Monthly Archives: April 2014

RACE RELATIONS

The decision has been handed down and there is nothing to be done about it.  A rogue has been corralled and an attempt to implement a bit has followed.

No not Donald Sterling.  Me.

I’ve been put in my  place.  Mr. Unpopular for trying to make our Nebraska Association Marathon Championships competitive team wise.  Shame on me!   For challenging LRC Racing and Team Nebraska, publicly and often.   For questioning why the marathon was made the championships if so “very few” were entered or intended to enter.    A dozen excuses as to why there is “limited” competition in our Championships on Sunday.  A chorus of “We’ll do this Right next year, but this year it was just your talking and wishful thinking Will.”

Fact remains that the 2013 Lincoln Marathon is our USATF Nebraska Association Championships.  There will be individuals and Teams out there battling for Bragging Rights, stick your head in the sand (or elsewhere, please!) all you want, NRGE has our own agenda and it includes kicking ass and taking names.  Cry a 26.2 mile river.  Your tears and protestations and hand wringing and beard tearing and teeth gnashing are motivating as can be.

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Ron Olsen picked up his and Roxi’s singlets yesterday.  Look for stories on Ron on several of the local tv affiliates.

My agri-mentor is ready for the Farmers Markets to open this weekend.  He’s been bringing me along with sage advice and example.  Prairie Gator Farms will be set up at Ak-Sar-Ben Village this Saturday morning.  You can pick up some of his organic produce and listen to his authentic Cajun Music skills while enjoying the first harvest of Spring!

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Steve Kunasek has converted his tiny South Omaha back yard into a veritable vegetable heaven.  Raised beds chock full of pesticide free, hormone free, organic produce.

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Row after row of Muir Lettuces.  I’m hoping mine will look similar in a few weeks.

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Master gardener and Master Gator.  Among Omaha’s and my, favorite bands.  You can catch the Prairie Gators at Prairie Hawk Vineyards this Saturday night.

BIG BALLS

Sure its a big week leading into Sunday’s Lincoln Marathon.  Its a bigger week than that.

One of my oldest and best buddies will be flying in on Thursday, he’ll be rocking the masters competition in his Central Park Track Club singlet.  Andre Lejuene and I attended Lamar University in Beaumont, TX back in the late 80s, my original mentee, I haven’t seen him since.  Looking forward to catching the last 25 years up.

The wood burning stove installation begins today.  Learning on the fly.

Getting all the paperwork in order to close on my former digs in West Mayoville.  What a weird story this has become, truth is truly stranger than fiction.  Damned attorneys.  Damned real estate agents.  Damned title company.  Damned banks.  Damned ex.  And just for good measure, damn those blood sucking attorneys a couple more times.

The new Beer Mile World Record (4:55) has generated some big interest in the 2nd Annual Bar None Beer Mile, tentatively set for August.  We’ve added a “Shot Mile”, novelty + innovation= Fun.

Sad to report that there will be no Hospital Hill Team Challenge this year.  We were so ready to go kick some ass, drats!

Dam to Dam, here we come!

For the umpteenth time, PEAK NO TAPER.

Our mate Ron Olsen will be interviewed Thursday for his incredible streak of not missing a Lincoln Marathon.  He called this morning arranging to pick up his singlet.  Roxi’s too.  I told him how much his and her LOYALTY meant the world to me.  He said “You created this Will, of course we are going to run for you.”  There’s a lot of whippersnappers that could learn a lesson from Ron and Roxi.

BIG CRYSTAL BALLS:

Nebraska Run Guru Elite
cummings 2:33:00 (8th)
anzalone 2:40:00  (11th)
kostelnick 2:41:00 (12th)
key     2:45:00        (14th)
clouston 2:48:00  (23rd)
delgado 2:55:00 (36th)

Lincoln Running Co. Racing
noel 2:25:00 3rd
nichols 2:32:00  6th
regnier 2:39:00  8th
sellers 2:40:00 9th
wandzilak 2:45:00 15th
sekora 2:55:00 35th
mckillap 3:05:00 50th

Team Nebraska
marsh 2:40:00 10th
doherty 2:45:00 16th
stack 2:45:00 17th

 

 

 

 

BIG WEEK

Going to be a lot of prognostication and conjecture here over the next few days.  Who’s fit, who’s not.  Who’s Fast, who’s Last.  Started a little wagering pool, the hot race right now seems to be between me and Dylan Wilson, with me holding a slight advantage.

