Braves squeak past Missouri State in overtime

This morning…I found out I could wake up early so I did. Yoga, then I walked 5 miles in 1:18:48 (roughly the course I “ran” in 1:07 two days ago..though I went from the door of the Riverplex to my car, which maybe cut off 1 minute.

It was 17 felt cold but it was sunny.

Last night, I figured Bradley would handle business at home, especially with Missouri State’s best player at home.
But the Bears took it inside hard and often and forced the Braves into 18 turnovers (Bears had 10) and so a 10 point lead early in the second half was slowly eroded.

Toward the end of the game, I really believed the hard charging Bears would win; BU had a lot of foul trouble. But the BU forward hit a pair of free throws with 1:02 left to play to tie it at 72, and then the teams took turns turning the ball over..with Mo. State getting it with 3 seconds to go. They couldn’t get it done and we went into overtime.

There the Braves toughed it out; taking the lead with a few seconds to go. A stop with followed by a dunk with 5 seconds to go made it 83-79.
Most of the crowd (5700) was on its feet for the final 3 minutes of regulation and for the entire overtime.

There are days like that

Well, on one hand, my weekly “deadlift contest” was a bit of a bust.
But I did get 3 reps with 244, which was my max as of the start of 2020, and that is progress.

Note: I had a nice set of goblet squats yesterday and I think that left me with fatigued legs this morning..I didn’t get the weight I wanted but I sure felt the burn in my legs.

6 x 145 conventional
2 x 189 conventional
2 x 189 sumo
1 x 233 conventional (an effort)
1 x 244 sumo (ok)
then misses at 270: 4 of them, and a miss with 266 sumo
3 x 244 conventional (HARD..left me exhausted)
6 x 189 conventional (for form)
6 x 132 hex (for fun)

My legs were just shot.

I think part of it might have been my getting over a cold; still it was a good deadlift workout and that is what matters.

I screwed around for a while…walked a mile on the treadmill and then just gave up…I didn’t want to be on it. I went outside and walked a convoluted, “completely shoveled” sidewalk course for about 1:13; I am sure it was a bit over 4 miles; I will not attempt to recreate what I did..Bradley ave, 3 times around the circle in front of Bradley Hall, past the dorms, a couple of arena loops..just all over the place. So this plus the treadmill mile is an easy 5 miles (8 km).

Gym commentary: I went online to look for “ways to improve your deadlift” and found some things; in my case, I am still “learning” the lift so I’ll do it 3 times a week, but light, for form plus Romanians one day, medium (say, 80-85 percent) one day, then my hard day: maybe alternate weeks of “reps/singles”. I did find this online. This photo was included.

She is doing either a Romanian or a stiff legged deadlift. But note the lifter’s feet: they are on a wedge of some sort to put her toes in dorsiflexion; I might try that as yoga and racewalking (or “faster walking”) has kind of stretched out my hamstrings. Even when I am careful to keep a flat back I don’t get that much of a stretch as I can touch my toes with straight knees.

Last night
The Bradley women rolled over Valpo 90-69. The first half was moderately competitive with the Crusaders getting 7 3 point shots to keep them in the game. BU took that away in the second half and kept the pressure on.

The bitter cold kept many fans away (elderly fan base). But the Bradley team is fun to watch and have an excellent shot at an NCAA bid.

The men won at Carbondale today; they built of a 43-22 lead with a few seconds left in the first half (43-25 at the half); SIU rallied to lead 57-56 but BU kept its composure and lead 69-65 with a 2 seconds. A desperation 3 point shot went in at the buzzer but it was “too little, too late.”

Snow and cold..

Well, this wasn’t snowmageddon but it is cold and there is a LOT of frozen slush around. After yoga, I elected to run 4 miles on the Riverplex track (7.3 laps to the mile); in 45:51:
12:16, 11:12, 11:02, 11:20 (tiring); this was about a 10:24 average. (1.096 miles very 8 laps; the last 3 miles were about “10 minute-ish”)

I am not quite over my terms of strength but the cough is all but gone. At full strength, I would have gone for another mile.

This followed a gentle yoga class that was sparsely attended.

Last night’s Bradley Men’s Basketball game was also sparsely attended.

The cold front was moving in at the time and there was snow.

