Monthly Archives: May 2014

FARM REPORT FRIDAY

If this summer is a marathon I’ve hit the 10K mark in my gentleman farmer pursuits.  A lot of work started last February, nurturing seedlings.  March brought transplanting those into bigger pots.  April spent tilling and tilling and tilling and planting and planting and planting.  We’ve been realizing our fresh bounty and have become strangers to city commerce.  You savvy free groceries?

20140530_080155My dear sweet Linda has the complete trust of the flock, now numbering ten.

20140530_080330Our three rows of potatoes guaranteeing full larders this winter.  Notice the 3 rows to the left, planted by a buddy and rarely tended, his first two rows of potatoes puny by comparison.

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Proper hilling of your potatoes ensures you need not dig to harvest in the fall, simply reach in your mound and extract the Good Mother’s blessings.  It took Linda, Katie and me several hours on our hands and knees to complete the three rows.

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A myriad of tomatoes showing excellent growth and health.  Notice how I build a well around the base of the plant to facilitate no waste watering.  Extra work up front will pay big dividends later this summer.

20140530_080453Sweet Corn inhabiting its own corner, about 50 plants have broken through.

20140530_080714Carrots tardy-the last to show, finicky on germination, and difficult to weed by hand but what are you going to do?  Few things better fresh out of the garden and worth the effort.

20140530_080513Pumpkins, Squash, Cantatlope, and Watermelon line the eastern fringe of the garden, free to extend their tendrils into the brome grass, needing little care until harvest this Autumn.

20140530_081400Closer to the house the Raspberries are thriving on their section of the fence.

20140530_081414Their neighbors the Blackberries also jumping.

20140528_171457Kentucky Pole Beans also have their place to climb.

20140530_081342The “Green” garden just out the back door.  Swiss Chard, Lettuces, Kale, baby spincaches, tiny Cilantro sprouts, and herbs.  This is my go to garden when preparing daily meals.  Another bed holds the same cast of characters, set at two week intervals, ensuring fresh goodness for months.

20140526_200456The Chards my favorite for color and flavor.  Varieties in the garden include luminaries like “Bright Lights”, “Rhubarb” and “Rainbow Swiss”, all contributing hues to the palette and palate.

20140213_083042Not bad from humble beginnings eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOREST TREES

The old saying is true, often times you can’t see the forest for the trees.  It takes a keener vision, an almost intuitive sense, to grasp The Bigger Picture.  Daring to predict it, Genius to actualize it.  Helps to be Fearless, Seemingly Reckless, Single Minded, Unwavering.

These cats that are showing up for Wednesday Night Track Work are starting to get a clearer view, becoming Masters of Their Own.  Eight weeks into the season, with some weather cancellations, the core group is becoming defined.  And Determined.

They’ve stepped outside, nay above, their preconceived notions of limitations.  They cast their eyes down, amazed at what emanates.  From Within.  Each repeat a root, each recovery a limb, each week a ring, each personal best New Growth.  Rising above to unknown heights, exhilarating in the Better View that comes only with Maximum Effort.

Who dares demand this Excellence?  Why just little old me.

Upper 80s last night and the order of the day was quarters.  Hard as hell on the hottest Wednesday of the year.  90% effort.  Minimum 6, maximum 10.  A trio of our NRGE studs banging out mostly low to mid 70s, finishing with Kyle’s flurry of :66s as he trains up to kick Pete’s butt ( and yours!) at the Lincoln Mile.  Not to be outdone Pete is running 60 miles on Saturday and will gloat when Kyle drops after the first 30, here kitty kitty kitty.   But Jessica and Amy, running all of theirs sub 2 and finishing with a 1:52, made the evening for us all.

Linda’s Kids Fit Program, sponsored by Gretna Family Health, was very well attended and a couple of emerging young talents have captured our attention, Giddyup Sydney and Hudson!

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You would think Amy and Jessica were old pros they way they tackled the quarters, only weeks removed from their first introduction to the track.

