had that small loop to do again; this time it didn’t make the course too long. I had gained on people and was tracking people. Dianne seemed a bit too far out but I was to gain on her.

We then came out of the park at it appeared that I had taken 9:47 to do the second mile; I figured that was really about 1.1 due to the course change. So I went my the “mile to go”. During this stretch we had the breeze to our back, but it wasn’t cooling me off. Nevertheless, I made it a point to keep up the effort and the last 1.0 took 8:43, or about 6 seconds slower than coming out. Time was 27:27..then I went back for Tracy and jogged her in; she won 1’st in W 70 and over with 42:27 (about 15 minutes difference).

It was good to see everyone.

My previous two 5K’s this year: 27:34 (March, chilly), 27:12 (cool, early May) and today 27:27. So I appear to have reached a better level of running fitness than I had last year.

Past years

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54 8:07 8:26 8:40 9:10 8:37
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56 8:15 8:44 9:25 9:30 9:11
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52 9:21 9:35 10:41 12:36 9:39
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42 25:45 26:46 28:56 31:16 27:27
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146 53/109 50/119 97/158 67/106 45/90

Past posts (encore)

At 5:50 I woke up and ate breakfast. At 6:30 am I decided to go ahead and run a certified 5K in a nearby town, Chillicothe, IL.
The event was called the Riverrun (results here)

Time: 25:40, or 8:16 minutes per mile.

I got there at 7:20, registered, and then warmed up. My legs were like lead; my calves were heavy. So, I did about 2 miles.

Then came the race; I decided to stay behind someone who had been finishing a few seconds behind me; I forgot that he had been doing speedwork.

This strategy got me to mile 1 in 7:35. I thought “hey, I didn’t know that I could sustain this for 5K”. About 400 meters later I found out that I couldn’t; I ended up walking. I took a few more jog and walk reps before I could return to easy running; that disastrous second mile took 8:43 and got me to mile 2 in 16:19. I was able to sustain a medium run for the last 1.1 miles (9:21, or about 8:31 for that mile) and get it over with; afterward I walked around trying to shake it off.

The cool down gave me 6 miles total.

I then drove to the Rock Island Trail and walked 14 miles (plus). It was warm though we were to get a brief rain shower when I was 12 miles into it.

This walk (easy effort) took 3:24; (14:35 pace) I was about 1 minute faster on the return leg. The trail is crushed limestone and that makes for somewhat slower than road walking.

The highlights of my walk

1. I saw a coyote; it was on the trail, scrambled off and then I saw it running though the brush along side of me.

2. With three miles to go, I heard the unmistakable mating call of the green frog. The recent heavy rains had made a temporary ditch and it was sitting beside the water! It jumped in very quickly, as did its buddy. 🙂

Later, I heard the cry of the American toad.

My right leg bothered me a bit (behind the knee) but given the fact that it was warm, humid and rain was on the way, that was entirely understandable.

One other thing I noticed: trail traffic is highest within 1-2 miles of the entrances (Alta, Dunlap, various McMansion parks) but tapers off very quickly. I like getting past those points where the “once in a while when the weather is pretty” types are long gone. 🙂

I did notice my former mechanic (the shop that he worked at closed due to owner retirement) on the trail; he was running very smoothly and efficiently.

In all, I collected 20 miles (5 run, 15 walk) for the day; I’ll shut it down for while, aside from a “fun” social 4 mile run on Memorial Day and perhaps something longer on the weekend of June 6-7.


On a whim I decided to try to run the 5K in Chillicothe, IL today.
Doing the run wasn’t a mistake; I like this race. The weather: about 60 F, and yes, there were some MILF and GILF spandex too. 🙂

But today, I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the ladies. 😦

Final time: 26:56; this included 3-4 very short walking breaks.
Mile 1 was 8:19…and that was too fast for today! I was walking by 14 minutes into it (probably shouldn’t have) and took 8:49 to reach mile 2 (17:07) and mile 3 (1.1 miles) took 9:48. Afterward I walked a mile to cool down and my legs were like rocks.

My guess: last week’s CRUD 8 hour took more out of me than I care to admit; my thighs were fatigued.
Ironically there was slender lady with a McNaughton shirt and she struggled too; 5K’s and ultras don’t mix all that well.

Realistically had I tried to walk this it would have only taken about 5 minutes longer.

