Monthly Archives: June 2013


I’ve adapted distance training principles into my new life as a runner/farmer.  As with running patience is the single best attribute to possess.  Doing the necessary early grunt work, refining that, and then bountiful harvest.

That is how I’m going to train up for my next race.  Starting with some near drudgery for the next weeks, roll up the sleeves, down and dirty, getting the base laid.  Stone by stone I’ll follow the path.  I’ll see the first green shoots of fitness in a few weeks, then snapshots of Real Running as the stalks transform into trunks of strength.

The core work I am getting is already apparent.  Still a bunch of pounds to shed, that will come with miles accumulated.  But I’m no longer sore after each day’s work, well maybe just a little.  Like a great run, the muscles feel the fatigue but also the tinge of untapped reserves.  Ready to do tomorrow’s Good Work.

Four to six hours a day, working up to seven days a week.  Last year it was Grandma’s Marathon, this year it is the Bar None.


Good lusty labour’s reward is a hearty meal.  Potatoes, collard greens, and carrot Succotash with Spicy Gingered Chicken.  Notice both dishes are cooked up in cast iron cookware (Cabela’s of course!)  A great way to source iron into your diet.


Jedediah is not only a climber (he scrambled to the top of the burn pile yesterday) he is also a digger, check out those paws and claws, just made for burrowing.





This is what Linda & I planted today.  They join the blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and strawberries planted last week.  Work continues developing beds.  Okra, melons, pumpkins and more in yet this week.

Purple Trionfo Violetto Pole Beans.
Tall Telephone Pole Beans
Knight Peas
Pinetree Beet Mix
Early Jalapenos
Alma Paprika Peppers
Tabasco Peppers
Black Hungarian Peppers
Pot O Gold Carrots
Loose leaf Blend Lettuce
Pinetree Lettuce Blend
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Buttercrunch Lettuce
Orange Fantasia Swiss Chard
Bright Lights Swiss Chard
Dinosaur Kale
Toscana Kale
Bloomsdale Spinach
New Zealand Spinach
Pinetree Hybrid F1 Spinach
Rossa Di Chioggia Radicchio
Evergreen Long White Onions
Ailsa Craig Exhibition Onions
Purple Pak Choi
Cherry Belle Radishes
French Breakfast Radishes
Purple Plum Radishes
Helios Radishes
Hailstone Radishes
Nantes Half Long Carrots
Napoli Carrots
Cosmic Purple Carrots
Mokum Carrots
Purple Eggplants
San Marzano Tomatoes


Linda isn’t afraid of Real Hard Work.  Here she wields her mighty pruners.


How tough is the Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K Trail Run?  I found out this morning it is Tough Enough to be named #8 in Business Indsider magazine’s Most Challenging Running Trails in the United States.

We’ve long billed the event as the “Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest”, I’m not surprised at the national ranking.  Those that have done the run will agree I’m sure.  But its the laid back atmosphere, race amenities, and natural beauty of Platte River State Park that are the main draw.  The first Saturday in April has become an annual right of passage for both serious trail runners and anyone looking to test themselves beyond the typical.  As we billed it this year, “think warrior dash and mud run times ten!”

What a coincidence that I heard from Ivan Marsh last night.  Always good to catch up with the Original and Reigning trail legend.  And as I’ve always contended a Real Nebraska Treasure!  Ni-Bthaska-Ke is Ivan’s home course and he knows it blindfolded.  He has won the race a staggering 5 times, finished 2nd once, and volunteered this year.

So Ivan Marsh, here’s to you today!




I’ll first quote my old Houston homey and Olympic Marathoner Sean Wade who posited yesterday: “Celebrated national running day by taking a zero for the day ’cause I run every other day of the year.”

Sean led the first 7 miles of the 1996 Olympic Marathon.  Exterior hard as steel, heart of gold.  His Kenyan Way training group in Houston has grown into the hundreds.

And second quote from my even older buddy Andre Lejeune: “Representing my former college teammate and running mentor’s Team Nebraska on National Running Day…”

Andre competes for the New York Central Park Track Club.  We were mates at Lamar University (Pecker Tech) in 1987-88.   He’ll be getting his Nebraska Run Guru Elite singlet soon!

High water mark for Wednesday Night Track Work?  I think maybe so.  One of the benefits of a more intimate group is the individualized attention the athletes are receiving.  To wit:  I’ve been training Kyle Clouston (the most anonymous Team Nebraska runner?) for his assault on a sub 5:00 mile at next month’s Lincoln Mile.  After last weekend’s 9:35 3K I knew he was ready.  Mentioned before but worth a repeat, Kyle is ultimately training up for the 100 Mile National Road Championships.  I informed him his workout was a 1 Mile time trial.  Good warm up and then switch into racing flats, BAM!  4:59 and a new lifetime personal best.  Solo effort, I’m anxious to see what he does with some Real Competition!  We discussed one of Kyle’s role models, an individual that has demonstrated great range and talent- Jason Zakaras.

