Monthly Archives: April 2015

GAME AGAIN

Shhhh!  Don’t tell Linda but I ran 2 miles this morning.  Mile warm up and warm down with the client.  She nailed her Zen Mile,  first steps toward the dream of  Omaha Marathon realized.

And me?  The simple 8 laps of no more than trotting had me back in the game again.  Checking all systems.  Every single one of them GO.  Arthritis schmarthritis.  Meniscus schmeniscus.  Not a niggle at all.

The comeback at age 60 begins today.  Thirty months from now I’m kicking your butt!

 

 

PUDDING

Here’s the deal.  This Sunday morning will provide an inkling.  At last year’s Lincoln Marathon our Nebraska Run Guru Elite runners were such heavy underdogs, flew so far under the radar, commanded such little respect, and then post race were summarily dismissed as the best men’s marathon team in Nebraska.  Granted, there are a hundred (thousand$) reasons why we should be no better than second or third.  Everyone else is so much faster and talented is the hue and cry.

Here’s why.  Pointilism.  Each dot contributing to the bigger picture.  There’s not an athlete (yet) on this team that will strike fear into the hearts of their competitors.  And really, we’re just such a small club, eyebrows are hardly raised when the kit lines up.  So what is it that elevates our marathoners, in the results at least, as a club?

The Race.  The Marathon itself.  That ultimate challenge for the endurance runner.  Humbling the speedy, breaking the strong, messing up the pretty.  We have a couple runners in the half marathon and certainly I’m not dissing any one any where for any scheduling decisions.  But this club, Nebraska Run Guru Elite, makes the Lincoln Marathon our Most Important race of the year.  We took the fictional team title at last year’s, crowed about it, trained up again, and will be back to defend the crown that matters only to us.  Some no name guys and girls that aren’t flashy, just hungry.  You want some?  We hope so.

And because a fast half marathon is a necessary step to marathon success Kathryn Merrill will be racing the Brookings Half Marathon this Saturday.  She has nailed just about every single workout in my marathon training program.  The same one Kyle and Stacy and Jessica and Alli and Ashley have been using.  A hybrid of my collective coaching knowledge.   On Monday I’ll call it Pudding.

 

HER CIRCLE

I’ll raise pints today to honor two men.  My son Miles turns 23 today.  He had a hard go stuck between a tough old man and the exact opposite.  He’s in Colorado now doing exactly what I did at that age.  Making his own way and he fortunate enough to be sharing it with the love of his life.   So here’s a beer to you son, I hope that someday we can share one.

I’ll also toast the passing of Gary Julin.  He was a real icon of the Omaha, and Nebraska, running community for decades.  One small part of his fame featured him in a television commercial for the 1984 Olympics.  We eventually got to know each other well enough that he ran for me in the red and white his last couple years of running.  That he would don that kit and support that vision said all you need to know about him as a runner.   Competitive.  There will be a lot of tales from many people that knew him much better than I.   You should all run one mile in his memory today.

The Good Mother’s Circle.   To borrow and paraphrase a favorite quote, “It’s not the numbers on your stone its the little dash between them.”

Its what you do while you have days that really matters, doing what gives you the most life.  Today I’ll celebrate two men that exemplify that notion.  Join me in raising a pint to them both.

UCMJ

I volunteered for the US Navy as a wee lad of 19.  I was more than a little surprised when finding at that point I immediately fell under the Uniform Code of Military Justice instead of the US Constitution.  It was foreign to me and I didn’t like it.  I looked for every way around this confusing paradigm, none to be found.  So I got used to it and lived with it.

Few have fought the status quo, railed against authority, or pushed the defining limits of “social convention” as I have.  Makes the world a better place in my opinion.  But I’ve less pepper in the shaker these days, am more selective how I dole out the spice.

Like the military, you’ve got to put in your time, your service, in order to have any prerogative, any Real Say, in just about any organization you choose to become involved with.  Otherwise you’re just another little know-it-all Snotty Scotty.  (Little Snotty Scotty, Always with the ‘tude, Even when you’re nice to him, he’s extremely rude!)

My old buddy Sean Wade is, at 50, quite the hep cat.  Long time readers will know that I sat in Olympic Stadium in 1996 and watched him lead the first 7 miles of the marathon at the Atlanta Olympics.  And that he has let me take his Ferrari out for a midnight spin around the 610 loop in Houston.  Been buddies for the last 20 years in fact.

And while my running career is likely over, Sean, he just keeps keeping it Real.  A week ago- I did mention he’s 50 correct?- he ran 15:07 for 5K on the track.  This weekend he ran a 4:10.85 1500 meters at the Fred J. Duckett Invite.  One more time, he’s 50 folks.  I’d like to see how many of our current crop of USATF Nebraska association athletes could hang with this old man.  Not many, not many.

More superlatives:  Linda’s colleague on the USATF WLDR Executive Committee, Camille Herron,  became the first 3 time winner of the OKC Marathon in 2:54:55.    In the accompanying half, Ashley Miller- made her debut for Team Oklahoma a successful one winning in 1:20.54.

