Monthly Archives: November 2011

DISTINGUISHING EFFORTS

Want to start off by thanking Killer Coach for the encouraging words yesterday, you too Matt Schneider.  Glen let me know that cumulative fatigue was to be expected and Matt knows how the inside of my head works.

I ran the 4K time trial this morning in 16:29, a full :15 faster than my initial time, I am very happy.  What a difference a day and some good karma can make.  I went out hoping to hit the first 1/4 in :95, it was :93, I settled down and had it pretty much dialed in at a steady 6:36 pace the rest of the way.  While it was a bit windy out at El Parque Estado Dos Rios, it was easy for me to keep going, knowing that this final workout would validate the efficacy of the program, this one’s for you Glen!

My client Carrie is learning a thing or two about distinguishing efforts.  The suttle differences between, Running, Real Training, Racing, and every pace in between.  She indicated that she couldn’t wait to finish this training cycle so that she could go back to Regular Running.  There is a time and place for both of course.   She’s going to rock Disney in just 5 more weeks.

I’ll be heading out very early manana for St. Louis but will be providing updates on a regular basis.  Please do check in as there are always highlights and good fights and long nights.

 

I have been up in the Arch only once before but will go again this week.  Back in 2004 I was part of the administrative team that put on the USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis’ Forest Park.  I went to the top with running legends Nina Kuscik, Carol McLatchie, and Julie McKinney, a trip I’ll always cherish.

HALF & HALF & WHOLE

Our mate Cheto Cerda is headed to the birthplace of my competitive nature.  The La Porte (Texas) By the Bay Half Marathon is scheduled for this upcoming weekend and he’ll be rocking the Red & White on my old stomping grounds.  I lived in the sleepy little coastal community, formed my very first running club, The Gulf Coast Wind Breakers, in 1984.  Also directed my first race there.  Cut my teeth knocking on doors asking for sponsorships too, learned the 99% rule.  99 times out of a hundred you are likely to get a “not interested”.  It is those single “Yes” responses that keep it all worth it.  The course goes over and back across the Fred Hartman Bridge, nearly 5 miles of the race, the only “hill” for miles and miles of Gulf Coast Pancake Flatness.  Arriba Cheto!  Arriba!

The Fred Hartman Bridge crosses the Houston Ship Channel, connecting La Porte and Baytown Texas.  One of the most industrialized areas of the country, you can’t imagine how much I appreciate the clean, fresh air of Nebraska!

Lee Anderson will also be racing a 13.1.  The Rock Canyon Half Marathon is in Pueblo, CO.  His stint at altitude in Arizona should stand him well when the gun goes off.  Giddyup Lee!

And Bridget Easley will make her run at 2:46 at California International this weekend.  Good luck and great racing to Bridget!  Nebraskans Kaci & Christy too!

Linda Barnhart and yours truly will be competing in the Market Street Mile this Saturday morning in St. Louis.  We are headed out Thursday morning for the USATF Annual Meetings, usually all work and no play, this race will offer a nice break to the drudgery of 4 days of insufferable beauracracy.  I’m going down with a chip on my shoulder (imagine that!), ready to take on all comers in the battle over the new IAAF Uniform Compliance Rule as it relates to Club Championship events.  Spoke with Devon Martin (Chair, Club Council and Pres. of NY Central Park Track Club) yesterday, we are all on the same page and will be headed down loaded for bear.

Funk.  And not like Rick James.  My training has inexplicably taken a turn towards the blase.  Yesterday called for 2 X 800 full out.  My first one was :20 slower than what I’ve been averaging this whole training cycle.  I stepped off the track at 200 meters on the 2nd effort, unable to continue due to fatigue and difficulty breathing.  I’m temporarily bowed, but not beaten.  Might be the head cold, 23 straight days of training, stress, loss of sleep, or that elusive appetite to keep my weight up.  Hoping a change of scenery will snap me out of it, I’m going to hammer that mile on Saturday hoping to rejuvenate my soles.  Or maybe I’ll pop back up during tomorrow’s 4K time trial.  That was the first workout I did in this cycle, hit it in 16:44 on October 14th, I’ll hopefully demonstrate considerable improvement,  I’ve certainly worked my tail off, as have we all under Killer Coach’s tutelage.

