Monthly Archives: March 2012


Happy Spring!  First day and already my flowers are popping up to mid-April heights.

A perfect day for Runners and Ducks although there was one skunk sighting.  The Spring showers made this morning’s run so much easier.  Twenty miles around the dojo, gave Linda a 1 hour head start so we could get used to being inside our own heads when the going gets tough.    Included in the run was over 2 hours of challenging work, I came through just fine indeed, and so did she.

I’d felt a little twinge in my right hammy while abed last night and actually considered taking today off, especially given the nature of the workout.  But then came the email from Killer Coach with just the right words to get me out and going.  I can’t say enough good things about this cat.  Or his son.

Peter vd Westhuizen will be racing at the Yellow Pages meet in Stellenbosch, South Africa tonight.  The Yellow Pages is a series of meets that prep their very best athletes for Olympic team selection.  Stellenbosch also produces some of the finest wines in the country.  Race well and raise a toast Mate!

Peter does most all of his speed work on this beautiful grass track.  Can you imagine?  He’s looking mighty lean and fit and we are hoping the rainbow in the background portends the obvious.

And here he is at last October’s Swamp Stomp 8K Cajun Festival.  Peter is one Good Mate no matter where in the world he is training or racing!


These winds are really wearing me out.  Even the downhills were tough this morning, straight into 30+ mph, like having hands pushing your shoulders.  Nice to have the tailwind back uphill though.  We did manage to outrun the incoming bad weather,  the ominous front putting a little more than usual giddyup in our warm down.

We ran a little over 20 yesterday on the MoPac trail in Springfield.  Five miles headwind, 5 miles tailwind, times two.  85.2 miles for the week, with another quality day added.  I can’t recall the last time I turned in a week like that.  I’ll be honest that I was a little bushed for this morning’s hill workout.  The next two days are even more daunting with 31 kilometers with pickups manana and 20 x 1/4 on Wednesday.

I know there are some that are surprised I’ve made it into week 7 of Killer Coach’s “plan of assassination”.  But therein lies the beauty of having a great coach.  I trust him.  And do what I’m told.  You don’t often hear me saying that.

Luka Thor is  hitting 80+ miles per week.  And taking Pharmacology classes.  He also travels to Lincoln to work the graveyard shift at least once/week.  And speaks 4 different languages.  Interesting fellow to say the least.

Cory Logsdon ran 104 miles last week as he preps for Boston.  He works as a bank teller in Blair and as a server at O.J’s restaurant.

Matt Schneider is taking Nursing classes, working clinicals, and training up for this coming weekend’s Shamrock Shuffle Team Challenge in Chicago.

That is a common thread among our Team Nebraska mates.  Training and racing and taking classes and working, and some supporting a family to boot.  Excellence indeed.

Aubrey Baxter pr’d in the Hammer Throw this weekend in Stillwater, OK  with a huge toss of 67.04 (219′ 11″).

We had some mates run the Blarney Stone 5K Saturday evening.  Joy Shultz took Overall Female, Andrew Jacob was 3rd Overall Male, and Mike Reilly won the 35-39 age group.  I have to admit that I pretty much expected all of them to finish very well.

More of a surprise and a real treat for me was to see a couple of our Omaha Endurance Group mates run very well.  Krista Palm won the women’s 35-39 age group and Amy Reefe took 2nd in the women’s 40-45!



Life sometimes lobs a softball at you.  Plunking you squarely on the noggin and creating one of those moments in life you’ll never forget.  Casual everyday existence punctuated by the disruptive nature of chaos unexpected.  Part of what makes life strange and amazing.

Spent yesterday afternoon in the ER with my dear sweet Alli.   Her kiss to our Himalayan cat Luna spooked her and in an instant there was blood everywhere.  A claw to the face,  slash across the cheek, gaping wound just below her bottom lip and immediately to Alegent for 6 stitches to close.

A father remaining brave, a grown daughter once again daddy’s little girl.  Keeping calm and reassuring on the outside, heart nearly breaking on the inside, being there as only a loving parent can.  Dr. Adam Chick did a great job and promises beauty uninterrupted, the youthful power of healing being another magic of life.

