NEAR TO REAL

Still bumping in to old friends that are shocked that I no longer run.  But I did run 1 mile yesterday.  Gifted myself.  Nothing more than a quick shuffle truth be told.  Nothing hurt, was it Real Running?

My entire running career hinged on suffering.  My definition of success inextricably woven into the amount of pain I could endure.  Peers of my youth knew best how deep and dark I could go,  successes didn’t  stem from natural talent.  Its been a long time.  Remember and feel  it in my bones like it was a moment ago.   I still crave it.

Ninety  days plus or minus from my  59th trip.  That one fire,  still smoldering, filling dreams with fleet and light and anguish and  exhilaration.  As Near to Real as it gets anymore.

 

 

 

AMERICAN LEGENDS

14021487_10209938088225914_1220329026223872741_n

Portland, December 2004 at USA Club Cross Champs.  Gerry Lindgren was in town for his induction in the USATF Hall of Fame.  He was hanging with me and Mike Morgan and Nick Rector for most of the weekend, iconic tour guide.  Galen had just and finally broken Gerry’s  High School 5K Record (13:45) by a tick (13:44), the record had lasted over 40 years.  Gerry was anxious to meet Galen so I hunted the young lad up and made the introduction, recorded the moment for history.  For your viewing pleasure.

HER NAME IS RIO

Empty spot in my heart this morning, missing my companion of the last fortnight.  The excellence, the excitement, the athletes,  the performances, those bodies!  The finest expression of athleticism no matter your favorite.  Rio, I’ll miss you, Tokyo, I can hardly wait!

Evan Jager and Emma Coburn, please get married and be prolific!

Galen Rupp!  Jared Ward!

Jenny Simpson!

Clayton Murphy!

Sam Chelimo!

How about those fellas in the Women’s 800 meters!

Relays 101.  This is a stick.  You get it around the track.  Period.

Congrats to Colin Morrissey (Team Nebraska) and Angee Nott (Southern California Track Club) and Stacy Shaw (Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc.).  Winners at our USATF 1 Mile road race, Arrows to Aerospace.  Colin overall, Angee and Stacy just 4 seconds apart.   Muy interesante!  Andrew Jacob and Ryan  Regnier of LRC Racing also  participated.

Our 1 Mile Association Championships barely  supported by our USATF Clubs (mine included).  Steadfast refusal  to cross the river continues,  I thought it was just me.  I swear I-80 goes both east and west.

 

 

 

 

SOUL FOOD

But first, Clayton Murphy!  Pig farmer from Ohio takes Bronze in the 800 Meter Olympic Final.  Perfectly executed race, most excellent!

Go big or go home.  Bar None Produce went big this year.  Sixty five eggplants.  One hundred twelve tomatoes.  One hundred ten peppers.  Sating clients at market, restaurant, and boutique.

I’m now pulling over 125 pounds of tomatoes every three days.  Hundreds of pounds of eggplant, dangling from bushy bushes.  Thirty to forty pounds of peppers every other day.

“We Are The World”.  Yes, we are.  All of us.  The fortunate, the less fortunate.  Those that can help should.

We are happy to announce partnering with the Open Door Mission.  They made their first pick up this morning.  Eighty pounds of the freshest, best organic practices, produce.  I told Val, the Heartland Hands Coordinator that my only suggestion for next time is to bring a bigger truck.

Feeding our family, our friends, our community.

Soul Food.

Your Men’s 2016 Bar None Beer Mile Champion.  Showered in produce and an antique stein and kisses.

RIO

Women’s 10K World  Record is now 29:17, until further notice at least.  Women’s Marathon in the books, American Women 6th, 7th, & 9th, Giddyup!  Galen couldn’t muster a finishing kick in the Men’s 10K, I hope he has a better plan for the Marathon.

How  about the  41 year old female gymnast?

Usain Bolt, oh my!

Women’s  Steeple just false started, let’s do this  again.  Get some Emma.

Kyle Clouston and Stacy Shaw, your 2016 Bar None Beer Mile Champions.  Ten brave runners, including Pete Kostelnick who ran from Lincoln as a warm up, and also Jimmie Doherty who gets the Bob Kempainen Award for best chunks blown.  Biggest surprise of the evening was Team Tully ringer Jim who set event records for least amount of  time for each beer, at each split, ending up 4th overall.    Plenty of supporting cast, good gathering of friends on a fine summer’s evening.

Good to catch up with Grant Wintheiser.  Came out for a quick 16 and fall planning session  on Sunday morning.  The Amherst Flash Brian Bergt and his lovely bride Rose also visited us yesterday afternoon.  This fall’s hog now ensconced in the horizontal.

Go Emma!  Just took over third and eyeing 2nd!  Battling now over the final lap!!  Two abreast into the final water jump, stride for stride into the home straightaway!  And holding on for the Bronze!  And the American Record!!  Jebet sub 9, just missed the WR.

OLYMPIC PROPORTIONS

The Atlanta Games of 1996, now 20 years ago.  I camped on a buddy’s couch for the duration of the track and field events.  Dropped off at a designated Marta pick up every morning, picked up at same late each night.

I had literally one of the best seats in the house.  The USOC offered package deals for the tickets, memory tells me almost a year in advance.  Each person could  get 8 tickets and almost everybody did, taking advantage of the potential to make a killing on resale.  I ordered only  a single ticket.  And it was a doozy.

