Monthly Archives: October 2011

COLD HARD FACTS

Had a tough workout scheduled for this morning, it didn’t help that it is the first Really Cold morning of the season.  And the whooshing wind made it seem even more uncomfortable.  Undaunted, I laced up the shoes, threw on a couple extra layers, including bubblewrap, and headed out the door.  Three times a mile with no excuses.  Ran nearly perfectly even miles, battling the headwind for sections at a time, keeping the effort honest and hard, telling myself to get it done with head held high regardless of times.  Not wanting to let down Killer Coach, knowing I expect the same from my charges.

Its easy to get out on those perfect Fall days.  Not so much when the mercury drops and the wind rises.  This is the beginning of the end of outdoor running for a lot of people, but not me.  Or those I coach.  Three rules:  No Headphones, No Chewing Gum, and No Treadmills.  We’ll be out in the elements throughout the entire winter, hardening our bodies, steeling our resolve, building our mental toughness.

We’ve got a great if intimate turnout pre-registered for Saturday’s Swamp Stomp.  I’ve always wondered why this race doesn’t have triple the entrants as it offers more amenities than any other local race of the year.  Reasonably priced through today at $30, only at $35 for race day.  Included is our signature Long Sleeve T-shirt, Red Beans & Rice and Seafood Gumbo, age group awards directly from New Orleans, and live Cajun Music.  Did I mention that you don’t have to pay extra for the food?  Race day registration starts at 8:00 am, come on out and have a blast!

Another dose of my favorite little Demon Child.  Don’t let the cute demeanor disguise the terror within!  Taia will be rocking the Little Goblins Run at next weekend’s Monster Dash.

BACK ON TRACK

Catching up on the weekend’s race results:  Paul Wilson was 2nd at the Henry Doorly Zoo 5 Mile Run in 27:34, Roxi Olsen was 3rd female in 34:09.  At the Governor’s Cup in Lincoln  Brian Wandzilak was 5th in the 5K in 17:05.  In the 15K Matt Schneider was 3rd (50:08), Dustin Llewellyn 5th (51:32), Andrew Jacob 9th (53:14), and Cheto Cerda 10th in 55:19.  On the women’s side Bridget Easley took the win in 56:41, Stacy Shaw 2nd (1:01:15), and Meghan Schneider 6th in 1:06:57.  Form our Wednesday night Omaha Endurance Group the Faster Pastor Josh Sawyer took the overall win at the Run For The Holland 10K in a pr 39:23.

Congratulations to Aaron Bozarth and his new bride Jeni (Steiner).  Two of the happiest, cuddly, hammer throwers you’d ever want to meet!

Around and about:  Heard from our mate Emily Kraus this morning.  She is just finishing up a rotation out at Stanford and is looking forward to getting back to Omaha.  She’s also in for Club Cross in December and will run the Boston Marathon next April.  Chris Tegtmeier will be at the Mayo Clinic next week for tests.  One of the top race walkers in the country when he’s healthy, let’s keep our fingers crossed they can find out what has been sapping his energy.

Hope you are all planning on running this weekend’s Swamp Stomp.  We’ll have race day registration and the weather looks to be perfect.

We’ll be back on the track for tomorrow evening’s Omaha Endurance Group.  Going to develop a little baseline information for everyone as we approach our Winter Training Cycle.   6:00 pm at Millard West or Beadle Middle School if a game is going on at West.  Like this:
1-1.5 mile warm up and down.
1 X 1.5 miles @ current 5K race pace

Next week we will host our 4th Annual Running Haiku, Ugliest Feet, and Blind Mile competitions.  Plenty of great prizes, verses and nasty toes to go around!

Taia Green getting into the mood for this weekend’s Swamp Stomp 8K XC Cajun Festival.  Mardi Gras in October?????  You bet!

