Monthly Archives: April 2012

BOSTON MARTYRDOM

Hats off to everyone that started the race, tienes juevos mas grande!  Thanks to our friend Alan Higley who is out on Boylston sending me updates.  The Good Mates Cory Logsdon, 2:47:07, and Justin Mollak, 2:52:49 are the top Nebraskans on this hot windy day.  Emily Kraus in at 3:34:54.

I’ve often said the marathon is a cruel mistress and she showed no mercy today.  Last year’s perfect conditions with a big tail wind were as huge a benefit as today’s conditions were a detriment.  You train for these darn things for months and then the Good Mother has the final say on whether or not all that preparation will be of any use.  Hardly seems fair.

My boy Andre called this morning for some last bits of advice.  He did his last long run of the training cycle, a 22 miler in the Bahamas, just in case this heat played out.  Not enough said I!  I adjusted his goal pace from a 6:50 (sub 3 hours) to a 7:25 so that he would still be able to finish.  Happy to report he finished in 3:14:36, spot on 7:25 pace, great job Andre!

Big ups to Jason Hartmann of Colorado for his fourth place finish in 2:14:31.

I’ll try and get full reports from all the mates in tomorrow’s column.

TAKES THE CAKE

Rare Sunday musing.  Just finished an easy 20 to give me 87 for the week.  None on concrete, treadmill, track, or trails with 35 miles of it  at goal marathon pace.   You have to train fast to race fast.

Despite the nasty weather we had a great turnout of 20 for our Trail Run Volunteer Appreciation Party at Oscars last night.  Pizza and beer to reward those that helped make the event such a success, we could not do it without You!  A primer for you novice race directors, set aside a line item and treat your volunteers like gold because they truly are.

And the real reason for today’s column and title:  Congratulations to my dear sweet Allison on winning the 2012 Nebraska State Competition in Commercial Baking!  No one does cakes, cookies, or pies better!   Along with a Very Handsome scholarship offer she gets to attend the National Championships in Kansas City where she will compete for a full ride to the Culinary Institute of America.  Thanks for letting me be one Proud Papa!

 

GET A JOB!?

Starting off today by wishing great running, good luck and Giddyup! to our mates Emily Kraus, Cory Logsdon, Jacque Parker,  Justin Mollak, and Anne Medeiros  at Monday’s Boston Marathon.  And to my old college buddy and guru mentee Andre Lejeune representing the Central Park Track Club.

I rarely wax political here in RGS but have a burr under my saddle this morning.  Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life” has inflamed stay at home moms across the country.  And it got me ticked off too, as it should every Stay At Home Parent, regardless of gender.  It is a slap in the face to any of us that have been the home maker, providing our children with the daily guidance and support necessary while the spouse/significant other is out winning the bread.   This woman doesn’t understand or appreciate or approve of the sacrifices made by those of us that work daily, often around the clock,  in the house.  It is an insult to her own mother for goodness sake.  I’ve seen this type, critical of the work that is done, complaining about how the “free” time is spent, always on the “get a job rant”.  Yeah, she’s a real piece of work this one.  If you are a stay at home parent, blessings be upon you!

Most of you know my liberal bent and might be surprised to find out I’ve actually had dinner with Mitt Romney.  Typical politician, there was hardly enough room for both our egos at the table.  This was arranged by the Boston Athletic Association when they were presenting their bid to host the 2008 USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon.  More Boston memories that will be a special part of my running lore.

Had a great turnout for this morning’s Geezer Run.  A bunch of retirees and stay at home parents getting together on Friday mornings for some healthy living, oh my.

 

SPRING INTO ACTION

It is sublime and palpable and evident everywhere in running circles.  The anticipation of the caged about to be freed.  Growling noises emanating from appetites that will soon be fed, luxuriated with the the finest of feasts.  It must be the second weekend in April.

Boston is this coming Monday and you can tell by the gaunt, nervous faces appearing only briefly at the dojo or your own training environ.  Their hard work all done, running just enough now to quell the ever mounting anxiety of performances expected and hoped for.  Only slightly less so for those with the arrogance to believe they deserve their hard fought goals, those are the ones I’ll be cheering for most lustily.

