Racing and Cardinals

Saturday was eventful.

AM: Strides for Justice 5K with Tracy. I know that my usual competition got away; my warm up was dead, dead, dead. The course was wet and it was humid..very, very humid. But the rain storm was over. And my warm up showed me that I was dead.

First mile was 8:54 (downhill) and I was tracking Mary Sue and a woman in black tights. I was to catch neither though I gained on the latter.
Next was 9:15 (mix of down and up) to get to 18:10; last 1.1 (uphill) took forever (11:30; at least I didn’t walk it in).

Then to Indian buffet, then to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals lose to the Cubs 8-6; the Cubs sprang out to a 6-0 lead via 4 home runs off of the starting Cardinal pitcher. The Cubs rallied and pulled to 6-5 but then the Cubs extended it. Ironically: the Cubs are out of playoff contention and the Cardinals clinched the division with a win. They got the win today 9-0.

The Arch was near the hotel.

Yes, if there is a 6′ 7″ “jack in the box” that stands up for anything, he will be right in front of me. Guaranteed.
Yes, I’ll still go to games, but the reality is that many who go aren’t there to watch 100 percent of the action; and if you get an aisle seat, you’ll have a parade of 300 lb. people going back and forth to the concession stand, right during double plays…my preferred seats are in the middle of the section, first row.

The ball park is beautiful.

There is a restaurant/bar area near the field.

A batter hit by a pitch drew the teams…

A shift vs. a left hand hitter.

Workout catch up

Friday: weights only; back is better but not 100 percent so I limited my lower body to 6 x 35, 50, 50 and 3 x 60 goblet squats.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10, one of 5
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 155 pause, 10 x 155 decline
usual rotator cuff
military: 2 sets of 10 x 40 standing (very gingerly), 2 sets of 10 x 90 seated,
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
2:30 plank,
lots of back.

Saturday 5K race in 29:40; enough warm up and cool down to get 5
Sunday: afternoon, easy 4 mile Cornstalk walk. wet. Dead. Race was dead too.

My thoughts on impeachment

Yesterday’s workout: yoga with Nancy, 2 mile run on the treadmill (21:53; slightly sore back), 2 mile walk outside)

Issue of the day: impeachment inquiry. Here is a synopsis of what happened with respect to Ukraine: it appears as if Trump tried to shake down their get them to investigate Hunter Biden, who was on the board of an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian company.

Yes, Trump may well have committed “impeachable offenses” but that does not require the House to actually impeach.

It appears that the House now has a majority to at least support the inquiry.

So, what should the House do? I think it is hard to predict what will happen.

One one hand, some talk about holding Trump accountable.

On the other hand, any impeachment is really a cancellation of other people’s votes and, well, this plays into the very worst stereotypes about today’s liberals: WE KNOW what is best for you and you MUST listen to us. Many of today’s liberals are like the old Bible beaters in that respect.

How Trump supporters *might* see it: some chose him precisely because he is the “folk hero” who cuts through all of that red tape and “just does it” directly. Did he bend a few rules here and there? Well, sure…but RESULTS by god. And Trump did nothing that Bush and Obama didn’t do…but Bush and Obama “colored within the lines” and maybe Trump was a bit rougher and unpolished. Hey, they ALL do that…but the non-Trumps just use the fancy bullshit language that lawyers use to do the SAME THING.

So, don’t expect Trump supporters to change.

And here we are.

Personally, I’d rather Trump be defeated at the ballot box. Sure, the House D’s can vote to impeach and my guess is that the Senate won’t remove (you need 2/3 there). But there might be some value to televise parts of the investigation to let the public see for themselves, and then just maybe enough votes in key swing states will be flipped.

I want to see the COUNTRY reject him and they way to do that is via the ballot box.

