Monthly Archives: April 2011

TRIUMPHANT TRIUMVIRATE

I’m such a homer.  Top three men at Lincoln this Sunday, in no particular order: Levi Ashley, Tom Nichols, James McGown.  For the women Kaci Lickteig, Ann Marie Chappell*, Roxi Erickson Olsen and Maureen Larsen* should all factor in the top spots.  Chappell ran a sub 2:46 last year so that sets up a great race between her and Kaci as they both pursue the standard.  And of course Roxi is a 48 year old phenom.    Women’s Half- Kayte Tranel, Bridget Easely, Rachel Carrizales*, and Jen Viehrig will all battle for the top spots.  Men’s Half-Eric Rasmussen, Ryan Salem, Matt Pohren, Kyle Smith and Dustin Llewellyn will all factor in.  Also a great battle brewing between Linda Barnhart and Stacy Shaw for the Masters Half title.  Kraig Vanderbeek will be tough to beat in the men’s Masters Half and Kelley Crawford has been given the green light to giddyup!  Todd Nott is always a top 40+ in the full, so we’ll have top runners in all the open and masters divisions.
*=non-TNB.

                                    Levi is like the Loch Ness Monster, rarely seen but creates a huge stir when he surfaces.

                                                                     Levi & training partner Tom Nichols will both be shooting for the sub 2:19:00 USA Olympic Trials standard.

                                                                     James McGown is a 2 time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier and can never be counted out of the running.

BERT WILSON

“And now, Nature took a hand. A thunder storm that had been brewing for a half hour past, broke suddenly at the eighteenth mile, and the rain came down in torrents…In the wild tumult of the elements, Bert exulted. The thunder roared, the lightning flashed, and his own spirit shouted in unison…And as he ran on in the gathering darkness, the vivid lightning playing in blinding flashes about his lithe figure and tossing hair, he seemed like a faun or a young god in the morning of the world, rather than a product of the twentieth century.”
BERT WILSON, MARATHON WINNER, J.W. Duffiel, 1924

From our TNB Meteorologist Andrea Rich: “Between and 9 and 10am the sun will mix the air enough that winds will rise to nearly 30 mph at times out of the northwest.”  Perfect tailwind to the 50 yard line!

Top five favorite Aaron Carrizales is out of Sunday’s marathon.  A real shame as he was fit enough to outrun Eric Rasmussen at the State Farm 10 Mile last month.   A hip injury will keep Aaron from racing, drats!

I crashed terribly at the ’09 Lincoln Marathon.  My last 10K was in 65+ minutes.  At one point TNB Masters Ace Kraig Vanderbeek jogged alongside and asked if needed anything to which I replied “fuel”.  He had some unwrapped Clif Blocks in the key pocket of his running shorts (post half marathon).  He offered and I greedily consumed while swearing to never eat out of another man’s shorts again.  To that end Linda has been nice enough to sew extra pockets into my racing britches, I’ll be set with Clif product thanks.

I’ve got my goals all lined out for Sunday.  Goal #1 is to beat my 2009 result of 3:32:22.  Goal #2 is 3:26:30 as that will age grade to <3:00:00.  Goal #3 is to catch the 3:25:00 pace group as we enter the stadium.  Giddyup!

                                                                             Kaci Lickteig will be going for the USA Olympic Trials standard of 2:46:00 at this Sunday’s Lincoln Marathon.

CRUEL MISTRESS

She’ll hold your dance card right up to the first chord and then unceremoniously dump you along with a hundred other broken hearts.  My compassion goes out to the well trained injured that will be missing the big dance this Sunday morning.  When asked to describe the marathon I always define her as today’s title, capable of dashed hopes as well as dreams fulfilled.  You’ve invested months and months of preparation into Lincoln, if you’re getting to the start line healthy you’ve got 90% of the battle won.  Looks like the weather is cooperating so nothing left now but the running, want to race?