And just as impressive was Jennifer Greer.  She’s mainly a trail aficionado with the Dizzy Goat 6 hour run her next up.  She has kicked things up a notch by focusing on some speed to go with her distance acumen.  Jennifer was running ~10:00 miles when she started showing up early this spring.  The result of the last many weeks?  To quote her, “When your track coach tells you that he’s got something special, “Just for you!” – you’d better believe you’re going to be working your butt off. New 3-mile PR tonight: 7:59 pace.”

Linda’s Kids Fit Program, sponsored by Gretna Family Health, also had a great turnout, the perfect weather just the thing for the little kiddos.





One of the best ways to care for our Good Mother is to repurpose things.  Finding new and sometimes better uses for what might otherwise be discarded or disregarded.  I feel a particularly deep connection with that.

It might take a little effort and imagination, but the results can be truly something special.  Vision is rarely disappointing when coupled with hard work.  A good credo to live by.


I spent yesterday digging out old landscaping bricks from several beds that had been host to dead pine trees.  Good hard labour.


These and more will be the foundation for a sweet fire pit and circular garden.  They might be old and in need of a good washing but still have plenty of life left in them.


We’ve been amassing quite the burn pile.  Not everything is salvageable.  Part of being a visionary is knowing what is past its use and moving forward without.  We’re planning a hell of a bonfire along with a live band and some of the best home cooking you could ever sprinkle Tabasco Sauce on.  Symbolic in that it will signify the end of the old and the beginning of the new.


The old barn was built in the 1930s.  It still has Good Bones.  There is tremendous potential in the aged structure, you just have to look deep to see it.

Its not only the land and the buildings that are being repurposed.  I’m getting a clearer picture of my own future as well.

I read a blurb and followed a link over on Ndorfnz about streak runners.  Mark Covert is retiring his streak at 45 years.  I have a feeling he still has much to contribute while on the Good Side.

The accompanying link yielded what I already knew.  One of my Terlingua Track Club mates currently resides at #6 on the U.S. all time list.  Alex Galbraith, age 62 is an attorney in Houston.  He helped me get the Brazosport Area Road Runners established back in the 90s.  He is also fluent in Russian and was my go to guy when recruiting Soviet elites for a couple of my races (i.e. Leonid Shetsov, 2:12 marathoner).  Alex’s streak began on December 22, 1971.  He hasn’t missed a day in nearly 41.5 years.  He will move up to #5 after Mark’s retirement.  Simply amazing.


Alex Galbraith, 2nd from the right (#45 holding a camera), circa 1993.  He had already been running 21 years at that point.  Who’s that familiar and handsome fella on the far right in the shades?


Oh, the places I’ve been, the things I’ve seen.  Running has brought more to me than maybe I ever deserved, but hey, that’s not my call or yours.  Bottom line is I lived a charmed life from the simplest of human activities, putting one foot in front of the other.  Primarily through service as advocate and administrator.

So many things to do while I’m on the good side of the grass,  I often wondered how in the world I would ever separate myself from such passion and get on with my other Good Works.

Voila!  All it took was a years long campaign of character assassination by the Grievance Angel.  First to go was my position as WLDR National Championships Chair.  The first and most devastating blow, effected by a staged photo of me urinating the name of an adversary in the snow.  Bad choice on my part to accept foul counsel.  Submitted it to the Chief Legal Counsel and CEO of USATF in 2009.  I was removed from that work without a chance to defend myself, never even got to see the original complaint.

That wasn’t enough.  Then a submitted complaint to Brooks Running, that one cost Team Nebraska their title sponsorship.  How Evil I must be for punishment to be adminstered to the entire membership of the club.  I didn’t get to see that one either.

And yet another complaint to the Lincoln Marathon.  That one “suspended” Team Nebraska’s sponsorship for almost a year.  Guess what?  I didn’t get eyes on that one, man, are you seeing a pattern here?

And another complaint to the USATF Nebraska Association, trying to get my membership revoked.  I had to defend myself in front of those that Know Better, but the pen is mightier than the sword.  I did get to see this one and it is a hoot!  Among other charges, I apparently used my position of authority to provide special privileges to Linda, what an insult to her own service to our sport.

And then another complaint to the national office that my hosting USATF association championship races was detrimental because I would be profiting from entry fees, and that the member’s USATF competitive club would not participate should that remain status quo.

Anyone remember the Red Dirt debacle?

This constitutes over 5 years of harassment.  I’ve been told there is still more to come.  Scary proposition, but true.  I’ve been advised to seek legal protection and I guess that now is my final resort.

I’m not the only one that has been victimized like this.  Sinister intent knows no boundaries.  A certain friend had his mother feel complaining wrath by the same individual as well.  Ask me about that some time.

A few of my USATF colleagues have related similar stories from other associations and clubs.  But none have had the longevity or concentrated efforts with intended ruin the ultimate goal.

