Monthly Archives: November 2016

JOCK NOWINS

I have seen the future!   Engaging, effervescent, never broke a tape or stood on a podium.   Jock, I tip my sombrero to you.   You tapped into that 99% you understand and understand you.  The times they have ch-ch-changed.

It started with the mud run
And then the color run
Foam run, foam run
Walk or run
Run or walk
What’s the difference,
None at all Eh Jock?

Those frilly costumed frills
Cutesy names and walking the hills
No one cares about that 1%
Your message was clearly sent
USATF?
Bah!
Competition?
Nah!

You package it up
All tidy  and bowed
Herding your masses
Down the Purple Cow Road
Lace Up!  Show Up!
And you’re a winner
Winner Winner!
Chicken Dinner *not included with entry fee

You liked the foam, you loved the mud
And took it to the next level bud
Slinging shit like it is gold
The latest crock to be sold
With a woot woot there
And a woot woot here
And when you’re finished
One free beer!

Run or walk
Walk or run
Purple Cow
FUN, FUN FUN!

20161130_075617_hdr

 

 

 

 

 

WRITE AND WRONG

Breaking news from behind the curtain!  The Tin Man’s heart revealed!

I’ve penned near daily with the Lion’s Courage and the Scarecrow’s Brain but today I’m introducing a grander and more ameliorated heart.  Thanks to everyone that made yesterday such a special day.

Look, I’ve dug my heels in for over a decade.  Things like “My Way or the Highway!”  Or, “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to build a competitive community!”  Or, “They can kiss my ***!”  Focused on the battles, taking on each and every obstacle  with the same gusto, sometimes glee.  Dispatching those that would stand in the way of progress.  Always wary, eyes to the woods as it were.  Defender of Real Running.

But an amazing thing happened on the way to the coliseum, allowing unfiltered view of the blessings all around.  Hearing from running friends, and even older friends, from the last 50+ years has yet again softened this old man.  And for true, don’t doubt it for a minute, Linda has done even more.  We celebrated 4 years of mutual admiration and respect yesterday.  Those that know me best have seen the amazing transformation of their friend to one heck of a happy fella.

California International Marathon is this weekend.  Which means Houston Marathon is only 6 weeks away!  And  Boston only 18 weeks!  And Lincoln 6 months!  Giddyup!

ITS MY BIRTHDAY!

59!  The more trips around  the sun I make the more grateful for each sunrise and each sunset.

In a twist I’m giving you Birthday Wishes.  In order of importance in life.  As I see it.

I wish you a Loving family.  May your parents live long and healthy.  May your partner be equal in love.  May your children bring you joy.

I wish you Friends.  Real friends, loyal friends, those that you have absolutely nothing to offer other than return of the same.

I wish you Health.  Longevity in our sport at the very top, pain free locomotion next, fluidity and grace if you are lucky.

I wish you Self Satisfaction.  May you love your work.  May you be self actualized.  May you be comfortable in your own skin

I wish you Respect.  May those around you recognize your contributions and offer support.

I wish you Spirituality.  Wherever you may find it.  In the earth and sky, in the winds and the rain, the trees and animals,  the sun and the stars.  Its Everywhere.

I wish you Patience.  And Empathy.  And Sympathy.  Three of the most important aspects of humanity.

I wish you Kindness.  It is better to give than to receive.

I wish you Joy.  Bliss.  It comes from within

I wish you Another trip around the sun.

Giddyup!

 

GRAVY

Love it!  Turkey gravy with giblets, nothing like a good reduction of entrails to liven up the holiday table!  Cream gravy over chicken fried steak, or mashed potatoes, or hashbrowns or sufferin succotash.  Au jus, the lighter side .  Rich brown demi glasse, deep and elegant.  Aspic, concentrated, free standing, savory beef stock jelly, gourmand’s gelatinous delight.

I’m dipping my ladle into the tureen of excellence this post Turkey Trot Day.

Joe Moore of the Kansas City Smoke set a state record 14:16 at the MHK Turkey Trot.  Jason Thomas won the Des Moines Turkey Trot in a stout 14:37.  I’ve got to throw in Grant’s 14:38 from last month’s Omaha Race for the Cure.