The game itself: it was 33-29 at the half; back and forth. And with 9:30 to go: it was 51-51. But BU tightened its defense and pulled away to win 72-61, taking control with about 3 minutes to go or so.

It is a great feeling to go to a Bradley Basketball game, either the Men’s or Women’s game, and *expect* a BU victory. I’ve got a couple of BU Women’s games coming up this weekend.

Dang it…got a cold…

I’ve had a throat tickle; it is now a slight cough. Doesn’t seem that bad; I feel just a bit down.
My “run” was nothing special; just my usual 5.3 mile W. Peoria course followed by a .92 spur to the local pizza place.

Time: 1:14:51 or 12:03 a mile..not so good but in line with my usual “easy run” training pace, and it felt easier than the last few, even with the minor amount of sleet, wind, etc.

Later: caught a college basketball game; with 16 minutes to go Bradley appeared to be in command, leading 44-30. But Evansville fought back to tie the game and with 3:50 or so to go, they had a 1 point lead. But BU got all of the rebounds down the stretch and shot 8 consecutive free throws. Bradley had a 38-29 advantage on rebounds and went 18-24 on free throws. The more perimeter minded Aces only had 8 free throws. Bradley shot 49 percent from the field (more inside shots and dunks); EU just under 40. But they launched 28 3 point shots, making 6, whereas BU was 1-11.

Bradley loses to a strong Northern Iowa team

Bradley put up a good fight until late in the game, but eventually, being short handed at the forward position hurt and, well, let’s face it, Northern Iowa is just better.
Final: 86-71.

There was decent crowd (6700 or so) but, well, the better team won. There is a reason UNI has only lost 2 games, and lost narrowly (5 points) to a ranked West Virginia team.

Still, I am happy with the men’s team (and the women’s team too! they’ve won a couple of road games and are first place in the MVC). This was the first home loss since February of last season; the team has improved steadily throughout the coach’s tenure.

Bradley men and women pull away for big wins

Friday: the women hosted a tough Illinois State team that boasted a 10-3 record coming in, which included a blowout of the University of Illinois in Champaign.

And the game WAS close for 3 quarters; at the end of 3 Bradley lead 57-56. But then came the 4’th quarter and the Bradley defense was magnificent; they went on a 13-1 run and ended up with a 76-61 victory over a very good team.

ISU brought some fans and the decent weather helped; it was a nice atmosphere.

Related note: my wallet fell out of my pants but a friend found it and turned it I got it back with everything intact.

Sunday: dreadful weather; the snow and ice hit right in the late afternoon/early evening..before the plows and salt trucks could do their work.

The result was a smaller than usual crowd by the standards of this season (but in line with the crowds when Bradley was losing)

Note: the “fake sad look” is part of a Facebook joke about being “stood up.” In reality Barbara felt ill and wasn’t up for going to the game.

And like the women; the men started slowly, going down 29-26 at the half. But like the women, they rallied strongly in the second half and shot the ball much better. The final was 67-48. The star guard had 21, a forward had 16 and the 6 11″ center had 11 rebounds and 5 of the 9 BU blocked shots.

Things got a bit chippy after this late game dunk; there was some jawing and the BU player got a technical.

sadly, toward the end of the first half, a SIU player was injured during a collision; just as he was planting his foot the back of his ankle/achilles area got stepped on (unintentionally); you could hear is moaning in the stands. It seemed as if the air in the SIU sails vanished after that; up to then they were playing well.

2019 in review

Here is my 2019 in review. I posted photos that are meaningful to me. The first one is collage of “friend” photos.

Here is the “where” (many of the “wheres” anyway)










The TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon




Toward the end of the year: saying “So Long” to 2019

Just getting caught up:

Friday: weights only, at the Riverplex. Highlights: 3 x 185 bench, 8 x 160; pull ups I had to do 4 sets of 5 to go with 3 sets of 10 then one more; I got 235 in the dead lift. Goblet: 6 x 30, 50, 70 (latter to the bench)
Saturday: very slow 10k shuffle (Cornstalk plus lower loop…lots of dog walkers)
Sunday: weight again; highlights: pull ups were very hard but got 50 total, 2 x 185 bench, 8 x 160 decline, shoulder presses were good 10 x 50, 45, 45, usual rows, deads: warm up, 1 x 230, 1 x 240, 6 x 185 Romanian, back felt fine.
3 mile walk afterward; weight 193.5 (too heavy; I like 188-189)

240 is the most I’ve gotten in the dead lift in years. I think I can keep working on it, given the new (to me), safer technique.

