Monthly Archives: October 2012

LATE EARLY

Up at 5:00 am to meet with my Thursday client.  She rocked her 2 X 2000, cranking out 10K pace like it was a piece of cake.  I’m so impressed that this young lady drives all the way from Carter Lake to submit to my tutelage.  My Friday client drives from Papillion.  Some serious work going on here in West O.

Our Chef Steven is unavailable this weekend so it is with joy that I am making some Red Beans & Rice magic happen.  I lived in Beaumont, Texas for several years and came away with a love for all comestibles, music, and attitudes Cajun.  Had fun working up the age group awards for Saturday.  Straight out of New Orleans, you are going to dig the whimsical uniqueness.  And getting the long sleeve T-shirts ready.

And taking care of next weekend’s Trail of Terrors age group awards.  I love what I do.

And looking at houses this morning.  Mere weeks away from a major downsize.  Let me know if you are interested in one of the best locations in West Omaha (18312 Ontario St.), it will be on the market asap.  Built in 2001, 3450 square feet, backing up to the prairie preserve, a dojo right in your back yard, master landscaping, etc.

So here it is some 8 hours into the day, rather late for my column, thanks for your patience.

Good luck to Keeley Nyman and David Frost at this weekend’s Des Moines Marathon.   Both are making their debuts and have busted it hard all summer/fall at Wednesday Night workouts.

I’ll get tomorrow’s words up early.

 

WINDING DOWN

Our Omaha Wednesday Night Training Group will “officially” meet only twice more this year.  Tonight we’ll do a final preview run of this weekend’s Swamp Stomp 8k Trail Run, 6:00 start time.  And next Wednesday we’ll have our final installment at Millard West Track.  That is the fun night of the year when we’ll hold our 5th annual Predict a Mile, Running Haiku Contest, Ugliest Feet Contest, and share our favorite awards and t-shirts from 2012.

Wednesday nights have become the favorite night of the week for me over the last few years.  So many great stories, so many determined athletes.   The group has grown tremendously this year and we’re all better off for it,  so much sweat and effort and peace and love.

The weather looks to be perfect for Saturday’s Swamp Stomp.  Sunny with a low of 46 and a high of 72, light winds.  The long sleeve T-shirts and piping hot Red Beans & Rice will be the perfect foils to the chilly morning.  You can still register online at www.active.com through 6:00 pm today.  We will also hold packet pick up and registration at Red Dirt Running Company on Friday from 10:00 until 6:00 pm.  And of course race day registration will be available from 8:00 am until 9:30.  Gun goes off at 10:00 for the adults, the Little Gators will Gallop beginning at 9:30.  As always we will be treated to authentic Cajun music by the Prairie Gators and the age group awards once again come directly from New Orleans.

And there’s still time to register for the Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Trail of Terrors 5K.  Registration will remain open at active.com through next Wednesday.  We’ve already signed up over 200 people, this will be a Spooktacular event for one and all!  And again, we’ll host packet pick up and registration at Red Dirt Running Company on Friday the 26th and have race day registration beginning at 6:30 am.

Thanks for the emails, texts, phone calls, and hands from my friends in the running community.  I’m blessed.

 

Last year’s Swamp Stomp start.  In addition to being the best Cajun themed event of the year the race also serves as the USATF Nebraska 8K Trail Championship.

 

LEAP OF FAITH

Felix Baumgartner, this dude has some mighty big huevos.  24.5 miles up in the air and he jumps into the unknown and the history books.  I just took a bigger leap.

Stepped outside of my comfortable capsule of the last 21 years and will free fall for the rest of my life.  No nets, no wires or mirrors, no parachute, no check lists, no pressurized space suits.  Just me and whatever I can make do to ensure a safe and gentle landing sometime far (hopefully) in the future.

Few hard feelings, few regrets, mostly disappointment.  Hope rising for health and happiness to all involved.  Especially the kids, they are young and resilient after all.

A chapter closed, a new one starting today.  All included in the book of my life.

Thanks to all of my real friends for sharing this difficult path with me, for the understanding and support.  And their promise of still more beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

They say the most difficult step of any journey is the first one.  I’ve taken it and there is no looking back now.  Only looking ahead, seeking truth and beauty and happiness, its all around.  And change.  Anticipating what is next without really knowing what it may be.  Eager to meet the challenges and continue to strive to leave this world a better place.  That is living after all.

 

 

 

 

MARKET TO MARKET & MORE

Well that certainly was interesting.