STAND IN

In between the dentist and getting a new windshield, today’s column will be Jeff Nielsen’s Des Moines Marathon recap:

“Overall I am pretty happy with the race.  The temps were ideal but there was about a 10 mph wind that seemed to be in our faces no matter which way we turned.  I got out a little slower than what I wanted but it wasn’t too bad.   I studied the elevation graph as much as possible and tried to game plan for the hills.  The elevation graph does not do the course justice.  There were a few big hills with a lot of rolling hills miles 3 thru 13.  I would say that this course is actually tougher than Omaha.    I was fortunate enough to run with a local who lives and trains on the hills so he was giving me some updates as to what to expect next.   After mile 21 I started to slow but I still didn’t feel too bad and I felt relatively strong to the finish.  Just before mile 26 I started to get concerned because my right calf started to ball up like it was going to cramp but it held off.  Had this course been more like what I game planned for I would have definitely hit my goal.   I was 19 th overall , 3 rd in my age group, and by my estimation there were about 6-7 non Kenyans who beat me.   Attached is my game plan along with my actual splits.”

1 6:15
6:21
2 6:15 12:30 6:20 avg
3 6:18 18:48 6:20 avg 19:00
4 6:25 25:13:00 6:28 25:29:00
5 6:15 31:28:00 6:12 31:41:00
6 6:15 37:43:00 6:11 37:52:00
7 6:15 43:58:00 6:19 44:12:00
8 6:25 50:23:00 6:31 50:43:00
9 6:18 56:41:00 6:19 57:03:00
10 6:15 1:02:56 6:17 avg
11 6:15 1:09:11 6:17 avg 1:09:38
12 6:15 1:15:26 6:16 1:15:55
13 6:25 1:21:51 6:26 1:22:21
14 6:15 1:28:06 6:17 avg
15 6:15 1:34:21 6:17 avg 1:34:57
16 6:15 1:40:36 6:10 1:41:08
17 6:15 1:46:51 6:15 1:47:23
18 6:15 1:53:06 6:25 1:53:49
19 6:18 1:59:24 6:18 2:00:07
20 6:18 2:05:42 6:12 2:06:20
21 6:22 2:12:04 6:12 2:12:32
22 6:24 2:18:28 6:35 2:19:07
23 6:26 2:24:54 6:41 2:25:48
24 6:26 2:31:20 6:42 2:32:31
25 6:32 2:37:52 6:50 2:39:21
26 6:35 2:44:27 6:42 2:46:04
0.1 1:20 2:45:47 1:30 2:47:35

Jeff had a race plan and executed it very well.  Giddyup!

DOJO MOJO

Time Trials are always a good tool to test fitness.  Several of us have completed our 4K time trial to inititate Glen vd Westhuizen’s program for the USA Club Cross Country Championships in Seattle on Dec. 10.   There are some subtle nuances that separate a time trial from a race effort.  First of all a trial should achieve more evenly paced splits.  You can go into it either aiming for specific times or running by feel.  If you are looking to hit certain marks, it is best to use your watch to help guide you.  If you go by feel it is best to take your splits but peek at them only when completed.  I took my splits every half mile this morning running by feel.  The goal was to run a controlled even effort and they rolled like this: 3:22, 3:24, 3:21, 3:18, 3:16.  Did the run at the dojo rather than the track, to more closely simulate road or cross racing.  First half into the wind with a net drop, a u-turn, and the second half with a tail wind but with a net elevation gain.  My beat is correct, my mojo is back.

Three more things for my top 5 list from Tuesday’s column:  1) My cast iron dutch oven.  I’ve cooked over a thousand meals in it over the years, give me a fire pit and some roadkill and I’m set.  2) Le Chapeau Tilley Airflo.  “The finest hat in all the world.”  It floats, ties on, repels rain, blocks UV rays, won’t shrink, comes with a four page owner’s manual and is insured against loss, guaranteed for life.  Whew!  I got mine before my trip to Hawaii  in 2007 and it has served me with distinction.  3) My Oakleys.  As I’m fond of saying, my future’s so bright I’ve got to wear shades.

Once more for emphasis, Good Luck and Great Racing to our mate Jeff Nielsen at this weekend’s Des Moines Marathon.  Our buddy Denny Gray will also be there tearing up the 5K.  Several of the mates headed to Lincoln on Sunday for the Governor’s Cup 15K & 5K.  And Agustin in KC, you Giddyup too!

Have a great weekend wherever you are running or racing.  If  you’ve got a few extra minutes here is the link to Jody Green and me on yesterday’s Morning Blend: http://www.omahamorningblend.com/videos/131597438.html

The Tilley Airflo LTM3, guaranteed for life!

