Ghosts of Marathons past..


Ok first the present: 3 mile walk this morning…that was it (W. Peoria)

Next: the post. These photos were from my first 3 marathons.

First Marathon: Maryland, December, 1980.

During my senior year in college, I decided to run the Maryland Marathon. That was me at about mile 18 or so; note the cotton shorts, cotton shirt and the New Balance 730s. Those were state of the art shoes back then.

Though I had several 50 mile weeks, I did no run over 15 miles. So the marathon was a bit of a rude shock. I hit mile 10 in 1:15, half way in 1:37 and slowed to 2:38 at mile 20. The finish: 3:33. Boy, was that last 10K a death march! It wasn’t just for me though; I managed to keep something like a shuffle (and flipped off a kid who said “here is a fat one”) and people were walking at this point; not everyone of course.

My buddies (who went to the race with me) ran 2:38 and 2:59. I ran 3:33 for 1054 out of 2229 men; the median time for the men was 3:36. There were 201 female finishers; two friends of mine finished in 3:30. The median female finisher was 4:05.

How do I know this? I still have the program!

Second Marathon: San Antonio, November 1981.
I was about 10 lb. heavier (roughly 210) but I did have a nice 22.5 mile run 3 weeks earlier: 3:00:xx. It was the “Double Decker” challenge ..I so wish THAT had been the marathon. I had gone out right at 8 minute miles and maintained it, reasonably easily.

So what did I do on this hotter day? I took it out at a 7:30 pace which I held for 10 miles; I slowed to a 8 minute pace for the next 5 miles (about 1:40 at the half way point); slowed to 2:41 at mile 20 (some walking) and then did a 1:07 walk/jog death march to finish in 3:48. That was a dreadful time in those days; I still have the newspaper and they had a strict 5 hour cut-off.

Of note: a woman that blew me off when I hit on her during a training run gave me a long, emotional hug when I went to shake her hand to congratulate her on her finish. A buddy fixed me steak for lunch. And then I had a GREAT date with a young woman I was to date a few more times …a Baptist, if you can believe that.

Third Marathon East Lyme, CT: October 1983
I was to deploy to my submarine later that month, and yes, I had gained even more weight. My running was a disaster; my long was a 16 miler 2 weeks prior (had some earlier 20s) I did NOT feel good physically.

The result: I was walking (unintentionally) THREE MILES into the race..I had severe foot cramps. An older guy tried to encourage me to stick with it and slapped me on the ass as he ran past….told me “anyone can quit.” And yes, I stayed with it; I was something like 1:28 at mile 10. The rest was “walk/jog” and several times, the sag wagon asked me if I wanted a ride.

I stuck with it…though the roads were open to traffic..and limped in at 4:24…I felt I was dead last but really wasn’t. The announcer said “I was a winner” and I wanted to die of shame. I was fat and out of shape and knew it.

Ok, those were all runs or attempted runs.

But now…let’s just say that my next marathon will, more than likely take me over 6 hours. LOL…

One reason Biden continues to lead the D primary race

Biden, for all of his many *real* foibles, has not sold out to the loony left.

And speaking of the race, here is an interesting breakdown (I have not fact checked this)

When the choice is to either suck or not do it at all…

Fortunately, I am much better at math than I am at sports..otherwise I’d be unemployed. And I am contemplating a math mystery..one I might dive into after my current project is done and submitted.

Today: yoga then a very easy 5k training run (ok, 3.25 miles I think); I am planning something for this weekend.

While on the run I was passed by another runner. That is reality these days; though I never was a “fast” runner, when I was in my late 30’s I rarely got passed when running out in public..very rarely. Yes, it was a younger male (30’s? 40’s?) and no, I made no attempt to pick up my pace. I did see him on his way back and smiled to myself when I saw he was wearing a “marathon” t-shirt; somehow that made me feel better (I was wearing a half marathon shirt).

The good news is that today I felt great..very good.

And thinking about things: yeah, when I think about an upcoming race, I sometimes fantasize about going out there and the old pace ..ok, not the old pace, but a good pace..coming back and the miles just flying by.
Then comes the race…and the foot pain, the stomach upset, the blisters..the fatigue..the heavy legs..the slower than hoped for pace and the frustration. It rarely goes the way I visualize it.
And there is the result itself..often a big let down. And then I try again.

Knowing what you don’t know

Ok, one might know that one doesn’t know things. But that isn’t what I am talking about: I am talking about those who are so sure of themselves without good reason to be.
You see that in our current politics:

Exactly. And those who think of Biden supporters as uninformed or naive: let’s just say that I am astonished in the confidence that they have in their own opinions; we aren’t talking about extremely high achievers here.

Yes, I can understand not wanting Biden; I honestly think he is close to his expiration date (if not past it). He rambles and is gaffe prone. But look at the situation:

So those who think that Warren is going to somehow win enough of these voters over…what is this based on? Yeah, she has large rallies, but that does not indicate broad support. She is an unpopular Senator at home and if she has stage presence, I don’t see it.

Yes, I like Klobuchar but she started with too low of a profile.