I’ll get to the M2M recap in a moment but am going to kick today off with a Big Nod to Megan Zavorka‘s overall victory at the Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita yesterday.  Megan made her 26.2 debut a success taking the title in 2:59:24.  If breaking 3 hours was the main course, the $2000 in prize money was dessert.  York Thomas also discovered the joys of the marathon, running 2:47:44 to finish 5th overall and pick up some gas money as well.    Reports are that the course was difficult to say the least with lots of sharp turns, running between half marathoners and walkers, collisions with other runners, hot and windy conditions, etc.  Welcome to the marathon kids!

The 5th annual  Market to Market Relay.  Want to first of all thank our team captains, Natalie Como, Paul Wilson, and Anthony Oberle.  We were attempting the near impossible, trying to win all 3 of the major divisions, Open Male, Open Female, and Mixed teams.  Our mixed team finished 2nd, our first loss since we began fielding a mixed team, congratulations to Ndorfopaedic:
1 Ndorfopaedic FIRST 4:12:20 LAST 4:19:21 TOTAL 8:31:41
2 Team Nebraska Mixed FIRST 4:15:42 LAST 4:22:40 TOTAL 8:38:21

We put together our first ever Women’s Open team and they did us proud:
1 Team Nebraska Women FIRST 4:21:10 LAST 4:36:06 TOTAL 8:57:16
2 I Can I Will FIRST 4:30:22 LAST 4:39:56 TOTAL 9:10:17

The most excitement of the morning occurred on the Men’s Open team competition.
1 385 Lrc Racing Six Person 3 3:40:31 5:39 2 3:44:52 5:41 07:25:22 5:40
2 378 Team Nebraska Men Open 2 3:40:10 5:38 3 3:45:13 5:42 07:25:23 5:40

One second difference.  One second that led to hours of discussion on the true spirit of the competitive nature of the event.  An envelope pushed that will define how the “official” finish of the event will be scored in all future years.  One second that defined the character of all those involved, I could not have been more proud of how the mates conducted themselves.  It was how that 1 second came about that had everyone wondering what to do.  The Questions:  1) Is it the first chip across the timing mat or is it the first team to cross?  2) Is it allowable to transfer your timing chip to another, fresher runner for a final sprint to the finish, or should the person assigned the anchor leg be responsible for bringing the chip to the finish?  You can bet that next year these issues will be officially and well described.

One second difference.  Reasonable men achieved a workable solution.  LRC would be awarded the 6 person team title, Team Nebraska, the 7 person title, and an Official Tie for the Overall, so Co-Champions the end result.  That co-champ designation will be like a grain of sand in Team Nebraska’s oyster, and will yield a pearl in next year’s competition.

No such issues in the 50K where Team Nebraska pulled off a clean sweep of the overalls.  Ashley Shurrman won the Overall Women’s title.  Tim Langdon battled a game Brian Wandzilak for the first 20 miles before pulling away to the win.  Todd Nott won the Men’s Masters title and Linda won the Women’s Masters title.  Still waiting for the Official Times to be posted.  It was Tim and Ashley and Linda’s first attempt at the ultra distance.  Proud that our 3 novice ultra runners showed Real Racing  translates well to the longer distances.

Ashley Shurrman didn’t surprise me at all with her overall victory.  Four hours nine minutes unofficially.

Linda showed that speed is an important factor when it comes to ultra Racing.  While the vast majority of participants do these longer events to finish, her goal all along was “In It To Win It”.  She finished 4th overall in addition to winning the masters title.  Four hours thirty seven minutes unofficially.


Tim Langdon was passed by Brian Wandzilak at mile 17 but never gave up, battled back and took a decent cushion into the finish line.  3 hours 50 minutes unofficially.

Carolyn Meyer, Natalie Como, Carole Swanson, Joy Schulz, Emily Kraus, Haleigh Riggle, and Christina King.  Your 2012 Mkt2Mkt Open Women’s Champions!

I spent the morning offering water and gels and blocks and encouragement to Everyone.  A perfect morning for some Real Racing!

THE RIGHT STUFF

Its that time again.  Once every four years (Olympic quadrennium) I get to go through the performances and programs of Team Nebraska and make application to retain our USATF Elite Development Club title.  It is a labour of love.  Digging through records and notes from 2008 through this year, hoping to satisfy the stringent requirements necessary to receive our national governing body’s most prestigious designation.

The EDC program was initiated in 2004 when 12 of the top clubs in the U.S. were awarded the status.   I’m proud that Team Nebraska was in the freshman class and we have retained the honor for the last 8 years.  I’m also happy to have served on the EDC Council for the last many years, both as vice chair and at large member.