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Ashley Miller, second from left, leading a new surge in competitive distance running in Oklahoma.  Team Oklahoma, I like the sounds of that.  She and Camille Herron both live in the Red Dirt state, could be the start of something big.

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The Lincoln Running Co. Racing team has new kits courtesy of Oiselle.  Until further notice, Bridget Easley, (left) is the toughest current marathoner in Nebraska, male or female.  I base this on the fact that she has the best shot of hitting the USA Olympic Trials standard, in 2015, for either gender.  In my never so humble opinion of course.  Michelle Paxton (2nd from right), I first took her to St. Louis and the USA Women’s Marathon National Championships in 2003.  She has shown a durability that doesn’t surprise me, I’ve seen her grit, was proud of her when she ran for me, am proud of her now.  They are joined by Hayley Sutter and Frankie Petersen.

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Sean Wade on the cover of Texas Runner magazine, January 1996.  My Run For The Arts was December 1995.  Sean’s 47:55 a springboard to the 1996 Houston Marathon (4th, 2:10:59) which in turn punched his ticket to Atlanta representing his native New Zealand.

 

FRESH AIR FRIDAY

This strange box in front of me is getting mighty long in the tooth.  Miles built it for me 7 years ago now, on the cheap then, practically worthless now.  Except for this daily sunshine.  Some days, like yesterday, I simply get tired of waiting for stuff to load and head outside.  The the fresh air takes over and all is right with the world.

In the Why They Run The Race department I would have loved to have been in Lincoln yesterday when Elsa Forsberg (5:05.86)  did a fine impression of Mine That Bird.  She outran a who’s who of high school elite girls at the Harold Scott Invitational.  Taylor Somers (5:06.58), Katie Spencer (5:07.24), and Alex Altmaier (5:10.84) were all in the track race of the year.

Stephen Vangampleare ran the Boston Marathon in 2:33 and some change.  Astute observers recollect him as the same cat that won the 2014 Omaha Marathon.

Put in 250 patterson onions yesterday.  Three varieties of Kale.  Three varieties of turnips.  Five varieties of beets.  Leeks and garlic and red onions and carrots and a boat load of radishes already up and at em.

Hope you all have a good weekend with great running and racing.

Peace, Love, Chickens.

 

TEAM UP FOR TEAMMATES RELAY RUN

NorthStar Financial presents the 3rd Annual Annual TeamUp for TeamMates – Relay Run.

The event is Saturday, June 27th @ 8:30 AM (Omaha, NE)

This a benefit run for the TeamMates Mentoring Program. The event will start and finish at NorthStar Financial Services Group. The course will wind its way through the scenic west side of Lake Zorinsky. Two runners must register and participate as a single Relay Team. It is a 5K x 2, a total 10K for the team. Each Team member will complete the same 5K, in which the overall 10K Team time is collected. There will be 3 Award categories (Open, Family, Mentor) and each team may select one category to participate in.

Please visit the Event website for complete details and registration information: http://www.teamupforteammates.com

The running event is a relay race to benefit the TeamMates Mentoring Program. The TeamMates Mentoring Program, founded by former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and his wife, Nancy, in 1991, pairs a youth with an adult who acts as a role model and consistent influence in the child’s life. The two meet for an hour each week until the youth graduates high school. If I am interested in learning more about the TeamMates Mentoring Program or becoming a Mentor Please go to teammates.org and take a moment to view the information about the program. On the teammates.org website select “Contact Us” to learn more and have someone reach out to you.

“ If you are looking to participate or challenge yourself in a well organized event, please consider The TeamUp for TeamMates Relay in June. We have brought together the best resources to make this event enjoyable and rewarding for all participants. The course is a 5K out and back route that has been officially measured this year by Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC. Peak Performance does an amazing job of managing the Start, Exchange, and Finish. Gary Dougherty of GD Photography always captures stunning photos of the complete event. We offer a fun unique event for walkers, runners, or competitors for one great cause. All participants are included in a drawing for some autographed items from Tom Osborne. I encourage everyone to visit our event website for all the details and view our photos from the previous years. Your support in this event is greatly appreciated .” – Kray Zeller, NorthStar Employee and Runner

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LIKE ME OR NOT

I’m still a little emotional from yesterday’s Boston.  Reflecting on the hows and whys of the tears I was shedding watching Dathan and Meb and Desi.

Few people have cared more or invested as much in American distance running than I have.  Locally, regionally, nationally.  I’ve made it a life’s passion and work.  To see that bold trio yesterday, after decades of lacking, was a personal vindication that my time and energies were well spent.

I’ve known Desi since the 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis.  Hung out with Meb since the late 90s and rubbed shoulders with Dathan.  To see them yesterday pushing the pace, leading the international fields, yes, that was a moment that had me delving deep into the question “Has it all been worth it?  Have the struggles and personal intersections that have defined my time, especially in Nebraska, produced a worthy outcome?  Yes.

While Cameron Cummings and Amber Sargent didn’t carry a USATF Nebraska Association membership into Boston, they did proudly wear our NRGE kit and were the first male and female finishers from any club in Nebraska.

I hope that you are like me in that you were moved by yesterday’s race.  And if you weren’t, then you’re not.