 

 

 

REFLECTIONS

Its my birthday, its my birthday!  Good day for me to think back on the first 54 years, what I’m thankful for, what I’ve done, where I’m headed, what I might have done differently.

I’ve always maintained that my life has no regrets, they have too negative of a connotation.  With the wisdom of hindsight however there are certain things that I might have changed chronologically.  Going to college right out of high school probably tops that list.  I waited 12 years to start, plus another 5 achieving my degree.  Its those initial 12 years that I now consider with more introspection.  Could they have been better spent?  At least 10 of them could to be sure.  From 1975-85 I pretty much wandered aimlessly, convincing myself that experiencing the world (school of hard knocks) would do me right.  And it did shape me and I’m glad for those important lessons learned, I’m just not now convinced that there were enough of them to make it worthwhile when juxtaposed to pursuing a career.

Part of what sharpens my focus, gives me pause, are the wonderful people that I work with on TNB.  These talented, ambitious, motivated, aspiring athlete/citizens represent what is best about being young.  They seem to be so much more mature than I was at that age (maybe more than I am now?), with their lives full ahead of them, a limitless future.  And so it is with the world, the provenance of Youth.

Another is my own children.   My eldest Miles by now a man.  It was with great pleasure that I received a text from him on Saturday describing the wonder of running through The Garden of the Gods in Colorado, something I’ve yet to experience but was thrilled he could, and Would, do.  My dear sweet Alli, very much like my TNB kids, already knowing where she’s headed, excited about how life will bring her there.  And my youngest Katie, just a freshman at Millard West, still too young to be bothered too much by anything at all.  I’m a lucky man to be able, at this age, to have three wonderful kids still at home.

I’ve been in Omaha 11 years now,  longer than any other place I’ve ever lived with the exception of my hometown.  It is as easy for me to see the mis-steps that occurred when I first arrived as it is for me to see the wonderful result of my passion and work.  Thanks for entertaining the ramblings of an old man, I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life here in Nebraska.  And I appreciate your continued support of someone that after all really just wants to make a positive difference in the lives of our future.

p.s. Just checked my Facebook, thank you to all my friends from around the world that have taken a moment to salute, I am truly blessed.

Me and the old man, like father like son.

 

 

HEARTLAND

We took some mates to Heartland Cafe in Elkhorn after Saturday morning’s run.  Eleven of us hit the dojo for our long run, built big appetites, and chowed down at this little gem of a restaurant.  Everything made from scratch, doesn’t get any better.  The Gourmet Hashbrowns, with a ladle of sausage gravy, topped by 2 eggs over easy.  Heaven on a plate, glad to be getting my weight back, not always easy for me.

Some new pics up on our flickr account, thanks to Meghan Schneider for taking and posting, photos below credited to her.  TNB’s membership stretches across the state, and many more that are transplanted across the country, either permanently or temporarily.  It is not very often that we get to see each other, and when we do get together there are always introductions to be made.  New mates meeting other new mates and older mates too.  Our TNB Family.  When we do get an opportunity I often ask the mates to gather prior to the starting gun for a group pic.  A great way to commemorate our gatherings at our Favorite Races.  It was mentioned at breakfast that Thursday morning’s Fremont TT was among the most competitive men’s road race of the year behind only the Corporate Cup and the Lincoln Marathon/Half Marathon.  That’s what makes it one of our faves, satisfies our appetite for Real Racing.

Ran some this morning with a guy that knows a lot about Real Racing.  Chuck Cooper was the Race Director of the Festival of Races, still likely the most competitive event in the history of Omaha, only the Omaha Mile coming close to depth of talent.  We share views, and pains about certain obstacles in our running community.   To a point, the more things change, the more they stay the same.   He is doing Good Work in other arenas now.   I keep up the Good Fight but continually learn how difficult it is/was to advocate for Excellence.  Chuck will be running the Dallas White Rock Marathon next weekend, 1 day before he turns 60.  Good Luck, Great Racing, and Giddyup!

How appropriate that Cory & Justin chose to bury the competition in front of the Dugan Funeral Chapel.  Cory just nipped Justin at the line, that’s some Real Racing!

No quarter asked for, no quarter given, and no tears.  Mano a Mano, stride for stride, fiercest of competitors through the line, good buddies immediately afterwards.