Reminds of what really matters, what the most important things are.  If you have kids, it is them.  One of our favorite bed time books when they were growing up was Robert Munsch’s  “I’ll Love You Forever”, its a classic and I’m sure most parents have read it to their own children.  If you’ve never read it the message is very powerful and touching.  And while I’m on favorites, another is Cooper Eden’s “If You’re Afraid of the Dark, Remember The Night Rainbow”.

This is a running column so I’ll mention the venerable Blarney Stone 5K, another great race put on by Peak Performance:
“Join us at the River City Star to celebrate your Irish heritage (everyone is Irish on St. Paddy/s Day). Cost is $40 at packet pickup and on race day. For an optional cost of $15, you can get a green St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt that says: “Blarney Stone 5K – An Irish Run with a Beer Chaser. Click on t-shirt option when you register at Packet pickup is from 10 AM to 6 PM on March 15 and 16 at Peak Performance, 519 N. 78th St. and at the race site from 4 PM to 5:45 PM.”

Have a good and safe weekend!




Just a little over 3 weeks left until the 6th Annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Runs.  We are capping the field at 600 and there are fewer than 100 spots left so better get your Giddyup on!  We won’t cap the Tough Little Mudders Kids Run though, and at a set entry of $10 for that it will remain twice the deal.

It is with Great Pleasure that I get to announce a new marathon for Nebraska.  Our mate Aaron Carrizales has not only been busy training up for Lincoln but has also been assisting with the formation of the Monument Marathon out in Scotts Bluff.  The race will be  USATF Certified, only the third certified marathon in the state.  And with the natural scenic beauty of the area it will be a must do race for many of us.  Scheduled for October 13 and also featuring a half marathon, look for a great turnout for the first annual.  More information here: Thank you Aaron!

Small club gains another member.  At last night’s Omaha Endurance Group workout we all got to witness a little bit of marathon training history.  Shawn Kellis completed the vaunted and much feared “McLatchie Ball Buster” workout, joining only a small handful of Nebraskans (James McGown, me and that might be it).  Several have accomplished the Half Ball Buster.  To remind, the workout goes like this and I’ll include his times:
2 X 1 Mile with :30 recovery between (6:08, 6:08) rest 2:00
2 x 800 with :30 recovery between (2:50, 2:57) rest 2:00
2 x 400 with :30 recovery between (:79, :80) rest 5:00
2 x 1 Mile with :30 recovery between (6:13, 6:15) rest 2:00
2 x 800 with :30 recovery between (2:57, 2:55) rest 2:00
2 x 400 with :30 recovery between (:79, :79)

Shawn was sure after the first set that he was all done.  I urged him to take the 5:00 rest and at least give the first mile of the second set a go.  And I reminded him that I completed the full workout so had the experience to speak.  He took the rest and some water and at the urging of those assembled began the grueling second set.  He ultimately concluded the workout to the applause and cheers of those of us amazed at his determination and courage.  Shawn is doing the full McLatchie Method as he trains up for his marathon debut.  I can’t wait to see him roll in Lincoln!






The USATF Nebraska Association will host an Officials Training Clinic on Wednesday, March 28 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the South Cafeteria at Burke Stadium.  This is part of our efforts with the USA Club Track & Field National Championships that Team Nebraska is bringing to Burke this July 6 & 7.   This is a great way to support Team Nebraska, the Club National Championships, and USATF Nebraska.

All disciplines of a standard track & field meet will be covered and upon completion individuals will be qualified to work any event area they are interested in.  We’ve already had an outstanding response from our Omaha Endurance Group and are looking to get as many people as possible qualified.  The more local officials we have the less we will have to spend to bring them in from out of state.  We hope you will consider helping us out and getting more familiar with our sport, and there is no better way to see the meet than down on the infield!

Speaking of our Omaha Endurance Group, we are having our first Spring Track Workout tonight at Millard West beginning at 6:00 pm.  This kicks off our 5th year of coaching runners/walkers of all abilities.  What started out as Linda & I offering our expertise to a small group in 2007 has blossomed into the Omaha Endurance Group, with more members attending every year.

Team Nebraska’s OEG community outreach effort has touched a lot of people in many positive ways.  None more rewarding than the friendships, camaraderie and mutual support as all work toward their goals and potential.  The next 30 weeks are without a doubt my favorite Wednesdays of the year.  The post workout social time at the Upstream Brewery Legacy location are just so much icing on the cake, or foam on the beer if you will.