I honestly think that if Warren gets the nomination we are getting blown out, at least in the Electoral College.

Workout notes

rotator cuff. Pull ups: 5 sets of 10, one of 7 (burn..went through these quickly)
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (strong), 5 x 155 (pause)
military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 10 x 110 machine
squats (goblet) 6 x 30, 6 x 50, 6 x 60 (good depth this time)
hex deadlifts; 5 x 175, 4 x 225 (my old max)
plank, headstand..all done in less than 1 hour.

Forced errors in sports…

Workout notes: untimed “Cornstalk Classic” 4.2 mile route..easy walk after a thunderstorm. The taper really starts in earnest. And yes, I am feeling springier…

From my past days: back during my freshman year, I took a wrestling test to see if I could place out of wrestling class. I had two friends who wrestled each other, and both placed out. And…yes, I had defeated BOTH of them ..one of them very easily..during the summer intramural matches. And they placed out.

But I had to face a guy who was recruited to wrestle for our varsity team. And he went on to win varsity matches as a freshman, against top flight competition. Needless to say, I looked horrible against him. When I tried a move..he wasn’t there anymore; he was way too quick for me. I looked terrible and flunked.

(side note: so I went to class, made an A and the guy facing me..flunked..in reality I had no business in that class because I had wrestled before…ARGH!!)

The point is: I looked inept and hopeless when I went up against someone too athletic for me.

I think that the same thing applies in football; a team will get a lot of holding penalties when its offensive line is matched up against defenders who are too quick for them.

(by the way, the above was NOT called…in yesterday’s game, an Illinois guy got flagged and you could see him pull the shirt of the defender from the stands…)

Crashing back to reality: Illini fall to Eastern Michigan 34-31

First things first: I did a 5k training run before leaving for the game. And yes, I”ll miss next week’s Nebraska game due to an event..I had thought I could make it but they moved the game to 7 pm. Pity because I was looking forward to it.

So about that game: I can say that it WAS very entertaining…exciting even though the part I am starting with is not what really told the story.

We’ll start with 11 minutes left in the game and Eastern Michigan leading 31-17 following a “way too easy” 49 yard drive. The Illini put together a decent drive capped by a 28 yard touchdown pass. It is now 31-24 with 7:40 or so to go.

Then Eastern Michigan moves the ball but gets stopped at the Illini 40. They pass up a 57 yard field goal attempt (they hit a 52 yard one earlier) and pin the Illini at their own 7 with 3:09 to go.

3 incomplete passes later the Illini are facing 4’th and 10 at their own 7 with 2 time outs left…they elect to try to get a first down and the Illini wide receiver (who had a great game) makes an excellent catch for 32 yards…the Illini have life. A pass, a quick draw then boom! 36 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 31 with 1:44 to go!

Yes, this receiver had a great game!

But 1:44 was left and EMU had all 3 time outs. Easy Peasy. They march right down the field with zero signs of panic…get down to the Illini 5, run a play to put it right in the center of the field. Then with 3 seconds left:

Not the prettiest kick from a kicker who…well, hit a 52 yard field goal but also missed an extra point, and the Illini did try to ice him with 2 time outs. And, well, the kick was an ugly line drive that *would have* missed from 10 yards further out. But they weren’t from 10 yards further out.

That that is the rub.

The exciting finish masked the fact that it was 31-17 early in the 4’th quarter, which was because the Eagle offense cut through the Illini defense like hot butter. And the Illini got penalties on offense because, well, they had trouble blocking the EMU defensive linemen. Yes…at times, our O-line was overmatched by a MAC defensive line. At times.

The game started exciting enough; the Illini defense got a 3-out and then the offense moved it just a bit and the Illini kicker nailed a spectacular 57 yard field goal..that kick would have been good from 65.

No problem. EMU got a 47 yard run from the wildcat formation and capped it with a 28 yard touchdown pass to take the lead 7-3.

No problem: Illini get a 52 yard pass and then another one to retake the lead 10-7…starting to look like a track meet.

The teams trade punts but then EMU wins the field position battle. 54 yard TD vs. single coverage. 14-10.

No problem. Illini take 6 plays to drive it 75 yards and it is now 17-14. And we are still in the first quarter!

Finally in the second quarter: the Illini offense starts to sputter and make mistakes. EMU puts together a 70 yard drive but misses the point to go up 20-17 and then get a 52 yard field goal to go up 23-17.

And the third quarter: scoreless; neither team does much. It appeared that EMU was going somewhere with a long completed pass but a hard tackle caused a fumble which the Illini recovered, but they give it right back on a strip sack which almost lead to a EMU touchdown; the player recovering the fumble had his hip on the ground when he got the ball.

The EMU defense got the ball on an interception which didn’t lead to points right away, but it did flip field position which lead to the 49 yard drive to go up 31-17, which is where the post picked up.

Bottom line: the score was close and total yards were close (484-460) but many of the Illinois yards came from a spectacular “almost a touchdown” run on the last play of the first half (time for one play, Illini at about their own 40) and in that final 93 yard drive. Most of the game was more lopsided than that.