Shain Kephart didn’t ask for any favors either.  He battled the entire way, “Rubbin is Racin” as our mate Kelly Crawford likes to say.  Reminds me of a younger version of Run Guru.

A great shot of David & Peter working together while trying to break each other.  Training partners and great friends until the gun goes off.  That’s why its called Real Racing!

Run Guru Says is now off the soap box.

 

 

GRINDING THE CRACK

The Most Fearless man in the world, Jeb Corliss.  Has to be.  Check out this short video on You Tube if you aren’t one of the 6 million people to have already done so.  My jaw is still dropped.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWfph3iNC-k

Yesterday was a great day to be a runner in the Omaha Metro.  Over 50 people showing up for the Life Time Fitness turkey jog.  Gary had 30 of his closest friends out for a run and pictures.  Over 200 showing up for the Omaha Run Club jog around Zorinsky.  Haven’t heard the numbers for the Joslyn Turkey Trot or the one in Papillion and  I think there was also an organized TT race out at Zorinsky.   That’s a lot of runners any way you shake it. The weather could not have cooperated any better, that’s for sure.

We were discussing Fremont over dessert last night (Linzer Tart & Huerradura Anejo).  There were a lot of people that walked/jog/ran the 1 mile and two mile (and a couple did race).  But Everyone in the 5 Mile was there to Race.  No walkers and seemingly few joggers.  It was over before you knew it.  Interesting observation.  And the racing was hot if not well organized.   A couple of positives from the race:  1) You could select a reduced entry fee if you didn’t want the T-shirt.  2) The long straightaway finish.  That is where a lot of the Real Racing happened (and feelings got hurt, sniff).  If I didn’t/couldn’t out kick you I shook your hand and thanked you for pushing/pulling me to a greater effort instead of crying about it.  Here is a video from the Fremont Turkey Trot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPIFPD98Vvg

Emily Kraus took the overall female at the Kearney Turkey Trot.  Ben Shultz was 3rd at Joslyn (no full results available at press time), Jen Viehrig also Raced and surely did well.  Hope to have more comprehensive results this weekend.

Hope you are enjoying time with family/friends/loved ones today.

Cory Logsdon & Justin Mollak pull away on the final stretch yesterday.

 

FREMONT TURKEY TROT

Won’t have official results for a day or two most likely.  It came down to a sprint finish with Peter The Great narrowly edging David Adams.  Both were clocked right around 24:00, David pr’d through 8K in 23:20 something.  Should be noted that this was not contested on a USATF Certified course, more’s the shame.  Most people that use the wrist magic came up with 5.09-5.1 miles.  It would have been nice to have some mile markers too, but what the hey.


Front row: Cory Logsdon, me, Linda Barnhart, Matt Schneider tucking in his rabbit ears.  Standing:  Meghan Schneider (she was the overall winner of the 2- mile, besting all comers),  Shain Kephart, David Adams, Carole Swanson, Kelly Crawford, Peter vd Westhuizen (in blue), Lee Anderson (#982), Justin Mollak, Andrew Jacob (tall), & Jeff Nielsen.  A couple of groupies rearmost.

I am thankful for my team.  I am thankful that they represent with drive, determination, and dedication.  I am thankful for the opportunity to serve such a fine group of talented athletes.  Of the 14 runners pictured, 10 will be competing at the USA Club Cross Country National Championships.  I’m thankful that we are elevating competitive running in Nebraska and beyond.


GIDDYUP!


It was this close at the finish line.  Wanna race?  Peter and David certainly don’t mind taking on each other or anyone else.  David is looking Very Strong for Club Cross and I won’t be surprised at all.


Carole Swanson had a good race winning the Women’s Masters title.


Linda was right behind Carole, I think this is the first local race of the year that she hasn’t taken the top 40+ spot.  Can you believe how strong our Women’s Masters team will be in Seattle?  Whew!


Kelly Crawford took the Men’s Masters title in 29:08.  Not too bad for a 49 year old eh?  Catch him if you can!


Justin Mollak shows what it takes to be on Team Nebraska Brooks!  Nothing less than your all.


I didn’t have the day I wanted but gave it my best too.  Couldn’t even muster 7:00 pace, glad to get the bad race out of the way today instead of in 2 weeks.  I debuted the new IAAF Compliant singlet and was too warm in my man-pris and h-vac top.