Boston.  The Holy Grail of marathons.  The Gold Standard, the Pinnacle, and for good reason.  If the race itself weren’t enough, the people of Boston make the event better than every other marathon in the world.  You’ll not find a more knowledgeable and supportive populace anywhere.  From the time you deplane you are congratulated on qualifying, queried as to your time coming in and what you hope to run, how many times you’ve toed the line in Hopkinton, what your greatest memories are.  You are made to feel like a Hero just for being there and that is what is truly special about the Boston Marathon.

Regular readers know I’ve only run Boston once, the 100th back in 1996.  Back in the day just qualifying was The Badge runners wore proudly whether or not they actually made the trip.   The single qualifying standard of sub 2:50 for men was what we trained and raced for every year, it was well known who the handful were that achieved it and it only added to our hubris once attained.   But my personal relationship with  the event goes far deeper.  Having served under Race Director Dave McGillvray at the 2004 USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis and then working with him again when Boston hosted our 2008 Women’s Trials gives me a unique appreciation of the history and essence of America’s Greatest Road Race.  Treasured memories that I’ll pass along to my grandchildren.

And Lincoln is right around the corner too.  You can tell by the sweat and labored breathing at the Millard West Track on Wednesday nights.  Our Omaha Endurance Group continues to grow and also become more of a destination for runners serious about developing their skills in our sport.  I’ve been raising the bar this year by presenting more challenging workouts than in years past.  And I could not be prouder of how these athletes are responding to the stimulus.  I can’t wait to see how those training up for Lincoln do.  And I’ve just got to give some big props to my Assistant Coach John Tully, with the workouts now addressing four different sub groups I wouldn’t be able to do it without him.

Linda Barnhart debuted her Kids Fit Program last night.  Another of Team Nebraska’s community outreach programs, it will be conducted in conjunction with OEG.  Her experience  as a gymnastics coach for nearly 20 years makes her a natural for working with the little kiddos.  She put them through body positioning, stretching, balance skills, running, and other drills  while making it fun for all.  Early feedback from the parents is that the little angels slept very well last night.  Ages 3-12 are welcome, what a great way to introduce the youngsters to a life time of fitness!

 

 

APPALACHIAN QUEST

Now that we’ve got the Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest behind us, and recognizing the new found popularity of the social trail running/walking scene, I’m offering today an insight into one man’s Real Trail Experience.

I’ve seen Rob Nickeron training out at the dojo, carrying a large pack, walking, walking, walking.  I finally stopped and asked him what his deal was and he told me that he was training up to tackle a 2 week hike on the Appalachian Trail, perhaps the most scenic and difficult of all trails in the U.S.  Following is my interview:

Will:  This adventure would seem to be every true outdoorsman’s dream. What first inspired you to make this wonderful trek through some of the most scenic country in the United States?

Rob:   Back in 1969 while living in Cambridge Mass, my father and I climbed Mount Washington when I was in first grade.   I still remember getting to the top…. Later I joined the Boy Scouts and camped a lot with them; and then re-hiked Mt.  Washington on December 27, 1979 for a week. That was one cold week!   Four and a half years ago we moved to the state of Washington and I got back in to hiking.  I spent a week at a time by myself 20 miles into the Olympic National Park camping and fly fishing  (you run in to other people every other day or so, so I was never alone.)     Fifteen months ago we moved to Omaha and missing the mountains and ocean I thought back to a guy I met back east that through hiked the Appalachian Trail. Thus began my obsession.

Will:   You will completely self-contained and self-sufficient for your two weeks on the trail.  Describe your pack and what you’ll be taking along. What would you consider the most important piece of equipment?

Rob: I have an Osprey 60 liter pack not ultra-light but it feels good up to 40 pounds.  My pack with 4 liters of water and three days of food is around 34 pounds.  A Real quick gear list…. Caldera Cone alcohol stove, Neo air pad, 10 deg.  Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, Ice Breaker long johns for camp, 4 oz. Marmot raincoat, NO rain paints but a rain skirt, Marmot  wind shirt, 100 weight Fleece pullover , Short sleeve Ice Breaker shirt, silk weight top and bottom to hike in if its cold,  wool buff and glove liners, extra socks, and extra underwear, headlamp, duct tape, 9 oz. first aid kit, tooth brush , travel size toothpaste, Floss,  and yes TP.   The most important piece of gear hands down…….  A DRY SLEEPING BAG.  If all else fails, hold up and stay warm.