I feel truly privileged to work with this group and look forward to making this the best year ever.  To renewing old friendships and making new ones as we pursue fitness and fun.  I know Coach Linda feels the same way.

Can I get a Giddyup!?



Your guess is.  I’ve received several emails from those that ran Saturday’s Leprechaun Chase stating that their Garmin had various distances.  Most ranged from 6.15-6.30 making the course a lot closer than I thought it was.  So maybe it was just a tad short, maybe it was spot on, maybe it was just a tad long.

From Josh Darr:  “You mentioned that the course was short and I am wondering where you got this information? Did you use a Garmin or GPS? The reason I am curious is because the race was a pretty big PR for me, but if it was not a full 10k I do not really want to count it as a PR. My Garmin read 6.198 so it was a little short, but close enough for me. I was curious as to how much shorter yours read if that is what you used. ”

To answer you Josh, neither a GPS or Garmin would give you reliable enough data to count your race as a PR.  A Jones/Oerth Counter is the only USA Track & Field recognized device for establishing exact course distances.  I will add that a steel tape is also being accepted for some cross country courses.   I’ve posted the protocols before but maybe never an image, so here you go:


I won’t take anything away from anyone’s effort on any given course.   I’ve run on plenty uncertified courses since moving to Nebraska and have given my best and have been proud of my effort too.  But I’ll never count a performance as a PR unless the course is laid out to the exacting standards prescribed by the National Governing body of Road Racing (USATF).

Thanks to John Tully for sending the image above and the link to the story below.

Wrapping up the Dash For Diamonds.  Not only did David and Megan win a fabulous diamond, they also won a trophy that was nearly 4′ tall.  That hearkens back to the day when Real Hardware was the norm and to display your collection of over-sized swag was a badge of honor.  The race also provided them a bag full of gift certificates to local supporting retailers/restaurants.  Might sweet indeed.

I had the pleasure of introducing Mayor Suttle to the team.  I’ve never been hesitant to promote the club so when I saw the Mayor eyeing our group I immediately went over and shook his hand and brought him to where the Good Mates were assembled  (I’m sure there were some pink cheeks down in Plattsmouth.)  He was quite interested in who they were and very impressed by their performances.

There was free Guiness Stout and food at the Dubliner.  Free chips and salsa at Roja.  A free post race drink at Parliment Pub.  Plenty of apples, bagels, etc for everyone post race.  Likely the best amenities package of any race of the year, our Team Nebraska Road Race Management Committee will have our work cut out for us!

I give eventual winner David Adams some last minute instructions prior to the race.  Cory Logsdon looks on, Luka Thor also pictured.

Matt Pohren covered 15K quicker than anyone on Saturday by racing both the Dash For Diamonds and the Leprechaun Chase.  A Good Mate that understands the goals and direction of the club better than most.

I’ve run 47.5 miles in the last 3 days.  19 on Sunday, 9.5 with hill repeats yesterday, and 19 again this morning.  Linda has too.  Our legs are HUGE, thank you Killer Coach!


Some great racing over the weekend.

David Adams and Megan Zavorka were the overall winners at the Dash For Diamonds on Saturday morning.  The course was about a quarter mile long but it was publicized as such going in.  What was great was Joe and Sean getting Harney Street closed down for the race, making it one of the few Real Road Races in Omaha.  And nice to run the pedestrian bridge, I gobbled up quite a few competitors on the ups.  The Good Mates took 1-4 and Megan took 6th overall.  I was pleased to finish 15th overall male and 2nd 50-59, John Marsh kicked my butt.

At the Leprechaun Chase 10K, which is not quite the full advertised 6.2 miles, the Good Mates once again shone.  Perhaps none brighter than Matt Pohren who pulled the unlikely double and almost caught overall winner Tom Nichols.

Results below for both races, Good Mates indicated by asterisks.   I’ll also do some more recap later, got to get my run in this morning….