Update: I finished 144 out of 283; so close to the middle of the pack. I just was DEAD in the last .5 miles or so though, and it felt as if I were jogging in place.


Ok, I was (by my watch) 4 seconds away from a GREAT run (by this year’s standards) but instead had a bad run.

Time: 25:03 (my watch). I don’t know my place yet.

8:08, 8:07, 8:47 (for 1.1); pace averaged to be 8:04 minutes per mile. (7:52 pace for the last mile)

I’ve done this race twice over the past three years (2009, 2011).

Background: last week’s marathon blow up took something out of me, and last night I had some lower GI trouble (several trips to the bathroom; either too much cheese at lunch or the meal last night). So I was a bit sleepy and not quite 100 percent; I considered skipping the race. I am glad that I didn’t; though I wanted sub 25, this was still my second fastest of the year.

My warm up was about 2 miles and I felt ok during it; no knee pain, no piriformis pain; I wasn’t all that tired. Temperatures were in the high 60’s-low 70’s.

I started out gently and managed to avoid the kid who stopped in the first .5 mile to “high five” some guy in a silver costume who was standing in the middle of the course. But I was able to find a place to run fairly easily and deliberately kept the pace under control. I saw the clock tick past 8 minutes but didn’t realize it was the 1 mile clock; I thought it was the “1 mile to go” clock. Past 10 minutes or so, I saw the lead runner at mile 2 (on his way back) while we circled the park and ball fields.

I had already passed a pack of people who had started out too fast and was gaining on others and managed to pass some.

Finally, at mile 2 I was still feeling ok (16:15) and decided to try to pick it up; I knew that I’d need 8:44 (about a 7:54 mile) to break 25. I came close.

I gained on many and passed about a half-dozen including two women in purple shorts (not running together); one of these women HAD been pacing a young girl. Well, a race is a race, and the one pacing the young girl forgot about her pacing and went after me as did the other lady. Both got me in the last 200 meters or so and I didn’t have the “kick” to get them back.

I did see the clock in the distance but it was hard enough to maintain, never mind “pick it up”.

Afterward, I talked to others; I managed to tease T about her being hung over (she still got 2’nd in her age group) and…in a sort of painful but sweet moment, I talked to the widow of one of my running friends. We hugged; she said that she didn’t care that I was sweaty.

Where to go from here: I need to be patient and add some sort of “tempo” workout midweek (a 20 minute run at, say, 8:20-8:30 mpm or so).


For the record: 6 5K races, mean is 25:09, median is 25:10, one race 31 seconds slower than the median, one 36 seconds faster; the other 4 were within 6 seconds of the median.

Today: 25:03 (8:08, 8:07, 8:47)

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258
Notes: missed 2010 (knee surgery year), 2009 was after the Rockford Marathon (5:14, walking), 2011 was after the Crud 8 hour trail event, 2012 was a week after a 7 hour walking marathon, this year was a week after a marathon. All days were reasonable days to run.

This year: 71/258, 59/123 (men), 5/6 age group(!).

Note: you can check your position by mile. I was in 74’th place at mile 1, 74’th at mile 2, and 71’st at the finish. But at mile 2 I attempted to make a move and passed several people; all but 3 got me back.

Race Report: it was cool (high 40’s, low 50’s); some drizzle before the race; cloudy during the race. These are prefect running conditions for me; I sure wish we would have had these last week!

I picked up Tracy and we got to the race site earlier than expected; she read in the car while I chatted with the old regulars; I even met someone who had lived in Texas and had run the Decker races! (I ran that race when it was a 22.5 mile race; 1981).

I got in a nice 2 mile warm up and felt pretty good.

At the start, I focused on Mike Rucker (who lead me for most of the race and beat me by 4 seconds by the gun, 1 by the chip), Pat O’Bryan and Terry Whitehead. Pat and Terry did the River City Marathon last weekend and did it HARD; Pat was right about 4 hours flat and Terry was in the very low 4:20’s. Hence I expected them to be a bit depleted; and sure enough Terry uttered an “Oh S**t” when he saw the first mile split (unusually slow for him). But the 8:03 was perfect for me; I was deliberately holding back.

We passed the two mile marker and just past it, I saw the side street and the leading runner on his way back; that is always humbling.

