Monthly Archives: September 2014

COVER STORY

But first!  Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02:57 at Berlin was studly.  Sub seventy second quarters for 26.2 miles.   I know I’m in the minority but fully expect to see the WR go under 2 hours in my lifetime. By the way, the record was 2:18:04 when I was born in 1957 and they thought 2:10 was as ridiculous as a sub 2 sounds now.

Shalane Flanagan’s 2:21:14 in the same race was the 2nd fastest ever by an American, only bested by Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 at the 2006 London Marathon.  And speaking of Deena, her Masters WR of 1:09:39 in Philly a couple of weeks ago is the stuff you kids will talk about when you are my age.

How many fellas in Nebraska can match that 40 year old woman’s prowess?  One or two or none?

When we arrived in Scottsbluff for our USATF Nebraska Association Half Marathon Championships we were greeted by our mate Pete Kostelnick gracing the front page of the Star-Herald.  When we departed our mate Kyle Clouston was the front page star.  Thanks again to Race Director Jennifer Rogers for the hospitality and to Tom Rohrick of Care Chiropractic for taking care of Linda and my entries.  Outstanding support and swag, one of the best managed events I’ve seen in Nebraska.

The course around the Scottsbluff National Monument was beautiful.  The first 5 miles on roads, mostly climbing, then onto some rough gravelly terrain for the next 6, back onto the road for the next 1 and then a final 1.1 on the dirt to the finish.

NRGE was best represented with 4 athletes Pete Kostelnick (4th, 1:21:38), Kyle Clouston (6th, 1:27:39),  Linda and me.  All brought home hardware except your scribe.  Team Nebraska was next with Meghan Schneider (2nd, 1:35:23) and Geoff Groskopf (8th 1:29:14).  LRC Racing was not represented.  Congratulations to Meghan on her NE Assoc. win.  The top two men were Aaron Carrizales (unattached, 1:16:57) and Ivan Marsh (unattached, 1:18:15).  complete results at : http://onlineraceresults.com/race/view_plain_text.php?race_id=43367

If you are interested in who really runs for whom (sometimes web page rosters are waaaay out of date):  https://www.usatf.org/membership/reports/events/index.asp  Merely type in the athlete’s name and it will give you their club affilliation.  I needed to check the membership of Aaron and Ivan to confirm that they are indeed unattached as they are currently listed on cub rosters.

Pete and Kyle’s amazing double was just that.  They finished 8th & 9th respectively at the previous evening’s Harvest Moon Hustle in Elmwood, arrived in Scottsbluff at a little after 3:00 am and still ran well on fumes.  And nothing else.  Clean as a whistle those two, above suspicion and reproach.  Stacy Shaw was 3rd overall female at the Hustle.  Pretty amazing that a 48 year old woman can still take a top 3 spot in an association championships.  Where have all the fast open women in Nebraska run off to?  LRC Racing dominated the field with over 10 entrants, NRGE had 3, and Team Nebraska was not represented.  Complete results at : http://onlineraceresults.com/race/view_race.php?race_id=43359#racetop

Riddle me this:  When does silly become just plain non-relevant?  Answer:  Already.

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The Good Mates enjoying the post race.  I was the only one not to win an award.  Linda reminded me that she is my reward, aww how sweet.  Pete and Kyle, glad to call you friends as well as mates, a distinction very much appreciated and not lost on me.  Peace, Love, Run.

 

 

 

 

 

FAR FETCHED FRIDAY

Unless you are a True Believer.  Is it really a stretch that a no stride having, no speed sporting, no laurel wearing, baseball playing, strike rolling, utterly determined runner can win our USATF LDR Grand Prix Championships?

My money says yes.

In It To Win It.

Kyle Clouston and Pete Kostelnick have squared the first annual GP Series dead in their sights.  If not currently leading, the least likely of characters are right near the top.  I’m betting Kyle takes the accolades and Pete takes second.  You heard it here first.

Glad these ferocious boys are Good Mates.  Ferocious?  Why yes, gentle reader.  How so Guru?  Like this y’all:  Both Kyle and Pete will rock our USATF 10K Trail Championships tonight at the Harvest Moon Hustle, an unusual evening start making for an interesting double.  As soon as they cross the finish line they will hop in the car and make the 7 hour drive to Scottsbluff for tomorrow morning’s Nebraska USATF Road Half Marathon Championships.

Far Fetched.  And Fierce.

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AS IT EVER WAS

As it always will be.

