Monthly Archives: December 2014

PARTING SHOTS

Some final thoughts before we bid adieu to the last 365 days.

We ran the a/c for only 5 days in 2014.  Turned it on for company only.

Good to see an old buddy join some other old buddies.  Fernando Cabada (Mr. Fabulous!) has joined Brad Hudson’s training group in Boulder.  He’ll be joining Pat Rizzo, Zach Hine and a few other national class studs.  I’m seeing an all star line up at next September’s Freedom Run Half Marathon.

After it all.  Countless miles, infinite steps.  I marvel at what must be in Pete Kostelnick’s head.  What keeps him going under the most dire and extreme of conditions?  Same goes with Kaci Lickteig.  These two aren’t your two day touring, selfie taking, holiday making, lolly gagging, hash tag tagging, we’re all winners, bring your dinners, gizmo wearing, reluctantly daring, polyester sporting, testosterone snorting, well you get the idea.  They are In It To Win It.  And to be able to focus their minds for 100 miles or 24 hours or Badwater or Western States just boggles me.

Happy 61st birthday to local stud Rob Cubrich!  

Little Elvis is in the building.  In an unexpected twist our Silkie layed her first egg yesterday, unusual for 9 months old.  All 5 chickens now producing, averaging 20-25 eggs per week.  Red and Two now sitting or splaying upon command, social and smarter than you might think.

Manna from heaven.  Hunters from across the U.S. pay big bucks to our neighbors for the privilege of hunting Canadian Snow Geese.  The harvested corn fields a deli favorite for the passing multitudes.  BANG!  BANG BANG!!  One managed a crippled flight path to a corner of the Bar None.  A merciful single shot and opportunity to try out my new skinning knife, forged by my father’s hand.

20141231_085840All different shapes, sizes and colors.  Just like people.  The white one, the first down Elvis’ chute, featured at this morning’s breakfast.
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We wish you a safe and happy new year, surrounded by friends and loved ones.  Looking forward to a great and competitive 2015.

 

 

THREE PEA POD

Or a bonus pea if you will.

Not so very long ago it was revealed to me that Linda and I were two peas in a pod.  And Jed makes three.

Ensconced is what we are.  My view of the world crisp and pristine, blue skies and snowy earth.  Cold as the dickens.  But warm on the inside.  Judicious use of the too quickly dwindling wood pile, did I really think it would last two winters?

The Bar None trio hunkered down in front of the stove.  Me with my books, Linda with her crafts, and Jed with his soulful eyes full of delighted obedience.

Occurred to me this morning that I should offer Jason Zakaras a primer.  It has taken us a couple of years to put together what I would call a must have short list for acreage living.
1.  Tractor.  Either a Ford 8N or 9N.  Available, reliable, easily maintained, old as I am.  We don’t have one yet but my dad has a 1953 Jubilee Edition 8N just waiting for me in OK.
2.  Snow Thrower.  Two stage, 28″ clearing path, electric start.
3.  Generator.  Minimum 8000 watt starting and 6500 watt running.
4. Wood Burning Stove.  Helps to have a sweet friend that works at Lumberman’s (thanks Mandy!).  Blower attachment a must.
5. Chain Saw.  The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
6. Dog.  Any type of hound is acceptable.
7. Tiller
8. Horizontal freezer.
9. Guns.
10. Spring seed catalogs

The Hair of the Dog Run will not be contested this year.  Thanks to everyone that has supported the event in the past.

Thanks to Dynamic Physical Therapy, https://www.facebook.com/dynamicptgretna for continued sponsorship!  Stop in and let Andy get you squared away for your spring training cycle.

If you are interested in making a donation to Nebraska Run Guru Elite, we are always in need of funding assistance to our runners.  How about considering “sponsoring” one of our members into a race?  We’ll give some shout outs and swag to anyone interested.

 

 

 

 

MATHEMATICS

Doing some gozintas as our year winds down.

A lot of positive additions to the Nebraska running community.  And a few minuses.

The explosion in runs and races has been a boon to paying customers.  A plus in that there were plenty of opportunities to get out and Race, and some of you actually did.  Or opportunities to get out and get your non competitive fitness and fun on.  And many, many more of you actually did that.

A welcome minus was the lack of novelty runs in the equation.  I may have had my head in the sand (or elsewhere) but I don’t recall much action on the mud run/color run/rad run/glow run/moustache run/underwear run/warrior dash/penguin mash scene.  The early arguments these events get people involved in our sport is crap.  Just a chance for non runners to pretend for a single day, disappearing until the ugly sweater run.  How far is this marathon?

