Monthly Archives: July 2013


A Great weekend of running out at the Bar None.  Yesterday found new distance pr’s for Jed and post surgery Linda, and my longest run since the 10K in Grand Rapids 6 weeks ago.  Only 6 miles, but we’re doing this right.

Triathlons are dominating the race calendar now anyway, very few road races to choose from.  Lots of people hitting their bricks this weekend.  Ambitious work in this heat to be sure.  Two Rules:  1) Hydrate to frequent potty breaks.  2) Wear light colored, breathable, even loose fitting training clothes.

The Midnight Madness Team Challenge in Ames, IA was Saturday night.  David Bohlken reports running 34:02, a twenty second personal best.  Nice work David.  I’m still hunting for individual and team results.

Tyson Gay.  Dumbass.

Mulan?  Cried.  The Two Towers?  Cried.  The Descendants?  Cried.  Hunger Games?  Cried.  Edward Scissorhands?  Weeping uncontrollably.  I rarely see a movie where I don’t end up teary eyed or sometimes even bawling like a baby.  Not sure what that speaks to but is surely some indication that my heart is not made of stone.

Good Complexion.  It seems that this country air, fresh vegetables, hard work, and good loving have taken years off my stern countenance.  Asparagus is up.  Swiss Chard and spinach and lettuces too.  Carrots, beets, bok choy, and radishes teasing with great promise.   Cantaloupe and Watermelon, yep.  Pole beans, check.   Peppers and tomatoes blowing up on the Yutan plot.  Will start the Fall planting in just 3 short weeks.  Big Thanks to Jason Zakaras for the sweet addition to my endeavors.







Good to be back in training mode.  Still being very patient but am up to two days in a row, one off, two in a row, day off.  Linda too.  Her successful surgery (Thanks again Dr. Grier at GIKK) now a historical anecdote.

And we are joined on our runs by Jedediah Strong Kunasek.  As Pack Leader I keep the leash for most all. He likes to start out honoring his middle name.  At attention, ears up, potential energy squared.  After a couple of miles the cast shadow of a lolling tongue lets me know he’s hit my stride.  The three of us run easily together, unperturbed by traffic or trouble.

When I feel the urge to push it is with consideration of Jed.  His role as governor keeps my throttle in check.  Reminds me that I’m still early on in training.  We’re up to 4 miles now and a little “speed” has been introduced.  But nothing yet that these two best training partners can’t enjoy with me.

jedsearsQuite the ear span on the Walker Coon Hound.  Keen eyes and a legendary sense of smell too.



We had a very good turnout for last night’s “Flash 18”.  The group which shall remain anonymous gathered at a little used service entrance to the Omaha Country Club at 1:20 a.m. and we sprinted like hell through eighteen holes.  I opted for bare feet but racing flats were the uniform of the day.  No spikes allowed out of respect.

Our little group of ne’er-do-wells have a full slate of Flash Runs coming up over the next couple of months. All tied into events or attractions, you never know when or where we will show up!  If you’d like to get your name on the list, I’m not too hard to get a hold of.

Going to give some huge kudos to our Wednesday Night Track Group.  At Saturday’s Run For Justin, every single runner set a personal best for 5K.

Lindsey Brezenski made her 5K debut in a very nice 19:32 for 3rd Overall Female.  Lindsey has been a pet project over the last few months as I prep her for the BIX 7 later this month.  She will be running the Des Moines Marathon this fall and that has me excited!    I am also proud and happy to announce Lindsey as a member of the freshman class of Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  She has the Right Stuff.

I have also invited Wednesday Nighter Amanda Marshall to join our merry band of Giant Slayers.  She too has improved tremendously and shown a voracious appetite for Hard Work.

A couple more committed athletes that will be revealed once sponsorship details are ironed out.  They too are looking forward to kicking butt.

Here is to Lindsey, Kristen Ramm, Amanda Marshall, and Jeff Jensen.  All set personal bests and all won age group hardware.  Kristen, Amanda, & Jeff all finished within :06 of each other.  Training partners and competitors.  This is how we do it!

