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In a previous article I discussed three mental blocks that may be holding back your running, according to author Matt Fitzgerald in his book The Comeback Quotient. In this article I’m going to cover three remedies Fitzgerald suggests for overcoming these mental blocks.

Briefly, the mental blocks Fitzgerald discusses that may be hindering your running success are fear and laziness, cognitive bias, and ego defense. Fitzgerald’s suggested remedies for these mental blocks are gaining control of your internal locus of control, having a growth mindset, and developing a positive and grateful personal philosophy. …


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Welcome to a series of articles on how to study computer programming. This series will be a comprehensive review of the book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science, written by Barbara Oakley, PhD., and the articles will also discuss how a learner can apply the lessons of the book specifically to computer science and computer programming. In this article, I’ll briefly discuss the chapters of the book and how I plan to apply them to learning computer programming.

In these articles I’ll need to demonstrate many of the concepts I discuss and to do this, I’ll be using the Python programming language. I’m choosing Python primarily because it is an excellent first programming language to learn and it is a popular programming language being used in many exciting fields such as data science and cryptography. …


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Matt Fitzgerald, the longtime endurance sportswriter, running coach, and proprietor of 8020endurance.com, has a new book out — The Comeback Quotient. In this book, he tells you how to develop your mental fitness to improve your sport and your life. In my next series of articles I’ll be reviewing the many great points Fitzgerald makes in the book. In this article I’m going to focus on 3 areas of mental fitness that may be holding you back from achieving greater success in your running pursuits. …


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In my Learning SQL articles so far, I have demonstrated how to query data using just one table. But one of the major features of SQL is the ability to query data that is stored in multiple tables. The way you perform these types of queries in SQL is using a join. A join is a query that uses columns from multiple tables that are related in combination to return a single result set of rows. In this article I’ll introduce the JOIN clause and how to use it in SELECT statements.

Getting Our Database Ready for Joins

So far, I have only developed on table in our students database — the demographics table. I need to add at least a couple more tables to make my join examples meaningful. The first table I’m going to create is a courses taken table that lists all the courses a student has taken. Here is the SQL I wrote to add this…


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My previous article on working with operators and functions described a set of scalar operations, where an operator or function was used to operate on individual row values or to compute a date or time separately from the data stored in the table. My next series of articles will focus on aggregate operations, operations that work on groups of values to produce a single value, such as a sum or an average.

These operations can be separated into two groups — summarizing operations and grouping operations. …


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On Saturday, January 9, 2021, I ran the Athens Big Fork Marathon (ABF). This race takes place on the Athens Big Fork trail which runs through the Ouachita Mountains starting in the Big Fork community, which is between Mount Ida, Arkansas, and Glenwood, Arkansas. The race itself runs over eight mountains to the 13.1-mile turnaround point, and then you run back over those same eight mountains to the finish.

This is one of the hardest courses I have ever run, and I have run the Pikes Peak Marathon twice (including doubling once). Unlike Pikes Peak, where there is just one long climb before you spend the rest of the race descending the mountain, the ABF course requires you to climb eight mountains two times each. At least the ABF trail is at a much lower altitude than Pikes Peak. Not being able to breathe along with the many climbs would make the course really tough. I have the utmost admiration for runners who have run courses such as Hardrock or Leadville where you have to climb multiple mountains multiple times and do that at altitude. …


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Photo courtesy of youtube.com

Joe (Joseph) Gray is arguably the best mountain runner in the United States and is among the top mountain runners in the world. In 2016, Gray won the World Mountain Running Championships. In the years since 2010, Gray has won several US Mountain Running championships, several USA Trail Half Marathon championships, and he has won a 30K and a 50K USA Trail Running championship.

Gray is a two-time winner of the Pikes Peak Ascent (and I know how hard that event is because I’ve participated in it twice), and he owns the FKT (Fastest Known Time) for running the Manitou Incline, which he ran in 17 minutes and 45 seconds. The Manitou Incline is a hiking trail in Manitou Springs, Colorado which gains 2,011 feet of elevation in 0.88 miles. …


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Photo courtesy of LJWorld.com

This is the second part of a two-part series about Bernd Heinrich’s book on running — Why We Run. Here is a link to the first article.

Camels and Endurance

Every ultramarathoner has to struggle with heat management when training and racing. How does the runner keep his or her fluid levels up and their energy levels high while running 30 to 100 miles or more, sometimes in extremely hot conditions (think Badwater 135 hot)?

One animal we should look to for tips on heat management is the camel. While camels are not as fast as antelopes and horses over shorter distances, camels are faster than we think. Heinrich notes that camels have reportedly traveled up to 100 miles in as little as 16 hours. They can cover 300 kilometers in two days. …


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Photo courtesy of runnersworld.com

Bernd Heinrich is a retired Biology professor and one of today’s best nature writers. Heinrich has written more than twenty books on everything from bees to ravens to the winter worlds of Vermont and Maine to spending a year in a remote cabin in the Maine woods. Heinrich also wrote a book on why humans are such fantastic natural runners — Why We Run: A Natural History. Heinrich is also a decorated runner and holds or has held several American ultramarathon age-group records.

Why We Run is more a book on what used to be called natural philosophy than it is a book of classical philosophy. During the Enlightenment, as Europe was coming out of the Middle Ages, scientists began examining the world around them and areas such as mathematics, anatomy, astronomy, and chemistry, just to name a few, became subjects for intense study. The people studying these areas were called natural philosophers and Heinrich definitely fits into that mold. In his book, he spends a lot of time discussing some of the biomechanics of running and he also spends some time explaining how evolution made humans the ultimate runners, but all of this eventually lends itself to an explanation of why we run as well as how we run. …


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Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

In my last article on learning SQL, I discussed how to query a database table using the SELECT statement. In this article, I’ll discuss how to refine queries by using the WHERE clause.

The SELECT Statement

As a quick review, the SELECT statement is used to retrieve data from a database table (called a query). Here is an example:

sqlite> select first_name, last_name from demographics;
Cynthia|Fehrenbach
Raymond|Williams
Danny|Martin
Jonathan|Childs
Meredith|Stanton
Jessica|Wise

You can also specify all the columns by replacing the column names with an asterisk:

sqlite> select * from demographics;
1234|Cynthia|Fehrenbach|Little Rock|1988-02-09|Graphic Arts
1231|Raymond|Williams|Sheridan|1985-12-07|Classics
2314|Danny|Martin|Greenbrier|1978-06-12|Information Technology
2143|Jonathan|Childs|Hot Springs|1988-05-13|Film and Sound
3124|Meredith|Stanton|Maumelle|1985-06-03|English
2341|Jessica|Wise|North Little…

About

Michael McMillan

Mike McMillan writes about computer programming and running. He is setting up his new web site at https://michaelmmcmillan.com.

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