The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Maybe not such a long walk today

As I did the Friday before my birthday in 2020 and 2021, I planned today to walk a marathon (42.2 km). Alas, my body doesn't seem as into it as it was before.

I did everything right, I thought: lots of sleep all week, no alcohol at all for a few days, keeping active but not too strenuous. That worked well in 2020:

And in 2021:

But last night, not so restful:

In the week before the 2020 walk my BB averaged 70, and 72 in 2021. As of today, my 7-day average is 47, even though my 7-day sleep average is 8:06 (cf. 8:08 in 2020 and 7:41 in 2021).

The X factor seems to be this year's allergies, which are really not fun. Ragweed and mold levels are through the roof this week, or more precisely the allergens are through the windows, and I've woken up congested every morning since last week. Also, I didn't really take any long walks this summer just for exercise; in fact, I haven't taken a 10 km walk since last September.

So, I'm still going to take a long walk today, but I'll adjust my expectations by aiming for a half-marathon. So, no PRs today, and I don't expect to hit 60,000 steps. Full report this evening.

Bog-standard August

Despite record temperatures in late spring, Illinois had a perfectly average August, which the state climatologist for some reason refers to as "mild:"

May kicked off summer early in Illinois with a very unusual heat wave. Then came a very warm June that had this winter lover wishing for sweater weather. Fortunately, a slightly cooler July was followed by a very mild August.

August average temperatures ranged from the low 70s [F] in northern Illinois to the high 70s in southern Illinois, within 1 degree [Fahrenheit] of normal statewide. The warmest place in the state last month was Bean Ridge in Alexander County with an average August temperature of 25.6°C. The coolest place in the state–other than my house–was Shabbona in DeKalb County with an average August temperature of 20.6°C.

Overall, the preliminary statewide average August temperature was 23.2°C, 0.1°C above the 1991–2020 average and the 58th warmest on record going back to 1895.

I'll take it. August felt just fine to me, and the forecast for this coming weekend looks pretty good, too.

Our Congressional footprint just grew 104%

Yesterday, Democrat Mary Peltola beat former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin in the special election to fill deceased Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) seat:

Peltola finished fourth in a crowded nonpartisan primary in June, when 48 candidates battled to secure one of the four spots on the Aug. 16 special election ballot. But heading into Wednesday’s final tabulation, Peltola was leading the pack.

The special election was the state's first test of ranked-choice voting, which was implemented after a 2020 ballot measure. The same system will be used in November.

With 93% of votes counted in the ranked-choice results Wednesday night, Peltola had 51.5% of the vote to Palin's 48.5%.

Voters cast their ballots more than two weeks ago to determine who will serve out the final four months of Rep. Don Young's term after he died in March at age 88. The longtime GOP lawmaker represented Alaska for almost 50 years in Congress.

Even more fun, the same four candidates will have at it again in November. But we can take two things from this: first, even hard-core conservative Alaska really can't stand Palin, and second, a majority of the United States' land area now has Democratic Party representation.