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Brett led group 2 with Bill and Gary and Greg fast on his heels.

emersonEmerson shows great downhill form.  She set a personal best at the Boys Town kids run thanks to the coaching prowess of Linda and the good genes from Coach John.

 

HOME AGAIN

I’m proud and happy to announce the addition of Jimmie Doherty to Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  There are a lot of reasons he is a Right Fit for NRGE.  Potential and talent are right up there but it is his character and small town sensibilities that have made Jimmie one of my favorite athletes.  The fact that he placed Loyalty above the haughty trappings of the Red & White means the world to me.
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Welcome Home Jimmie!

Congratulations to Lindsey and E.J. Brezenski on the birth of their beautiful daughter Elynn Marie!

Jeremy Morris continues to dominate the local ultra scene.  He won the Lake Perry 50K on May 10th in 4:16:18 besting second place by over 45 minutes.

Rogue Cock.  I had to put the 12 gauge to Fuzzy.  A proud rooster that served his flock well but ultimately decided the rougher the mating the better.  Was he that took my Buff Orpington during copulation, confirmed as he attempted to repeat on another.  Adios El Gallo!  Life on the farm.

The Race, continued.  And first with the corrections:  Thanks to Craig Christians for pointing out that young Mr. Hirsch is fifteen and not thirteen.  His time of 25:33 the only Real Number that counts.  I also miscounted the Team Nebraska representation,  Matt Heesch (2nd, 27:20) and Cory Logsdon (3rd, 27:29) and Bob Miyake (11th, 30:18) were joined by Ryan Dibben (91st, 37:19) and Shawna Young (43:16).

The Good Stuff:  Jessica Pape, as mentioned yesterday, took it out hard from the gun.  Led almost the entire race.  Linda serving as women’s lead bike enjoying her company.  After taking Seth through the finish line I hopped back in to pick up Michel as she chased her mate over the last mile.  I urged and cajoled and implored Michel to do this.  I would have done the Exact Same thing if it had been Jessica chasing Michel.  Get it?  Michel finally caught Jessica with only 200 meters remaining.  32:16 and 32:25, this girl has a closing speed that simply amazes me.

As the two congratulated each other at the finish I jumped in and hugged them both.  Loudly and proudly proclaimed “THIS IS WHY YOU RUN FOR ME!!!!!!”  I punctuated the comment with a “Hell Yes”.  That was the only curse word I used out loud all morning, I’m getting better all the time.

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Right before the gun.  Michel and Jessica get a final laugh from Linda and me.  At the gun the smiles were ditched for All Business.  How much fun is this group?  How fast is this group?  How lucky am I?  Peace.  Love.  Run.  NRGE!

 

ITS A RACE!

View from the cat bird seat, aka lead bike for yesterday’s Boys Town 5 Mile.  Added the kids run and the 1 mile to my morning duties so I got see all the races right up front.  The 1 Mile came down to an eye lash win for 15 year old Alex Tollinger (5:13), a full on sprint to the finish over 20 year old Sam Kohl (5:14).

But it was the 5 Mile feature race that made yesterday my best day of the year so far.  I laid it out here on Friday.  Michel Davy was In It To Win It.  Invited one and all to come take their best shot at her.

Not a single Team Nebraska or LRC Racing Team female in uniform for the biggest, most competitive event of the year in Omaha.  This is a RACE folks, where the hell were you?

Doesn’t diminish what NRGE accomplished.  How it was accomplished has me doing my “Happy Dance” yet this morning.  My invitation to compete fell only on the ears of Jessica Pape, Michel’s training partner and teammate.  Jessica took it out hard from the gun, showing Omaha and Nebraska how we do it.
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Jessica Pape.  If you didn’t know her then, you should know her now.

momichelWhile Jessica led, Maureen Larsen held second place for the first couple of miles.  You can see Michel right behind, well coached and well placed in the early stages.

michelMichel was not to be denied the win in front of her “Home Town” crowd.  She and husband Jesse are house parents at Boys Town and she had the support of everyone.  I heard the question come up yesterday “How does Will always seem to find these winners?”  The simple answer is: I don’t find them,  I Build Them.  Silly goose.