Cream of the Midwest crop.  I’d love to see a match race between a few obvious principles.  Each club puts $250 into the pot with lion’s share to winner, only 3 deep.  Limit  the field to 10 fellas.  Sell a few tickets to watch.  Maybe get it sponsored by Horseman’s Park.  Two Rivers State Park, that perfect 1.5 mile oval of ashphalt, I’ll go mark it every quarter for excellent pacing, have clocks every mile and another in the back of the lead vehicle.  Feature race before the main Open event, everyone in that field inspired by greatness witnessed, 99% set personal bests.  Modeling excellence  to inspire the masses.  Or, Stimulating the Running Community to  a More Competitive Culture.

Gravy.

 

SHORT SIGHTED

Big kudos to my buddy Camille Herron on being selected USATF’s 2016 Ultra Road Runner of the Year.  Tony Migliozzi was the men’s honoree.   Both were the 2015 World 50K Champions after all.

Do I have something to say about this?  Yep.  I know how our USATF organization works.  I’ve sat behind those doors.

Camille has been burning up the USATF MUT circuit for the last few years.  Serves on the WLDR Executive Committee, I sat at that table too.

USATF tends to reward its own.  Run the Championship races and you get a shiny star on your nomination.  Make a World Team and you’re almost a lock.  Its the USATF Annual Awards Banquet.

Ultra Running, like the rest of our sport, is undergoing a seminal period.  And we have two pioneers pushing limits right here in Nebraska.  Pushing?  Nay!  Re-Defining!  To lengths not seen in generations or ever.

I nominated both Kaci and Pete for *MUT’s Running’s highest honor.  *Mountain Ultra Trail
Had been waiting anxiously for the vote, the winners announced yesterday.  After congratulating our winners I immediately reached out to my athletes.

Look, Kaci had the best 2016 of any ultra female in the United States.  To quote our president elect, “Believe It!”  And if you think for a moment that Pete’s CR at Badwater and WR transcontinental run weren’t the performances of the year by any ultra runner, anywhere, then please just move along.

You read it here first folks.  2017 Ultra Road Runners of the Year, Kaci and Pete.

 

 

TIME AFTER TIME

Wow!  I did a survey of salary ranges for Executive Directors of Nebraska Not For Profits.  Average is $50,000.

Wait a minute!  You mean I’ve been doing this the last fifteen years for free?

How do I monetize my efforts?  More importantly, how would others monetize my efforts?

My only payment, the development of the athletes I work with, the progress of the program I founded.

I made a point to our club president recently.  Outside of my USATF Level  I coaching certification fee and annual renewal of USATF membership I have never spent a penny on myself from the sponsorships I’ve developed and secured, whether with Team Nebraska or Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  In over 15 years of service.

Not a penny for my vision and labours.    Would you do this?  Why or why not?

Linda and I hosted our first annual Bar None Holiday Market this past Sunday.  Big thanks to everyone that came out and supported us.

20161113_102646

Better part of a day spent managing our USATF XC Champs and representing our club at the USATF LDR meeting.   For the love of the sport.

 

 

 

 

IOWA MODEL

Kicking off with Kudos to Kaci (48:36).  The 38th Living History Farms Race saw a Nebraska winner, the first since Matt Pohren several years ago.  Charlie Paul of Runablaze Iowa tops overall in 40:39.  His mate Ben Jaskowiak 2nd (41:00) and Nebraska newcomer Matt Tebo (41:12) 3rd.  Cory Logsdon of Team Nebraska 4th in 41:13, hell of a race right there.

LRC Racing took the team title.  Ryan Dostal 5th, 27, (42:22), Brian Wandzilak 9th, 36, (43:03),  Andrew Jacob 11th, 30, (43:18), Ivan Marsh 15th, 42, (43:29), Cole Marolf 17th, 26, (43:50), Joe Coil 28th, 25, (45:37) and Logan Watley 34th, 29, (46:42) taking the measure of the Flash Running Club out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, those 7 amazing lads average age 18.  Runablaze Iowa, despite having the top two finishers couldn’t catch the kids or LRC due to lack of depth (1-2-41-50).

Two  things.  Two sides.  Two ways.

The NEBRASKA MODEL.  The  IOWA MODEL.