Education is not entertainment

This tweet reminded me of a pet peeve of mine:

I do want to make this clear: I am in no way attacking this teacher or attacking the idea that “cool science tricks” aren’t fun….they can be and they do have a place for learning.
What I am attacking is the idea behind this:

““Teachers who make Physics boring are criminals”” (typo corrected…and yes, all of us make these on occasion)

There seems to be an idea that physics would be popular if only there were more cool tricks in class or that somehow cool tricks lead to the learning of concepts. Color me unconvinced: my guess is that what is remembered is the trick itself.

This also brought to mind a discussion I stumbled into. People were saying that they were considering a second career as an astrophysicist ….though..they’ve never even had calculus. I cannot tell you how hard I rolled my eyes.

That is the danger of too much pop-science and cool tricks.

Think about it: to be any sort of physicist, you need to learn some quantum mechanics. And you can’t learn that until after 3 semesters of calculus, some calculus based probability theory, linear algebra, differential equations, partial differential equations, and Fourier series and that is just to start! And while the conclusions can sound interesting, learning the details can be mind numbing and, yes, involve some drudgery.

And keep in mind, I am talking about undergraduate quantum mechanics, not graduate level particle physics.

Sore back…and impeachment

Yeah, my back is sore so I just lifted. And when I lift with a sore back, I get very strict about my cheating.

pull ups: 4 sets of 10 (last few not quite up there), 3 sets of 5. Very careful with body control.
rotator cuff
incline: 6 x 135
decline: 10 x 155
military (machine): 3 sets of 10
rows (machine) 3 sets of 10
lots of back and yes, 2:30 plank
goblet squats (good depth) 6 x 35 , 6 x 50
I took my time and did not rush.

Trump and Ukraine: this gives a good synopsis.

About Hunter Biden (Joe’s son)

As vice president, Mr. Biden pushed the Ukrainian government in 2015 to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was widely seen as an obstacle to reform because he failed to bring corruption cases. At the time, Mr. Biden’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings.

Mr. Trump and his allies have insinuated, without evidence, that Mr. Biden was trying to protect the company from prosecution. An investigation into him, even if it were unfounded or turned up no evidence of a crime, could damage his campaign prospects by suggesting wrongdoing.

Get that: as VP, Biden wanted the prosecutor to BRING MORE corruption charges and Trump is hinting that Biden was pressuring them because they wanted to bring corruption charges. That is illogical.

I think this is less complicated than the Russian election interference situation.

Nevertheless, I am deeply skeptical that the D’s even have enough votes in the House to impeach ..and forget about conviction in the Senate.

What is Speaker Pelosi up to? I think that this is a reasonable summary.

My wild guess is that this isn’t going to change anything…it is just one more act to the reality show.

What we preach and what we do… (NSFW)

I noticed that many liberals are all over Ivanka Trump for her blouse that shows the outline of her nipples.

I am sort of “well, women have those and sometimes…well, “whoops” and I let it go at that. Yes, I do remember a time at an Indian buffet where my spouse wore tight khaki pants with bright green granny underpants that showed right through…(and I didn’t have a camera).

and I am reminded of another famous feminist, Victoria Bateman who is a Cambridge economics professor and often takes off ALL of her clothes during public lectures; she is always preaching against shaming women for being immodestly dressed. And yes, she is no fan of Trump.

Bottom line: if you don’t like someone, you are going to try to ding them on anything you can.

Workout notes: yoga then 1 mile (11:40) jog on the treadmill (sore back), 2 mile walk outside (ok).

Other note: yes, I am aware that Nancy Pelosi is opening up an impeachment inquiry.

And no, the D’s do NOT have the votes as yet; for example, my US Rep (IL-17..narrowly won by Trump) is a “no/not yet” at this time.

D’s right now are 202 in favor of at least an inquiry, 33 “no/not yet” and of course, 0 R’s.

How a football game helped me finish a marathon

I have season tickets for Illinois football. But their game against Nebraska was moved to Saturday night, which made it impractical for me to see that game and do the Quad Cities Marathon the next day (a 3 hour drive from Champaign) So I gave up my tickets and watched the game from a Motel 6 room in Moline…it was the South Florida game all over again. Illinois gave up almost 700 yards in total offense (over 700 before “victory formation” plays took a few yards away) but Nebraska fumbles kept Illinois in the game; it ended 42-38 Nebraska.