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Mike Wasson.  First Overall Master and 6th overall.  The New Face of Masters Competitiveness in Nebraska.  I didn’t “build” him but he is ALL BUSINESS.

oldfartsThese two masters cats, Bob Garcia and Craig Christians were all smiles before the gun.  You know they’ve got to be happy for Mike.

race5The Real Race early on.  Seth Hirsch leads Joe Harter.  I was amazed that the 13 year old could click off the first couple of miles sub 5:00.  Joe would drop out just past the 2 mile mark.

IMG_0505-2Here getting ready to break the tape in 25:33.    I got to give the Millard West freshman an earful over 5 miles, even saying that some day he would run for me.  Si, mi huevos es mas grande de todos.  The entire crowd abuzz about this young man’s potential.  Only one cautionary voice among the throngs of those less educated about such things.  My command is:  Treat this young talent properly!  Please, please, please don’t send him down the same path of so many other local talents that either burnt out or left the state for better situations.   I’m hopeful that Max Kurz has been able to repair some of the damage from the 90+ miles/week his middle school coach had him running, see what I mean?  This one, I could make an Olympic Champion, but only on the 12 year plan.

tullyCoach John Tully had the race he deserves after a tough spring of training.

reillyMike Reilly was in uniform too.

ronRon Olsen, the Man, the Legend!    NRGE had six athletes and two administrators in uniform for the race.  LRC Racing- 1.  Team Nebraska-3.  See how this is headed to deja vu all over again?

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF GD PHOTOGRAPHY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FARM FRESH FRIDAY

Farm Life is the Good Life.  Up early for chores, followed by a hearty breakfast, almost always including the daily ovum or two from Red.  Egg production should increase greatly soon as the chicks are now 10 to 12 weeks and looking healthy indeed.  Free range diet supplemented by thinned greens from the garden and our own best table scraps.  A couple of splash pools for the ducks, changed daily, for their exercise and entertainment.  Happy poultry  are healthy poultry.

There is also Balance at the Bar None.  A prized Buff Orpington lay still in the coop yesterday.  Clearly demised, no wounds visible but a fresh blanket of white feathers indicating a tussle of some sort. Ten weeks of feed that will now yield not a single egg, varmint just got personal with me.  I’ve got the shotgun loaded and propped by the door,  keeping a keen eye out and will pop whatever interloping gourmand that slinks in today.

My garden is looking like most of my other endeavours.  Ambitious, even exemplary barring the fact it is as chaotically organized as my office.  I used USATF Course Measurement protocol to set my rows.  The Shortest Possible Route (SPR), but  in reverse.  The beet rows rather wavy if not curvy, my explanation being that I could get more seeds in that way.

The sweet corn is up.  The neighbors all warning that I’m only opening a deli for the coons.  Jedediah likes the prospect.  He like me, ever vigilant for the critters.  Asparagus bed still confounding me, only a few spears a day, will double the bed size once Spring production ceases.  Beets thinned, French Breakfast Radishes up and tasty.  Kale, lettuces and chards already included in several dishes.  My early start bringing early delights.  Parsnips catalog perfect.  Potatoes marching in long tight formations.  Tomatoes out the wazoo, to wit:  Russian Black, Hillbilly, Peace Vine, Green, Chianti Rose, Beef Steak and Pink Berkeley.   Traviata and Lao Purple Stripe eggplants.  Poblanos, Big Jims, Jalapenos, Padron, Carmen, and Big Reds all promising peppery pleasantries post picking.

Watermelons, pumpkins, and squash all putting out tiny tendrils that will support massive melons in a couple months.

Grapes setting fruit this year, last year’s promise fulfilled.  Blackberries and raspberries hinting a rampant and bountiful summer.  Strawberry bed flourishing with early, mid, and late season producers.  Jams and jellies for winter bellies.

Have a great weekend and may your blossoms all be bright!

 

GREAT LENGTHS

How far would you go?  I know a cat that is willing to take it way the heck out there.