The NEBRASKA MODEL.  All USATF competitive clubs sponsored by the Lincoln Marathon.

The IOWA MODEL.  Gold Level Sponsorship:  BIX 7, Des Moines Marathon, Dam to Dam, Get Me Registered, Living History Farms.  Silver Level Sponsorships: Drake  Relays  Road  Race, Fitness Sports, Market to Market(!!!), Park to Park, Runner’s Flat.  Bronze Level Sponsorship: Capital Pursuit, Fifth Season, Midnight Madness, and Sturgis Falls joining forces for competitive excellence in Iowa.  All sponsoring Runablaze Iowa.

How about that M2M Silver Level?  Absolutely none of my business I’m sure.  I’ll just keep my focus on advocating for Nebraska athletes and clubs. 

 Cal Murdock called me in 2005.  He was setting up a new USATF Competitive Club called Runablaze.  He was hoping to model his club after my own at the  time.  I was glad to assist.  He has been able to do things I never could.

Same sport.  Two different climates.  Two different leaders.  Two different results.

 

ESOTERIC

One of the foundations of my coaching philosophy is visualization.  Easy to give lip service to, harder to execute.  My prescription calls for a near zen like state.  Isolated, silent, eyes closed, emptying the mind of all clutter.  See, this is the hard part, getting rid of all the hubbub, bub.

Meditation is like running in that the more practiced you are the easier it is to slip into.  Where longer training sessions used to hold sway, the same benefits can now be had in relative moments.

Do you dare try this?  Can you see yourself?  As a winner.  As potential achieved.  Same thing, you achieve your potential and you’re a winner, doubters be damned.  Whether first or last (there’s always someone faster), if you acquit yourself with pure honesty, you are your own winner.  Chicken dinner.  You run the race against yourself first.  Always.

I’ve been at this gig a long time.  Almost 40 years in the sport.  I watched, listened, learned.  Did things this way and that way and finally settled on  my way.  Or the highway it used to be but no longer.  The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that you can only know what works for you.  Broad netting of general training principles endure but you’d better be able to tap into individual essence, whether as athlete or coach.

And I hope that will be my coaching legacy.  That I have been able to Hear the Truth of those that would Seek it.  Esoteric.

 

7 YEARS WAR

But first, erratum.  Thanks to my favorite hirsute duo for the correction, Club 402, not Club 420.

Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC is now a USATF Nebraska Association member.  And the Will Lindgren’s Festival of Races is taking shape.  USATF Certification, sanctioning in progress. Because a couple of you poo pooed my call to recognize Grant’s 15:06 as the state record for road 5K.  The 2017 edition will have it all tied down, thanks to y’all for the prompt.

Jordan Tucker.  I miss you.  So does the Nebraska Association LDR program.  You were just a little ahead of your time.   Or,  we were so busy shaping athletics in Nebraska that one of our pet projects never kicked off.  And now, that vision is being executed.

Jordan approached me about a camp for talented high school runners back in 2008 (!).  As part of his business degree he put together a study/survey that went out to 385 Nebraska high school coaches.  Of those, 42 were answered and returned.

Some of the more interesting findings:
“As a high school cross country/track coach in Nebraska, do you believe that your athletes would find a running camp hosted by **Team Nebraska** beneficial.
34 respondents Yes, 8 respondents No

“Where would you like to see the camp held?”
Lincoln- 26%
Omaha- 32%
Kearney- 21%
Western Nebraska- 9%
Other- 12%

“What type of venue would you prefer a running camp to be held?”
Small College-43%
State Park- 26%
Youth Camp-19%
Large University- 7%
Other- 5%

“How long should the camp last?”
3 days- 70%
5 days- 18%
1 day- 9%
1 Week- 3%

“What would you like to see offered at a running camp?”
Endurance Training, Injury Prevention, and Guest Speakers were the top 3

“What type of guest speakers would your athletes find interest in?”
Professional Runners led the list followed by college athletes, college coaches, sports psychologists, Inspirational, Professional coaches, and nutritionist and shoe experts further down the list.

