Monthly Archives: August 2012

POTPOURRI FRIDAY

We’ll be out at Lake Cunningham tomorrow morning for the 3rd annual Handlebars for Habitat fundraiser.  Kayak, Bike, and Run.  Another great cause that Team Nebraska is proud to support, I’ll be handling the timing and results.

The Millard Public Schools hosts the Strides for Education 5 & 10K out at the dojo, starts at the Boat Ramps.  We’re throwing a couple of the Good Mates in for some light speed work.

Bill Seymour Half Marathon anyone?  $500 the overall win on a new loop course, flat and fast, you know we’ve got some mates drooling.

Good purse at the Omaha Corporate Cup too, our team is shaping up very nicely with Luka Thor, Eric Rasmussen, Matt  Pohren and Always a Mate Peter vd. Westhuizen all eyeing the prize.

Continuing the 25/1.00 training regimen.  Bike 25 miles one day, swim 1.00 the next, repeat.  What I wouldn’t give for just a few miles of easy running.

Big thanks to Danielle and Vince Galvin for the gift certificate to Palmer Massage Therapy.  90 minutes of pure torture on the lower extremities, will certainly help loosen up the old bones and hopefully speed the healing process and return to what I pine for.  Deb Palmer is as strong and intuitive of a therapist as I’ve ever seen, I would highly recommend her to anyone needing some work done.

My dear sweet Alli.  For the last month has been making me so very proud.  I have never pushed, encouraged, or suggested that any of my kids follow in my footsteps and become runners.  Preferring rather to let them find their own passions in life.  She has been averaging 30-35 miles per week on six days a week, all on the treadmill.  Proud poppy indeed!   She’ll be leaving for Oregon next month and I’m already finding myself reaching for the tissues.

Coach John Tully has been awarded his official Team Nebraska singlet.  His service to our Wednesday Night Community Outreach Program has elevated him to the status of Good Mate.  John also serves on our Road Race Management Committee, we are lucky to have such a giving individual.  Good luck to all of our Wednesday night athletes that will be contesting the Pig Man Half Ironman and Olympic Ironman this weekend in Iowa.  Amazing athletes one and all!

And Shannon Mauser-Suing of Lincoln has also joined the mates.  Shannon finished 8th at the Lincoln Marathon in 3:12:24 and is looking to take the next step towards breaking the 3 hour barrier.  Our Team Nebraska women are getting truly deep in the 3-3:15 range and that bodes well for them all.

Have a good and happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

EVERYONE WELCOME!

What a great turnout last night for our combined Bill Weeks Birthday Bash and Track Workout.  We had a record 54 turnout for the paces and festivities.  I say it all the time, but here is what I dig:  16 Team Nebraska athletes and the rest members of the general running/walking community that come to get their exercise on with our Team Nebraska outreach program. Celebrating the fellowship of fitness.  Everyone Welcome!

Matters not your race, religion, politics, socio-economic strata, who you know, who you like, who you dislike, what your particular personal crisis may be.   All the crap and chaos of our daily lives checked at the front gate.  No rules (except no headphones!), no bouncers or administrators weighing in on moral turpitude.   Everyone Welcome!

What is for certain is that each and everyone is there to support, encourage, cajole, motivate, inspire, and work hard!  We all accept our own responsibility for what happens on the oval but achieve a greater good because of the group centered training towards the common goal of increased fitness.  Everyone Welcome!

Not so very strange that we are able to pull of this delicate mix of Real & Social Training, creating a hybrid of those that dare aspire to personal excellence and potential realized.  All laying their sweat and effort on the same oval.  It’s the people that make it happen. Everyone Welcome!


 

THE RUN GURU

I was having a nice evening with Mike Manna and Jackie McNeeley Manna recently.  Jackie is a dear and is straightforward and spot on.  Kind of like me, that’s why I like her.  She let me know that my local reputation is “Having an edge”.  I was momentarily taken aback but with just a wee bit of reflection decided that yes, I do.  I broadcast a well documented passion about running.   You either respect that in me or you don’t.  Some do, some never will.  I will admit that I’ve softened considerably over the last couple of years but still find it difficult to suffer fools or bullies or critics.  That is what gives me that “edginess” I suppose.  But I’d rather live life on my own terms than try and be accepted by every single smiling face.   I’ve been around too long for that and would rather count my Real Friends close.