As much as I’ve pushed for Team Competition at our USATF Nebraska Association Marathon Championships, NRGE seems to be the only ones willing to engage in the discussion.  I have not seen any formal declaration by our LDR Chair, and the other clubs are quite hush, but that won’t stop me will it?  A lot of people are asking “Why not, what’s the harm?”  I’ve got an answer!  Bock, bock, bock.

Before I get to the nuts and bolts, I need to mention our mate Jeremy Morris’ new course record (9:59:11) at the Kansas Free State 100K.  9:49 pace over a course described as Ni-Bthaska-Ke on steroids.  The 2nd place finisher was an hour and twenty minutes behind.

Also proud of Michel Davy who took the Overall win (39:40) at Saturday’s Clausen-Leahy 10K.  Didn’t doubt it for a moment.  Michel will be running one of the best races in the U.S. this coming Sunday, the Bloomsday 12K in Spokane.   She’ll have Plenty of Competition.

We had our NRGE Spring Party on Saturday.  Good turnout for the run, fun, food and libation.

The Bar None Guest Register keeps getting more and more colorful.  A good use for the chalkboard.  Some inspirational, motivational, and hilarity.

I see there was a 100 Mile forum sponsored by the GOATZ last week.  I didn’t see Kyle Clouston, Pete Kostelnick, or Jeremy Morris in attendance.  The top 3 male ultra runners in Nebraska, error by omission.  Is the view really that much different from the Front?

Speaking of the front.  I’ve made sure our NRGE mates know where they belong on every  starting line, every time.

BN

Bar None.

 

 

FUNGI FRIDAY

Taking the canoe out on the Platte River today, questing for tasty morels.

I had to put up with extreme political campaigning in Texas.  But the Beau McCoy for governor ad takes the cake.  Beau is shown slapping an Obama bobble head off of a fence post to make his point.  Possibly the worst example of negativism I’ve ever seen.  And of course we’re just getting into the political season so maybe we’ve not seen the worst yet.

NRGE mate Walter Key is running this weekend’s  OKC Half Marathon.  He was originally entered into the full but immediately switched when he found out about the Team Competition at Lincoln.  He’ll use the half as a final long run, not a RACE.  Selfless, I wish I had a dozen more just like him.  Sadly, the Lincoln Marathon will be Walt’s last race for us as he and his wonderful family are moving to Japan soon after.  We will miss his dedication and cheery disposition.

Michel Davy will be running the UNO Claussen-Leahy 10K tomorrow morning.  Get some Michel!

The Gambler Half Marathon is this Sunday, the flattest and fastest around.  Until Sunday, September 7th anyway.

Much as this makes me sick I’m posting this picture anyway.  Shows the lengths non-Real runners will go to to get in to the most iconic marathon in the world.
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I’m sure they just wanted to jump on the “We’re all winners” bandwagon.  Bastards.

 

CHICKEN MATADOR

We’ve got the chickens and ducks in their new digs.  Their rightful place in the barn, away from the workaday activities at the Big House.  I’m sure the neighbors are getting a kick out of my herding them back to the coop, red towel in hand, waving and cajoling my fine feathered friends.  Ole!

The Illinois Marathon is this weekend.  Champaign is my childhood stomping grounds and this race remains on my list of destination events.  But not this year.

Heard from my old buddy Luka Thor recently.  He’s running the USA 25K Champs in Grand Rapids on May 10.    Will also try (ha!) and defend his title at the Berkshire Hathway Invest in Yourself 5K next weekend.

Some big news upcoming on the Freedom Half Marathon.  Mark your calendars for the first weekend in September.  Flat, fast, prize purse, and some of the best down home hospitality anywhere!

Also some big news brewing about a Regional Series of Women’s only 5K Races.  Prize money only exceeded by the level of competition.

And why not?