22   1/54     705 Lindsey Brezenski     Omaha NE           27 F     19:35   19:32  6:18 
23   8/27     325 Scott Friend          Omaha NE           16 M     19:34   19:33  6:18   24   9/27     646 Adam Walsh            Omaha NE           17 M     19:42   19:38  6:20   25   4/43     389 Matt Jacobson         Omaha NE           26 M     19:45   19:44  6:21 
26   1/15     627 Shelby Tucker         Gretna NE          19 F     19:48   19:48  6:23   27  10/27     586 Rich Shirk            Omaha NE           17 M     19:51   19:49  6:23   28   2/14     735 Roy White             Omaha NE           49 M     19:54   19:52  6:24   29   2/48     671 Derek Witt            Omaha NE           32 M     20:03   19:59  6:26   30   5/43     426 Keenan Krick          Omaha NE           27 M     20:18   20:13  6:31   31   2/14     438 Ronald Lampe          Omaha NE           51 M     20:21   20:15  6:3    32  1/53     726 Kristen Ramm          Gretna NE          34 F     20:18   20:15  6:31    33 2/54     403 Lori Jorn             Omaha NE           29 F     20:25   20:17  6:32     34 2/53     699 Amanda Marshall       Omaha NE           31 F     20:22   20:20  6:33     35 3/11     392 Jeff Jensen           Omaha NE           42 M     20:24   20:21  6:33 



Some further quotes from “The Value Of A Coaching Philosophy” in this quarter’s edition of TRACK COACH.

“The person who is only an athlete is too crude, too vulgar, too much a savage.  The person who is a scholar only is too soft, too effeminate.  The ideal citizen is the scholar athlete, the person of thought and a person of action.”—Plato

“A life without a cause is a life without effect.”— Paulo Coelho

“What is as important as knowledge, said the mind?  Seeing and caring with the heart, said the soul.”—Flavius

“What is as important as winning, said the coach?  “Whether or not I mattered to you, said the athlete.”—Russell C. Smelley

“Leadership is not a popularity contest.  It is putting beliefs into action and placing one’s self in a position to promote those beliefs.  What are your beliefs?  What are your goals as a team leader?  What are your goals for the team?  When leadership becomes more concerned with being nice and popular, the team attitude dwindles and team performance suffers.  When expectations are set high and action is taken to achieve those expectations, people may grumble occasionally under the burden of the challenge.  Still, they know where they are going because leadership has made this clear and the fact is that people want to be led to reach their goals.  They will follow someone who knows where he is going.  Where are you going?”—Smelley

And that readers, is my middle name.

And so is Everett, named after my maternal grandfather.  And what prompted today’s quote fest was the appearance of a quote in the OWH.  Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen visited the Atwood Grade School nearly 50 years ago, I still remember his striking poise and demeanor.

His quote:  “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”

And another from this great statesman:  “There is no force so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

nrge cert jpg



While I’ve enjoyed my little stint of being Outside looking In I have to admit that I am getting a little restless. Things are slowly lining out here on our little slice, still a lot of work yet but most of the major stuff now behind.  I’m getting a little more free time to consider, consider, and consider again.

The landscape has changed dramatically in just a few short months.

Analogies abound between the Bar None and the Nebraska running community.  Both possess palettes with a potential that stimulate me.

From this months Track Coach:  “Jim Crakes has mentioned that the current generation of youth have been raised as ‘praise junkies’.  They are in constant need of being told they are wonderful and they did a ‘good job’ even if they only worked hard with a mediocre result.  Their emotional needs seem to go beyond encouragement to emotional hand holding.  This is a limiting factor in their development and their willingness to be pushed for excellence in performance.”

In my own words:  Soft, pampered, disrespectful, catered to, self entitled, self serving, whiny little brats.  I’ve got a short list of individuals that I’ve served that these adjectives describe to a tee.  They’re the ones that will be pissed when they read this.  Good.  Generational?  You bet.

Thanks to Craig Christians for providing a possible to yesterday’s list of Masters Road Mile record holders.  He sent a link with the 2003 Lincoln Mile results, wasn’t sure if the race was USATF Certified (therefore record eligible) but thought it might have been run on the same course.  At age 42 Craig finished 2nd overall (4:37) to one of the original Team Nebraska members, Jim McLaughlin (he joined in 2003 with Mike Morgan, Nick Rector and Paul Wilson).  If anyone can confirm that it was certified please let us know.  Craig also ran a 4:36 at the Bellevue Breeze Mile on the Bellevue track (after adding 9.344 meters to bring it up to an official Mile) the same year.

lukamattTwo of the Best right here!  Matt Pohren and Luka Thor both got and still get what it is I’ve tried to do, have done, and still burn with.  They only want Hard Work and the best competition out of running.   Both my boys made it out on Sunday, meant the world to me.

backstretchThis is the backstretch of the Bar None Loop.  My country neighbors had to be a little gape jawed watching Luka tear it up.

20130705_115119While my garden grows fine this summer, next year a much larger plot will accommodate a more lofty vision.  I’ve eschewed technology and opted for Real Labour to get it going.  Turning the entire thing by hand so that I may be intimate with my soil.  Crazy?  Maybe, but I’m the least harmless nut job you know.  Six hours just for the border, I’m looking at 2-3 weeks of digging and digging, and digging the change in landscape.  