So what the heck makes me so passionate about running in the first place?   With your indulgence, I’d like to present my vita.  It might explain a little bit about why I am who I am and why I see things, both locally and globally, as I do.

1987- USA Track & Field Road Running Technical Council Course Measuring Certification
1992- Bachelor of Science, Community Health Promotion, Northern Illinois University
1992-1999, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Baytown Heatwave 5 Mile
1995-2000, Race Director, Brazosport Run For The Arts 10 Mile
1996-2002,  USA Track & Field Women’s Long Distance Running Athlete Development Program Coordinator
2000- USA Team Leader World Championships Half Marathon, Vera Cruz Mexico
2001- Founder, USA Track & Field Nebraska Association Long Distance Running Program
2001- Founder, Team Nebraska
2002-2009, USA Track & Field Women’s Long Distance Running National Championships Chair
2002- USA Team Leader Chiba International Ekiden, Chiba Japan
2003- USA Track & Field Women’s Long Distance Running Contributor of the Year
2004- USA Track & Field Men’s Long Distance Running Scott Hamilton Award
2005- present, USA Track & Field Elite Development Club Council member, Vice Chair in 2010
2006- Lincoln Track Club Distinguished Service Award
2006- USA Team Leader Yokohama International Ekiden, Yokohama Japan
2006-present, Race Director Swamp Stomp Cajun Festival
2007-2008, Race Director Omaha Mile, State records for 1 mile road race (Peter vd Westhuizen-3:58 and Alice Schmidt-4:37)
2007- present, Race Director Monster Dash
2007-present, Race Director Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run
2008- USA Team Leader World Championships Half Marathon, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
2008-present, Head Coach Wednesday Night Track community outreach program
2010-present, Race Director Big Blue Run
2012- Meet Director USA Club Track & Field National Championships, Burke Stadium, Omaha
2012- Founder, Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC

All that and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee in Omaha.  And a few Real Friends.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

BIG BLUE RUN/WALK

Saturday September 29 at Miller’s Landing.  USATF Certified 5K that traverses the scenic Bob Kerrey Bridge.  Also a 1 mile walk/run.  You can run or walk either course of course.  Benefitting the Midwest Prostate Cancer Coalition, all proceeds remain in the Omaha Metro.  Thanks to our sponsors: Adult & Pediatric Urology, The Urology Center, Urology Cancer Center, and canceropinions.com.  Prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 men, come out and show some love for the dads, husbands, brothers, and friends that have been touched by this disease.

Registration up at www.active.com keyword “Big Blue Run”.

Sad to read that Jay Medicine Hat left the world yesterday, falling in a Wal Mart and suffering head trauma.  The local comedian was funny and irreverent and one of my favorites, if you’d ever seen him you’ll know the world has less laughter in it today and that is not a good thing.

I’ll fess up that I was a bit premature pronouncing I was ready to run again.  The single 3 miler last week conjuring the pain right back up.   This morning I started ASTYM with my preferred physical therapists in Omaha- Alegent Lakeside Physical Therapy, thanks for the good work Jarad.  I’m committed to 2 more weeks of treatment and no running, hopeful that resolves the little nastiness in my heel.  Meanwhile I swam 1700 meters yesterday and biked 25 miles this morning.  And so it goes.

It really was in the 50s when I woke up this morning.  And since the temps are down we’ll get started on our 2012 Omaha Corporate Cup Qualifying Series.  Each week we’ll host a 10K run out at the dojo, http://www.teamnebraska.com/new/?page_id=600 (USATF Certification #07003KU).  Times will be official and accepted for qualifying seeding purposes.  Water will be provided. 6:00 pm start time every Tuesday beginning August 21 through September 18.   There is a suggested donation of $5 for participation to help cover expenses.  Everyone welcome!

For the Elite field, Males = 40 minutes or under in 10-K • Females = 47 minutes or under in 10-K.

For the Select Seeded Pass, Males = 50 minutes or under in 10-K• Females = 55 minutes or under in 10-K

For the Seeded Pass, Males = 60 minutes or under in 10-K• Females = 65 minutes or under in 10-K

Giddyup!

CALL THE YOUTH

As amazing as these Olympic Games were, my biggest set of chills were saved for those three little words in today’s column header.  Chill scale- Farah = +10, Rupp = +9, Manzano = + 8, Meb = +7, Phelps + 7, Pistorius = + 6, etc.