One of the ephemera out in the barn is the water bottle Bob Kempainen was holding going to  the start line of the men’s marathon.  He had been so impressive winning the ’96 Olympic Trials Marathon.  Broadcast live on national tv, drama unfolding as he projectile vomited over the last 4 miles, his technicolor broadcast evidencing the medical student’s specially formulated replacement  fulids.  As he finished his warm up he prepared to toss the bottle, I said “Hey Bob,  I’d like your  bottle”  and he handed it to me.  I was (am) such a running geek.

I saw Michael Johnson run his WR 200 meters 19.32.  And  Carl Lewis.  Bob Kennedy leading the Men’s 5000 with hardly anything to go.  With mine own eyes.  Looking nightly at the flaming cauldron above,  beacon of excellence,  the performers on the track  that heeded the  call.  These things have had a profound influence on how I view athletics.

I’m hoping LA gets their 2024 bid accepted by the IOC.  This  time I will need two tickets please.

AAU JR OLYMPICS RECAP

Well done lads, well done!

Sam and Jackson Runde worked hard and come home rewarded with a host of personal bests and some very good racing experience.

Jackson, competing as a ten year old ran 5:43 for the 1500, personal best!  In the 800 he was boxed hard and tangled with 200 to go but still managed a 2:50, a couple of ticks off his previous best.

Sam pr’d across the board.  And found his distance.  800 meters in 2:16, did not advance to the finals (top 8).   1500 in 4:37 to finish 24th.  And the 3000, the sweet spot for this young distance ace, a :20 personal best 9:44 to finish third overall!  His first words after crossing the finish line, “The deepest, darkest place I’ve ever been.”

Bottle that.  Sprinkle liberally around Nebraska.  And watch us grow!

I rode lead bike for the 4th annual Team UP For Teammates.  Well supported by Race Director Kray Zeller’s NRGE mates.  Colin Morrissey led Cory Logsdon by a step or a half for all but the very last instant of the race.  I urged a real battle, the Team Nebraska mates had a different tack, agreeing to run a tie and split the prize money.  I hustled to the finish line, drew my skilled and trained eye* in a straight line across the finish and declared Cory the winner by the slimmest of margins.  I didn’t stick around for the awards, not sure how it was officially scored.

*I once was charged with determining the winner of our USA Women’s 5K National Championships in Albany, NY.  Given explicit instructions to not watch the oncoming runners but rather keep my eye steady across the line.  The closest finish in the history of the race and I called it.

The Lake Wehrspann

PUT UP WITH IT

If I’m not writing you know something has me rapt.  The last couple of weeks have been Bar None Busy.  Four restaurant deliveries last week, four already this week.  As we prep for our big gig this Sunday at Roast in Aksarben Village.   And always with the cleaning, this time with an extra eye to next weekend’s Bar None Beer Mile.   Outside.

Inside.  Fifty one pints plus 20 quarts of corn blanched, de-cobbed, and in the freezer.  Sixteen pints of beets.  Gallons of salsa and tomato sauce.   Eight pints of blackberry jam.   Bags and bags of pesto.  Potatoes in the cellar.  Garlic and onions hanging in quiet bondage.  Greens at every chance.  Linda’s dehydrator humming low, drying all manner of herbs.

Putting up while the putting is good.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s Team Up For Teammates 5K.  One of the very few prize money races on the local calendar.  Thanks again Kray.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Keith Hanson joins me at the Copa Cabana Hotel, 2008.  Keith and brother Kevin came down for the World Champs Half Marathon in ’08.  

 

DIG DEEP

Highs and Lows.  What life is all about  really.  Long periods of relative bliss, spiked with emotional peaks and valleys sprinkled in to keep life interesting.

What matters most is that you have a deep well.  A lifetime of resources you can tap.  Experience.  That is what keeps you closer to the middle of the road when those highs and lows make their cameos.  And for all my preaching, I’m probably the  most susceptible to the singe of hope and promise, careening wildly from curb to curb.

Our mate Sam Runde runs the AAU National  Championships 800 meters later this  morning.  He and Jackson will be racing all week down in Humble, Texas.

20160730_184137_HDR

Linda and I enjoyed Pete’s Badwater celebration Saturday evening at Blue Blood Brewerey in Lincoln.  Linda and I slipped off for an impromptu wandering around the brewery and found a door that said simply  “Cave”.  Unable to  resist the  temptation (curb to  curb) we slipped through and  got a first hand through the most amazing cave.  Down,  down, down, deeper and deeper, fascinating.

20160730_095141

ROAST, our favorite coffee/wine shop in Aksarben.  We appear their on most Saturday and  some Sunday mornings from 9 through noon.  You dig?

 

BAND ON THE RUN

Or, Once A Mate, Always A Mate.

We’ve all heard the story before.  Inspiration washes over a soul or two, brought to shore by the most honorable of intentions.

The drummer, still working his sticks even though no record in the last 6 or 7 years.  The lead vocalist, talents lately dormant awaiting the right sunrise to sing.

They decide to get the old band back together.   To save the school or the community house or in this case, distance running in Nebraska.  To kick some ass.

If I teased you with “Playing With Fire”, I’ll be less coy this morning.  I’ve been in contact with three of the most solid runners and fine young men I’ve ever had the pleasure of.    And the fastest.

We’re getting the old band back together.  They’re joining our newest stars to literally tower over the athletics landscape.    One has the greatest range ever (sub 4 1500, sub 2:30 marathon), one is a USATF Club National Champion, and one is a sub four minute miler.

Band On The Run.  Band On The Run.

Once  A Mate, Always A Mate!