“Barefoot Running Step By Step” by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton (Fair Winds Press, 2011)  is out and available at amazon.com.  Section III of the book is titled “Why Barefooting Will Make You Faster”, and the first chapter is titled “Fast Times In Nebraska”.  The next twelve pages cover yours truly (‘the reborn, revved-up, mega-mileage coach’), Angee Henry (‘a late blooming Olympic hopeful’), Peter vd Westhuizen (‘a world-class racer’),  and Barefoot Benny Foltz (‘the accidental evangelist’).  Also mentions of our “Barefoot Striders” Shannon Stenger, Paul Wilson, and Mike Beatie.  A pretty good read if I say so myself.

Alan Webb defeated Peter vd Westhuizen at last night’s Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines.  Both were timed in 4:08 so it must have been a heckuva race.  It is run uphill and last night into a significant headwind, hence the slow times.  Peter and Alan have battled many times including this epic battle when Peter ran for the Good Mates at the 2009 KU Relays. 

MY OLD BUDDY

You see that phrase a lot in my writings when referring to mentors, colleagues, athletes, and friends from the last 25 years of my involvement in running.   It always tickles me to share stories and insights about the best runners in the U.S. and the world.  It comes across loud and clear that I have nothing but respect for those that have reached the pinnacles of our sport, whether it be administratively, through athletic accomplishment, or otherwise making a positive difference for our athletes and their goals.

And I hope it also comes across that my respect is not limited to just the best, but to everyone that is willing to juxtapose heart and sole.  That is the real beauty of running, that each of us has the opportunity to maximize the innate potential gifted us at birth.  If you pursue your own excellence then you too are my buddy and have my utmost appreciation of your efforts.   Giddyup!

My yard is arrayed in Spring’s verdure, my perennials rising to the Good Mother’s roll call, the air impregnated with thick scenting from the neighbor’s flowering trees.  Can Morel Mushroom hunting be far behind?

Wednesday Night Track Workout at Millard West, 6:00 p.m.
Marathoners & Half Marathoners: Easy jogging for up to 1 hour
Speed Demons: 1.5-2.0 mile warm up and warm down, 4 X 1000 @ 5K race pace, 2:00 recovery jog between each

                 My old buddy 2008 Olympic Marathoner Brian Sell running last year’s Lincoln Half Marathon.  We were thrilled that Brian wanted to rock the Red & White while in Lincoln!

PEAK NO TAPER

Today is the 23rd consecutive day I’ve run, included this morning was 5 miles at goal marathon effort.  Might sound strange but I’ll not take any days off before Sunday morning’s start.  Keeping the tension in the legs so they don’t get flat.  And that is today’s message, getting to the line feeling sharp and full of running/racing.  I’m doing my easy days easy and the rest of this week calls for just that.  But each day also calls for some strides to get the muscles firing and supple.  Man, I’m excited!

If you’re feeling pent up energy, nervousness, anxiety, grumbliness, etc. then you need to shift your thinking away from “tapering”.  Our TNB athletes are Peaking, not tapering.  Peaking indicates excellence and higher achievement.  Tapering connotates a diminishment.  Peaking is waxing ambitious, tapering is waning energies.

My old buddie Carrie Tollefson is guest speaking at the Lincoln Marathon expo this weekend.  Carrie was a force on the USATF Championships scene as a member of Team USA Minnesota, and has transitioned nicely into speaking and television/radio coverage of our sport.  And she’s still fast as the wind.

OKLAHOMA CREDIT CARD

According to this morning’s OWH, The Nebraska Regional Poison Center has over a dozen cases of people ingesting gasoline as they attempt to steal via siphon, from gas tanks.  An old trick my dad taught me as a very young boy.  If the yard needed mowed and there was no fuel in the tank he’d tell me to get the Oklahoma Credit Card and take some out of the truck.  It only takes one mouthful of gasoline to learn the correct way to pull this off.

I mentioned my old buddy Tony Reavis yesterday and he is shown again this morning in the photo below.  Tony did a series for ESPN way back in the day called “Running & Racing”.  The series covered every major road race in the United States, was broadcast every two weeks, and had me riveted for the couple years it showed.  I’ve got almost every episode on VHS, some real treasures in there.