ANOTHER TAKE

I’ve summed up my feelings about the Boston Marathon.  Made it pretty clear that unless you are out there giving at least 100%, intending to run the very best Race of your life, I can’t imagine why you would waste your time.  And not just the Boston Marathon.  Any and Every Marathon, if it is worth running, is worth your Very Best Effort.  I don’t give out hugs for crossing the finish line.  No pats on the back for just starting.  I saw this ridiculous post on facebook,  “A winner is anyone that finishes the race!”  No! NO! NOOOO!  That in a nutshell sums up the last eighteen months.  Flowery, sugary, saccharin coated praise for simply putting one foot in front of the other, for however long it might take, isn’t my style.

There were only two winners on Monday.  There were however 12 American women under the Olympic Trials A Standard.  A handful of fellas too.  They all must be feeling a sense of accomplishment but I’ll bet you every single one is pissed that they didn’t catch the person ahead of them.

Congratulations to newly minted master Michael Wardian (2:23:32) on his 3rd place 40+ finish.  You think he didn’t want 2nd?  And an amazing race by my old buddy Joan Benoit Samuelson, her 2:52:10 at age 56 is the stuff her legend is made of.  You think she is just a little ticked she didn’t break 2:52?

See, that is one of the things that sets apart Real Racers.  Never satisfied.  Not willing to accept accolades for accolades sake alone.  Not just content to cross a finish line.  Not happy for the person that just kicked their butt.  Not assuaged by a Rockstar Whoop Whoop.  Get it?

Either you do or you don’t.

 

 

 

 

 

MY TAKE

Meb Keflezighi did more in 2:08:37 than was accomplished in 365 days of everything else.  His masterful performance more than enough to capture imagination and catapult Boston back to its rightful role as The American Marathon.

Best moment for me:  My old buddy Greg Meyer being the very first person to embrace Meb after crossing the finish line.  I turned to Linda and told her we have a very tiny anecdote, counting both Boston Legends as friends.  Greg, our gracious host at my favorite race (Grand Rapids, USA 25K Champs) and Meb, how many have actually spent time in a hot tub with him?

I have to admit that the tears were streaming over the last 5K.  Imploring Meb to dig ever deeper to hold off the hard charging Chebet.  Willing a win for our man.  For our country.  For you.  For me.  For the names of the 2013 victims he had inscribed on his race number.  For the Future of the Boston Marathon, indeed American Distance Running.

Yes, I cried.  Because to me, running is life.  Contrary to Pastor Craig’s view about me:
“Will’s passionate about running, especially the top 1%. Nobody is going to change him. All you can do is change your reaction to him. It’s running. Not life.”  The good pastor has never reached out to me personally (lost sheep?), surprised he found me worthy of weighing in on at all.  His commentary smacks of something I’m not too comfortable with from a man of the cloth.

Overlooked in the hoopla were Meb’s splits.  1:04:19, 1:04:18.  You try and tell me this wasn’t a man with a perfectly executed race plan.  A man who went in with the intention of winning the race.  A man whose place in Boston Lore is now forever secure.  A man who makes a strong case for being the Best distance runner in American History.  A man who has found that in running is the best in life.

And Shalane Flanagan taking it to the women’s field.  Making the race for the first 20 miles.  Finishing 7th in an women’s American Boston Marathon record.  Doing her part to show that Boston belongs to those that RACE more than it belongs to anyone else.

Sure there were thousands of participants, the story of the day however must and should be those that gave it everything they possibly could.  Especially that top 1%.  Those that honored the event by giving nothing less than absolutely everything.  Regardless of their finish time.

Cameron Cummings gave it his all in being the first current Nebraska finisher.  (Must note here that my buddy and yours Mike Morgan finished 13th overall in 2:14:40.  Ageless.)  Back to Cameron, this is his umpteenth year as top finisher.  Congrats too to Justin Mollak on his huge personal best of 2:35:12.  No Nebraska women were under 3 hours, the first time in quite a few years if I’m not mistaken (hardly ever).

Going to go dry my eyes now.

 

 

 

AMERICAN WINS BOSTON!

Thank you Meb for returning the 2014 Boston Marathon to its fullest glory.  Shalane, just wow for the incredible courage.   Too many tears to type right now, recap later or tomorrow.

FINESSE FRIDAY

One of the biggest and strongest guys I know is also the most mild mannered.  That’s you Bruce Newton.  Calm, measured, even.  I’m hoping to pick up some of his traits.