We turned right and around the ball fields; I was just starting to feel the fatigue; hence I scoped out some targets: Mike, and this trio of young people: young guy, woman in purple tights (skinny) and woman in black tights (curvy, very, very curvy). I really wanted to keep her in sight. 🙂

So we got to mile 2; it was 16:04 (right at 8:01) and I was feeling it. But though I was starting to feel the “pain of performance” I hadn’t depleted myself yet so I struggled to pick it up a bit; I actually passed a few people (who eventually got me back); Mike gave encouragement. I blurted “oh, you’ll catch me at the end”). And that is how we run; Mike has a kick and I don’t; hence I have to pick it up early.

The last stretch went on forever and Dianne L. was getting away; she wasn’t fading this day.

I let out a small curse when I saw the clock tick 25:00 (official gun time was 25:00.6) but I knew from my watch that my chip time was under 25, and that was the goal. That is my fastest since last October, and it was on a USATF certified course too.

I went back on the course a bit and went in with Tracy who finished in 39:41 (12:51 pace). 10 years ago, she was running 32 flat; still for someone nearing septuagenarian status, she hangs in fairly well. She also won her age group.

Afterward we talked to some; sadly one of my friends had her knees completely go on her; she is a candidate for knee replacement. So, no more running for her.

I got to congratulate Jennifer who set a PR and won an AG award. Of note: she told me that she lead me for a short period of time; I didn’t remember seeing her on the course….until she stood up and walked away from me when she was getting her award. THEN I remembered passing her. When run a lot of races, well, you start recognizing (at least some) people from behind. Yes, there are the ladies in spandex, but even the guys; you recognize posture, gait, build, hair, etc.


In an hour or two, I’ll be on the road for my final “trip home” to Austin. I am not saying that I’ll never see Austin again, but the era of Austin being “home base” for me is officially dead.
I was already signed up for a local road race and since I was going to run prior to getting on the road anyway, I went ahead and did the race.

Past years: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013.

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146
Notes: missed 2010 (knee surgery year), 2009 was after the Rockford Marathon (5:14, walking), 2011 was after the Crud 8 hour trail event, 2012 was a week after a 7 hour walking marathon, 2013 was a week after a marathon; this year was the week after a hard half marathon powerwalk. All days were reasonable days to run.

This year was cool

I warmed up two miles and my legs felt a little bit heavy; I was less than my best. But I figured I’d line up, stay within myself and see what I could do.

Mike was coming off of many long events and wasn’t his normal self; I aimed at Dianne and Jerry (Jerry is very tall and easy to spot). I was to catch neither but they were good targets to aim for.

The first mile was a pleasant surprise so I figured I’d relax in the lap around the softball field complex and maintain, which is more or less what I did.

The last mile hurt; I thought about slacking but I could hear mom’s voice in my head.

Mom grew up speaking Spanish and when she got irritated with me because I wanted to give a halfhearted effort at something, that raven-haired woman would say “NO QUE …….” and insert what sorry excuse I was attempting to offer up. 🙂

I heard that in mile 3: “NO QUE “jog it in””. So I did my best to keep my turn over as best as I could and while I never could close the gap between me and Dianne, I did get well under 25 minutes on a certified course. That will have to do…


Yes, over 1 minute slower than last year; 53/109, 2/3 AG, 38/57 among the males. But for a change, we had some younger, faster runners show up.

Past years: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013., 2014

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54 8:07
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56 8:15
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52 9:21
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42 25:45
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146 53/109
Notes: missed 2010 (knee surgery year), 2009 was after the Rockford Marathon (5:14, walking), 2011 was after the Crud 8 hour trail event, 2012 was a week after a 7 hour walking marathon, 2013 was a week after a marathon; 2014 was the week after a hard half marathon powerwalk. All days were reasonable days to run.

Today, it was 64 F, moderate humidity; a “no excuses” day.

I felt slow and tight upon trying to warm up; it took me 13-15 minutes to start feeling good. But then I was ready; as ready as I would be this year.
It seemed as if the entire field pulled away from me; I was tracking Pat and stayed with her for about 2 miles; we chatted some. Afterward she mentioned my “heavy breathing on her neck” though I was not THAT close. I saw Dianne and Jerry up ahead but they were to finish under 25 minutes; roughly where I was last year.

I didn’t feel that bad in mile 1 and at mile 2 I gave some thought to perhaps having a kick; that idea faded at 17-18 minutes into the race. It was all I could do to keep moving forward; my last mile was around 8:34 or so.