I can hardly wait for 2014!
will tye dye



There were certainly some heads turning at Saturday’s Run For Justin.  Most were looking with amazement at Matt Pohren, thinking his 15:54 win was some otherworldly display of running prowess.  Yawn.  No, really, that is quite pedestrian for Matt.  For those of you that know him, you get what I’m saying.  But it was still a meaningful victory for Matt, one of the closest of friends of the Nealon family.  Some of you  may have noticed Matt lifting his Team Nebraska singlet and showing off his new tattoo that includes “JN” as memorial to Justin’s life long inspiration.  Touching.

A few other gawkers were shocked, disappointed, or otherwise confused to see me sporting the familiar Red & White singlet.   Here’s why.  I’m in no shape to be Racing, but that doesn’t mean my body and mind can’t Really Try.  And my heart is with Dan & Marti Nealon and their wonderful tribute to Justin.  I made the Nealon family Honorary Members of Team Nebraska 6 or 7 years ago.  Dan always reminded me that Justin would have loved to earn a spot on the club.  Their efforts to honor him and provide for the running community made that membership decision a no brainer for me.

It was a tougher decision for me Saturday to put on my singlet.  But upon arriving at the race I saw just Matt Pohren and Jordan Tucker (and a single female, Kristen Ramm) representing Team Nebraska.  That was the “sign” and prompt necessary for me to don the Red & White again.  Once upon my chest I knew immediately that I must give absolutely everything I had.  Must once again put aside the easy way and try to beat every other possible runner that I could.  I acquitted myself with pride on that front, some things will never change.  Five seconds under my reasonable goal and fourth in my age group.  It is from the Inside Out.

The Singlet, a right I will always reserve as the Founder and Keeper of the Real Competitive Spirit of Team Nebraska.

The USATF Nebraska Association 1 Mile Championships were yesterday in Lincoln.  I’ve been training my boy Kyle Clouston up all summer for his assault on the sub 5:00 mile.  Regular readers will know he already achieved that at Wednesday Night Track Work a couple of weeks ago (4:59).  But it was yesterday’s Race that mattered.  To borrow a very tired phrase, BAM!  4:50.75.  Great work Kyle!  Lincoln Running Company Racing Team dominated the event on the team competition side of things, something I Always look at.

I’m glad to see the USATF 1 Mile Champs return to Nebraska.  I hosted the first 2 editions (2007, 2008) at the Omaha Mile and the Blair Elite Downtown Mile (2009, 2010)  hosted a couple of years, it had been missing since.  Thanks Ann Ringlein for getting on board with our USATF Championships Program.  Next up, the USATF 5 Mile Championships at the Columbus Downtown Run Around.

The new course record for the Bar None Loop resides where it should.  In the quick lap of Luka Thor.  37.85 seconds around the 270 meter cross country loop.  I put up a new personal best of 58.13, the current Master’s record.  Prize money and gifts to any that might challenge……..rfjJust like old times.  It felt good to be in the Red & White kit, if only for a morning.


Linda winning the Masters title at the 2009 Blair Elite Downtown Mile.  At age 47 she turned a quick 5:37 for the title.  Now age 50 with a healing broken foot, we are looking to tune her up for the 2014 Indoor/Outdoor track season.

State Masters mile records: (2009 Omaha Mile, Kevin Vanderlinden, age 46,  4:41, 2009 Omaha Mile Connie Prince Houlihan, age 50, 5:17).





That’s who’s invited to the inaugural Bar None Run & Breakfast this Sunday morning.  8:00 am start, varying distances, paces, talent, social acumen, etc.  If you would like to join us shoot me an email at for directions.

We’ll also be contesting the Bar None Loop, either as a time trial or with match races.   Bragging rights on the line!   I always wanted a training circuit in my yard, now I have one.

Hope everyone has all their toes and fingers this morning.  Our country neighbors blew off two 1/4 sticks and a single 1/2 stick of dynamite yesterday.  BANG!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at tomorrow morning’s Run For Justin.  The final edition, there won’t be a dry eye at the dojo.

For those of you that can’t get enough adventure or if you are simply so amazingly awesome (if I believe what I read, there are many of you right here in Omaha!):

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race
Mt. Everest Challenge Marathon
Oct. 25 – Nov. 01, 2013, Darjeeling , India

There are few places in the world where 5 days of back to back running is genuinely worthwhile – Indian Himalaya is definitely one such places. The views are of no ordinary mountains. While running, you can enjoy the spectacular views of four out of five highest mountains in the world i.e. Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu .

The documentary film on Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race by Mr. Joel Wolpert, Running Times USA can be viewed at We hope you enjoy the film.

For more information on Event details, Race Package Cost & discounts, kindly contact Race Directorate at The Race Directorate will always be at your disposal.