The gun goes off and everything changes.  Its no longer just me against me, I have enough of that in training.  That battle is well rehearsed and well siezed.  In racing, it is me against you, something I have less control over.    When you line up next to me, yeah, everything transforms into mano-a-mano.  A challenge to each and everyone to delve into the deepest, darkest places, where Fear and Doubt hold sway.  To address those queries of Ultimate Honesty.  Can I go further?  Can I go faster?  The key to the answer turns with the pain of endurance and speed.  Only that unlocks the essence of Real Racing.  Relative to each of our own talents of course.

Its been that way since my very first race.  It will remain that way until I’m no longer able to lace.

And yes, that is the standard I hold others to.  Regardless of ability.

There are as many reasons to run as there are runners.  But a lot of us feel the need for Daily Redemption that can only be achieved by Honest Effort.  No matter what else you achieve or don’t achieve during the day, your run is the one place where no other body can be the boss of you.  And your results don’t answer to anyone other than yourself.

Why then is it so easy for some people to answer to others (training group, family, job, fences) but not themselves?  Because they are in the sport for a different reason than you and me.

Doesn’t make them wrong, doesn’t make them right.  It just makes them who they are.  And sets us apart.

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A couple of weeks ago Linda and I did the Zip Line 3 Mile Run.  It took me two miles to catch the happy fella on the right.  Our countenances reveal exactly why we are out there.  He able to crank out his race pace with a smile, enjoying the tour.  Me only concerned with passing him and holding off Linda.  She would pass me with a kilometer to go, gap me by 3-4 seconds.  With 600 meters to go My Voice asked if I was up to this opportunity to be Honest.  Not something you can ponder, requires an instant answer, “YES!”  I dug as deep as I have in a year, gaining with every stride until I was able to cross the line perfectly matched with her.

Same as it ever was, same as it will always be.

 

 

 

 

GLEE V. DREAD

Sitting on the front porch and I’m seeing a whole lot of shaking going on.  Be careful what you wish for.

One of the big complaints from Sunday was the 10K was clocked at 6.waymorethanpoint2.  A lot of people not happy that the course wasn’t as advertised.  Depends on where you put the cone.

I’m still marveling and pondering what to do to keep things fired up.  It occurs to me that LRC Racing is more like me than they might think.  Free Rangers.  Damned the fences.  I like that.

Its the sheep herders that I’m worried about.  Those that want to compartmentalize everything in tidy little boxes of wire, locked down and dug in.

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HIKE ‘EM HIGH

Go ahead and raise those hind legs fellas.  And deservedly so.  In fact, Bravo!  Bravo!

Recognizing of course the group that has been “stimulated to a more competitive culture”, the Lincoln Running Company Racing Team.  I’ve grown accustomed to seeing them dominate across the Platte, that pack of racers is now extending its feeding grounds eastward to the Missouri.

Who then among and around us will not stand idly by for this incursion?  Who will rise and challenge these talented interlopers?  Who dares tilt?  Who has the balls to go fang to fang with those former wolves?  We don’t need an army, just a few good men and women.

  runguru@cox.net

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OMAHA WRAP

I got an eye full as the lead bike at yesterday’s Omaha Marathon.  And the lead runners got an earful.

My top 10 observations:
1) Fast course.
2) Good competition for the first 17 miles.  On the men’s side.
3) What used to be a sea of Red & White is now an ocean of Blue & Yellow.
4) 90% of mid to back of the packers wear headphones.
5) Anyone can complete a marathon.
6) Funniest quote: “How come he’s not with the lead woman?”
7) Second funniest quote: “Was that you or me?”  As the runners ran past the brackish oxbow behind the OPPD station.  Incredibly a group of men were taking fishing poles down the embankment to the stench filled murky depths.  Can’t imagine what they were hoping to catch.
8) HITS still  has it hands full
9) I didn’t see Gary Meyer, Alan Higley, or Tom Whitaker.
10) Susie Smisek ran the race, still with the Tigger outfit.

Full results here: http://www.itsyourrace.com/Results.aspx?&id=3321&yr=2014&e=21251&sort=&g=&age=

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I spy with my little eye!  Incognito to all but a few.

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Good Mate Mike Wasson (3:03:52) won the 45-49 and finished 13th overall despite 3 bathroom breaks.  Our Lindsey Brezenski finished 8th in the Half Marathon in 1:31:25.

