Author Archives: runguru

VALLEY 7 LAKES MARATHON UPDATE

Celebrating our 1 year anniversary this week.  Marking our visit to the City of Valley and Douglas County.  A grand vision to provide athletes from across the United States the opportunity to Run to Their Potential.

You’ve seen a lot of it unfold here.  Been a while since last report.

We have 250 registered representing 22 states.  201 runners from Nebraska.  Chasing personal bests and Boston qualifiers.  We have 6 runners from the Boulder Athletic Club and 2 from the Kansas City Smoke.  Going for their Olympic Trials qualifiers.

Our participation awards highlight the iconic art deco Valley sign and a bubble level to reflect the Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World.

Our age group awards are being made from the original DC West High School bleachers, my best guess from the late 50s or early 60s.  Representative of the community  support both for and by the race.  Proceeds will help fund the growing DC West Cross Country program.

Our Gold Level Sponsors include Omaha Steaks, Bayer CropScience, H&H Roofing, Thrive Space, Archistructure, and Gretna Family Health.

The course has been ridden by Gary Meyer and Tristan Nelson, laying down preliminary marks.  First best day above 40 degrees and the final measurement will be conducted for official USATF Certification.  Both the Half and Full now USATF Sanctioned.  State, National record eligible, IAAF record eligible.

Our website is still a work in progress.  All of our committee positions are volunteer and we appreciate the time and work done thus far.  Please join me in welcoming our two newest committee members, Cindy Grove from the Valley City Council and Lindsay Toussant from the Omaha Sports Commission.

Thanks for checking in and not for the last time,

Giddyup!

 

 

 

WHO DO YOU LOVE

The 7th annual Two Rivers Valentine’s 5K invites you to grab your sweetie and join us for our annual  love fest!  Good for your hearts and soles!  We’re once again offering a bottle of  wine, box of chocolates, and a big ol hug for all finishers.  And Linda’s hand crafted participation awards!  USATF Certified and Sanctioned course, official times, hot chocolate and donuts to help replenish.   https://www.active.com/waterloo-ne/running/distance-running-races/valentine-s-day-5k-2019?int=

 

ROAD LESS TRAVELED

It is great to be young and excited and in a constant hurry.  Immediate gratification and then more, its like that y’all.

It is even better to be old and slow.  Sublime satisfactions well worth the wait.

I rushed through my 20s, 30s, and 40s, paced the 50s, now enjoying my 60s.  A life’s pursuit of running allowing vim and verve for all manner of interests.  And the time to explore them fully.

What has me waxing wanderlust?  Driving across seven states in five days, a good way to see our regional America.  Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.  Eschewing major highways, rewarded with Real.   Kingfisher, OK-  birthplace of Sam Walton- streets paved with gold, well timbered houses, a diamond sticking out of the endless and ever red clay.  Indiahoma, my dad’s hometown, population 300.  My sister there too.  You see every star at night.  Just outside Ft. Sill, Native Americans only outnumbered by mesquites and cacti.  Real America.

The drive across the Texas Panhandle, getting to sing “Amarillo By Morning” to my sweet Linda, wide open skies going straight to the heavens.  Filling up and “800 miles to empty” emboldening even the most rural excursion.  Into Springer, New Mexcio, first time there, seeing my brother.  The hat trick of my living Lindgren side.  Dad 88, Cindy 62, Jim 60, good genes up top.

To Canon City, Colorado during the height of off season.  Just the locals, well mixed plus or minus my age, quite mellowed.  Final leg eleven and a half hours straight including the High Plains Highway, as scenic and treacherous a stretch of road you’ll find.  And then from York to Waterloo a pea soup fog, frightening.

This 88 year old Oklahoma Cowboy, a most remarkable and surprising artist.  Hand crafting some Real Americana for the genre.

Working on holsters right now.  He cuts and hand tools each piece from specific leathers.

The intricate and fine detailed work of this pattern is amazing.  Notice the hare and the bear on the holster on the right.  Animals making feature appearances throughout his work.

Each holster takes approximately a week of patience.

He also makes belts, each crafted with the same eye and hand.

And his signature pieces!

FEAR OF FLYING

Bok-Bok-Bok, I’m not a chicken!

Face your fears.  Embrace them.  Defeat them.  With a certain degree of sensibility and caution of course.  A good plan well executed.

I drove some serious elevations last week and found analogies to running.  Sheer drop off on the outside, carefully negotiating  narrow switchbacks higher and higher.  Unable to see the ultimate destination. Completely out of the comfort zone.   Driving on faith.

You can aspire to go higher with your running and racing.  It will require you to push aside preconceived notions, move beyond your self imposed limitations.  Be brave, take the leap, dare to fly.  The rarefied air, the amazing views, the sense of accomplishment all worth it.

1053′ above the Arkansas River.  Staring down my fears.  Living a fuller life.

 

GET FAST FRIDAY

Linda and I have been on the road this week and having a great time.  Sitting in our cabin in Springer, New Mexico as I pen these words.  Off to Colorado Springs in the morning to visit the US Olympic Training Center, a guru must go where called.

Tomorrow kicks off your beginner’s half marathon training program for Valley 7 Lakes.  I’ll be posting weekly installments under the new banner up top.   The program assumes that you have the ability to walk for one hour or run for 30 minutes with no problem.  I’ll start you out using minutes for the first few weeks and then convert your training into miles to help you get a better feel for the distances.

I’ll be back to regular daily columns beginning this coming Monday.  Thanks to everyone for keeping your ears open to what Run Guru Says.

HONEST ABE

The Railsplitter.   The Great Statesman.  The Great Emancipator.  16th President of the United States.  Honest Abe Lincoln.  Springfield, Illinois, Abe’s Hometown.  Illinois, Land of Lincoln.