Will:  Tell us a little about the training you have done to cover such strenuous terrain on a daily basis?  What type of daily mileage will you be hiking?  What will be your total mileage?

Rob:   A year ago my wife and I joined a gym with a personal trainer 2 or 3 days a week for a half hour full body workout.       4 to 7 days a week we also do cardio for 30 to 45 min at around 145 target heart rate.  7 weeks ago I started  with a 30pound pack and 4 mile hike 3 days a week. Worked up to 13 miles at 30pounds, then upped the weight lowered the miles to 7 till my feet could do this every day and then upped the miles at 40pounds till it did not seem to strain the shoulders, back,  or feet.  On the trail I need to average 10 miles per day to get to my exit point in two weeks.

Will:  What other trait besides endurance would you say is necessary to take on the Appalachian Trail?  What special skill set do you bring to this challenge?

Rob: You need a willingness to except the trail.  You can’t change the trail, I will be sore, I will be wet, and I will be cold. I feel I bring the ability to listen to my body and push just shy of injury.  Plus doing the same thing day after  day after day; I find fun trying to do it better and smarter each time. Get simple and dialed in.  It’s just walking in the woods.

Will:  What special considerations have you made regarding nutrition?  How many daily calories will you need to consume?

Rob:  Food on the trail has to be light weight. This ends up being freeze dried pre-made backpackers meals or Supermarket food like Knorr’s or Lipton sides dishes or quinoa with beef jerky ,  tuna , chicken or salmon pouch added for dinner.   Breakfast needs to be fast, instant breakfast powder with Nido which is a powdered whole milk and a pop tart or two.  Then eat 2 nd breakfast in a nice sunny or dry spot up the trail an hour or two in.  Snack all day on nuts, jerky, snickers bars,  and M&Ms.  Lunch is cold food more tuna, chicken, salmon pouches, or peanut butter on tortillas. And then more nuts and candy till dinner.  Can you tell I don’t like fruit?       To tell the truth, eat like a Hobbit.   Burning 4500 to 6500 calories a day you cannot carry enough food without burning more calories. So pack light and every 3 to 6 days eat like a pig in town as you do your re-supply, laundry, and maybe a shower and a hotel with a bed once  a week.

Will:  What if any, is your greatest fear about being solo in the mountains for that period of time?

Rob: On the Appalachian Trail this time of year the crowd is getting thinner but 10 or 20 people will start at Springer Mt. each day. I chose to start on a Wednesday as it is one of the less crowed days to start. I do like being by myself  some.

Will:  Are there any highlights you are anticipating?  Any specific peaks or valleys you’ve heard of?

Rob: Getting off the trail on time and finding a way to get to Asheville Airport 80 some miles away without walking (Ha ha ha).  I am looking forward to Mountain Crossing an outfitter that the trail goes through. They can give me a shakedown  on my pack to lose some weight I hope, and check my fit or make suggestions on my foot wear or other gear.

Will:  How do you plan for the varied weather conditions?  I’m guessing you’ll run the gamut of fair and foul conditions over the fortnight.

Rob: Dress in layer to stay warm, drink lots of water or camel up at every water source when it’s hot, and plan to get wet when it rains. Rain gear only makes you sweat.

Will:   Will you have any contact with the outside world?

Rob: Most high points get a cell signal. Most camps are near water, most water is in a low area so a midday phone call can be done. The trail crosses a road that leads to a town maybe 10 miles away every 2 or 3 days. Hitch to town shop for  food hitch back to the trailhead start walking. EASY!!!!

Will:   Would you do us the privilege of an occasional update and photo to keep our readers informed to your progress?  I for one will be experiencing this incredible journey vicariously through you and I know many others will be similarly  inspired and awed!