Dash For Diamonds:

 1   1/51       2 David Adams                     Lincoln NE        23   M   16:48   16:48  5:25 ****
    2   2/51     242 Luka Thor                       Omaha NE          25   M   17:06   17:06  5:31 ****
    3   3/51    1444 Matthew Pohren                  Ashland NE        27   M   17:08   17:08  5:31 ****
    4   4/51    1104 Cory Logsdon                    Omaha NE          24   M   17:34   17:34  5:40 ****
    5   5/51    2050 Steve Carroll                   Omaha NE          24   M   19:27   19:25  6:15 
    6   1/76    2026 Megan Zavorka                   Omaha NE          25   F   20:10   20:10  6:30 ****
    7   6/51    2046 Peter Larson                    Omaha NE          27   M   20:30   20:28  6:36 
    8   1/85    1125 Courtney Mann                   Omaha NE          33   F   20:57   20:56  6:45 
    9   1/28    2076 Stephen Morrow                  Omaha NE          33   M   21:17   21:14  6:50 
   10   2/76    2010 Barbara Wehde                   Ralston NE        23   F   21:35   21:34  6:57 
   11   1/31    1983 Mike Tisdall                    Gretna NE         45   M   21:38   21:35  6:57 
   12   1/13    1148 John Marsh                      Kearney NE        53   M   22:03   21:59  7:05 
   13   2/31    2015 Jeff Wickett                    Norfolk NE        46   M   22:08   22:02  7:06 
   14   1/48       4 Kami Alessandro                 Omaha NE          40   F   22:07   22:06  7:07 
   15   7/51     601 Ben Fisher                      Omaha NE          24   M   22:12   22:09  7:08 
   16   1/14    2062 Dylan Hartnett                  Omaha NE          19   M   22:15   22:13  7:09 
   17   3/31    1402 John Petersson                  Bennington NE     42   M   22:19   22:16  7:10 
   18   2/85     987 Niki Kubiak                     Omaha NE          34   F   22:23   22:20  7:12 
   19   8/51    1019 Chad Kuehl                      Hastings NE       27   M   22:29   22:24  7:13 
   20   2/13    1086 Will Lindgren                   Omaha NE          54   M   22:44   22:44  7:19 ****
   21   2/28     827 Michael Hotze                   Council Bluffs IA 30   M   22:57   22:54  7:23 
   22   3/85    2043 Joy Schulz                      Omaha NE          37   F   23:02   23:02  7:25 ****
   23   9/51     396 Brad Dexter                     Omaha NE          25   M   23:12   23:12  7:28 
   24   2/48     128 Linda Barnhart                  Omaha NE          49   F   23:22   23:21  7:31 ****

Leprechaun Chase:
 1   1/150  Tom Nichols             Lincoln              NE  29 M   31:52   31:54  5:08 
    2   2/150  Matthew Pohren          Ashland              NE  27 M   32:00   32:01  5:10 ****
    3   3/150  Matthew Schneider       Norfolk              NE  26 M   33:05   33:06  5:20 ****
    4   1/48   Eric Noel               Lincoln              NE  24 M   33:37   33:39  5:25 
    5   1/133  Dustin Llewellyn        Omaha                NE  33 M   33:49   33:50  5:27 ****
    6   4/150  Justin Mollak           Omaha                NE  27 M   34:32   34:34  5:34 ****
    7   5/150  Eric Rasmussen          York                 NE  29 M   34:39   34:41  5:35 ****
    8   2/48   Michael Herz            Lincoln              NE  24 M   34:42   34:45  5:36 
    9   1/99   Ivan Marsh              Ashland              NE  37 M   34:46   34:48  5:36 ****
   10   3/48   Quinn Lewandowski       Lincoln              NE  24 M   34:55   34:57  5:38 
   11   2/133  Danny McClenahan        Lincoln              NE  30 M   35:25   35:27  5:43 
   12   3/133  Brian Wandzilak         Lincoln              NE  31 M   35:37   35:38  5:45 ****
   13   2/99   Paul Kramper            Omaha                NE  37 M   35:50   35:53  5:47 
   14   1/73   Thomas Woods            Lincoln              NE  40 M   36:04   36:06  5:49 
   15   6/150  Jason Zakaras           Omaha                NE  29 M   36:43   36:46  5:55 
   16   4/133  Timothy Leuschen        Omaha                NE  30 M   36:51   36:55  5:57 
   17   3/99   Matthew Wolpert         Portland             OR  35 M   37:24   37:27  6:02 
   18   4/99   Mark Treadway           Kearney              NE  36 M   37:28   37:31  6:03 
   19   1/278  Kaci Lickteig           Omaha                NE  25 F   37:52   37:54  6:06 
   20   7/150  Jimmy Smiddy            Papillion            NE  29 M   37:50   37:55  6:06 
   21   1/24   Brian Kelley            Lincoln              NE  53 M   38:11   38:14  6:10 
   22   4/48   Michael Bash            Lincoln              NE  24 M   38:16   38:21  6:11 
   23   8/150  Trevor Scoville         David City           NE  29 M   38:34   38:38  6:13 
   24   1/197  Michelle Paxton         Lincoln              NE  35 F   38:40   38:42  6:14 
   25   5/99   Jason Babcock           Waverly              NE  39 M   38:38   38:42  6:14 
   26   6/99   Shawn Kellis            Omaha                NE  38 M   38:42   38:44  6:14 ****
   27   7/99   Michael Reilly          Omaha                NE  35 M   38:50   38:52  6:16 ****
  44   1/37   Steve Stender           Omaha                NE  45 M   40:45   40:48  6:34 **** ran barefoot
 51  14/150  Dylan Wilson            Lincoln              NE  26 M   41:14   41:16  6:39****