EYE CANDY

Yes that was me on the telly this morning.  Jody Green and I did a guest spot on KMTV Channel 3’s Morning Blend show.  A nice 10 minute spot where we talked up Team Nebraska and our Vala’s Monster Dash 5K.  Great work by Jody getting things set up and doing the majority of the speaking.  I fielded a few questions about the club but was there primarily as eye candy for the 60+ stay at home set.   Still time to get entered, lots of great entertaining info here: www.monsterdash.digbro.com and to go directly to registration:  http://www.active.com/running/gretna-ne/monster-dash-at-valas-pumpkin-patch-2011

And also for the Swamp Stomp.  www.swampstomp.digbro.com and http://www.active.com/running/omaha-ne/swamp-stomp-xc-2011

I can’t give out big enough kudos to our Road Race Mgmt committee.  Two of our major events on two consecutive weekends, thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!

We had a great turnout for last night’s cross country running at Zorinsky.  I hammered the field for the first mile or so, once again imagining that I was one of the young studs, remembering how deep that well used to go.  My Competitive Spark was re-ignited during the first leg of the Market to Market Relay a couple of weeks ago and I’ve allowed it to flash brilliantly a couple of times since.  If you could see me running like that, all heart and lungs and legs, you would see the Real Me.

I’ve tried to explain to several people about one of my Most Favorite parts of running.  Like this:  To be out in very front of the pack.  There is no noisy noise.  Just your own breathing and the faint slapping of shoes behind you.  Knowing that You are setting the pace, The One to beat, Your Race to win.  The transcendental peace of knowing that you are doing something you love Very Well.  Hoping that your performance is pulling those behind to a greater effort.  No fear of being caught, confident that the strength and speed gained through intense training, and mental toughness, sets you apart from your competitors.

And then of course the young bucks caught me.  I threw down a couple of times to re-establish my reverie before Reality set in.  Their 20 something legs ultimately began pulling away, but the glimpse of fleetness served its purpose of reminding me why I Love to run.  The double rainbow that graced the Eastern sky was a pretty good reminder too of why I want to be outside almost always.  Eye Candy indeed!

We just missed the rainbow in this shot but the beauty has not left the sky.  Great group of friends who happen to run for a lot of different reasons.  One thing we do share is a mutual respect for the effort put forth, regardless of ability.  And yes, I am rocking the Man-Pris.

 

 

 

HILL OF BEANS

Going to be perfect for tonight’s cross country session.  Just finished marking the course and it is even more fun than I remember.  One short and very steep segment is dubbed the Hill of Beans.  We used to offer a gift basket from the coffee shop by the same name to the first male and female to the top.  Made for some fast times, premiums are an excellent way to do that.  Way back in my days directing races in Texas I would always include bonuses, or “Primes” to ensure Real Racing.  In the 10 Miler I had $150 @ 5K, 10K, & 15K.  Always a deep sprint for the first one and there was always a crowd of fans at that point to see the action.

Tonight’s run is the Original Swamp Stomp 5K course.  It remains one of the most spectator friendly courses anywhere.  It also afforded the competitors multiple opportunities to see each other coming and going.  Intricate design but easily executed and as much fun as the law allows.  We won’t offer any primes tonight but the fun and fellowship will be abundant.

Good luck to our mate Jeff Nielsen at this weekend’s Des Moines Marathon.  Jeff is one of the few people in Nebraska to complete the vaunted McLatchie Marathon Program in its entirety.  And he’s done it twice.

Good luck also to Agustin Delgado who will be kicking it at the Kansas City Marathon this weekend.

Candace Blanchard has created this perfectly ghoulish piece for the Monster Dash awards.  Spooktacular!

MY FIVE

Occasional feature in the OWH called “My Five”.  It has a community member list their 5 favorite things.  A good exercise in finding out what is really most important to you, I’ve been giving it some thought this morning.  A couple of things jump right onto my list but it is difficult to pare it down from a lifetime of living.  But something like this:

1) A picture of me and the three kids, circa 1993, sitting in our backyard in Cypress, Texas, all sitting in the classic meditation pose, meditating for rain.  I was teaching them the power of meditation/prayer, it hadn’t rained for almost a month and we went out to “sit” for rain.  After just a few minutes it started sprinkling and then turned into a full rain, the picture captures the moment the drops started falling.