Rob:    I will do my best.  Recharge the phone in town, send reports, and power down phone. Will have a digital camera, and one on my phone can send photos in text messages and will also be making notes in my journal.  Three days to go and I  will find out if I really like long distance hiking or is it just a real cool dream to have.

Rob left yesterday for his adventure and we look forward to keeping up with his progress.  A man’s man to be sure!

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN

And into the fire.  It was with great relief that we noticed our Mondays are no longer hill repeats, no penbies, no penpions, no scorpions, those cute monikered nasties now behind us.  What did follow our 20 miles on Sunday was 6 X 4K at goal marathon pace (3:00 recovery).  Caramba!  Hard as the dickens out in the wind, I could only muster the first 5, Linda rocked #6 spot on.  15 Miles easy today, and then another 40 X 1/4 tomorrow.  Linda went over 1000 miles for the year yesterday, I hit it 7 miles in today.

All signs point to a sub 3:15 for both of us.  And at our age, Hubris!

I’ve been going on about Killer Coach and his training program.  I can hardly give enough credit.  You can’t argue with David Adams results.  And Matt Pohren ran a 9:17 Steeple this weekend to win down at NW Missouri State, a 2 second personal best.  I’m anxious to see what Luka and Andrew Jacob do with their training.  Andrew rocked 6 X 1000 all < 2:58.5 last night.  He, Luka, and Matt have been joining David for the weekly track sessions.

Their accomplishments alone are quite the confidence builder in our own training, Giddyup!

Some other good results from last weekend:  Amanda Lee ran the 2K Steeple at NWMS in 6:55 and followed that up with a win in the 5K in 17:56.  Megan Zavorka ran the 3K Steeple in 11:21 for 3rd and followed with 18:24 in the 5K for 2nd behind her new teammate.

And some great workouts continuing as we prep for Lincoln.  Meghan Schneider put in 78 miles last week, she is having the best training cycle I can remember.  Aaron Carrizales ran 2 X 4 miles in 22:50, 22:48.  Cameron Cummings has had 5 (!) 30+ mile runs.  Cameron is the defending Lincoln Marathon champ, it should be a real battle for the top 3 spots as Lincoln Running Company’s Tom Nichols has been having an outstanding training cycle too.

My apologies to those I failed to mention as making volunteer contributions to Saturday’s Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run.  Of course Ivan Marsh and Jody Green do yeoman’s work, I can’t imagine the race going off without them.  Mike Reilly and Dylan Wilson acted as course sweepers in search of a missing runner (found out later she dropped out and went home), and Amy Cherko de Mainelli assisting as Jody’s girl Friday.

No two races are ever the same and port a cans featured twists this time.  A young lady dropped her car keys into the oval abyss on Saturday morning.  Linda fetched her a coat hanger, and all’s well that ends well.  I’ve never seen that happen before and can’t imagine how distraught the poor miss must have been.  I then received a call yesterday from Eagle Services, the company we rented the cans from.  They were at PRSP picking up the rentals and were wondering where the can went that was located at the 2 mile mark!  I’ve never heard of a port a can disappearing, I’m assuming they must have found it elsewhere as I didn’t hear back later.

The Tough Little Mudders Kids Run is the latest addition to our expanding Children’s Running Program.

Ivan Marsh has won his home course race 4 out of the 6 years it has been contested.  A Nebraska Legend and all around Great Guy.

A great perspective on how steep the hill was to start the race.  Just to get the runners ready for the Real Hills out on the course.

All photos courtesy of Brandon Fenster.  Click on our flickr button below for all our pics and as always, they are free for you to download and keep, you earned them!

DAVID ADAMS

The lad gets his own column title today and deserves even more.  For those of you that haven’t seen or heard yet David won the Stanford Invitational Steeplechase on Friday night.  His time of 8:29.51 is remarkable on several accounts.  Fastest time in the U.S. this year.  Number 4 time in the world for 2012.  USA Olympic Trials “A” Standard.  Even if you are just a casual fan of our sport you’ve got to have a few goosebumps for this great kid.  Give yourself a few minutes to check out the race.  He assumes the lead with 800 to go by running a :68 lap and then destroys the field with a :64 final tour of the oval.  This is the same David Adams that makes it to our Saturday morning runs and inspires his teammates with his mere presence, you’ll not meet a nicer, more humble guy.  Our boy from York, NE!