“The world’s most beautiful marathon – A race with no one but themselves. The sense of personal achievement and accomplishment was immense, though the event was never close to being the desperate ordeal the first day had promised. If you could finish a marathon, you could finish this. You have to suspend your preconceptions when thinking about the trip” – Steven Seaton, Runner’s World , UK

“At some point of time along the way I was told to remember that pain is temporary, but pride is forever. It is really true. As for the race, it is indeed the most incredible challenge any runner could want. As for India , it is truly a magnificent cultural experience. Just maybe, when you combine the two, one plus one actually does equal three” – Karen Hamilton, Ultra Running Magazine, USA

Namaskar!!! Welcome to World’s Most Unique and Innovative Race Trail.


With best regards,

Chander Shekkhar Pandey
Race Director
Himalayan Run & Trek Pvt. Ltd.
T-5, Manish Chamber, Plot No. – 6, Block – B, Mayur Vihar Phase – 2
Delhi – 110091, INDIA
Fax: +91-11-22772800 (IST 10.00 hrs. – 17.00 hrs.)



On Fire.  Or from, anyone or anything that is awesome.

That’s my dear sweet Katie.  She’ll be starting her junior year next month but is keeping plenty busy in the meantime.  She made her second annual Habitat for Humanity work trip in June, Richmond, Indiana this year.  I’m proud of her sense of service.  She follows in Alli’s footsteps who made the trip 4 years in a row.

Katie is also working nearly full time at Menards.  “Save Big Money!”

And pitching in around the farm.  She hopped up yesterday and declared she wanted a fire pit.  “No, Bigger than that!, No, Bigger!”  We all pitched in and by the end of the day we had it.

Katie is not afraid of Real Work.  She spent most of the day on the business end of a shove and wheelbarrow.  This comfy little fire was our reward.

She also has been making time for new beau Trent.  Polite, respectful, good kid.  Nice car too.

So Katie, here’s to you today.  En Fuego!




Four point five miles with four X eight hundred @ Here I Come to Get You John Tully FiveK (one quarter recovery).  Perfect morning for seven oh two thirteen, there was a fiver up front when we started the run.  Amazing.

We’re fortunate to live within minutes of the four major metropolitan areas.  Wahoo, Waterloo, Venice, and Omaha.  And one of my very favorite training circles, El Parque Estado Dos Rios.  That’s where we nailed the eight hundreds this morning.

I didn’t burn down the house, the barn, the garage, the studio, or the neighbors yesterday.  I can see where fire is going to be a useful tool with so many trees on the acreage.  Looking at wood burning stoves, that will be the first enhancement to the house.  Hopefully in time for Old Man Winter.

We’ve installed rain barrels beneath our downspouts.  The Good Stuff for our garden.

A steady diet of kale, collard greens, and parsley inspires today’s column title.

I’m still and always interested in the dynamics of the local running scene.  Especially on the Competitive side.  Thus it is with interest that I note Jason Zakaras now running under the blue and yellow kit of the Lincoln Running Co. Racing Team.  Jason has ran very well this year, dropping his marathon pr to 2:39:23 at Grandma’s.  Best of luck in the new digs Jason.

I can’t think of anything more comfortable than a rocker and a warm fire on a chilly July morning.


Congratulations to the Kansas City Smoke!  They have emerged as the top USA Track & Field Elite Development Club in the midwest.  Great results at this past weekend’s USA Club Track & Field National Championships in NYC.

Team Nebraska always had a “friendly” rivalry with the Smoke.  It was friendly because we consistently kicked their butt.  I’m not so sure how friendly it should be any more.  Their Smoke’s Mens Team finished 5th overall, their Women, 13th overall.  Team Nebraska’s Men finished 8th overall by virtue of Eric Lund winning the 400M Hurdles and Matt Pohren taking 3rd in the 5000 and 5th in the Steeplechase.  Pretty good for a 2 man team.  Team Nebraska failed to send any women to the meet for the first time in 6 years.

Complete results here:

This more than anything motivates me to get Nebraska Run Guru Elite up and running.  NRGE will represent at next year’s Club Champs.  And we will kick some butt!

I got up early this morning and started my burn pile.  Easy does it, goal for today is to reduce it by 25%.   Hard work and very gratifying.

Three to one.  When I lived in “Richerville” I used to shower before my run to loosen up.  Then another shower post run to clean up.  And then perhaps a third if I worked in the yard or otherwise dirtied up.  And now that I’m a Flat Rat, it is once a day, in the evening, washing away the sum total of an entire day’s good, honest efforts.

Great Run yesterday.  The first time Linda & I have struck out for a longer run.  If you saw a couple of happy faces running along West Dodge Road yesterday morning, yep, that was us.