The number of USATF Certified courses in Nebraska makes all my early battles worth it.

The number of USATF Clubs in Nebraska makes all my early battles worth it.

The number of Nebraska USATF LDR memberships makes all my early battles worth it.

One of the highest highs of the year for me was tackling Pike’s Peak.

Another mountain I’ve conquered is the honest and genuine conversations I’ve had with Gary Dougherty.  We were both proud men a decade ago, unwittingly pitted against each other for nefarious design, hindsight unmasking all.

Sixty Six percent.  Me.  Linda.  Jordan Tucker.  Matt Pohren.  Four of the six former Nebraska Assoc. LDR Chairs.  Jordo met with us yesterday, meeting Matty P today.  Lots of things to discuss and only some of it has to do with the last two years.  More of it to do with the future.  To my little buddy that insists no one cares, you son, need to expand your circle.

Six Fives.  This was our sixth week in a row of hitting 5 days a week running.  Consistency coming before all else.  Fitness along the way.

Going to end the year with just over 1500 miles.  This and last the two lowest years of my career.  But still over 80,000 lifetime.  Not done yet.

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Twelve.  That’s what we got.  Bring your armies out in May.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXCELSIOR!

Stepped outside for the paper and the noise was almost deafening this morning.  Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Canadian Snow Geese overhead, trekking to warmer climes.  Invisible just above the shroud of clouds.  Our Little Slice smack dab in the middle of the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers.  Migratory instinct genetically imprinted over thousands of years, the annual show now in full splendor.  Harbingers of single and minus digits, we’ll all be hunkering down soon.

14:42.  Shot across your bow.  Craig Donnelly’s 5K time trial last Sunday, on an undersized indoor track.  Benchmark for the upcoming training cycle.  Coming to get you.    Oh yeah.

More 2014 Excelsiors:
1) Kyle Clouston, Peter Falcon, and I earning our USATF Level 1 Coaching Certification.
2) Coaching Sam (age 11) and Jackson Runde (age 8) to the AAU Junior National Championships, Sam notching a 40 second best en route to a 6th Overall in the 3000.
3) State 20K records for Zach Hine and Whitney Bevins Lazzara at the inagural Freedom Run Half Marathon.  The fastest half marathon on Nebraska soil in 30 years by Zach, 1:04:48, qualifying him for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon.
4) Two men, Luka Thor (2:22:28) and Eric Noel (2:22:40), showing that their is hope for Nebraska after all.
5) Women Run Nebraska joining the competitive landscape.
6) Spending half a day with Tim Dooling, getting to know the legend and the man.
7) A jam packed calendar of runs, some actually getting competitive.
8) My emancipation from Facebook (from over 1000 to 323 friends).
9) Kyle Clouston, Pete Kostelnick, Jimmie Doherty, Mike Wasson, Jerrod Anzalone, Jeremy Morris, James McGown, Craig Donnelly, John Tully, Walter Key, Cameron Cummings, Mike Reilly.  Real Men, Real Friends.
10) Amber Sargent, Michel Davy, Jessica Pape, Linda Kunasek, Stacy Mangers Shaw, Allison Moy-Borgan, Ashley Schurman, Scottie Shaw, Tammy Consbruck, Briana Adams.  Strong Women, Strong Friends.

 

2014 CHRISTMAS CLASSIC

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A Bar None Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
And all round the farm
Not a critter was critter’n
No cause for alarm

Two Runners were nestled
In Love and in bed
While visions of pork chops
Occupied Jed

When out in the clear bright cold
Was that Roudy old Master
Calling loud and bold
From his 72 Bonnie, a 455
Cajoling the Bar None, Come Alive! Come Alive!

I’ve got money and entries and plenty of shoes!
Sponsorships, amenities, perks for you!
Just for Nebraska Run Guru Elite!
It’s True! Its True! Its Really Sweet!

Travel! Racing! Competition! Its yours!
Just for getting your butts out the doors!
In the cold and the winter and ice and the snow
Testing mind and will with cheeks aglow
Purity and Honesty your only creed
In my sled is all you’ll need!

As he finished he looked and said
“The Real stuff ain’t in my sled!
Your talent, your future, its all in your head!
Listen to your Guru, do as your told
Your dreams of excellence will never grow old”

As he backed out with that engine a revvin
Pointing his headlights squarely towards heaven
He called to the Bar None
As he zoomed out of sight
Merry Christmas Y’all!
Giddyup!  And Good Night!

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2014 CHRISTMAS WISH LIST

Thanks for checking in on your Christmas Eve morning!  Back to the friendly confines of the Bar None after several days at the Original in Indiahoma, Oklahoma.  Finding my reason for the season.