Flotrack is carrying the KU Relays live all weekend.  I got to see Wayne State’s John Kerns win a very exciting 10000 meters last night, a real WOW performance.  Still can’t find the official results though.

I’ve received dozens of emails regarding Monday’s Boston Marathon.  Some very well thought out, a few rants from Captain Smarty Pants.

In an amazing bit of prescience, Lets Run guru and renowned coach John Kellog actually predicted a 2:03 performance.  Here is his quote from yesterday:

“If the forecasted wind wasn’t absolutely guaranteed to make a huge difference at Boston, I never would have mentioned the likelihood of a world-best time. I didn’t throw out the possibility of a 2:03 before the race because I had no doubt the top few runners were so much better than those in any other marathon ever contested; nor did I mention it because I knew this big secret that Boston’s course, long viewed as one of toughest majors in the world, is really nothing but a piece-of-cake, freewheeling downhill and this just happened to be the year several runners were going to prove it. No, I took one look at the weather forecast. It’s the wind, stupid.”
 
But there is also Renato Canova’s solid piece on how this is the natural progression of faster times in the marathon and nothing more.  http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=4011478  Canova is recognized as one of the top coaches in the entire world and knows what  he is talking about.  So whether or not you think the favorable wind conditions were the prime factor or not, a lot of intelligent discussion on the topic.          
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cute little bugger isn’t he?

                                                                                     My old buddy Desiree Davila at the Boston Marathon post race party.

LIKE ITS 1999

We’ve got several of the Good Mates competing at the Kansas Relays beginning today.  Matt Schneider will be running the 10K, Andrew Jacob will 800/1500 double, Matt Heesch is racing the 5K, and Randal Carter is high jumping.  Good luck and giddyup!

I think men running a sub 3 marathon is still sort of the gold standard for merely mortals, and when women break it that indicates a lot of serious potential for greater things.  Dig this: My old buddy Jim Garcia has ran a sub 3 in his fifth consecutive decade.  Like this, 2:55:51 in 1979; 2:32:06 in 1989; 2:25:46 in 1994; 2:37:02 in 2002; 2:54:08 at Monday’s Boston Marathon.  Now that is impressive.

Mike Morgan is out of the Lincoln Half due to his recurring foot injury.  Hopefully we’ll get to see Mike around for the weekend.  You read it here first!  In my interview with Mike a couple of weeks ago he mentioned not being happy with the USA Olympic Trials Marathon course.  The Houston Marathon listened, and apparently so did USATF.  Work has begun to reconfigure the course to eliminate the hairpin turns that were so widely panned.  Good.

Thanks to our TNB Medical Director Bill Weeks for the photos below.  He was fortunate enough to attend the post race party at Boston and these are a small sampling of the fun.

                                                                                                                  Kara Goucher getting down!

                                                                                                           My old buddy Tony Reavis interviewing new World Best Marathon holder Geoffrey Mutai

                                                                                                                                                                               Our mate Jose Badillo shortly after rocking the London Marathon!

EUPHORIA

I’m in a near state of it due to the amount of discussion going on concerning Monday’s Boston Marathon.  It matters not which position you are siding with regarding the record eligibility of the performances, the mere fact that there is MOSTLY intelligent discussion signals positive to me.  Go over to LetsRun and you’ll see an enormous amount of debate, check your local funny pages and its there too.  This has done more to educate the masses about Record Eligible courses than my stumping has in 10 years.

World Best.  Period.

I like the fact that so many are jumping on the World Record bandwagon as it highlights just how far we have to go if the American running populace is to fully understand record keeping, excellence, and the history of our sport.  Ask poor Mark Nenow how it felt to have a World’s Best (27:22 at the 1983 Crescent City Classic 10K) go unrecognized for over 10 years.  Point to point courses are not record eligible due to degree of separation of the start and finish.  This makes Monday’s wind aided performance the new poster child for road racing’s World Best designation.  Tell me what you want of the hills and difficult nature of the course, I’ve run Boston. 

If I were the BAA I’d be fighting like mad to get those performances Officially recognized as World Records.  But my efforts would be couched in a wink and a smile.