This column will only anger, but its time you know what I have dealt with and why my columns are sometimes on the dark side.  I won’t publish any names but if you haven’t already guessed, just ask me in person.   Fortunately the Omaha and Nebraska running community will judge my contributions based on my love for the sport, the athletes, and the merit of my work, and not the constant ranting of a single person.  Of course there will be many fabrications in defense, the master of charm after all.

But for now, I am free to pursue my garden, my writing, my loving and living.  And this, after all, provided me the Easy Way Out;


T-minus 11 days until beginning my long, slow return to Real running.  This has been the longest break in my 30+ year career.  A break of my own volition, not necessitated by injury.  A Plaquemanesque approach to rehab the body but more important giving my head a break.  Trying to figure out where I fit in the bigger picture.  Because after all I am a bigger picture kind of guy.

And patiently waiting for my dear sweet Linda to heal up.  We’ve been doing lots of little things out at the Bar None, getting the property cleaned up, making ready for the rest of our lives.

I took Mary Amen to the 1997 USA Half Marathon Championships in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Now age 49 she continues to impress me.  She finished 2nd overall at yesterday’s Omaha Women’s Tri.  The winner was Barbara Wehde of Ralston, age 25.

Congratulations to an old competitor and friend Rich Fredrich of Katy, TX.  We used to battle each other on the streets and trails of Houston in the 80s and 90s.  He showed up in Kansas City Saturday and won the 55-59 division of the Hospital Hill Half Marathon in 1:28:39.  Nice work Rich.

The Hospital Hill Half Marathon Elite Team Challenge was dominated by the Lincoln Running Company Racing team.  Both their men and women’s teams took the top spots and prize money.  Congratulations.

Kyle Clouston improved his 3K time by 20 seconds at Saturday’s Havelock Charity Run.  He’s been busting it hard at Wednesday Night Track Work.  His 9:35.00 showing good turnover and a lock to achieve his goal of sub 5:00 at next month’s Lincoln Mile.

David Bohlken (7th, 34:41)and Jimmie Doherty (15th, 36:41) both ran well in the accompanying 10K.  Colin Morrisey (3rd, 33:44), Kyle Johnson (4th, 34:08), Brandon Wissing (8th, 34:48) and Justin Mollak (10th, 35:03) also represented the Red & White. But in the  Havelock 10K Team Challenge it was the Lincoln Running Co. Racing Team showing the way. Congratulations again.

Science lesson of the day prompted by the courtesy of Jason Zakaras:    The Lunar Perigee is when the Moon is closest to the Earth (221,473 miles) during its monthly orbit. The Lunar Apogee is when the Moon is furthest (252,722 miles) from Earth.  I’ll never run that far.

Re-reading one of my favorite biographies, PANCHO VILLA, by Jean Rouverol, Doubleday, 1972.  “Pancho was defensive.  He was born to suffer, he said; it was his destiny.  ‘I don’t expect anyone to forgive me.  My enemies would like to see me dead.’  He reminded her how it had all begun- he’d committed his first crime only to defend his family.  ‘The truth is,’ he said, ‘I would rather be the number one bandit in the world, than allow my family’s honor to be dragged in the mud.’  He begged her to give him her blessing, and to commend him to God’s care.  God would know well enough, he said, what to do with him.”







The last three days were a figurative and literal whirlwind.  An inauspicious start when a flat tire just west of Lincoln had me changing a drivers front tire on one of the busiest highways in the U.S.  The buffeting winds of the passing semis were only a glimpse of what we were to encounter on 81/35 South.

Just north of Salina, KS we spotted Jim Cantore pulled over keeping an eye on a massive wall cloud.  He was just the first storm chaser we would encounter.

We saw this tank between Oklahoma City and Guthrie.


We approached a monster storm cloud as we pulled into Lawton, OK around 5 pm.  After 560 miles of driving the worst weather of the trip would be the final 10 miles.  Driving rain and high winds (80+ mph) brought traffic to a standstill, 3 cars in the opposite lane were blown off the road into the ditch.

People in Oklahoma are stoic about this.  As I mentioned last week, hardly any have basements, and very few have “Fraidy Holes.”

My dad does have a storm cellar.

A concrete bunker really.  Sparse provisions and no creature comforts.


Simple and life saving, I just can’t imagine living in Oklahoma without one.


We watched this thunderhead blow up in just moments.  It would spawn several tornadoes.


This has been one of the most active tornado seasons in memory.  An eye to the sky and an ear for the emergency sirens a must.


The beneficial rains did bring a rare glimpse of the natural wildflowers.


A single Buckley Penstemon amidst the coreopsis offers contrast to the rugged natural beauty of the Wichita Mountains.




Sedum growing on the rocks.


Indian Paintbrush.


Mexican Sombreros.


Cactus blossoms.  Hard lesson learned, don’t pick one of these beauties for your girlfriend, ouch!