Solar Flare.  Sun Volt.  Call it what you will but I’m definitely sensing change in the natural forces.  A bending of the cosmic waves.  Growing up in the 70s tuned me in, not out.  My first guru was Carlos Castaneda, his writings opened a chasm in the cosmos that enlightened a generatioin.

I knew I had to write yesterday.  Creativity is the lick I got from the tongue lashing of El Sol.

With apologies to another of my gurus, Dr. Seuss:


On the far away water of Zorinsky pond

Myrtle the Turtle of running was fond

A nice little pond.   It was clean.  It was neat.

The path that surrounded was good for the feet.

The Runners had everything that Real Runners need.

And all were happy.  Quite happy indeed.

They were….until Myrtle, self appointed Queen of them all

Decided Her Kingdon, the dojo, was too small

“I’m Ruler” said Myrtle “of all that I see

And all of the Runners shall be judged by me!

I’ll give them all names, some most profane

And on the second loop I’ll call more of the same

Your character and morals I alone will deem

But really I do, I do love your team”

But Myrtle the Turtle wasn’t happy with that

To get by with just one little spat

“With this stone for a throne I judge on my pond

But I cannot judge on places beyond

If I could sit higher how much greater I’d be!

So my own pillar I’ll build and they’ll all adore me”

She ordered her minions “Come get my back!”

On top of them, her throne she would stack

“All Mine!”  Myrtle cried.  “Oh, the runners I’ll now judge”

From her self righteous notions she never would budge

“I’m Myrtle the Turtle, Oh Marvelous Me!

For I am the judge now of All that I see

Minions!  More Minions!”  She bellowed and brayed

On the kind hearted turtles she selfishly preyed

They trembled.  They shook.  But they came, they obeyed

Poor little turtles, how they were played

But while she was braying, a guru did rise

Up over her head in the early spring skies

“What’s this?”  Snorted Myrtle.  “Say what is this thing?

“That dares to be higher than Myrtle the Queen?

I shall not allow it!  I’ll go higher still

I’ll stack my minions, I can & I will!

I’ll call more minions, call them by Heaven

I’ll need ’bout five thousand and seven”

But as Myrtle the Turtle lifted her hand

And started to order and give her command

One plain little turtle alone in the stack

Decided ENOUGH!  I’m taking myself back

And that plain little turtle, he simply farted

And the Kindgdom of Myrtle was forever parted

And Myrtle the Turtle, that Marvelous She

Is Queen of the Mud, for all to see

And Runners of course, all Runners are Free

As Runners and maybe, All Creatures should be


Thanks for the Friday indulgence, it feels great to let those electrons dance across my lips once more.

Feliz Viernes and we’ll see you at the races this weekend!