But when Jaque Rogge made his call for the youth of the world to gather in Rio in 2016, it was full on cutis anserina. As a historian of athletics, particularly Olympic athletics, this is the moment, like no other, that inspires hope and aspiration and hard work.  The games themselves concluded yet that spark that is symbolized by the Olympic Flame already ignited in the hearts and dreams of the next generation of Great Athletes.   Who will answer the call and have their lives played out in 4 years on the biggest stage, the streets or courts or fields or pools in Brazil?  Assume their place in the pantheon of Olympic greatness?  I just love this stuff.

York Thomas, Megan Zavorka, Matt Schneider, Meghan Schneider, Matt Pohren, Natalie Come, Kelly Crawford, Luka Thor, Carolyn Meyer, Lee Anderson, Cheto Cerda, Justin Mollak, Linda, Jimmy Doherty, Shain Kephart, David Bohlken and Cory Logsdon attended my Men’s Olympic Marathon viewing party and breakfast yesterday morning.  After adding Suzanne Higgins we then headed out for some Team distance running.

While the crowds out at the dojo were down -most people were running the Boxer 500, including our own Agustin Delgado (another new pr!)- those that were out for their Sunday morning constitutional were amazed at this group of studs and studettes.  It isn’t every day that you see the best runners in Nebraska gathered at the dojo for a training run.  A lot of encouraging and supportive comments, all deserved.  10-18 miles was the order of the day, we left as a group but were soon settled into appropriate pace groups.  A treat for me to lead bike with Luka, Lee, York, Cheto, and Los Dos Matts, the first 7.395 mile loop gone @ 6:10 pace.  Then Luka and Matt Schneider taking the next loop, quickening to between 5:35- all under 6:00, the full 25K done in just over 90 minutes.   Amazing to see how effortless young Luka is, floating along, certainly born to be a Real Runner, Matt bearing down and keeping up, effort and determination also defining a Real Runner.  I’ll note here that Luka had a maximum of 3 hours sleep the night before, all the more amazing.  Cory, fresh off yet another local road win on Saturday leading Shain and David, their 6:20 pace on any other day would have lit up the course.

Our women too were showing their stuff.  Natalie and Megan Z. will be running fall marathons, Megan’s debut, I’m giddy(up!).  How fortunate they are to have Meghan Schneider’s wisdom and experience to assist them.  M&M cranking 15 at sub 8’s, Como doing that and 3 more with the final 2 at 6:40 pace.

There is a lot of Young Talent in Nebraska.  With inspiration, motivation, and Team centered training, dreams will come true.

Finally, I don’t thank you readers nearly often enough.  This is the one place that I can be seen and heard and felt as I really am and for that I am truly grateful.

HUFF-N-PUFF

Matt Schneider had the following entry in his blog this morning (http://worship-on-the-run.blogspot.com/2012/08/day-27-huff-n-puff-bluff-3-mile-race.html), it is a great read and I’m posting in its entirety because it is better than anything I could have come up with today.  Thanks for the Great Words Matt!

 

“Meghan and I were up early this morning to head to Morse Bluff, NE to run in a little 3 mile road race being put on by a Team Nebraska mate (Shannon Stenger). He was hosting the race to benefit the Morse Bluff Q125 celebration, we went to support that and get in a good tempo effort. Meghan dominated the women’s field in course record time and brought home a little cash for her overall women’s title. I had the fortune of getting my butt-kicked in what was a great race for me at this point in the training.

Most wouldn’t expect to go to a small village 3 mile race and come up against a world-class miler from South Africa, but most aren’t in the circle of Team Nebraska mates (former and past). Peter VanDer Westhuizen is a native of South Africa, he ran for UNL, and has competed in the world championships in the 1500m. In my days running for Team Nebraska I’ve learned a lot from Peter, been motivated by his talent and work ethic, and yes, had my butt handed to me on many occasions by him. Also, Peter’s father (Glen, aka – KillerCoach) is my coach along with many of the Team Nebraska mates via email from South Africa.

Anyway, I got out and pushed the pace early and ran the first mile shoulder to shoulder with Peter, he then proceeded to put a major gap on me, I tried to go but couldnt muster the wheels, I figured I was fading, come to find out I was staying consistant and Peter was just laying it down! It was a beautiful morning to race and Peter surely was feeling decent as he ran the last 2 miles in approximately 9:35 to my 10:13…

As for spiritual.mental.emotional state, I found myself just in awe of Peter’s ability once again, not at all displeased with my effort, on the contrare I am really happy with me effort, just last week I split 16:20 through 3 miles of a 5k, today Im through 3 miles in 15:18. Progress is great and my legs feel like my own on the run, I’m just hoping I can move past this lingering knee issue and get to training solidly without thinking about whether Im damaging the knee or if it’s getting better etc.