I typically go for the sledge to make my points.  Finesse and Grace not among my strong suits.  But again, I’m hoping to learn and enjoy these skills.

If my wordsmithing is a prime example, so were the past many hours of toiling behind the tiller.  Eight point five horsepower, rear tine, nearly 8 hours of wrestling the beast before I finally found my Zen in the Art of Tilling.  Instead of grappling, coaxing.  Instead of hammering, guiding.  Becoming one with my angst, absorbing it, letting it pass through me, and on the other side, mastery.

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This little parcel for annuals and perennials.  For such a hard ass I have an affinity for fresh cut flowers.  Strawberry patch in the raised bed in rear.  Grapes, blackberries, and raspberries also entering their second season.

20140417_195405Cool weather greens (kale, cabbage, lettuces, chards, mizuna) will be moved from their seedling trays to this bed.   Allium Sepa (onions),  Rhubarb, asparagus, and horseradish already established in their corners.

20140417_195533And the Big Patch.  60′ x 80′.  I’ve turned over 6000 square feet of the Good Mother.  Potato slips going in today.  Melons, peppers, root vegetables, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans, will all be tended with loving care.

And three of my favorite Boston Marathon pieces:
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2008 Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon banner.  One of, if not the biggest highlights of my service to USATF was chairing WLDR National Championships and working with B.A.A. for the Trials.  I passed on a trip to Paris to fulfill this dream.  Don’t regret it for a moment.

20140418_085418Autographs from 4 Legends.

20140418_085442Johnny Kelley the Elder.  This bobblehead keeps me constant company in the home office.

Have a great weekend and if you feel like getting down and dirty come on out to the Bar None for this weekend’s Gardening 101 seminar.

 

 

 

 

DO GO ON

Please do go right ahead.  The backlash from the unintelligentsia has been invigorating to say the least.  Their rantings and antics more than substantiate my positions, prove more than any words I could ever craft.

And those that would use my words (carefully cut and paste out of context to get your spin on) to stir these fools, ah well, so be it.  I’m a little disappointed in the origin but should always be mindful that The Poison still has some little influence.  I’m inoculated from my own experience, as are more and more every day.  Praise be to Buddha.

Big thanks to Gary Dougherty.  Gary and I had a Very Contentious, well documented relationship for over a decade.  Today we have a very good understanding and appreciation of each other.  Life is funny this way sometimes.  We both realize that had it not been for The Poison this running community would be much healthier.

But we also agree that it is not too late to work together for the common good.  Gary had my back yesterday and it is that I thank him for.  Not letting history repeat itself, no matter whose amusement might be interrupted.  Standing up for me when I couldn’t stand for myself.  Yes, we’ve both grown in the best of ways.

I’m still writing with my own, sometimes incendiary, style.  Provoking thought and discussion. Educating.  Insight and Incite.  Stimulating the Running Community to a More Competitive Culture.

Gary with his NDORFNZ website.  “Keepin’ it Real and Focusing on the Good.”  www.ndorfnz.com

Here’s a tip on the top Nebraska finisher at next Monday’s Boston Marathon.  He works like this:

“As far as training goes, a typical week for me is composed of a long run and two workouts. The days after the workouts are ‘recovery’ though I still like to get in a fair amount of slow miles on those days. The harder workout of the week is usually some form of interval training, 400 repeats, 800 repeats, 1600 repeats, 3200 repeats, hill workouts (A really good one is 5K at about 90%, 6 minutes jog rest, followed by 3 x 3200).The other workout for the week is usually some form of tempo run. One particular workout I like to do on those days is 5-mile warm-up, 10-mile run starting at about 30 seconds slower than marathon pace, increasing the pace each mile and ending at about 30 seconds faster than marathon race pace, followed by a 5-mile slow cool down. All of the other intervals are progressive in both pace and volume as I go through the training cycle (ie, the first time I do 400s I’ll run about 69-72s x 20, and the last time I do them I’ll run about 66-69s for each). I do indeed believe in volume and the long run…I do a fair number of 30-milers…most of my weeks range from 100-130 miles. And, of course, I mix in some 100m strides and a bit of weight training as well.”

And he runs for Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  He’ll also be representing NRGE at the Lincoln Marathon and is a former winner there.   Anyone ready to rethink their bets in the Team Competition?