Pete Kostelnick is not in hibernation, quite the contrary.  The reason you haven’t seen him is because he’s amassing amazing mileage totals training up for Badwater.  One hundred twenty miles this week.  He’ll peak at 180-190/ week before all is said and done.  Go ahead and re-read that last sentence to make sure it sinks in.  Don’t forget that Pete punched his ticket into the exclusive event by running the entirety of RAGBRAI last year.

Last night’s Wednesday Track Work was nothing short of inspiring, from one end to the other.  Up front Kyle pacing Michel & Jessica through a tough as nails preparatory for Boys Town 5 Mile on Monday.  A little something like this: 800 @ 2:45, :60 recovery, 400 @ 76, :30 recovery, 800 @ 2:45, :60 recovery, 1 mile @ 5:30 (:90, :85, :80, :75).   At the conclusion of the workout I told her that she will win, a statement I stand by, excepting Ashley Miller,  unconditionally.   Jessica will undoubtedly be in the top 3.

Aw cripes Will, you might say,  here you go again.   Predicting winners?  No, Forging Them.

A big NRGE Welcome to Sean Elliott of Wahoo.  Just completed our final interview run and he passed with flying colors.  In his mid 30s, marathon pr of 2:49 (Lincoln, 2012) and just the type of Potential we are looking for.  He’ll be focusing on the Twin Rivers Half Marathon (September 7th) and the Des Moines Marathon this fall, and the 2018 Masters USA National Marathon Championships.  Family man, Good Citizen and now Good Mate.

Here’s a race I want to see this fall.  Twin Rivers Freedom Half Marathon on Sept. 7th.  Mike Wasson, Kelly Crawford, James McGown, Ivan Ivanov, Thomas Woods, Brian Kelley, Brian Bergt, and any other Masters Studs. I’ve run parts of the course on my normal training route and it is pancake flat and very fast.    It will be the same day as the venerable Buffalo Run in Lincoln but looks to cater more towards those prepping for their fall marathon.

Speaking with the Twin Rivers YMCA Executive Director Judy Argintean yesterday and they are very excited about making this the premiere fall half marathon in 2014 and in the ‘you heard it hear first’ department a marathon will be added in 2015.  We should all be excited about a homegrown Omaha Metro Marathon being back on the schedule after the experience with the HITS group last year.

 

INCLINED TO SUCCEED

My dear sweet Linda has me climbing the walls.  And some trees.  And some of the tougher hills out at Platte River State Park.    We are climbing Pikes’ Peak in a few weeks and I have no idea what I’m getting into other than I will need to be strong.

We missed the Ak-Sar-Ben Farmers Market on Sunday.  Instead spent the afternoon out at Skyline Ridge cleaning up downed trees for those who needed help.  The tornado that went through brought misery to those directly affected.  Indirectly, it will keep my wood burning stove stoked next Winter.  I’ve been manually hewing  logs with my axe.  Shirtless, sweaty, sultry, just like my baby likes me, making a man out of myself.

Thank you to Gary Wasserman and Logan Watley.  I appreciate everything.

Congratulations to Jason Zakaras on his overall win and new course record (1:17:23) at the Papillion Half Marathon on Sunday.  Our untouchable masters ace Mike Wasson (1:20:48) finished a solid third overall, quite a double back from the previous weekend’s Ice Age 50 Mile.

The following Prefontaine quotes for Erin:

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

“A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways as they’re capable of understanding.”

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.

“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”

“Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”

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THIRD INGREDIENT

As everything must always, gentleman farming brings many comparisons to running.

The temperatures have been relatively cooperative, I managed to dodge two frosts last weekend thanks to preemptive covering, should be clear sailing here on in.  Abundant sunshine bathing the chlorophyll, CO2 from our Good Mother, and Viola! Photosynthesis.

All for naught without water.  The daily liquid refresher transported from hose bib to garden via old but not rusty steel pails.  Trip after trip after trip, three hours every morning.  Because I want to do it this way, the hard way.  The connection I’m developing mirroring my dedication to running.  No easy way outs.  No pharmaceutical or genetically modified enhancements.  Only water, that third critical component for Life and Health, and Honest Labor by My Own two hands.  I almost titled today’s column Water Boy.  Then I considered Water Guns because my formerly withered biceps now more closely resemble Jason Zakaras’ instead of Olive Oil.