It isn’t easy though.  And there is no “grandfathering” clubs in based on historical achievement.  Its a what have you done for me lately application process.   As a member of the Council I not only must justify Team Nebraska, but also have to consider the applications of every other current EDC as well as other clubs interested in joining.  Here are a few of the criteria used for determination:

Please state your club’s mission and its philosophy regarding the importance of developing athletes after leaving our school-based programs and fielding competitive teams of open athletes in local, regional, and national events.

 Describe your club’s success in achieving its mission over the past 4-years?

How many athlete members were listed on your USATF Club roster for 2008?

What will be the goals of your club for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennium?

What is the average annual dollar amount your club has spent for entry fees and travel expenses to competitions over the past four years?

Briefly describe the types of development and competition support that your club provides for its members:

Sponsors

Coaching

Training Groups

Access to Training Facilities

Competition Opportunities

Medical/Physical Therapy Services

What fees or membership dues are club members required to pay in exchange for any or all of the above?

How many National Championship qualifiers have you had?

How many Club Championship medalists?

How many participants in the USA Cross Country Championships (February)?

How many participants in the USA Club Cross Country Championships (December)?

How many USA Road National Championships participants?

I am sure we will have the Right Stuff for our application to be renewed.  And I look forward to Team Nebraska representing our state, the Midwest, and the United States in the very highest levels of competition in athletics and road racing.

This is the principle on which Team Nebraska was founded.  I couldn’t be prouder of our athletes that continue to uphold that tradition.

David Adams passing Olympian Abdi Abdirahman at this past March’s Shamrock Shuffle 8K Elite Team Competition in Chicago.

 

A SPACE ODYSSEY

2001.  Miles that is, for this year.  With this morning’s run, another year with a deuce in the bank, my minimum required deposit in annual mileage.  By my reckoning I’ll easily pass 80,000 miles by the end of this year.  And then only another 16,093 kilometers until I’ve run the  90,000 miles necessary to reach the moon.  Sometime in the next 4-5 years.  And if I’m healthy and strong and lucky another 4-5 to hit the 100,000 milestone.

Training really is starting to come around again.  I did a 4K time trial at last night’s Wednesday Night Track Workout.  Averaged just over 7:10 pace for the 2.5 miles (18:05).  Not fast but its a benchmark and good starting point for my comeback.

Late race report from last weekend’s Briar Cliff XC Invite:   Meghan Schneider is showing good form as she continues her return to training, running 20:07 on the Women’s 5K course.  Andrew Jacob ran a career best (for this 8K course) 26:47.  Meghan will be on our co-ed Mkt2Mkt relay, Andrew will be running the full 50K.  Better add him to the mix of pre race favorites.

I’ll be running the Giddy Up for Gary tomorrow night.  I hope you’ll consider coming out to support this fundraiser for Lewy Body Dementia.  7:00 pm at Peak Performance, 78th & Cass.

Big Thanks to Gorges Volvo!  They are providing some sweet wheels for our mates at this weekend’s Market to Market Relay.  And I dig their motto “Come see us and We’ll make it fun again!”  I hope that means we’ll be in the winner’s circle!   www.gorgesvolvo.com

 

THAT LITTLE PIGGY

Went Weeee Weeee Weeee!  I mentioned yesterday how much fun winning is.  It really does make me squeal with delight.  But not everyone can win, and no one should win all the time.  Had a good discussion yesterday about how difficult it is to always be on top.  Not only because everyone guns for you but the pressures that come from within as well.  Takes a toll.  Sounds like I’m laying groundwork for this weekend or I’m really sandbagging.  We’ll see in a few days.

I’m hoping somebody, anybody, makes the 50K a Real Race on Saturday.  None of this business of going out at 7 minute plus pace for the first 15 or 20 miles.  I’m looking for a wire to wire winner, somebody with huevos mas grande that is willing to step up and own the race.

The biggest race of the weekend isn’t Mkt2Mkt for me.  It is in Wichita and the 26.2 mile tour that will go down on Sunday.  Z-Money, aka Megan Zavorka, will be making her marathon debut.  She’s as fit as can be having toiled under Killer Coach for the last many weeks.  Her fiance York Thomas is making his debut and should also turn in a fast time.

Locally, there’s also the HETRA races and the Double Half Marathon (one on Saturday, one on Sunday) so everyone should get the opportunity to get out and get their racing on.  And while you may not end up squealing like a piggy I hope you enjoy the miles, the challenge, and camaraderie no matter where you are running.

