It was 16 years ago this weekend

Yes, first weekend in May, 2004, I walked 101 miles in 24 hours. That is 14:15 per mile, which includes bathroom breaks and the like (the clock keeps going)

Today: 1:34:22 to walk 6.44 miles, or about 14:40 minutes per mile (slightly faster; 14:36 for my 5.25 W. Peoria portion.)

So, my 6.44 today was at a slower pace than my old 101 mile walk. Oh dear.
Still, pretty day for it and I felt reasonably good (left hip, toward the end). I might try jogging a little this Tuesday; the knee feels better.

And I think I get it..

Behind on grading therefore behind on most things..but I am working away; taking time to run.

This pandemic and the overall response to things is driving me batty.

I’ll just start with a list:

First of all, you won’t find many more pro-science than I am. BUT, honest science (and that is what the vast, vast, vast majority of scientists do) involves, at times, quite a bit of uncertainty. This is one of those times.

We know so little about this virus and how it interacts with the human body and how it will react to changing seasons, and today’s reasonable, honestly made conjectures may well fall apart under scrutiny. All we can do is to give our “best guess” as to a spread of outcomes, which will have a massive amount of variation.

So you take this, and then add in that a well intentioned but not scientifically literate media tries to write about it and spread the word, and often what you get is either just plain wrong, misleading, or presented in a way that produces confusion or skepticism in the public.

And I “get it”: though I mostly hang with scientifically literate people, I also grew up with very skeptical, uneducated people (“gee, why don’t those so-called-experts make up their minds…first they tell you that is good for you, now it is bad for you!”)

Add in how social distancing was sold: you heard all sorts of rationale: “keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed” (true), “buy us time to get test-and-trace, treatments, work on a vaccine” (also true, but not always a selling point).

Then add in that social distancing measures are really more about limiting the spread; keeping it away from the most vulnerable (tend to be elderly with existing conditions..NOT limited those bedridden in nursing homes) and, things like “exponential growth” and “you are saving someone you haven’t even met” are tough concepts to wrap your head around.

Then, to this mix, add in that businesses are going under, people are losing jobs and health insurance, savings are connections are cut… (not my situation, at least not now)

Then, to this, add that we are a very diverse country. For example: Chicago has been hit hard. But the rural areas: not so much (as yet) and they don’t see why Chicago’s problems should force them to risk/endure economic hardship or ruin. I can understand the resentment and anger. Look at these COVID spread maps; Illinois, and two of Texas (where i used to live).

Part of me just wants to split up the country and to let “Them” go their own way. But how? Regional? Nope: I am more at home, socially speaking, in Austin, TX than I am in may parts of my own state. And it isn’t as if there isn’t a ton of ignorance being passed around as “informed skepticism” in Democratic circles. There is.

Oh well..this is a pandemic time and things are supposed to suck. Sure, my life isn’t that bad..right fact, it isn’t bad at all, though the things I most love to do..and hope to do again, are gone for now (ball games, races). I still have a paycheck, I still have a job to do (one keeping me very busy) and I have a signed contract (NOT conditional ) for the next year. So, while I am far from “set”, I do have a bit of a cushion….but sure, bad things can happen to me as they can to anyone else. I am not “special.”

It is just that I have a higher level of uncertainty than I am used to..or maybe this has exposed the level of uncertainty that I was happily ignorant of?

Who knows. I am planning to enjoy a “run/walk” (knee is still a bit tender) and finish up some academic stuff (making good progress).

Warm days and lawn mower buzz

Well, it HAS been at least 48 hours since my neighbor cut his lawn…

Still busy: writing up an exam and then having to grade…the work this semester has been greater than normal. Part of it is that I am a rookie instructor all over again as online is new to me.
But I have learned things.

Workout notes: I did save my weights until this morning.
rotator cuff
free squats with band..and yes, I broke the band but that has a silver lining.
pull ups: I struggled through 10 sets of 5 (ok, one was 6 51 total)
But the I took one of the torn band pieces and cut another piece off..

Instantly, I was able to knock off a set of 10, even while fatigued. So, 61 total, and those grippers are a keeper.

bench press: 10 x 132, 5 x 176, 4 x 176 (barely made the 4’th), 5 x 171
outdoor again: 3 sets of 10 x 44 standing press, 3 sets of 6 goblet squats with band
indoor again: 8 x 134, 3 sets of 5 x 184 trap bar “squat”; first 2 sets were with a band, 1 without. It felt fine; I’ll work on upping this.

Afterward, walk to Dozer and back (4 miles); lots of vehicle traffic..though I did pass an empty COVID screening station. Total: 4 miles.

What will happen?
I honestly do not know what is right. My guess is that, at least locally, we’ll see a rise in cases and deaths as I don’t think many are taking the social distancing stuff seriously.
But, again, I am no expert, and ..yes, anyone who glances at my blog will know how much I love races and ball games and how much I want to go back to them.
But stopping the spread is vital and, well, let’s just say that public ignorance is bad enough when there IS scientific certainty. But it is even worse when the best scientific conclusion involves quite a bit of uncertainty.

I think we can safely reopen when we know more and have an effective, feasible plan in place, which will involve some combination of testing, vaccine, treatment, targeted quarantining, etc.

Catching up

Busy with work…and will be for a couple of more days.
knee: felt better (let’s see: knee, back, feet, wrist…aging is fun!)
Workout: walked 10K plus yesterday: two lower loops of Bradley park then home directly (not via Parkside) then a 1.8 mile extra to get 6+
today: 5.1 Hill route in Bradley park; pushing lifting to Saturday (planning: pull/chin ups, bench press, trap bar dead, maybe overhead presses too.

First 3 photos: me on the hills (first 2: lower Bradley Park hill; next: Cornstalk Hill)
4’th photo: the area where we usually have Cornstalk outdoor plays: cancelled for this season.
5’th photo: the old bridge in lower Bradley Park, supposedly built in 1898.

Note: where I live: sidewalks, relatively low traffic; and many students are gone so social distancing is easy…see someone, just cross the street. I know..THEY could cross, but given that I am almost always older and, most of the time, going slower than the runner..I cross as, well, let’s face it..what I am doing is more “exercise” than “training.” There are no more PR’s in store for me.