2) A pair of hand crafted knives made by my dad.  They are made from steel, one has a deer antler handle, the other handle alternates between mesquite root and bone.  Both bear the “Bar None, – 0,” symbol that used to grace the entrance to his ranch.

3) The portrait of me running the 1995 Houston Marathon.  Gulf Coast artist Joanie Covell was commissioned to create this full size portrait of me as a surprise gift for my work on the inaugural Run For The Arts 10 Mile.  It captures me running at the fittest point in my life, I turned in a 2:46:56 that morning.  My children and grandchildren will see me as I would have them remember me.

4) Maine Running Camp tank top.  I attended the camp put on by Andy Palmer and John L. Parker Jr. (Once A Runner) in 1996.  The front has the name/logo of the camp, the back says simply “Hubris”.  Andy would become the only Real coach I’ve ever had.  We shared our birth date (Nov. 28) and also our commitment to developing American athletes.  Andy would sadly die while running just days prior to his ZAP Fitness facility was to open in Blowing Rock, NC.  John continues to be a sought after spokesman and elder statesman for running in the US.  The word hubris on the back of the tank sums me up better than any other single word I could come up with.

5) “History of All Nations” by S.G. Goodrich, published in 1850.  With 1207 pages of text and illustrations, it provides the combined body of knowledge from “Creation through the Present”.  Eloquent writing, outstanding artwork, intriguing maps, lost civilizations, unheard tales, and analysis of every living people- their habits, customs, and social mores.  Those that don’t learn from the past are destined to repeat it.

OK, so this list might change  but for right now I could head out into the wild with just these five things.  Well, as long as I also had some reading glasses, French Press coffee maker, cell phone, internet, Vibram Five Fingers, TNB Hoodie, warm socks, Oban Scotch, and a truck load of cash.  That’s all I would need.

Congratulations to a couple of our Wednesday Night Omaha Endurance Group mates that ran Very Well in Chicago:  Brian Kelly (50+) ran a lifetime pr of 3:01:12 and Angie Hodge pr’d in 3:49:55.  Great job to you both!

Tomorrow night we will be meeting at 6:00 sharp at the boat ramps at Zorinsky (156th & F) to run the original Swamp Stomp 5K course.  This was the first race I directed in Omaha and I still have a fondness for the course, you will too!

 

CRUEL MISTRESS

Well, drats!  What started out as a weekend so full of Hope turned into a weekend of dreams dashed.  Three of our best took to the streets of Chicago with Oly Trials qualifier aspirations, all three are feeling the sting of the marathon’s indiscriminate and unforgiving lash.  Another warmer than you’d like morning greeted Kayte, Cameron, & Tom.  They gave it their best, Cameron soldiering across in a disappointing 2:34, Kayte dragging it in just under 3 hours, and Tom deciding at 16 miles to save his screaming hamstring and aspirations for another day.  No number of cliches will help them get over yesterday so I’ll just say Giddyup!

Great reads:  “Track Coach” is published quarterly by my old buddy Russ Ebbets.  The Fall 2011 edition came over the weekend and the bulk of it is titled “Sports Psychology Roundtable”.  Taking part in the discussion are Ralph Vernacchia, Kevin Williams, and Jordan Sneva.  Three experts on how psychology and mental aspects affect performance.  In a nut shell, how to overcome mental weakness, the scourge of peak performance.  When asked what the one trait these experts would instill in their athletes their respective replies were “Mental toughness, Resilience, and Self-discipline.”  Also a good article on exercises for runners trying to build ankle and foot strength, a tribute to the “Coach” and an analysis of the neural gains from strength training.

But, my favorite monthly read is always “Editor’s Note” by Jonathan Beverly of Running Times magazine.  It is the first thing I go to when I receive my copy and it always touches my heart and my head.  After reading his column I usually say “That is Exactly what I wish I could say!”  He has the right unapologetic balance of focusing on the very best in our sport and making it apply to everyone that runs.  He stresses the importance and necessity of those that run beyond fun and fitness, describes eloquently that slice of our sport that aspires, inspires, and perspires at a more than merely mortal level.  I want to entice you into picking up a copy so here are some headline article titles: “Pre-Race Warm Up Done Right”, “A Runner’s Protein Primer”, “Gain 5 Pounds and Run Faster”, “Hard Work in the Heartland”, and “Masters Fundamentalists”.  I also learned in this month’s issue that Chadron State College will revive its cross country program after a 27 year lay off.  Good stuff.