“How far would you be willing to send your athletes?
Up to 1 hour- 34%
1-2 hours- 35%
Over 2 hours- 31%

“How much would you anticipate this camp should cost per participant?”
$51-$100- 43%
>$100-  33%
<$50-  18%
Other- 6%

Good segue into Dustin Llewellyn’s Nebraska Elite track club.  He and his group have set up a program to advocate for some of the very best high school and middle school runners.  Dustin ran for me way back in the day.  I can only hope some of the high expectations I had of him and his mates helps to shape his message.

 

2008 USATF Club National Championships in Olathe, KS.  Paul Wilson (Omaha Northwest), Matt Pohren (Athletic Director), Dustin Llewellyn, and Shannon Stenger (Papillion LVS) are all coaching today.  The first group of Nebraska athletes forged by my expectations of excellence.

 

2690019251_546c2ba2e5_o

 

 

 

 

AMAZING TALE!

en.cum.ber  To restrict.  To impose upon.

Unencumbered is always better!  What flight of fancy am I on today?  Same as every day Pinky!

Each day that passes adds more gravity to my message, that’s why I usually beat you over the head with it.  As I pensively stroke my chin hairs it occurs that you, gentle reader, know only a fraction of your scribe.  My running side mostly and my gardening side recently.

But man, there’s so much more.  And now that this blog is free of any oversight other than my own, I’m free to reveal as much as I care about my fascinating life.  I’ll be 59 in just a couple of weeks and many of my years have been packed with unique, entertaining and unusual experiences.

1992.  Will County Health Dept.  I’m a fresh hire with a sparkly new B.S. in Community Health Promotion from NIU.  First week there, trailing my trainer Sue.  Grabs me just prior to quitting time, we drive to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, don our hazmat suits, meet the Will Co. Sheriff’s dept.  Possible deceased investigation.  House completely overgrown with weeds and brush and trees, crumbling stairs to the front door, unanswered knocks.  Cop #1 shoulders the door in, we enter, the house dark as night due to what?  Stacks of everything everywhere, a narrow path leading to a kitchen with no ceiling.  Records indicate no water/sewer service to the address for the last 7 years.  A stack of unserved administrative warrants on file.  We call the gentleman’s name out as we wind through a lifetime’s collection of newspapers, books, wrappers, bags, boxes, cans, every manner of detritus imaginable from floor to ceiling.

Winding our way up a staircase to the upper halls.  Reach a platform, turn left, flashlights illuminating bars.  Next a blood curdling scream.  The two cops and the two health inspectors just about messing drawers.  And then it hit the bars, shaking the whole area.  Eyes jaundiced and huge yellowed teeth, I swore they were fangs.  A macaque, its jungle the jailed in master bed room.  Cop up front with the flashlight, then Sue, then me, then cop #2, he yelling “Light that son of a bitch up!”, cop #1 unholstering……..

“No!”  “Don’t shoot!”  A weak voice from the shadows.  The old man we’d thought dead, in a little cubby just this side of the bars.  Had worked at the local paper mill for over 60 years.  Put in paperwork for vacation, it got lost in a shuffle, he doesn’t show  for work, they call the cops, and that’s why we were there.

We quickly assess.  Old man is sitting on a bed.  With barely enough room otherwise to move.  The cubby completely filled with jugged urine and canned (Folgers, It’s Mountain Grown!) feces.  He pleads for the life of the macaque.  “It’s not Elsie’s fault!”  “Please don’t shoot!”  “Elsie, I’m so sorry!”.  Wild animal in city limits added to the long list of health dept. violations.  Call made to humane society for pick up.  They recommend sedation.  Old man begs to carry the primate to their truck without.  The  two entwined in deep embrace down the stairs, he crying loudly, apologizing, sobbing, truly heartbreaking.  “Elsie, Elsie, Elsie, I’m so sorry!”

As we exit the house I’m handed a bright yellow Condemned sticker, slapped it on the window.  Another vehicle pulls up, fellas wearing white coats from the 4th floor over at Jefferson Hospital (cuckoo’s nest).  As we watch the old man carefully place Elsie into the box on the truck, our collective jaws drop when we realize Elsie is a rather aroused male.

I almost left the health dept. that day, not two weeks in.  I’d end up staying another 120 days or  so, why I left another…..

Amazing Tale.