 

1980S!

I hope you got to watch Boston this morning.  It was the type of race, with Americans up front for much, that fired a bunch of us up over 30 years ago.  The icons of that generation spoiled us with the size of their huevos.  We came to expect our heroes to be up front, with hubris.  In It To Win It.

What happened in the interim is subject to much speculative and argumentative discussion.

I truly believe though someone somewhere today was moved.  To pursue their own personal excellence.  To think, “I’m going to do that too.”  That’s the way it starts, with races by Americans against the best in the world.  On the biggest stages.

Congratulations to Amber Sargent and her 2:58:32.  Great run on a tough day and course. I was absolutely pleased with the way she controlled her first half of the race.  And to Cameron Cummings, his 2:33:45 also solid on this Patriot’s Day.  Proud to call you both Nebraska Run Guru Elite.

 

FAREWELL FRIDAY

Rest in peace Trent Tiller.  You were polite, well mannered, respectful, and represented the very best of your generation.  The Elkhorn South senior was killed in a motorcycle accident yesterday in North Dakota.  Prayers and meditations to his family and to my dear sweet Katie who feels the loss closer than most.  Sometimes it is really true, only the good die young.

Now to running.  Congratulations to some of our midwest region USATF post collegiate athletes running in the KU Relays.  Justin Garrard of the Kansas City Smoke finished 5th in the open 5000 in 14:43.54.  His mate Aaron Davidson (1:10:30 at last year’s Freedom Run Half) ran 31:38 for 6th in the open 10000.  My former mate Cory Logsdon rounded out the top 10 in 32:10.

Of course the 119th Boston Marathon is this coming Monday.  We’ll have Cameron Cummings and Amber Sargent in kit.  I’ll have a lot more to say come Monday and Tuesday.

Completed my apprenticeship in roofing yesterday.  Got the chicken coop fully shingled.  I might be able to say that it is better insulated and now has better shingles than this old house.

My first foray of the season hunting morels was a bust on Tuesday.  But the lilacs bloomed yesterday and that’s the Good Mother’s cue.  Now we just need a wee bit of rain….

“Just imagine,possibilities!”  I hear this commercial a dozen times every morning between six and seven.  “Mommy makeover!  Regain your pre pregnancy form!”  Did I just hear correct they’re offering a special on augmentations?  Get two breasts and the third one is free!  What?!?

Feliz Viernes and hug your kid hard today.

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Thanks to my buddy and mate Kray Zeller for working up this sweet logo for my event management company.  It speaks to me on a lot of levels.   Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC is proud to be a sponsor of Nebraska Run Guru Elite!

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APPLES TO APPLES

Who you got between Iowa’s Rebekah Topham and Nebraskan Katie Spencer?  And should we include Erin Lee in the equation over 1000 meters?  Competing at different distances, all alone at their level.  Doing some simple math it looks to be a dead heat on the two longer distances but Topham’s 2:20.64 800 might give her the final kick advantage over Spencer?

Going to give a tip to Reno Law with his state leading 1:56.02 800 and 3rd best time in the 1600 of 4:31.10.  Reno will run for me some day.  Also to Creighton Prep’s John Nownes, his 4:25.40/9:19.44 lead the state for the 1600/3200 double.  Maybe I’ll throw a singlet on him in a few years too.

And a final grin to our DC West Falcon Mason Grinvalds, his 2:00.7 800 leads class B, 4th fastest in the state, his 50.7 ranks 2nd Class B in the 400, 4th in the state.  In three years I could make state  champions out of the Falcons.

Western Iowa Girls Track Leaders:

800 Meters
1. Rebekah Topham, Griswold     2:20.64
2. Lauren Van Dyke, Sioux City East   2:24.84

1500 Meters
1. Rebekah Topham    4:42.12
2. Alex Flippin, Griswold   5:00.35

3000 Meters
1. Rebekah Topham   10:26.29
2. Tiffany Williams, Atlantic   10:54.63

Nebraska Girls Track Leaders
800 Meters
1. Erin Lee, York HS    2:18.29
2. Lauren Houston, Burke   2:21.27

1600 Meters
1. Katie Spencer, Millard South   4:58.74
2. Erin Lee                                       5:14.99

3200 Meters
1. Katie Spencer             10:38.10
2. Megan Billington, Grand Island NW  11:15.69

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The little girl barely visible off of Alice Schmidt’s shoulder, that’s Rebekah.  Her dad petitioned to have her included in the elite field of the 2008 Omaha Mile.  I’m glad I let her in.  Our 2008 Nebraska USATF Road Mile Championships featured the fastest, deepest women’s field in the history of Nebraska.  L to R, Ann Gaffigan (5:01) , Alice Schmidt (4:39), Rebekah Topham (5:18), Stacy Girard (4:42), Angee Henry (5:15), Anne Shadle (5:05) and Casey Owens (4:41).  I would suggest that these times are all single age records for the state as well.  Notice that I had set up race clocks each 1/4 mile to assist the athletes in reaching stellar times.

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In the men’s open race that year a 19 year old ran 4:35 and I swore he too would some day run for me.  I still hold out hopes on that.