Link to the race: http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/248549-2012-Stanford-Invitational/video/627538-M-3k-Steeple-H01

And his post race interview: http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/248549-2012-Stanford-Invitational/video/627629-David-Adams-with-surprise-829-to-win-steeple-at-2012-Stanford-Invitational

Moving on I want to give a big thanks to everyone that came out and supported the 6th Annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run.  Our numbers were down a little due to the Easter weekend and some early morning thunderstorms but the nearly 400 people that came out had a blast.  If you were there you can be proud to call yourselves conquerors of the “Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest!”

Thanks again to our sponsors, Cabela’s, Upstream Brewing Company, and Subway.

And thanks most of all to the volunteers that worked Very Hard to make this event a success.  A few that worked harder than me:  Kelly Crawford, John & Cindy Tully, Danielle Galvin, Dan Knobbe & Agustin Delgado, Monte, Sara & Javier Garcia, Bob Harris & Erin Scroggins, David & Jodi Seevers, Dan & Carol Flynn.  Some that worked just as hard: Michelle Riettz & Brandon Fenster, Justin Mollak, Cory Logsdon, Carole Swanson, Emily Kraus, Jaque Parker & Vicente, Dan Kunasek & Sandy.

Calm facade covering constant chaos.  That is the best that I can describe putting on events.  The better the volunteers though, the less the chaos, and I’m lucky to have such wonderful people supporting our Team Nebraska races.

Ivan Marsh once again proved to be the Very Best Trail Runner in Nebraska.  A new event record was set by Kerrie Bruxvoort of Broomfield, CO.  Her time of 1:02:25 was good enough for 6th overall, smashed the course record by almost 10 minutes, and she too can claim title to the Best Trail Runner in Nebraska (if not from Nebraska).

Full results can be found at onlineraceresults.com


Matt Schneider had some fun playing in the mud.  One of our top Road/Track studs, he found the Ni-Bthaska-Ke to be something all together different.

Kerri Bruxvoort crushed the women’s field and most of the men too.

Plenty more pictures on our flickr account and on the Ni-Bthaska-Ke facebook page!


 

GEEZER RUN

First off this should have appeared in today’s column instead of yesterday’s:

David Adams will be running the Steeplechase tonight at the Stanford Invitational in California.  The Olympic Trials “A” Standard is 8:23.10, the “B” Standard is 8:32.00.  LIVE on Flotrack at 8:12 p.m. CENTRAL TIME http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/248549-2012-Stanford-Invitational Giddyup Good Mate!

And a correction that the standards listed are the IOC Standards, not the USA Olympic Trials standards.  David’s goal is to run 8:30 or better tonight and then follow up with an 8:23 in the next few weeks.

A lot to do before heading down to Platte River State Park this afternoon, so just some quick stuff today.  We had 75 people come by the house for yesterday’s packet pick up.  I’ll bet my neighbors will be glad when I’m finally out of here.

We had a record turnout for this morning’s Geezer Run, so named for our elder statesman Denny Gray.  An easy day for me spent with a half a dozen moms pushing strollers, and another half dozen similarly minded for an leisurely jog through the dojo.  My favorite morning of the week.

What a beautiful day for a run and tomorrow promises more of the same.  Good Clean Living!  Looking forward to seeing you all at the Trail Run tomorrow, we’ll post a link to results and photos via the wi-fi magic.

FRENETIC

Adjective:  Fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way.

That sums up yesterday and today for me.  Tough workout, come home and shine hardwood floors, laundry, kitchen detail.  USATF Nebraska Assoc. Board of Directors meeting, Omaha Endurance Group track work, Team Nebraska Road Race Management Committee meeting.  Was glad to hit the shucks and have the rare luxury of sleeping through the night.  A big nod to Alan Higley for coordinating last night’s efforts in assembling the race packets.

We had 40 people show up at last nights track workout.  I was late getting there from our BOD meeting and it warmed my heart to see so many putting their paces to the program.  Special thanks to Coach Linda, Coach Kelly Crawford, and Coach John Tully for standing in for me again.  John is really blossoming into the role.  He has been a good student over the last few years and his understanding of my training principles makes him a natural.