It isn’t as if I am not trying; I wonder if I have gained 3-4 pounds over the first part of the year; I was 184 after breakfast last Monday and 186 yesterday morning. But what is unusual is that I am not feeling that on pull ups; my pull ups are actually stronger than they were earlier in the year when I was slightly lighter.

AmusingI stayed at watched the winners of the various age groups go up and get awards. I was amused: in my age group, both guys who were there had to straighten their backs when they got up after sitting; it seems that bad backs correlate with age.

Today: it was overcast, 69.8 F, 83 percent humidity and there was a 10 mph (gusting to 17) headwind. Yet, it was easier to run against the headwind as it felt downright sweltering with the wind. We aren’t used to the heat yet.

I drove down with Tracy and I got a good feel for the conditions as I warmed up. I knew it would be a tough race though I felt ok.

The first person in my age group had the same chip time I had; he just lined up near the front and I couldn’t catch him. BUT, the older age groups actually had faster times.

One hilarious incident: an older couple had accidentally switched bibs; hence the lady got credited with a 10 minute faster time than she ran. They fixed it, and happily both got the medals they earned.

I held back and even tracked Cheryl for a bit. I had Dianne and Jerry in my sights, but early on I trailed a bespandexed lady with sweet, subtle granny VPLs. She fell off the pace a bit so I went after Cheryl and kept three other “targets” in sight. I was ok with my first mile split as it was against a 10 mph wind; I knew conditions would be hard later. The next mile I slowed, but not as much as others. Some experienced runners faded here.

Then on the way back, I did talk myself out of walking. It was tough to keep going, but I was encouraged by my gaining on Dianne. I even caught her but she got me back. When I finished: yep, I felt it.

Afterward: I went back for Tracy and then got to reconnect with some old running friends. Finish photos below:

Past years: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013., 2014 2015

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54 8:07 8:26
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56 8:15 8:44
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52 9:21 9:35
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42 25:45 26:46
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146 53/109 50/119

Clicking my watch; you can see the results of my weight training

Tracy closing in; I am in the background

I love the Chillicothe River Run and we had a perfect day for it. And the competition at the front of the pack was fierce.

But alas…where I enjoyed spending time with Tracy and socializing with some of “the usual” people, I just did not have it today.
My legs felt heavy upon warming up. Then at the start, I did not honor my current state; instead of staying behind some runners I knew would be finishing around my target time, I went ahead and chased an MILF who was rocking some black spandex and VPLS (grannies).

I didn’t feel *that* bad early on but, well, I missed the mile 1 clock; saw the mile 2 at 9:30 (mile 2 going the other way) which meant that I was at about 8:40 for mile 1. Sadly, that is too fast for me, right now.
By the time I got to mile 2 I was fading and had walked a bit (18:15) and then it was run, start to feel good, walk, repeat until I got to the finish in 28:56. My legs felt like cement poles.

What this tells me is that I need to take an easy week prior to the Steamboat 15K or the course is going to butcher me. The good news: last week’s long walk went very well. But I cannot do two things at once; if distance walking improves, short running suffers. That’s reality.

97/158 overall, 63/81 among the males. Sigh…

Yes, it was 70 F, 91 percent humidity at the start. I died at mile 2 (which came at 18:50 or so) and ended up with 31:16 for a “too long” 3.17 mile course. I didn’t bother with my watch. I followed two ladies for the better part of 2 miles prior to losing contact and walking a bit. I was dying.

Yeah, I’ve done this race a few times before. Though my performance was terrible, it was an effort, and it was good to spend time with Tracy, meet up with friends, and yes, even clown around with Crystal (who joked that I was right behind her at the finish line…as I was when we took the photo. She was 5 minutes ahead of me on the course during the race though.

Past years: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013., 2014 2015 2016 2017

mile 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
1 7:35 8:19 8:08 8:03 7:54 8:07 8:26 8:40 9:10
2 8:43 8:49 8:07 8:01 7:56 8:15 8:44 9:25 9:30
3.1 9:21 9:48 8:47 8:52 8:52 9:21 9:35 10:41 12:36
final 25:40 26:56 25:03 24:56 24:42 25:45 26:46 28:56 31:16
place 82/148 144/283 89/255 71/258 47/146 53/109 50/119 97/158 67/106