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Kaci Lickteig, representing Pearl Izumi,  won in 2:51:15.  She’ll be racing next weekend’s Bear Chase 100K Race.  Pretty amazing young lady.

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Team Nebraska’s Jen Freeman was second in 3:06:57.

**Photos courtesy of GD Photography.  The link to all his fine shots as they load today:  http://www.gdougherty.com/omaha14

In other news I’m just Giddy about our newest Nebraska Run Guru Elite athlete.  Craig Donnelly is a formerly competitive runner.  After a hiatus from the sport he is back and best landed with his own ilk.  Fire in his belly, science in his mind, I’ve nicknamed him “Bill Nye.”

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Craig shown here finishing 5th (4:31) at the Lincoln Mile in July.  His personal bests will all need to be touched up a bit, he’s as eager (fierce) as I am.

5k: 14:34 Firecracker Fast 5k 07/03/2010
8k: 24:53 MSSU (Missouri Southern) XC Invite 9/19/2009
10k: 31:25 Giralda Farms 10k 11/11/2007
Half Marathon: 1:08:27 Go! St Louis Half Marathon 04/18/2009

Glad this cat shares a whole lot with the fabric of Nebraska Run Guru Elite.

ARTFUL DODGERS

Certain points from my time in Nebraska stand out.  Few glare as much as when I started juxtapositioning the local talent.  To say it wasn’t well received is a vast understatement.

Centered initially around the Omaha Marathon.  I just couldn’t understand why the top local talent refused to race each other.  It was more of a you win this one, I’ll win that one type of arrangement.  No hurt feelings, no bruised egos, no Real Racing.  I railed against that paradigm, insisting that these locally talented needed to RACE EACH OTHER in order to continue the correct developmental arc.

I began ranking athletes, which rankled and raised hackles.  How dare I!  Who the heck was I to postulate on Real Competition?  And worse, to publicly point out who SHOULD BE racing whom.  And pissing off a few people to No End.  I’m cool with that.

Real Competition in Omaha.  I set about making sure we had some.  Once the shores of our little Omaha pond began expanding with new and aspiring talent those too reluctant to compete were relinquished to the furthest ripples, traveling far afield for comfort and ease and notoriety.

I’m hoping someone out there, somewhere, will be watching this weekend.  Taking notes and making comparisons.  Asking “Who” and “Why Not.”  “Why not them, why not here?”

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Bar None Produce is done for the season.  What was lush with vegetation just two weeks ago now is tilled and ready for next season’s efforts.  A very few herbs, scallions, carrots, beets, squash, watermelon, and sweet potatoes all that remain.

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Harvested the rest of the pepper plants last weekend.  Set out for sun drying, the finals of over 100 pounds processed.  These will be stored as whole pods, ground into flakes and powder, fulfilling their spicy promises.

Borrowing from today’s OWH, the History quote: “He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god; he is no part of a state.”  Aristotle, Greek Philosopher

 

 

CONTRASTING NOTIONS

One of the staunchest walls I’ve incorporated into my coaching schema is “Peak no taper!”  Freshman guru stuff  from one that touts “The Mind is the Athlete!”

You want to be sharp and fierce going in.  Why else would you be there?  If you seriously trained up why not make the last piece of the puzzle a perfect click?

By the mail I get it seems almost all of you dig what I’m dishing.  I’ll let those that don’t find their own.  I’m coming around to the realization that Competition resides in Very Few Hearts, but a lot of those end up checking in on the musings.

So, Preacher to Choir, for goodness sake forget about the taper once and for all.  The final week leading into your marathon is the most important.  All that bull crap about the hay being in the barn is better spent tilled in as the fertilizer it is.  OF COURSE THE HAY IS IN THE BARN!  Jumping Jahosafat, what the heck were you doing the last 3-4 months if not getting your body ready for a supreme test?  Why let all that hard work and determination slip off into flaccidity?  You’ve got to keep the dynamic tension in your legs and core.  Certainly the stressors diminish during a Peak, allowing proper recovery to feed a 26.2 mile charge.  But you still need to get out every day.  Here  is a good week’s lead in from Wednesday to Sunday:

Wednesday:  1 hour easy with middle 2 miles at Goal Marathon Pace, 4 X 100 meter strides at end
Thursday: 45 minutes easy with middle 1 mile at Goal Marathon Pace, 4 X 100 meter strides at end
Friday: 30 minutes easy with 4 X 100 meter strides at end
Saturday: 20 minutes with 4 X 100 meter strides at end
Sunday: Race!