Sure it would have been nice to bring home a little prize money for the overall win, but I know for certain I would not have run as well out there nor pushed myself nearly as hard if Peter was not in the race. So I am thankful for his talent, and his willingness to whoop my butt; he is a phenomenal talent, and has been a great ambassador for running and Team Nebraska in his years in the state. Just one more connection made through running that I am forever thankful for.

-Side note- I finished the race and prepared to cool down, while the youth in the race were ripping off their race numbers, finding sharpies, and seeking out Peter’s autograph. It’s funny after a few years of knowing Peter and running with him, it tends to slip your mind that he is such a world class athlete, something that can be attributed to his character, and a great compliment to him at that.”

FRESH START

I feel like I’ve been given a new lease on life!  I’ve been mired in a miserable situation for so long that the joy of resolution seemed only a remote possibility.

Hallelujiah!  I received some work on my calf last night and it somehow released whatever was antagonizing, exacerbating, and tormenting my heel.  I followed usual form this morning and stepped gingerly out of bed only to find no pain whatsoever.  Walked around a bit and still nada.  Rode down to the dojo, jogged an easy west loop (3.1 miles).  Oh Happy Day!  Long road back, but the First Step has been taken.  If you were praying for me, muchas gracias!  Thanks especially to Jeff Nielsen and Kathy Palmer for good words when I needed them most.

OK, so I’m going to give it to Usain Bolt.  He is the greatest sprinter of all time.  But I still stick to my assertion that Carl Lewis, by virtue of his sprinting/long jumping dominance of the 80’s shares the same respect.

I was trackside in Atlanta when Michael Johnson ran his eye popping 19.32 WR.   What I saw from Bolt last night, well, a man among historical men to be sure.  Congratulations to Jamaica on the sweep, just amazing.

David Rudisha’s 1:40.91 WR in the 800 surpasses even Bolt’s accomplishment in my opinion.  Think about it.  Most of the Wednesday night athletes I coach would love to run 400 meters in 1:40, Rudisha ran 800 in the same ticks.  Not enough superlatives to describe it.  Nick Symmond’s personal best 1:42.95 was good enough for only 5th, teammate Duane Solomon also prd in 1:42.82 and managed 4th.  Crazy fast race.

Women’s 5000 & 1500 finals both today.  Swami time:  In the 1500, Gold- Going with my heart and picking Morgan Uceny, I’m such a homer.  Silver- Asli Cakir Alptekin.  Bronze- Abeba Aregawi.
In the 5000, Gold- Meseret Dafar.  Silver- Vivian Cheruiyot.  Bronze-Geleta Burka.

 

 

 

TRAIL OF TERRORS

Just finished up out at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.  We’ve got our new courses set for the Trail of Terrors 5K and the Monster Dash 1 Mile.  Also new courses for the Little Goblins Run 40yd dash, 1/4 mile  and 1/2 mile.  If you are into trails, you will Love what we’ve got planned for your Halloween Classic.  A Spooktacular time in store for one and all.  Registration up at: http://www.active.com/5k-race/gretna-ne/valas-pumpkin-patch-monster-dash-5k-trail-of-terrors-2012-xr996

I got a lot of good feedback from yesterday’s column.  Seems like I’m not the only one out there that needs to run to their limits to really enjoy it.  To wit; the hearty soles that showed up and waited out the thunderstorms last night to get their track work on.  And it was a tough assignment at that.  Getting everyone ready for the fall campaign and the longer contests therein, I had them time trialing over various distances.  Everyone working Equally as Hard the next.  The highlight for me was calling out the 2 mile split of Thor and Pohren going through 2 miles in 9:43 en route to their 4K destination.  Don’t try this at home, they are Professionals!  Justin Mollak was thrown to the wolves and delivered superbly passing his 2 mile split in a pr 10:19.  The Good Mates inspiring and amazing our Wednesday Night tracksters.  Our Wednesday Night tracksters motivating the Good Mates with their own dedication and effort.  Symbiosis baby.  Everyone there helping to push and pull each other to greater good.  Me riding ramrod over the group,  excellence the common demand and expectation of all.