Oh well…but the bottom line is that I gave up a game to do this marathon.

I was to remind myself of that a few times.

I had thoughts of trying to outdo my 6:14 last year. But that weather: 70 F and humid to start and throughout the day…with frequent drenching downpours.

The TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon

I really thank the volunteers for their great work.

Anyhow….I really felt the effect of age during this race. Why? I really find it difficult to do proper marathon training; I had lots of 20 mile walks but none of the necessary speed work; most of my stuff was high 14-low 15 pace for 20 miles..mostly just over 15 minutes per mile.

And that is what I averaged: 6:42 for 26.2 or 15:27. And I added about 8 minutes in the final 5K (58 minutes!)

My watch:
1:08:02 (5)
2:20:03 (10)
3:04:53 (half way)
4:53:24 (mile 20…fastest 20 in a long time..since last year’s marathon)
6:21:12 (mile 25…major collapse between 23 and 24)

Here is my 2018 race as comparison (perfect weather)

Roughly what happened was this: yeah, it rained hard for much of the race (with brief periods of let up) and the “bike path” parts of the course had standing water on it: this is the mile 5 to 9 (near where the Quad Cities Bandits play) Weather: 70 F with suffocating humidity. I never do well in such conditions.

Still, my first 10 miles were not that bad; I did slow down when the half marathon split off from the marathon (fewer people to chase)

Of course the Rock Island part took a while and was sort of empty; I was chasing a run/walk couple. They really got away later.

I was starting to tire as I walked to the Arsenal Island part and my goodness..the parts without the half marathon people was EMPTY; I was too damned slow. I was chasing one relay runner who too got away.

About mile 16 I endured the first of a couple of collapses. It was pouring, my pace..well, still sort of ok but the feet were hurting and I was by myself. Dang, you are on that island for a long time and about mile 16 I started to feel sick. I slowed and thought: well, I guess that is another DNF but I forced myself to keep going forward, slowly.

After a very slow mile (maybe 18 minutes?) I started to feel better (the rain revived me) and I picked it up to a 15:xx pace again. I thought to myself: I GAVE UP THAT GAME FOR THIS; I HAVE TIME TO FINISH AND SO I WILL. And by the time I got off of the island it was 4:53 (mile 20); I’ve done worse. I even had a bit of pep to my step..for a while.

Now came that long 10k out and back stretch (it used to be 15k). Miles 21 and 22 took forever and I was really getting whiny at mile 23…man that took forever.

Then I felt sick again..slowed again and maybe did a couple of miles which felt like 20 minutes. They really weren’t quite that slow but they felt like it. DAMMIT, I GAVE UP A GAME FOR THIS.
I got passed a few times but ended up almost catching a couple of women ahead of me…and that long, “just walk to the next traffic light” stretch. But the end came and the RD, who knows me, high fived me and told me “welcome home” I teared up a little.

Conclusion In come ways, I hate what I’ve become. You can see my old performances and while I did DNF this race thrice (usually when it was hot) I was almost 2 hours slower than walking PB and 3 hours slower than when I did this race as a runner.

But…well, this one was WORK. It was one of my toughest marathon finishes ever..even if it took me longer than my 2003-2005 50K walks. (5 miles farther)

Quad Cities History
1998: 3:55 as a runner (hot)
1999: 3:45 as a runner
2000: 1:40 for half of a relay
2001: 1:49 for half marathon (week after giving blood)
2002: 4:44 marathon as a walker
2004: 5:12 marathon as a walker
2005: 5:34 marathon as a walker.
2007: DNF at mile 23 (walker)
2008: 2:25 half marathon (walker)
2009: 5:28 marathon (as a walker)
2010: 2:39 half marathon (as a walker; knee surgery in July).
2011: 2:22:27 (half marathon powerwalk)
2013: 2:20:59 as a runner
2014: 2:24:17 powerwalk.
2016 DNF mile 20 (run/walk) heat
2017 DNF mile 20 (walk) heat
2018: Marathon powerwalk 6:14:11.
2019: Marathon powerwalk 6:42:06

The countdown

Workout notes: easy 2 mile walk on the old course; saw a running training group coming by.

