FLESHING DICHOTOMIES

Granting you that n=1 is no more, no less, than that.  Sample of one.  No  scientific method, no double blind studies, a one off in every sense.  Singularity.  A blog.

The tension existing between the lines.  Two Ways.  Depends on whom you are and how you read it.  Juxtaposition.  Dichotomy.  Duality.  A blog.

The thread I weave throughout it all?  Truth.  Courage of Conviction.  Words from the heart.  Passion.  A blog.

I’m occasionally flattered by readers, aw shucks.  Those that like  to check in on the daily muse and prose.  Words.   Putting them together in such a way as to realize the mission.  And often to provoke without direct provocation.  A blog.

Refining my craft every day.  Still so very much to say.  One person’s words.  Two ways.  A blog.

 

O-O-O-O’MALLEY’S

Taking Linda in this morning for some structural work.  She’ll be rode hard at the Bar None  this year and I need her at full strength.  Like her too much to put her down so off for some posterior horn trimming with Dr. O’Malley and the good folks at GIKK.  Her first knee job, I think she can still pull her weight for another couple years at least.  Beats the glue factory.

 

FOOTINGS AND FOUNDATIONS

Can you dig it?  I’m fortunate for the foundation shared with Brooks Running.  They’ve been gracious enough to have me in the family since 2003.  That loyalty goes both ways.  For 6 years sponsorship that included an entire club, its own chapter.

Linda’s Valentine’s Day request wasn’t roses or fancy dinner or trip to the spa or new car.  “Grape Arbor, about this tall and that wide”.  OK, I can dig that.

Eight hours on the business end of a sharpshooter (spade) and post hole digger yesterday.  Fourteen holes 8″ x 3′ deep, footings.  Trench 12″ x 6″ x 64′, foundation.   Going to warm up plenty enough tomorrow or Friday to pour some concrete.    20′ x12′ Greenhouse.  I start the same process today for the new  20′ x 10′ chicken coop.

Our kind benefactors at “W Realty” will be out soon to erect the structures.

Building  strong  foundations with good footings.  To last.  By my own back.   Like my running community able to withstand the harshest winds, the glaring heat of all hell.

 

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SEWING SEEDS OF LOVE

Its full on here at the Bar None.  Dozens of flats started, little seedlings emerging from most.  Stubborn stragglers requiring a sprinkle of faith.

Linda and I have cut our teeth in the organic gardening arena and now its time to get down to business.  But the business end is my least favorite suit.    Cost analysis, bleh.  Yield projections, blek.  Market trends easier when you set them.  We tend towards the leading edge, bold selections requiring an educated public.  Salesmanship.

It is the down and never dirty work that appeals most to me.  Hands and knees, or as neighbor Dave regularly reminds, “nothing but assholes and elbows!”  Probiotics from the soil bolstering our immune systems before we ever taste of our efforts.

Chores.  Start at dawn.  End at dusk.  Loving every day, every sprout, every leaf, every fruit of Real Labor.

Perfect metaphor for the life Linda and I have chosen.  Working together.  Side by side.  Every day.  Two Peas in a Pod.

Sewing seeds of love.

 

TIM TIN WIN

Full results from yesterday’s  Valentine’s  Day Runs on the banner above.  140 registered, 122 finishers.  The  trio  from Colorado, entry fee returns in Friday’s mail because they couldn’t make it and  they asked.  Photos on our 2017 Two Rivers Valentine’s  Day Runs facebook page.

Larry Hamm of Des Moines contacted me over a month ago, wanting to make  absolutely  sure the races were USATF Certified.  He  competes for national points in the 60+ age group but the runs ONLY COUNT if they are legit.

A dozen or so were running their very first 5K or 10K ever.   And they couldn’t have gone away any happier.  This is how you do it then.

Catering to runners of all ilk.  It took a while but the Nebraska Run Guru Events,  Inc formula is taking root, sprouting like collards on a heat mat.

I can’t say enough about our volunteers.  Huge thanks to y’all, from me and from our runners.

Tim Fry and several of your Club 402 runners, thank you.  Kami  Alessandro and  Megan Bold of Women  Run Nebraska, thank you.  Tin and Tristan and Nicole and Jackie Freeman of NRGE, Inc., thank you.

Catering to the serious USATF runners while offering outstanding amenity/entry  fee ratio for every single  participant.  Including the cat that  showed up with less than the entry  fee in his  pocket.

Putting up times that are meaningful in the bigger picture.  But only if the bigger picture is meaningful to you.  USATF Nebraska Association LDR program.  Thank you.

Two  Rivers State Recreation Area.  Park Ranger and long time buddy Mike Carrick, thank you and your staff.  Mike  was at the Team Nebraska  Road Race Management Committee meeting  in 2008 when I first pitched the idea of a “Two  Rivers Twosome”, the earliest incarnation of our Valentine’s  Day Runs.  Closed the roads in the park (What you  need is permits!), not a single angry driver throwing gravel, glare or shade.

Bakers.  Family Fare.  Sunrize Donuts.  Thank you.  West Omaha Cryotherapy.  Thank you.  Bar None Produce.  Thank us.

Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC.  Real Runs put on by Real Runners.  For your own record books and the USATF Nebraska Association ledgers.

I encourage all other local and regional races to get their courses USATF  certified for their participants.  Give them  something to hang their hats on.