Slowly coming back to running shape.  Led the Red Dirt Running Co. group run last night and was able to muster a 7:10 mile with little effort.  I averaged that at the 25K National Champs back in May, I’ve got a long way to go but it is good to get a glimmer.  We finished up the run on some of the back trails around the dojo.  Felt great to be back in the autumnal elements, just about time to harness up for some barefoot sled pulling.  And yes, it really does rock!

 

 

THIS LITTLE PIGGY

Went to Market to Market.  The biggest event on the local calendar this weekend of course is the 5th annual Mkt2Mkt Relay and open 50K.  Team Nebraska has been quite stingy the last 3 years, taking the open men and co-ed traveling trophies at the day’s end.  There could be some big shakes coming up.  Our open men’s team has been decimated by the loss of Peter vd Westhuizen, David Adams, Luka Thor, and Matt Pohren.  Our Co-ed team has lost Peter Falcon, Matt Schneider, and Justin Mollak.  Our open women’s team is a question mark.  It is anyone’s race this weekend.

One thing that will Never fall is our event/course record.  A couple of years ago the mates averaged sub 5:30 pace for the entire morning.  Our co-ed record is sub 6:00 pace, that might be attainable some day but I’m guessing it is safe for at least another year.

The 50K looks to be where the most competition may be.   It should be a real battle on the men’s side with a trio of Good Mates battling it out for the title.  Mountain and Trail stud Ivan Marsh will be there.  So will Ultra stud Jeremy Morris.  But Tim Langdon has them both in his sights and won’t go down easily.  Could be the race of the day.  On the women’s side our duo of Ashley Schurman and Linda Barnhart figure to be among the leaders heading into the Hay Market.

Group run from Red Dirt Running Co. tonight beginning at 6:00 pm.  Varying paces and distances, fun for one and all!  Good opportunity to stop in and check the Big Sale, lots of shoes at 30% off.

 

2011 winning Co-ed team.  Front- Me, Linda, Emily Langdon, Carole Swanson.  Back- Matt Schneider, David Adams, Peter vd Westhuizen, and Eric Rasmussen.  All smiles, winning is FUN!

PERFECT DAY

Yesterday was the perfect fall day for a marathon, or two.  Both Twin Cities and Chicago experienced ideal conditions for 26.2 miles of racing.

Team Nebraska athletes dialed up some very good performances as a result.  In Chicago Natalie Como ran a 15 minute personal best clocking 2:55:30!  Suzanne Higgins also pr’d in 3:24:38!  Agustin Delgado ran 3:53:39 and enjoyed his tour of the Windy City.

At Twin Cities Cory Logsdon improved his personal best by nearly 7 minutes turning in a nice 2:34:50.  Cory’s time makes him Team Nebraska’s top marathoner of the year.

Locally, our masters ace Natalie Jetensky was beaten by one second at yesterday’s Race For The Cure.  Abby Knight (18:43) barely edged Natalie (18:44).

The Market to Market 50K is now officially USATF Certified and will serve as the Nebraska Association 50K Road Championships.   Thanks to Ben & Jason (& Gary) for adding this to the event.

Up again to run before work.  Maybe I’ll get the hang of this after all.  Hand in the cookie jar story kept the miles and smiles going easily.

 

 

 

 

SLACKER

Up to run at 5:00 am yesterday morning.  Another early one today.  Off to work in just a bit.  Decided that I was not going to allow this employment gig turn me into a slacker.  If I’ve been amazed at those of you that run before you punch the clock, I now use that inspiration to get my own lazy bottom out the door in the dark and chill October morns.

Congrats to Jeff Jacob who guessed yesterday’s mystery man.  Ted Corbitt.  1952 Helsinki Olympic marathoner and father of course measurement.

What a difference a year makes.  Looks to be perfect weather across the midwest for this weekend’s marathons.  Giddyup Good Mates and everyone else hitting 26.2 miles Saturday or Sunday.

Wear testing a pair of the Nike Air Structure Triax 16.  Very nice ride and foot feel.  And I ran fast in them this morning.

I wore my 1983 Houston Marathon t-shirt to Wednesday night’s Swamp Stomp preview.  And yep, I was able to say with certainty “I’ve got race t-shirts older than you are!”

3:11:08 was my debut that January nearly 30 years ago.  In March I would run the Galveston Marathon in 2:56:26.  In October of 1983 I ran 2:47:09, my third marathon of the year, something I advise strongly against these days.

We’re hosting a group run from Red Dirt Running Co. Saturday morning at 8:00 am.  There will be some post run refreshments, hope you can join us, Everyone Welcome!

My dear sweet Alli has been away for over two weeks now and I miss her terribly.  She did leave me with this self portrait though and that has helped my heavy heart tremendously.