Joe Kenney is the Director of Angel Guardians and a former stud runner himself.  He and Luka Thor and yours truly will be on hand at tomorrow morning’s Dash For Diamonds.  Luka will have his hands full with David Adams and some out of state runners looking to wrest the overall prize ($750 diamond) from him.  Going to be some Real Racing happening down in the Old Market!



Running Feather.  Working The Gifts.  Flowers In My Hair.  Syncopation.  Respecting The Marathon.  Mind Control.  Long Slow Distance.

All names of various workouts I log on athleticore.

Running Feather– Running free and feeling good, also my name from YMCA Indian Princess camp back in Texas when taking my girls camping.  Ya-Ta-Hey!

Working The Gifts– Usually indicates a Tuesday workout where I’m doing long arduous repeats.  Thankful for the gift of being able to accomplish the difficult.

Flowers In My Hair– Another free form run but not necessarily fast, more enjoying the run, as close as I can come to calling a run “Fun”.  And I have no hair.

Syncopation– Developing rhythm, getting accustomed to various paces that will be used in a training cycle.  You can’t take the disco out of the boy.

Respecting The Marathon– Goal pace work from 6-10 miles.  Gotta have it if you want to succeed.

Mind Control– Holding pace for any other variety of race distances, from 5K-Half Marathon.  AKA Tempo work.  Got to have this too.

Long Slow Distance– It’s lonely and absolutely essential.

Fartlek–  Speed play.  Incorporating bursts at various paces and distances to break up the monotony of any run.  A good way to keep fast twitch muscle fibers recruited year round.

Farting Horse– One of my favorite workouts of all.  Never anticipated but always appreciated.  From the old farm saying “A farting horse never tires”.  This workout combines the first 7 on this list and leaves me feeling raring to go the next day.  You may not see me but you will hear me roar.  Reminds me of an epic blast at the Grand Island Half Marathon a few years ago, the last time I defeated both Stacy Shaw and Linda Barnhart in a race.  (Speaking of Stacy, she’s not quite ready to hand over her badge just yet.)

*Gulf Coast Wind Breakers– The name of my the very first running club I founded back in LaPorte, Texas circa 1984.  I’ve been breaking wind every since.



This was my message to Matt Schneider a week or so ago when he lamented an upcoming workout in the strong winds.  He kindly returned the favor the very next day.  And so it goes.

When I first moved here in 2001 I would lay awake at night listening to the winds roar, certain that it was sweeping the landscape clean of all but the staunchest.

We are staunch.  As we  prepare for our spring racing season there is nothing to do but buck up bucko.

Aaron Carrizales might have it the toughest out in Gering where the winds coming off the Rockies are the fiercest.  He cranked out 6 X 1 mile on Monday, hitting them all ~ 5:20.

Matt Schneider battled through 5 X 1 mile in 5:00.  Luka Thor did the same.  Matt Pohren did 2 X 1 in 4:35.  David Adams did the same workout even faster.  Lee Anderson braved the bluster for 3 X 1200, 2 X 800, 4 X 400, 4 X 200.

Linda & I had a monster workout in yesterday’s gale forces, 19 X 1000 with 1:00 recovery, hitting them in the 4:25-4:30 range.   The 40+ gusts this morning promise to make today’s fartlek a real joy as well.

Running outside in the springtime in Nebraska, you have to love it.  It makes you staunch.

I put out a call on fb yesterday for some graphic art expertise.  If you are interested in entering a submission for the 2012 USA Club Track & Field National Championships program, please forward to me at  Here’s the skinny:

We’d like to highlight some of the attributes of Omaha that reflect our efforts to be recognized as a more urban and progressive city.  Something that reflects the mix of our history along with the modern climate, with maybe just the smallest dose of our agricultural heritage.

The selected artwork will go on the program, our sponsorship booklets, and receive national exposure through our various media outlets.  A small stipend will be available to the winning artist along with recognition.

I wonder how we can incorporate the wind into the design?

I’m not real big on happy birthday wishes but will give a tip of the party hat to our Team Nebraska VP Linda Barnhart and her Kid’s Run Co-Chair Danielle Galvin.  I’ll raise a pint to you both at this evening’s Road Race Management Committee meeting!

This loop around the Scotts Bluff National Monument is a staple of Aaron’s training.  Stark and beautiful with unforgiving winds, a forger of men!