I caught Bradley’s 78-66 win over a tough Toledo team; BU was without an injured player, a suspended player and had kicked another off of the team. Point guard scored 29, but ultimately, getting to the line (27-32 FT) vs 11-19 was the difference. Toledo had 5 more fouls called on them.

Saying farewell to the campus in 2019.

Bradley Basketball: As good as advertised?

I don’t want to exaggerate: Bradley is ranked 107 by the Sagarin ratings, and would be near the bottom of, say, the Big Ten or Big Twelve. And there were those blowout losses to Northwestern (unexpected) and Memphis (expected)

But BU is 7-3 vs. D1 competition (8-3 overall) and coming off of an 81-51 victory over a Georgia Southern team that isn’t that bad. Hot shooting (17 of 30, 4/5 from 3 point range) plus good defense lead BU to a 42-22 half time lead. But with about 12 minutes to go or so, GS cut the lead to 12 (58-46). But then game the finish which put BU up 79-48 with only a few minutes to go.

The dark cloud: BU lost one of its best players for 3-6 weeks with a hand injury. We’ll see what sort of depth the Braves have.

This was much better than it was before the current coach took over.

Workout notes: final exam mode. Weight: still 192.

rotator cuff
pull ups: 10-15-10-15-5-5 (the second set of 15 burned..I need to remember that)
goblet squats: 2 sets of 6 x 25

bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (strong), 7 x 165
incline: 10 x 135
hex dead (handles down) 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 1 x 225 (couldn’t get 2), 6 x 195
shoulder: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 90 Hammer machine, 10 x 140 Hammer
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 each arm (dumbbell), 10 x 110 machine
2:30 plank.

It was ok…I think that I need to push myself a bit more in at least 2-3 different exercises during the workout.

Lessons are over..last classes of 2010-2019

Yeah, I know, people will claim that the decade is really 2011-2020, blah, blah. 2010-2019 works for me as the “201x” decade…a 10 year period.

First, a bit of workout catch up:
Monday: weights only; was a bit on fumes due to not sleeping well:

rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10: kind of strong)
goblet squats: 2 sets of 6 x 25, 6 x 50, 6 x 60
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (disappointed)
incline: 10 x 135
decline: 10 x 165
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
hex dead: 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 5 x 205, 6 x 185 (felt it)
2:30 plank plus head stand

Today: yoga, then a sluggish 5 mile run (1:05) in 17 F and windy..full sweats. Very sluggish.

Commentary: Look at this. Well, later today I went to a couple of ball games: women at 12 and men at 6. The women’s game was “field trip” day so there were 3300 fans there, mostly school kids. The bottom 6 rows were reserved for “the regulars”, which included some faculty, school officials, the men’s coach and the usual: old people. Several needed assistance to walk; old age takes its toll.

No, I am NOT there yet..not by a long shot. I am at the point where my times are slowing, my maximum lifts are getting noticeably weaker, etc. But my degradation is in sports performance; I am probably still a bit stronger than the average man who does not work out or doesn’t do labor for a living. Kid is done with college and no debts, and I am doing ok financially (NOT rich by any means!)

So..this might be a high point of life; certainly NOT in terms of what I can do physically; that is in the rear view mirror and growing further distant. But I am still thinking in terms of sports performance and NOT on what kind of walker to use. I have to remind myself to count my blessings.

Time WILL take its toll though…teaching actuarial science reminds me of this.

Bradley Basketball

In the day game: Bradley played Jacksonville State, who came in with only 1 win but had played a tough schedule (ACC, Big Ten, SEC teams). And though Bradley raced to a 16 point lead in the first half, J State cut into the lead and was only down by 1 in the 3’rd quarter. BU rallied and secured a hard fought 9 point victory. It WAS good to see the energy in the gym though.

The night game (6 pm start); well there weren’t many there and it was a game for about 10 minutes: Bradley lead 18-15. But talent took over and it was 46-19 at the half; the lead eventually reached 40 points with just over 4 minutes left in the game and it ended 91-58. A former Bradley player started for Maryville (D2) and got an ovation before the game and late when he was taken out.