I am reminded of what Michael Johnson (of 200 m and 400 m track fame) once said (paraphrasing): embrace the nervousness rather than deny it. If this weren’t important to you, you would not have trained so hard for it.

And these-a-days, it often goes like this:

Several weeks before: “there is no reason I can’t meet time goal X.” I am going to taper, go out there, be disciplined and really get after it.
A week before: compulsively check the weather forecast. The memories of past failures and pain comes back…”you know…thinking that I am going to make the times I did 15-20 years ago isn’t that realistic…”

Two days before…”ugh…I just hope that I finish before the course closes and that I stay out of the medical tent.”

So, the feelings are mixed. What is unknown is that I really don’t have a great feel for my current abilities. Yes, not only am I a decade older but I no longer have the capacity to train the way that I once did. And when I walked marathons at a 12 minute pace, my typical 20 mile training pace was 13-13:30. So..this suggests a low 14 should be what I am capable of today. That is reality.

A curmudgeon’s post: kids, SJW’s, etc.

Workout notes: nothing yet..might walk a mile or two later. Heavy downpour expected tomorrow, but I’ve had a training walk like that (22 miles in heavy rain). And I’ve had a 15K run in a heavy downpour and did my current (low) standards.

Old Man Yelling at a Cloud

I just saw something about a young people’s strike about climate change. And this is weird …yes, I agree that climate change is real, human made and serious problem that needs to be addressed. So, in that sense, the kids are right.

But a “youth strike?” What exactly are they striking from? Skipping class? I’ve never quite understood that; how is making yourself LESS informed going to improve anything?

For a strike to be effective, you have to have something that others want, and what exactly do these kids have?

Yes, this time, they are right, but that is mostly an accident. The vast majority of them really don’t know very much, and what they do know is very shallow.

Sorry, but kids do not drive my thoughts on policy nor do they drive what I do.

Oh..other things we are supposed to be outraged about: the Canadian PM played dress-up and wore dark pancake make up. I admit that it would be a bone headed thing to do now, but really…when it comes to issues, I care little about this one.

To me, this is a “oh, come on..don’t do that again” type of thing. BTW, if you want me to listen to an attempted rebuke, do not use SJW words like “privilege”..if you do I will blow you off.

The 2020 Presidential Race

Here is the weakness that I (think) that I see in the pundits:

My issue with Warren: no, it is in’t her proposed policies which, while technically sound, appear to be unpassable in a nation divided as ours (this take on a hypothetical Warren presidency has merit, IMHO. Hint: nothing gets done because any D majority has to include red state, red CD Democrats)

No, my issue with Warren is her stage presence. Her speech mannerisms come across (to many) as “school marm-ish” and “scolding”. Yes, she is bright; perhaps the smartest presidential candidate we’ve ever had (Harvard recruited her for a full professor position). She understands policy the way that an expert does.

But politics, like other endeavors, requires diligence AND aptitude, and IMHO, she does not have much aptitude for politics.

Yes, her rallies draw people, but large rallies does not imply broad support. And she is the 5’th least popular US Senator as measured by constituent opinion.

Don’t get me wrong: if she wins the Democratic nomination (and she might), I’ll not only vote for her, but I’ll send her campaign money and I’ll participate in GOTV activities. But I am skeptical of her chances and of her abilities to draw widespread support.

Time for talk is almost over…

Thursday; yoga, 3 mile walk (easy)
Friday: today: weights only; rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, 2 of 5), bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 190 (not pretty but hips down), 5 x 155 pause. machine military: 2 sets of 10 x 180, 2 sets of 10 x 110 rows (machine)
That’s it.

Sunday weather: possible rain, but 54-70 degrees so that should be fine.