Barb Hike and Katie Cordes giving it their all en route to 2000 meters worth of pain, I expect nothing less and they delivered!

Angie Hodge, Lisa Martone, and Danielle Galvin doing mile repeats as they prep for Pigman Triathlon next weekend.

Three studs, Luka Thor, Justin Mollak, and Matt Pohren.  Showing that we are all the same, the little exception being God’s blessing of natural talent.

Team Nebraska’s Wednesday Night Community Outreach Program.  The one place where everyone is welcome regardless of ability or any other affiliation.  You can follow our upcoming cavorting and shenanigans on facebook, key word Omaha Endurance Group.  Photos courtesy of Coach John Tully.

NO MAS

I’m not going to whine any more.  I can’t run, I don’t know for how long, and I’ve accepted that.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself I’m doing something to keep fit.

No moss.  On a rolling stone.  22 miles on the bike Sunday, 8 Monday, 30 Tuesday, 25 today.  It isn’t the same as running but if I push hard enough I can wear myself out.  Once the pool re-opens at Lakeside I’ll be swimming too.

It occurred to me on this morning’s ride that I can’t do this for Fun either.  I’ve got to get to the point of discomfort quickly and then ease into sustainable pain.  And then spike that pain repeatedly until utter fatigue sets in, wondering how I will be able to make it all the way back home.  The same when I’m in the water.  Last time it was 42 laps before I could go no further.   Next time I’ll not be satisfied unless I hit 50.

I was having a beer with a friend the other night.  His wife is a runner too, (has completed a marathon, which satisfies most contemporary runner’s definitions of a Real Runner) and is also injured.  Has been several weeks since she’s been able to run.  She made a comment that let me  know just how different I am than almost everyone in the running community.

“It isn’t like its a matter of life or death”.

To me, not running is darned close to a lunch date with the Grim Reaper.  Running is my life and when I can’t do it, a part of me dies.  Not a permanent death because I know I’ll be back, Lazarus, appropriately in the Brooks Ghost.   But the sense of Really Living that running brings to me, that is missing now.  Yes, yes, I have my kids, I have my passions, I have my wonder and appreciation for life in all its glories.  But…… something is missing to be sure, something that only pushing myself as no other ever possibly could, can bring.  Answering to me alone.  Not a spouse, not a child, not a boss, not The Man, however you want to define it.  Those moments that transcend fun that apparently so few these days ever experience.

You can say you do it for fun, that your not competitive, that it really is just running after all and no one should take it That Seriously.  I respect that for You.  But not for me.  And if you want to shape your opinions based on how much running means in My Life, all well and good, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

How about that Leo Manzano!  America’s first 1500 meter Olympic Medal since Jim Ryun’s Silver back in 1968.  Leo used a furious charge down the back straight to duplicate Ryun’s haul.

Giddyup!  Lopez Lomong, Galen Rupp, and Bernard Lagat all advanced in today’s Mens 5000 Meter heats.

 

OMAHA TO LONDON

It was with particular interest that I watched the Men’s 400 meters last night.  Lalonde Gordon took the Bronze Medal in 44:52.  Why should I take an interest in a sprinter from Trinidad & Tobago?

Because he participated at the USA Club Track & Field Championships in Omaha on July 6-7.  Lalonde has dual citizenship and was running for the Central Park Track Club last month when he won the 400 in 45:02.  If you go to the iaaf.org website you’ll also notice that his personal best at 200 meters (20.63) was achieved right here at Burke Stadium.  Nice little connection there and I can say I’ve shaken hands with a 2012 Olympic Medalist.

Going to be an interesting day in London with the Women’s 800 semis,  5000 meter heats starting and the 1500 final for the men.  The 5000 heats look to be dominated by the Kenyans and Ethiopians, nothing new there, but I will pick all three American women to advance out of the first round.

Another morning on the bike with a Good Mate.  She cranking out a tough set of Mexicans, me getting a hankering for a jelly roll for some reason.  Week two and the mates are back into full on training.  We get a lot of quizzical looks and the occasional snicker from those that can’t fathom exactly what they are seeing.  If this was easy, everyone would be doing it instead of giggling.

I set up our 2012 Omaha Corporate Cup 10K team yesterday, you know this is always my favorite Race of the year in Omaha.  As the USATF Nebraska Association Championship for the distance the club team scoring should be very competitive this year.