Family.

My wish for everyone this year is to spend it with your family.  And if none are around or involved, you’re welcome out to the ranch for a run and brunch.

It is the gift I received and want to share with all.

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The Lindgrens.  Sister Cindy and dad Bill join me on the couch, brother Jim behind.  Dad will be 83 in two weeks.  Jim turns 56 today, I’m 57, Cindy’s 58.  Mom, rest and bless her soul for these three years now,  had us all before the age of 20.  Dad built this house, made the cabinets, electrical, plumbing, everything, at age 65.  I didn’t get a lick of his craftsmanship.  Or did I?

The Greatest Gift then, for me, is that our family was able to gather again.

This is my family.  No pretensions of perfection or airs of superiority.  A Real Family.  Hard scrabble, lower worked up to middle class.  Real People with Real Issues.  And a Real Love forged by our years, another thing that I wish for you all.  Longevity.

Only the third time I’ve seen Jim in the last 30 years.  He dropped out of high school as a junior and went to the Southwest.  Spending his life in the great outdoors, working hard, panning for gold, and prepping.  Cindy, a recovering addict who finally seems to have her life in order.  Pestered with the same mental illness that has run roughshod over generations of women on my mother’s side.  Mom was among many things, paranoid and agoraphobic, didn’t leave the small house for the last 10 years of her life.  Her family history reads like a textbook.

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Real Man, Real Cowboy.  Dad has taught himself leather craftsmanship.  He also hand makes these knives from antler, roots, wood, brass and old concrete saw blades.  Three days for each knife, start to finish.  And as many for the case.   Each kid and grandkid getting one this Christmas.  Treasures.

20141221_133201He’s stretching his horizons by tooling holsters and belts too.   He’s also working on a pair of rattlesnake chaps and talks of a saddle soon.  His tack room an old camper, well furnished.   He talked non stop for three days, tales of times gone by, to be passed through our generations.

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Dad’s working life was as a laborer and superintendent in the construction trades.  I’ve seen his hands mangled, crushed, beaten, broken and bloodied.  Look at his gnarled digits and you could never imagine that he is able to execute such intricate and complex work with them.

But maybe the greatest joy I had was to hear him speak of JoAnn, 15 years his junior, dancing and courting, buying flowers and speaking of love.

May your hearts be lifted and joyous as you gather with your own families.  I’m still planning on crafting a Christmas Classic for tonight so don’t forget to set me out a plate and a glass!

 

 

WHAT THE FRACK

Nebraska and Oklahoma filing suit against Colorado over the legalization of marijuana.  *Insert your own opinion of how our tax dollars are being spent here.*  

I thought some of the times at the USA Club XC National Championships seemed a little too quick.  Thus I’m not surprised to find out there is a lot of griping that the course was considerably short.  Those rascals over at Lets Run, always stirring the pot.

Bo Pelini.  I listened to his 29:48 rant yesterday.  I was a big fan and supporter and am now less so.  He called out his positions and while I agree 100% with some, it was an error to drag the kids into it.   I always appreciated his blue collar vs. blue blood attitude.  Especially fond of his take on the legal profession.

Thanks to Michel Solan Davy for the copy of UNBROKEN.  Linda and I are racing through it just in time for the Christmas Day movie release.

I’m doing a little de facto non-coaching for a former 2:21:45 marathoner.  Sights set on the Lincoln Half next may.  Odd couple, except that I understand him and he understands me.

I’m steady at 5 days/week now.  Mileage right at 30.  Peppered liberally with strides and pick ups.  One longer tempo run every 10 days.

Craig Donnelly.  Just so you don’t forget who he is.  Briana Adams.  Just so you don’t forget who she is.

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Jedediah Strong Kunasek.  He woofs you a Merry Christmas!

 

 

GRATUITY INCLUDED

Thanks!

For the inspiration.  For the motivation.  For the friendships.  For reading.

This past year has been the best.  You get to be my age and every year better be the best.  Please join as I recount a few of the highlights that kept my spirits balmed, buoyed, and bouncy.

1) Linda.  This dear woman, so full of life and love.  Turned my life completely around.  Healed twenty years of neglect and abuse with nothing more than hugs and kisses. I’m a new and better man all the way around.

2) Miles, Allison, Katie.  Miles now in Colorado, Alli in Oregon, and Katie finishing up at Millard West.  My kids no longer children.

3) Bill Lindgren.  If I’m happy to still be kicking at 57, I’m thrilled dad, at 83,  is still hunting and fishing and wrangling down in Oklahoma.