It may surprise you that I’d recommend another race when scheduled so close to one of my own races.  But just this once.  Steeped in history, the opportunity to experience my boyhood version of  the heartland.

The 55th annual Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon will be held Saturday April 6th.
https://www.halfmarathons.net/illinois-lincoln-presidential-half-marathon/

The same day as our 13th annual Nebraska Trail Run.
https://www.active.com/omaha-ne/running/races/nebraska-trail-run-2019?int=

Linda and I are headed south to catch up with one of the last Real American Cowboys, my dad.  Now 87 years old, still polishes his boots and goes dancing twice a week.  Gnarled laborer’s hands somehow turned artisan, cranking out Americana in his little leatherworking shop.  And the most honest man I  know.

Dad makes the knives from scratch.  Blades from cement sawblades, handles from all manner of root and antler and wood.  Hand tools the leatherwork.   I’m anxious to receive the belt he’s made and hope the snakeskin chaps are ready too.

 

 

 

THE TRUTH

You’ve got to have your own truths, live by them, stick by them.  They are your principles, and without them, without making and taking your stand, you are at the whim and disposal of those that would influence you for their own purposes.

One of my guiding principles is “Excellence In, Excellence Out!”  A deep set belief in the Bar None Produce lifestyle.  Completely Chemical Free food.  I don’t apologize to Blue Apron or Eat Fit Go.  I’ve seen the Sysco or US Food Service trucks pull up with their deliveries.  Food product originating in fields from only Buddha knows where, sprayed with who knows what, touched by uncountable hands.  Can I get a hallelujah?

Part of making this stand manifested yesterday when I turned down a sponsorship for our Winter Fitness Series races.  I visited their website and found the following:

“Warning: Results may vary. Check with your physician before beginning a supplement program. Products may contain ingredients known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm.”

If someone, and more’s the shame an athlete, attempts to shill you with claims of “Feeling 15 years younger!”  Or “I’m running better than I have in years!” Listen with your ears, see with your eyes, and think with your brain.

Age naturally and gracefully.  Most importantly know what you are putting into your body.  Find out.  The Truth.

THE LONG RUN

It’s called Distance Running.  Not Distance Selfies, not Distance Flexing, not Distance Walking, not Distance Ski Poles.  Selfies, and flexing and ski poles and walking have their place don’t get me wrong, and I think you know where.

But Distance Running, that last bastion of personal freedom, where it is you against yourself, testing your mettle by keeping it to the pedal.  Running.

So many permutations of our sport now cozying up to the origins.  You can hardly recognize that Running began as a necessary Hierarchy of the Herd.  To the Victor The Spoils.  Everyone else the hindmost, and the further towards the hinds, the less delectable the remnants.  To quote the popular Ford Truck commercial, “If your not in the lead, the scenery never changes.”

And again, there is a place for everyone in our sport.

Including the Winners.  And all those that are “In It To Win It.”   Running with a purpose.  Embracing the grueling challenge of giving everything to cover the prescribed distance.

Those overlooked in today’s charity driven, tuxedo wearing, selfie taking, ski pole toting, bicep flexing corruption of man’s most basic expression of individualism.

What prompts today’s efforts to refocus on what Distance Running really is?

That crap I’m seeing on media about the “9 Mile Marathon.”  How to complete the marathon with your longest training run being less than 10 miles.  There’s a sucker born every minute.

If you want to be a Real Marathoner.  Embrace The Long Run.

A BETTER ROAD

Maslow proposed his infamous Hierarchy of Needs in 1943, describing fulfillment of basic criteria for mankind to be happy.  Pyramid in shape (see below), you must satisfy the base before moving to the next and more upper esoteric levels.  The famed psychologist would feather out additional needs but the gist remains.

I have insisted for the last 40 years that the very tip should be delineated with “Service to Others.”  When I moved here in 2001 I used a favorite quote to describe what my Road To Omaha would be “Love All, Serve All.”  A lofty and utterly pie-in-the-sky mantra as I would soon find out.  But that story gentle readers, best told in a quiet and dark corner over a double pour of Oban.

The foundation of my road soon shifted to, “Stimulating The Running Community To A More Competitive Culture” achieved with the formation of Team Nebraska Brooks.  The tale of that well executed demise and transition to the current captains of our state’s best athletes will cost you yet another double.

I have to be in charge of my own journey.  I Must.  I Will.  The Road Less Traveled.  As should You.  Don’t let others dictate which road you must take.  Make your travels your own.

Is there a Better Road?  It is for You to Decide.

YOUR RUNNING BODY

The urgency doesn’t start creeping in until your prime is past.  A very subtle transition, imperceptible.  It starts with your body doing some really crazy things, like enjoying broccoli or blue cheese or developing a real palate for craft beers.  You don’t remember those exact moments and you can’t imagine why you didn’t like them in the first place.  You just do.

As I continue to march into my early 60s (and largely a product of  the 60s!) personal awareness resounds every morning.  Still fit as a fiddle, always searching for the next windmill to tilt, full of piss and vinegar, just a little less of each.  The thing that does increase every day above the grass is the appreciation of what I had as a youth.  A recognition  of the amazing things that body was capable of.  Like most lifelong runners you will come to the point where your marathon personal best pace is the fastest mile you can run.  Grace if not graceful.

I was a Real Marathoner.  Real because I gave it everything I had.  Gave myself the very best available opportunities.  And for that I have no  regrets.

This  then is what guides my involvement with our new marathon.  Not willing to settle for the status quo because I knew you deserved the opportunity to be a Real Marathoner.  To Run To Your Potential.  To stand up and make a stand.  For Your Running Body.