All photos courtesy of Amy Mollak.

More results from other races this weekend.  HAVE A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

HAPPY 1000TH

Today is my 1000th column under Run Guru Says.  Over 3 years of putting down my daily thoughts for your consideration.  I hope that in some small way I have either entertained or enlightened you.  It has been my joy to share and to realize that there are many, many people that follow my musings.  So in this time of reflection and appreciation, I am most thankful for YOU readers that help to bring out the very best in my words.  It has been a long journey and well worth every step and mis-step (although I could have done without a few of the latter).

I was born on Thanksgiving Day in 1957.  Thus it has always been my most favorite holiday of the year.  For those of you that might think 54 is old, over the hill, out to pasture, gold watch material, think again.  I’ve still got enough spunk to love you/race you/fight you for the next 50 years.  I can only wish the same boundless enthusiasm for a long, full life to all of you.

Have you ever seen a 5 Mile race run in the 23’s?  Not temperature, minutes.  Come on out to Fremont tomorrow morning and you’ll see David & Peter do just that.  The field will be stacked with mates looking to celebrate their fitness going into Club Cross.  Schneider, Jacob, Logsdon, Anderson, Kephart, maybe Pohren and Mollak, catch them if you can!  Going to need to run under 26 minutes just to make the top 10, oh my!  And here in Omaha Ben Schultz & Jen Viehrig will be kicking some waddle at the 1st annual Joslyn Turkey Trot.  Gobbler Giddyup!!

Don’t forget to remember/honor our Native American brothers and sisters, their sacrifice and suffering that should never be lost amid the celebrating.

35 years ago I had hair, guns, and abs.  I could whup you then, now I’m a lover.  The hair may be gone but I’m thankful that I have my dad’s genetics for life long fitness.  54, the new 34?

 

5 NEARLY 6

I was just 6 days away from my 6th birthday on this day in 1963. When I got home I found mom crying.  That will always stay with me.  One of those rare life moments when you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing.  Something that had a profound affect on my childhood and probably my life.  Innocence lost might be the best way to describe it.  Finding out for the first time that the world really can be a Bad place.  JFK assassinated.   Then Jack Ruby gunning down Lee Harvey Oswald in front of all of us.  A lot for a youngster to digest, especially one that was blessed/cursed with deep contemplation from an even earlier age.  My generation’s 9.11 I suppose.  Life is marked hard by those events, often most tragic, that sear themselves into our memories.  Meditations and prayers the only answers to unanswerable questions.

Three more women made the USA Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying standard of <2:46:00 at this past weekend’s Philadelphia Marathon.  Two other women qualified by running the necessary <1:15:00 half marathon equivalent.  On the other coast at the Big Sur Half Marathon 2 more women and 1 male (<1:05:00) punched their tickets to Houston.  California International Marathon will be the last chance to get a qualifier.  TNB’s Bridget Easley will be chasing the mark.  Two other notable non-TNB entries from Nebraska that also have a shot:  Kaci Lickteig and Christy Nielsen.  Kaci ran a 2:49 at 2010 Chicago while representing the Good Mates.  Christy, 36,  is chasing her 4th qualifier.  They are now training partners and have been putting in a lot of work.  No matter who you run for, Giddyup!

Had a nice meeting with Susie Smisek, Jody Green & Linda Barnhart after Sunday’s ORC meeting.  The Omaha Marathon is never far from our minds.  Another gem from Sunday- Gary Meyer has worked 55 events thus far this year.  Makes me feel like a slacker.

Ricky Trevino won the UNK Turkey Trot 5K last weekend in 16:01.

The Chiba International Ekiden in Japan is coming up tomorrow.  That event has a special place in my heart for many reasons.  I was the USA Women’s Team Leader in 2002.   We were housed at The Nihon Aerobic Center, the Olympic Training Camp for Japan as they geared up for the Seoul Olympics, a truly first class facility.  Kevin Hanson and Creigh Kelley were my co-administrators and I learned much in just a few days.  A young Brian Sell was on that team, dreaming of greater glory.  I was privileged to carry the U.S. flag during the opening ceremonies.  One of the highlights of the week is each team signing “the wall”.  Every team from every country from every year has a square with the signatures of those participating.  Immortalized in ink if you will.  Fast forward 7 years and our own Linda Barnhart makes the trip and has her own memories and place in Chiba lore.  Cool.