Here’s today’s rub.  Running has a Third Ingredient.  Looking back over 30+ years in this sport I have seen The Obvious.  Talent is most coaches’ first but stubbornly remains second on my own personal list.  Potential is at the top of mine and second on most other lists.  Yes, I’ve seen a ton of Talent.  And more Potential.   I’ve seen both realized but most often pissed away.  Shame that.  The Third Ingredient for running, the water if you will-especially for Real Racing- is Hard Work.  Sad are the names of those Blessed with raw talent that are too lazy or too hard headed to do anything with it.  Disappointed is the roll call of those whose potential lay untapped for want of effort.

I was at the All City Track Meet last week, my first venture to Burke Stadium since directing the 2012 USA Club National Championships.  The Girl’s Mile was a hell of a race with me picking the top 2 in the first 200 meters (no where near the front).  I told Linda those two possessed the Right Stuff.  My Wild Card selection was chosen after the race.  Not the girl that finished third, or fourth, or fifth, or anywhere near the front.  She finished next to last.  I’ll be darned if she didn’t have a Perfect Stride, metronome for pace, stern visage, good heel kick, and No Quit in her.  I’d make a champion out of her.

Linda’s nephew Noah Kunasek qualified for the 100 Meter Hurdles.  Smallest guy in the field of three heats (18 competitors).  Hubris!  Shaking it out before the start, practice run over the first 3 hurdles (only guy to do this!), the gun, and a 6th place finish to take one of the coveted Top Six medals home.  I’m going to make a champion out of him.

Hard Work.  Water.

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Saw this baby sitting along side the road in Arlington while hunting morels this weekend.  Stopped, called, wheeled and dealed, and will be bringing it home this afternoon.  1950, original owner (Thanks Merle), completely rebuilt, destined for the Bar None and many more years of Hard Work.

THIS TIME RIGHT

Nice turnout yesterday for Walt’s send off run and breakfast.  He will be our NRGE International athlete while living in Okinawa for the next few years.

Those that gathered, and even those that couldn’t make it, put a warm feeling in me.  I couldn’t be happier with this group.  With Team Nebraska I tried to do everything, in fact, did everything.  And as the club grew I was stretched ever thinner.  Too big, that was the Downfall of the Lindgren era.  Too many egos, too many agendas, too many period.

NRGE is a completely different beast.  I haven’t issued a single directive, haven’t chewed anybody out, haven’t had to reprimand anyone for not wearing the kit, could care less who our mates train with on their own time (a big departure for me), in short, haven’t had to have “The Talk” with any of the mates.

What has happened this time around is some Very Good People have stepped forward, something that for whatever reason, just didn’t happen with TN.  People that Get Me and my Vision.  Dedicated athletes that want to GIVE as much as Receive.  Runners that are Happy.  Racers that want to beat first one then the other and the other and the other.  Competitors First but still able to be Friends after.  And not just within, this group of athletes represents the best of our community.  Able to move between groups, our Kyle Clouston is the consummate people person and perfect ambassador.

I just sit here in my rocking chair on the front porch.  Smiling.

This Time Right.

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A little older, a lot wiser, and all smiles.  Thanks to Kyle and Pete and Jerrod and Linda and Stacy and Coach John and Lindsey and Tammy and Agustin and Mike and Jessica and Michel and Walt and Cameron and Scottie and Jeremy and James and Ron and Roxi and Ashley.  And more to come!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

 

The Original USATF Nebraska Association Membership Pamphlet.

In 2004 I submitted application for a  grant from the USATF National Office in Indianapolis to found the Nebraska Association LDR Program.  Produced 5000 of these and distributed, introducing the brand to the Good Life.   I gave it my Very Best shot and it seems to be alive and well today.  I’m not sure why I derive so much pleasure from reminding everyone that this is my baby.  Anyone want to take a shot at the cover models?  20140515_203101