Meet the client (she’s making great strides, literally and figuratively) this morning at 8.   Phone call for Linoma Beach Half Marathon planning.   Another phone call with the Kansas Relays.   Get my own run in.  Start prepping for tonight’s hosting of Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run packet pick up  from 4-7:00.   Write this column (my favorite part of every day), lunch, then off to buy State Park day passes.  And still need to meet a very interesting individual for a photo shoot, I’ll be doing a feature story on him soon and you’re going to dig it.  More kitchen duty, clean the bathrooms, banking and groceries too.   Answers that tired question I used to get, “What Do you do all day?”   I’ll sleep well again tonight.

David Adams will be running the Steeplechase tonight at the Stanford Invitational in California.  The Olympic Trials “A” Standard is 8:23.10, the “B” Standard is 8:32.00.  LIVE on Flotrack at 8:12 p.m. CENTRAL TIME http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/248549-2012-Stanford-Invitational Giddyup Good Mate!

Matt Pohren, Megan Zavorka, and Amanda Lee will all travel to Northwest Missouri State tomorrow, all three will contest the Steeplechase as well.  Amanda is our newest Team Nebraska mate and is a Real Studette, a great addition to our ever growing women’s squad.  She grew up in Lincoln but has trained in Flagstaff until returning to the Good Life just last week.   I’m excited for her, Megan, Michaela vd Westhuizen, and Natalie Como to get their training schedules synched up as we approach the USA Club T&F National Championships this July.  Amanda, Megan, Jen Viehrig, Meghan Schneider and Jaque Parker will be our entrants into the Hospital Hill Half Marathon Team Challenge on June 2, catch them if you can!  Ah, youth, their future’s so bright they have to wear shades.

 

 

 

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

Going to start today off by thanking our kind sponsors for this weekend’s 6th Annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Runs.

Upstream Brewing Company is providing the sweet pint glasses and beer for the event.  Be sure and introduce yourself to Chief Brewmeister Mike Hall as he’ll be pouring up the good stuff along with a couple of the other brewers.

Cabela’s is providing the overall and age group awards as well as a few door prizes.  They will also have a campsite display set up, sounds pretty cool.

There will also be a pair of Brooks shoes given out as door prizes in both the 12K and the 4 Mile.

Subway is providing the boxed lunches to feed everyone.

And because Team Nebraska just couldn’t be Team Nebraska without the Lincoln Marathon, thanks to Nancy Sutton-Moss and Gary Bredehoft for their undying loyalty to Nebraska’s Very Best!

Porta cans, check.  Chip timing, check.  Everything else seems to be on track for this weekend, one of my favorites of the year.  A chance to not only host 500 of my closest friends, but also enjoy the natural beauty (and peace) that is Platte River State Park.

Happy to report that yesterday’s hiccup has nearly cleared up.  The pro-active response to the adductor longus, which included an ice bath just before bed, seems to have me going in the right direction.  I was able to crank out 30 X 1/4 this morning before it chattered that I should bag the final 10 repeats, better safe than sorry.  Linda had no problemo and knocked out the prescribed 40 quarters, I’m amazed.

And not for the last time:     Runners of all abilities are invited to enjoy the Linoma Beach Half Marathon, Nebraska’s newest, fastest, and most scenic 13.1 mile race.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 28 with a 7:00 am start time.  The Linoma Lighthouse will host the start and be your beacon to the finish line where beer, hot dogs, live music by the Linoma Mashers, and other great amenities await.  An instant Summer Classic!  The flat, fast, USATF Certified course will follow the Platte River and provide runners the opportunity to set personal bests on the out and back route.  The accompanying Linoma Lighthouse 5K will also provide a great chance to get out and see this one of a kind venue.  Linoma Beach will be open afterwards for swimming and summer fun!  Proceeds will benefit the Linoma Lighthouse Foundation charged with restoring, repairing, and preserving this Nebraska Historical Society landmark.  For more race information and donations please go to www.linomalighthouse.com Registration will open up on April 9th at www.active.com