4) Jedediah.  This dog, so full of devotion and protection.  Has allowed me to sleep peacefully at night, I’ve never felt safer.  Well, him and my expanding collection of firearms.

5) Bar None.  This garden, so full of produce, self sustenance by my own hand.  

6) Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  This team, so full of promise and potential.  The athletes that came together.  Shared fuel, shared fire, shared desire.  Real People whose only agenda is to reach their potential.  Kyle’s friendship and leadership my ticket to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience this time.  Priceless.

7)  Free Speech.

8)  An entire year with no grievances or complaints filed.   See #7.

9) Volunteerism.  Still serving our USA athletes at the highest levels.  See #7.

10) Right makes Might.  See #7.

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UPPER LEVEL LOWS

Or, lower level highs.

A few things on my annual December to do list.  I’ve traditionally declared a “Best Of” for each year, I’m working on that from my own perspective.  If there is someone or some race or performance or t-shirt or website or anything else you thought was superlative over the last 12 months, shoot me an email and I’ll be sure to give it consideration and at least an honorable mention.

Christmas Wish List has also been an annual feature.  I’ll be doling out what you deserve.

My Annual Christmas Classic may be the most popular/reviled column of the year.  Who or what am I spoofing this year?  I started this in 2008 with “An Ndorfnz Night Before Christmas”, maybe  my favorite effort of the lot.

Sadly, I am missing the 2009 and 2010 editions.  Those appeared on my former website and I don’t have administrative access.  If you have a copy of “How ‘Ol Su Stole Christmas” I’d especially like to have that one.  I’d be mighty appreciative and will include a contributor’s line in my upcoming book for whomever can send.  Yes, I’m still plugging away on my tome, working title is “A Romp Over Omaha.”  An entire chapter will be dedicated to some of my more colorful poems (!) with the Christmas Classics having their own place.

I categorically deny reports that I have been offered the Sports Czar position in Pete Rickett’s cabinet.

2014 was the first time in 10 years that no Nebraska athlete was nominated or selected for USATF’s Athlete Development Program.  I built the program on the back of Nebraska runners and it saddens me that no one took advantage of the free entry, travel stipend, hotel and meals that our USA National Championships provide to the advocacy platform.  A simple nomination from the leadership of our Nebraska USATF member clubs is all it takes.  And a qualifying athlete.  Free money.  Who needs it?

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THE BIG REVEAL

In my running life.  Years away, still close as yesterday to the heart.  Yours too will come and go and you will never know it for true until its too late.  But really, it is never too late.  If you know the secret.

Today I speak of your marathon personal best.  The measure of a man in days of yore.  Each manboy measured and measuring.  The process, with notable exceptions, providence of the barely post juvenile.  Too wet behind the ears to even notice let alone appreciate the vigor of youth.  Boundless hubris and energy coursing through supple and eager intentions.  Let’s RACE!

That’s how it was for me in the 80s and 90s.  In America’s fourth largest city.  And a bunch of other cats too.  Hammering each other week after week after week.  Regular cast of characters, pecking order pretty well established.  But when a fast cat was having a bad day and you got to kick his ass, man those memories still burn bright.  And the occasional win.  In the middle of it all comes the one race that you will celebrate.

The marathon pr.  That day when everything clicks.  For me, it was the final 10K of the 1995 Houston Marathon.  Tears streaming down my face while passing people I’d never, ever beaten despite years of trying.  And knowing there was no way in hell they could run with me.  Now big Happy Smiles as they fell behind.  Singly and in groups I would encourage them as I passed.  Them bewildered, me flying.   The happiest running day of my life.  In my prime.  Who cares of time?  And now twenty years have passed.

My marathon personal best.  What a Real Runner hangs his hat on.  What you’ll be measured by for the rest of your miles.

I would chase my own time for another half a dozen years before physical reality ended the pursuit, with grace I believe.

Grace.  And here’s why, the secret I mentioned up top.  That morning in Houston, now nearly three decades ago, I was In It To Win It.  Challenged myself to leave nothing on the course.  Executed my perfect race.  The goal was even 5Ks for all 8 of them, barely noticed the mile markers.  The 5K splits were all within 4 seconds of each other.  And it never happened again.

That sums up my attitude on marathoning.  Its a rare gift.  And why I feel like such a dinosaur in today’s we’re all winners, woot woot, world.  I just can’t fathom 26.2 miles without it being a supreme test.  Instead of  purity, honesty and suffering, now a bucket list quest, a penguin’s jest, selfies instead of personal best.

Ah but not all is lost.  You know you’re out there.  Feeling that same fire.  Not many of you left, but your’e there all right.  In It To Win It.