Steve Scott won the Queen’s Street Mile in Auckland, NZ in 1982.  It was a downhill mile created for the purpose of covering the fastest mile in history.  He split 47 at the 1/4 and 1:40 through the 1/2 before coming home in 3:31:00.  Point to point and aided by net elevation loss. 

I could decide to run the Ft. Collins Marathon the same day as Lincoln if all I were after was a “record” or a “best”.   With 1100′ of elevation drop I’d expect Ft. Collins to be at least 10-12 minutes faster than Lincoln.  I’ll grind it out in the Capitol City, thanks.

This evening’s Track Workout at Millard West, 6:00 pm start-
Marathoner & Half Marathoners: 2 mile warm up, 2 X 1200 meters at goal race pace (2:00 recovery) 2 mile warm down.
5-10K runners: 1.5-2.0 mile warm up, 8 X 400 meters in 2 sets of 4.  1:00 recovery between 1/4s, 3:00 recovery between sets, 2 mile warm down.

                                                                                                 Mark Nenow was one of America’s brightest stars during the 80s.

DAZZLING DESI

Biggest props first.  Desi Davila turned in a performance (thrilling battle down Boylston for 2nd overall in 2:22:38) that should last the rest of our lifetimes and beyond.  Just wow, congratulations to her, Keith & Kevin, and the entire Hansons training group.

Sad note, Grete Waitz has died of cancer in Oslo.  She was the class act in women’s distance running during the mid-70s through mid-80s.  During that time she won the NYC Marathon an astounding 9 times, finished 2nd to Joan Benoit Samuelson in the 1984 Olympic Marathon, held the WR for 3000, and was one of  the finest ambassadors the sport has known.

Joanie ran 2:51:29 yesterday in Boston, she will be 54 later this year.

Geoffery Mutai ran 1:01:04 for the second half marathon at Boston, and a 28:22 final 10K for the world best 2:03:02.  4:42/mile, hard to fathom.

Phil Coppess ran 2:16:29 at the 1985 Lincoln Marathon for the fastest ever in Nebraska.  Karlene Erickson won Omaha in a jaw dropping 2:41:50 in 1981 for fastest by a woman.  On those hills, that is tough. 

Congratulations to Bea Sides for receiving the RRCA National Running Award for Outstanding Beginner Running  Program.  Well deserved!

                                                                     Grete Waitz and Joan Benoit Samuelson after the 1984 Olympic Marathon.   Photo credit: Getty Images

HOPKINTON

No other place on the planet to be this morning if you’re a runner, I’m there in spirit with many of you.  I’ll have a recap later today with results from Boston. 

For now plenty of other action from the mates over the weekend:
Andrea Rich ran 3:30:00 at the Salt Lake City Marathon on Saturday.  This is the exact same time she ran at Chicago last October.  I’m encouraging Andrea to select a marathon at sea level with great weather for her next try.
Jose Badillo finished 16th in the 70+ age group at yesterday’s London Marathon turning in a nice 4:13:58. 
Jordan Tucker was first overall at the Maverick Stampede 8K XC Run in 28:33.
At the Sioux City Relays we had a good group including the following:
Matt Schneider ran his fastest Steeplechase in 2 years running 9:21.81.  He followed later Saturday afternoon with a 5K pr of 15:32.04.  Nice running Matt!
Matt Heesch made his barrier debut (hadn’t run a single practice steeple workout) running 10:07.98.  Happy with that as it qualifies him for USA Club Nationals.  He followed with a 4:224.12 1500 meters.
Andrew Jacob doubled in the 800 (1:59.24) and 1500 (4:11.00).
Megan Zavorka ran a pr in the 1500 with 4:47.49.

                                                                      Another of my Boston Marathon memorabalia, Joseph Kamau’s 1997 2nd Overall Orefors Swedish Crystal Bowl.  He didn’t want to carry it back to Kenya only to “feed the goats” out of it.

                                                And a priceless autographed Leroy Neiman titled “Boston Marathon”.  Leroy is one of the most famous American artists of the last 50 years.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing some of my Boston collectibles, plenty more for next year!