Quick observations while watching Ryan Hall tackle the first half of yesterday’s Chicago Marathon.  1) He runs tangents better than the rest of the field.  2) He carries his fluid bottle long after the others have discarded theirs.  3) I dig his new hair cut.

The marathon is a cruel mistress.  She can be loving too, but pain is her stock in trade.

POTPOURRI FRIDAY

Ran a West loop completely barefoot this morning.  Felt free and fast, building strength in my feet.  4K time trial scheduled for next week, speed check as a prelude to Club Cross training.

Kayte Tranel was a Real Studette in her days at UNL.  Sub 34 minute 10K on the track, finished 12th at NCAA Outdoors.  She has had a long path to this Sunday but I feel she has a great shot at not only getting the sub 2:46 necessary for the Oly Trials Marathon, but would not be shocked at all if she hits the <2:40 “A” standard.  She made her 26.2 debut last year at Chicago in 2:52 despite it being one of the hottest on record.  This will be only her second effort, I like that too.

Some great results from last weekend’s USA Masters National 5K Champs:  Stephanie was part of our 2008 World Championships Half Marathon team.  She hasn’t slowed down since that trip.  #5 Cassandra Henkiel is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  She was the winner of the first ever Run For The Arts 10 Miler (1995) that I had in Texas.  52 year old Carmen Troncoso ran 18:20 to win her age group.  Carmen won the RFTA 10 miler in ’96 & ’97.  In 2000 she hand made 144 age group awards for that race, she is as skilled with the throwing wheel as she is her speedy little feet!  Great to see my two favorite women from Texas still kicking it.

 USATF NATIONAL MASTERS WOMEN'S AGE GROUP:  40 - 99
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      PLACE NAME                      AGE   TIME   RESIDENCE            ST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          1 Stephanie Herbst-Lucke     45   16:37  Atlanta              GA 
          2 Sonja Friend-Uhl           40   17:16  Brentwood            TN 
          3 Emily Bryans               44   17:38  Schenectady          NY 
          4 Doreen McCoubrie           49   17:48  Malvern              PA 
          5 Cassandra Henkiel          41   17:57  Austin               TX

Taia Green (grumpy) and Emily Langdon (happy).  Rocking the Red & White!

CUPCAKES

We had another great turnout at last night’s Stomp Preview.  Thirty four of us got out and enjoyed an absolutely perfect evening for running the back trails at Chalco.  Several more showed up for the after party at Steve Stender’s, thanks mate for hosting us!  As this group continues to grow and build friendships and fitness I can’t help but feel honored to be a part of them.  It is very easy for me to be proud of our TNB mates, but our Omaha Endurance Group is just the icing on the cupcake!

And speaking of cupcakes!  My dear sweet Alli is bringing home gourmet desserts every afternoon, crafted lovingly by her own two hands.  Eclairs, marble cakes, high ratio cakes, tarts, cookies, pies, Oh My!  She’s keeping my weight on and I get to indulge my sweet tooth, what a bonus!  She will graduate Millard West next spring and along with her HS diploma she’ll be carrying out an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts.  Sweet indeed!

Welcome to Panera Bread as a Community Sponsor of Team Nebraska Brooks!
A lot of the mates are rocking the new Brooks Pure series, I’ve been getting used to mine and are digging them more every day.  Great for training or racing, check them out if you get the chance.
I’m rolling with the Connect, several others are liking the Cadence.

Back to our TNB community outreach effort, the Omaha Endurance Group.  It was with great pleasure that Linda and I announced last night that we would expand the training from its current 30 week format to a year round program.  As hard as I make these athletes work, as much sweat and effort they deliver, as much success as they have had through this year, how could we not?  It won’t be easy though and we plan on working them right through to their late winter/early spring goals.  Did I say it wouldn’t be easy?

Suck it up Cupcake!