LABELING PEOPLE

My old buddy and Houston Marathon Director Brant Kotch added me recently to an Event Management group on facebook.    Another old buddy and one of the most respected men in the industry, Jim Gerweck,  immediately liked it and chimed in with Groucho’s classic quote “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”.

I’m not the only Nebraska event director in the group.  Just the oldest, with a long history  of connections.

Here’s a litmus test.  Are you in event management to line your pockets, bigger house, a boat, acreage, et blah?  That is a distinction I draw between those I respect most and many recent to the game.

I’m cool with old school.  Do it for the love of the sport.  Do it for you.  I call bullocks on artificial entry caps,  escalating entry fees, b.s. qualifying times, and every other effective ruse to drive  entries.  Yes,  none of my business, except its been my business for almost 35 years whippersnappers.

Linda and I have hand written our Valentine’s Day entry list, twice.  Transposed that list onto the race numbers.  Linda takes the time to decorate each bib.  What happens is a connection with our participants.  We know a lot of them before they ever toe the line, even if we’ve never met.  No computer generated labels to affix.  You are more than a line  of data in a spreadsheet to us.  More than simply another dollar.

1983 Channel Industry Sports Association 5K was my first.  Saturday will be my latest.  I’ve made every single mistake possible in race directing over that span.  Learned from those mistakes.  And those that Came Before Me.  Acknowledging their contributions to our sport.  Even if I didn’t see eye to eye with them.   That’s called Respect, whippersnappers.

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photo courtesy of Gary Dougherty

My Greatest Gaffe occurred at the 2008 Omaha Mile.  Used scaffolding for the finish line build out.  A significant wind change caught the non-vented banners leading to this collapse.  Athletes scramble while I hold up the clock and the 300 pound walkway, others rushing in to help.   Thank the Buddha the only injury was my bruised ego.

I promise no overhead scaffolding tomorrow morning!

 

 

WALLENDA’S SLIPPERS

Slippers like moth’s wings, delicate translucence dancing around flame, the thrill, the allure, the draw.  Closest circles, heightened senses, life’s sweetest balancing act.  And when you fall, you get right back up.  Its what you do.  Its your nature.

Online registration closed last night for this weekend’s Two Rivers Valentine’s Day Runs.  90 ladies, 35 fellas.

You can still register this afternoon during early packet pick up from 4 until 7 pm at Red Dirt Running Company.  We’ve kept the same entry fee, $35.  No exorbitant price increases, no artificial entry caps.   Runs for All Runners put on by Runners.  Big thanks to the Two Rivers State Park staff, our community partner West Omaha Cryotherapy and contributors Bakers and Family Fare!  And our volunteers!

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“I’m up in the spotlight, oh does it feel right
The altitude seems to really get to me.
I’m up on the tightwire linked by life and the funeral pyre
Putting on a show for you to see.”
Tightrope, Leon Russell, lyrics by Stan Kenton

Read more: Leon Russell – Tightrope Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

THIS MUCH IS TRUE

Always happy to lend out volumes from my personal collection of running books.   Jackie Freeman just finished “Slinger Sanchez, Running Gun”.  Loved it.  Written by my old  buddy Bruce Glikin of Houston.

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Here’s the big reveal.  It is based on a real runner.  And he lived for a time in Omaha.  And he was faster than you.   The fastest that has ever trod the roads of Nebraska in fact.   Anytime.  Anywhere.  A Texan.  This much is true.
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Leonard Hilton.  National Champion in the Mile in 1973 & 1975.  Personal best of 3:55.90.  Finished 3rd to Pre at the ’72 Olympic Trials 5000 (13:40.20).  The old  timers will remember Leonard moved to Omaha from his native Houston.  Maybe a few of them even got to run with him.

One way to inspire others  is to share stories of excellence.  To remind that there really were those that came before.  To put efforts and times into a bigger perspective.

I moved here in 2001 and with just a couple of exceptions (Kurt Keiser comes to mind), the mid 16s doldrums held sway, trumpeted as greatness.  I called BS, dared to insist that a locally decent time is just that.  Had a lot to say about women’s running too.  With just one exception (Christy Nielsen) saw the need for vast improvement.   Hubris born from 7 years as head of Women’s Athlete Development Program.

I’ve lost some of my most valuable books as loners.  An original “Training The Lydiard Way”, lent out and never returned.  “Arthur’s Boys” meeting the same fate.  Just my two favorites.   The risk you take.  Its worth it.

 

 

ALL YOU DO

Another of my dear, sweet Linda’s favorite lines.  Usually after I’ve spent countless hours studying, pondering, tinkering, figuring, estimating, finagling, analyzing, ad infinitum.  She will pull the veil of difficulty with the simplest solution.  Sometimes it really is the most obvious answers that escape me.

Talking with  Ben Holmes  this  morning.  He’s a throwback like me.  We see things similarly when it comes to putting on races.    The Nebraska Trail Run  * is the oldest consecutively run trail event in Nebraska.  And it doesn’t come close to the great work by Ben and his Trail Nerds.  I’m inclined to admire and respect those that have done as much.
* I’ve got a message in to Jim Craig, he may have a trail run with longer credentials

Let’s move it back to the roads though.  Our 4th annual Valentine’s Day Runs started in 2014 with just a small handful of runners, most of them comped entries to my former Team Nebraska mates.  2015 we grew to 30 runners.  2016 we inched to 35.

Linda recognized something.  All you do is make the Valentine’s Day Runs more appealing to everyone and stop trying so hard to cater to the elites.  And now we have 104 registered as of this morning.

Not including the Elites.