Peak!  No Taper!

2,555 DAYS

Plus or minus a couple.  Seven years ago, actually September 29, 2007, I grabbed Omaha and Nebraska by its competitive juevos and the grip hasn’t relented yet.

I crafted a field to begin the re-writing of Nebraska USATF Certified road races.  Trumpeted and promised the first sub 4:00 road mile in state history.  Did it.

Not everyone got it or appreciated what was going on.   Questions of why would I want people to come in town and run all over my Team.  Questions of how did these studs end up in Omaha to begin with.  So many questions.  Short answer was the support of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben and several key sponsors.  Hotel rooms, meals, prize purse, travel stipend, same as it ever was.

The end result didn’t surprise me at all.  It turned a group of fine local young men into Much Better Athletes.

2495266364_0bd2228bd8_bThe moment that changed everything in Nebraska.  Shannon Stenger grew a huge set this morning, leading a national class field through the first 1200 meters.  His team of high schoolers on the left about to wet themselves.  Those of us in the press truck too.  My Old Buddy Dave Sutej doing great work behind the wheel.

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 1 Ryan Kleimenhagen     Madison WI         25 M     1/8       3:59 
    2 Rob Duncan            Ironwood MI        25 M     2/8       4:01 
    3 David Juliano         Boulder CO         26 M     3/8       4:04 
    4 Shannon Stenger       Omaha NE           28 M     4/8       4:07 *Mate
    5 Josh Moen             Readlyn IA            M     5/8       4:10 
    6 Paul Wilson           Omaha NE           26 M     6/8       4:16 *Mate
    7 Dustin Llewellyn      Omaha NE           29 M     7/8       4:16 *Mate
    8 Mark Hall             Omaha NE           23 M     8/8       4:31 *Mate
    9 Brady Murphy          Omaha NE           37 M     1/3       4:36 
   10 Jim Hacket                               28 M     1/5       4:39 
   11 Craig Christians      Bellevue NE        46 M     1/4       4:42 *Mate
   12 Jorge Zuniga          Lincoln NE         28 M     2/5       4:43 
   13 Kevin Vanderlinden    Sioux City IA      45 M     2/4       4:45 
   14 Michael Pecha         Omaha NE           26 M     3/5       4:46 
   15 Bob Garcia            La Vista NE        52 M     1/7       4:48 *Mate
   16 Casey Owens           Des Moines IA      25 F     1/6       4:48 ***First Female
   17 Benjamin McKinley     Council Bluffs IA  17 M     1/2       4:48 
   18 David Pecha           Omaha NE           32 M     2/3       4:55 
   19 Bob Prince            Sioux City IA      52 M     2/7       4:57 
   20 Robert Butler         Omaha NE           40 M     3/4       5:01 
   21 Kristi Feldman        Des Moines IA         F     2/6       5:04 
   22 Jim Ruppelt           Lincoln NE         53 M     3/7       5:05 
   23 Ron Lampe             Omaha NE           45 M     4/4       5:07 
   24 Angie Henry           Omaha NE           31 F     3/6       5:09 *Mate
   25 Paul Braunschweiler   OMAHA NE           55 M     4/7       5:12 *Mate

 

FRONT PORCH

The first feature you notice at the Bar None is our extensive front porch.  Table and chairs, glider, three rockers, and another table and chairs.    Bird houses, bird feeders, folk art and exotic plants.  Gives me a Wide View of Our Little Slice and Beyond.

Stick a fork in it, its done.  The Corporate Cup can say and say again how well received the current course is, how everyone loves starting at Ak-Sar-Ben and how thoroughly enjoyable the tour through the hills and a dozen turns is.  That’s just plain not true.  What was Omaha’s only truly competitive race now joins the ranks of walkfest novelty fundraisers.  Back to its roots in fact.  Setting the bar high on how to use Our Sport to make money, caring not a moment on what the Real Running Community might want.

Hey now!  What you need is Permits!!  Not a single decent Road Race in the City of Omaha.  Boystown 5 Mile is the closest you get because they shut down the roads within.

Congratulations to Peter Falcon on assuming the mantle for the Nebraska USATF LDR Program.  Good young man, he sat through the USATF Coaching Certification with me a few weeks ago.  Bright, talented, and comes from good stock, I think he’ll do a fine job.

Linda and I chose to not attend the meetings this year.  

We’ll be sitting on the porch taking in the view of and reflecting on a program 10+ years in the making.