Mike Morgan, shown here when he ran for the Good Mates, will be running the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston this coming January.


I took this photo at the Edgar Cayce Institute in Virginia Beach at last year’s USATF Annual Meeting.  It gives me a peaceful, easy feeling and is the screensaver on my phone. The 2011 Annual Meeting is in St. Louis this year and begins next week.  This will be my 9th annual meeting, Love All, Serve All and Giddyup!

 

MATT POHREN

Giving our mate the title today in recognition of his win at Living History Farms this past weekend.  He was informed by race officials that he is the first Nebraskan to win LHF overall.  I’m sure if this is not correct one of our multitude of field correspondents will let me know.  In any event, Matty P gets some huge kudos and cred for a remarkable achievement.  He’ll be taking his wheels to Seattle soon, can’t wait.

The Omaha Run Club annual meeting/run/party was cool yesterday.  I was pleased to present Tom Whitaker and the ORC with our Contributor of the Year award, our highest honor for making a positive difference in the Nebraska running community.  Tom came out for all of our races this year to do the timing and results.  And he did it for the good of everyone expecting nothing more than a donut and a coffee.  Tom Whitaker, we salute you!

I was also digging the ORC Hall of Fame inductions.  Greg Carlberg and Jim Hall.  Greg I knew about, he was TNB’s very first Honorary Member back in 2003, in recognition of his being the first native Nebraskan sub 4:00 miler.  Jim is a delightful fellow that used to wreak havoc on competitive fields around the midwest.  A sub 30:00 10K guy that took on all comers and usually handed them their butts.  I got to speak with Jim and learned a lot more about when Real Racing dominated the local scene.  It was a natural segue into my brief report on TNB’s achievements this year, and our aspirations moving forward, how we would be chasing the legacy of both of these honored athletes.

Always a great crowd at this gathering.  The ORC has made significant strides in their road race management as well as programs for the entire community.  A survey of the room is like a who’s who in Omaha running.  You can tell who really makes things happen and who gives the most, I’m proud to not only be a member but also to be meaningfully engaged with such positive people.

Thursday’s Turkey Trot will see the fastest male road 5 Mile ever in Nebraska.

And again, how about that Matt Pohren!

This is how you Race up a steep, muddy bank.  Matt is a Real Stud!  Photo courtesy of Doug Wells.

These cats wouldn’t give it to Matt without a fight.  Matt wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.  Doug Wells photo.

LIVING HISTORY FARMS

Quick recap based on what I’ve garnered since yesterday morning:  Matt Pohren made good on his promise to win the race.  How about that!  Our Good Mates narrowly missed their third consecutive team victory.  Our neighbor’s USATF Elite Development Club, Runablaze Iowa, finally put together a men’s team to challenge the Red & White.  They prevailed by a scant :15 when combining the top 3 finisher times for each team.  Cory Logsdon and Andrew Jacob were also in the top 10 overall and our 4th finisher Brian Wandzilak was two ticks faster than their fourth.  All around a great performance!

1. Runablaze Iowa
    2    2 M25  Randy Bill, 29, Cedar Falls, IA            39:36
    6    2 M35  Scott Gall, 37, Cedar Falls, IA            40:59
    8    1 M30  Joseph Aulwes, 30, Bondurant, IA           41:07
   20   12 M19  Luke Demmel, 21, Marshalltown, IA          43:40
   22   13 M19  Ermin Sabljakovic, 24, Waterloo, IA        43:49
   49    1      Ellen Ries, 24*, West Des Moines, IA       47:31
Total Time = 2:01:41     Total Places = 16

2. Team Nebraska
    1    1 M25  Matt Pohren, 27, Omaha, NE                 38:56
    9    4 M19  Cory Logsdon, 23, Omaha, NE                41:15
   10    5 M25  Andrew Jacob, 25, Columbus, NE             41:47
   19    2 M30  Brian Wandzilak, 31, Lincoln, NE           43:38
   68   23 M25  Dylan Wilson, 25, Lincoln, NE              50:52
   86   54 M19  Kevin Brown, 24, Omaha, NE                 52:54
Total Time = 2:01:56     Total Places = 23