I saw a very competitive game between two well matched teams, and that is a problem: EMU is a “good but not the best” MAC team; Illinois plays in the Big Ten.

The ESPN power index projects 4.2 Illini wins…I see where one of those MIGHT come from…hard for me to see the other.

These are pretty good highlights:

So…more media

The walk over.

Cricket game on the lawn

My Lovie “we will win” shirt..issued to season ticket holders in 2016.

Saw this little guy.

I love the tower.

Not a lot of people here (I am in this photo..didn’t realize just how empty it was on my side.

Early action

More early action

Not many here.

Ugly first half.

Saw this..too many times.

Illini rally.

Eagles win..and deserved to.

Debate, emotional reactions, etc.

Workout catch up: Wednesday: planks after a 4.5 mile walk (did W. Peoria plus cemetery at about 15:15, though first half was quicker. Tried my marathon shoes.
Thursday: yoga with Ms. V, then easy 4 mile jog (repaired my shoes with a glue gun..held up ok)
Friday (today); mini drama getting into the gym (10 min late) due to supervisor not showing up:
pull ups: 15, 15, 10, 10, rotator cuff, goblet squats (good depth..really deep): 6 x 25, 6 x 45, 6 x 60
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (hips lightly touching), 5 x 155 pause
decline: 10 x 165
military: 7 x 50 standing, 10 x 40 standing, 10 x 70 Hammer machine, 15 x 50 seated, supported (failed the first 3-4 tries, got it at the very end)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 110 machine
hex dead: 5 x 175, 4 x 205 (felt it in the legs; paid attention to my back)
plank (2:30), head stand, knee stretch.

Debate: my take on the race is at the end. But I do have an emotional comment to make:

I think that much of my reaction to candidates is emotional..almost at the subconscious level.

Warren: I just cringe when I hear her. She is brilliant..has the best understanding of policy…but not that good at politics (one of the worst constituent ratings among sitting US Senators) I honestly think that her voice and speech inflections reminds me of a recent, failed, university administrator and I am emotionally reacting to that.

Booker: I am naturally drawn to him..can’t really figure out why (his “wokeness” drives me nuts)…then it dawned on me: he reminds me of a football team captain …and yes, he played for Stanford.

Harris: performance is off, but I am sort of drawn to her anyway…attractiveness?

I still prefer Klobuchar but…too far down to come back, I fear.

My take on the debate (only saw second half…ok…make that my take on the D-race)

Biden: lost a half of a step. Yes, rambles, incoherent at times and makes too many gaffes. But he comes across as authentic and he isn’t “head in the clouds”; doesn’t play identity politics nor promise the moon. Is more in touch with more Americans than the other front runners.

Klobuchar: my favorite, super effective in the Senate, but not a high enough profile at the start. won’t win.

Buttigieg: if only he were a member of Congress, governor or even a mayor of a large city like Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. I do like him.

Warren: brilliant lady, knows policy better than anyone else, but not so good at politics (low rated by her own constituents per Morning Consult). and I cringe when she speaks; something about her voice.

Booker: I like him; I wish he weren’t so “woke”.

Harris: I kind of soured on her a little; maybe a good VP pick.

O’Rourke: done
Yang: not qualified…brilliant guy though.
Castro: bright guy..too little, to late..BTW, Biden was right; you were wrong.

Sanders: nope. Reminds me of the “campus radical” that almost every university has on its faculty.

No one HAS to listen to you (well, almost no one…)

I am struck by what I read on social media: people pen (ok, “pen” doesn’t quite work any more, does it? 🙂 ) articles like: “7 rules for (insert group of people you are angry with here)”, or “10 things you have to quit doing right now..” etc.

Reality: unless you have something that others want, no one has to listen to you. Players have to listen to coaches if they want playing time. Workers have to listen to their boss if they want continued employment. Students have to listen if they want a good grade and class credit. And one “has to” listen to those whose company that they want.

But you have to have something that others want; that is, people need a reason to listen to you. And saying “I have the Word of God” or “I am in special protected class X” isn’t sufficient.

In my case: does the person saying something have special accomplishments? (star athlete, top expert (e. g. Paul Krugman, Steven Pinker, etc.) Do they have a history of making correct predictions, or does there analysis help you better understand what is going on? Or even: are they entertaining to listen to?

Anyway, that is my unsolicited 2 cents. Or perhaps, it is 2/10’th of a cent.

Workout notes: yesterday, yoga with Ms. V and a 5 mile run. I might walk in the morning and then do a super quick (30 minute) upper body workout. Yes…taper time.

Finding the formula

I am having a hard time writing about substantive things.

But I can keep up a workout log: today was weights only. I was tried from yesterday’s half marathon, which proved to be slightly long (13.3 miles) That might make about a 2 minute difference..

Today: it is starting to get crowded at 6 am. So much for students not being able to “get up for” class.
rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10, 1 of 5 (sort of rough)
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 5 x 155 (pause)
incline; 10 x 135
military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine (45 dumbbells)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine
goblet squats: 6 x 30, 6 x 50, 6 x 50
no dead lifts
plank, head stand, bow, etc.

I admit..I am a bit tired.