Monthly Archives: March 2017

SPRING IN STEP

I hope you’ve got a little extra bounce in your steps this morning.  Springing into action as it were.  If you’ve been good and listened to your coach you should be filled with eager anticipation.

Look, there are a dozen and more “coaches” locally.  A very few even have USATF Level I credentials, but not nearly enough.  I’ve seen a couple handfuls of “certifications” and “conferences” and “clinics” but none match the Level I program.

And where does this lead this morning?   Right back to you, the athlete.  I hope you have a good coach.  I hope you are a good student.  It takes two to make a thing go right.  It takes two to make it out of sight.

Boston and Lincoln and every other full and half marathon of the spring calendar is ready for you.  I hope you will be ready as well.

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LUCKY CHARMS III

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I ran the 1987 St. Paddy’s Day 4 Mile in Lafayette, LA  pr for that distance now 30 years old, 21:19.  A race I’ll never forget.

Two men were sitting next to each other at Murphy’s Pub in London. After awhile, one bloke looks at the other and says, “I can’t help but think, from listening to you, that you’re from Ireland.”

The other bloke responds proudly, “Yes, that I am!”

The first one says, “So am I! And where about from Ireland might you be?”

The other bloke answers, “I’m from Dublin , I am.”

The first one responds, “So am I!”

“Mother Mary and begora. And what street did you live on in Dublin?”

The other bloke says, “A lovely little area it was. I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town.”

The first one says, “Faith and it’s a small world. So did I! So did I! And to what school would you have been going?”

The other bloke answers, “Well now, I went to St. Mary’s, of course.” The first one gets really excited and says, “And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?”

The other bloke answers, “Well, now, let’s see. I graduated in 1964.”

The first one exclaims, “The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same place tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary’s in 1964 my own self!”

About this time, Vicky walks up to the bar, sits down and orders a drink.

Brian, the barman, walks over to Vicky, shaking his head and mutters, “It’s going to be a long night tonight.”

Vicky asks, “Why do you say that, Brian?”

“The Murphy twins are drunk again.”

24 LITTLE HOURS

What an exciting time!  Soil warm enough to start planting spring greens.  Those little chlorophyll packages of potential.  Soon to be realized.  Twenty Five Hundred  seedlings going into beds over the next couple of days, a lot of knees and backs.  Hundreds of eggplant, peppers and tomatoes now taking their places on the  heat mats.   Sleepy beds of spinaches and onions and radishes and carrots and beets uncovered, greeting the morning sun.  Twenty five adorable little chicks ensconced and cheeping merrily in the spare room.  Squeezing each hour of the day,  finding time to work on the new structure.

Linda’s phone lighting up with texts every morning.  Daily reports from our Good Girls.  Jackie and Nicole and Coralie.  Tweaking workouts to accommodate specific needs.  Keeping the fellas fired up with promises of Real Racing soon enough.

11th annual Trail Run just over a couple weeks away.  Pressure of our course, even today, completely under construction, promises of completion just the day prior to the race.   I can’t thank Kyle enough for the work he is doing with course design, Plan A, Plan B, not an easy task.  Bar None Produce in charge of cooking up Camp Stew for a couple hundred runners.

Sun up to sun down.

 

 

 

LUCKY CHARMS TOO

Over there in Iowa.  How in the world do they get all of their top runners in the same race?
From my buddy Cal Murdoch-

“Brogan Austin won the 5th Leprechaun Chase 5k (Mar. 11, Des Moines) in 15:13.  He was followed by teammates Ben Jaskowiak 15:27, Austin O’Brien 15:28, last year’s winner Adam Bochah 15:36, Zach Baker 15:38 and Nate Hopp 15:44.  On the women’s side Casey McDermott won by almost a minute running a 18:44.  The course was changed morning of the race to a 5k from a 10k.  Ice on the bike paths the second half of the race forced the change.”

Not an official, certified 5K but certainly the depth of competition was there.  I’ve got an offer in to Cal.  Bar None Produce would like to sponsor a few Runablaze athletes to State Farm.  Stay tuned.

 

PRIMA FACIE

First blush.  Surface.  From the hip.  WYSIWYG.  Love at first sight?

Dependable.  Consistent.  Principled.  Unflinching.  Unfazed.

The calliope of life, ever changing seekers, giving it a whirl.  Only the ride remains the same.

Some people insist I have changed and it is true I have softened considerably.  But my core, the very center of the vision and message unchanged, unyielding.  This ride, with an always changing cast of characters, delivers the promised attraction and thrill.  Leathered butterfly wings enduring, gossamer fading into the fabric.

I  hope that  is one thing they’ll say about me when I’m gone.  “That Old Will, he stuck to his guns!”  “You knew exactly what you were dealing with from the old fart!”  “No pretenses made, never in it for the popularity!”  Prima Facie.  Run Guru.

We lost one of the Oldest School Runners.  Ed Whitlock of Canada, a week after his 86th birthday.  Superman to those that follow marathoning closely.  Sub 3 hours at 73 years old, sub 4 hours at 85.  Lost to prostate cancer, may his legacy live on.

Our new Nebraska Trail Run logo!  A little softer around the edges but still the rugged accomplishment to round out your trail resume.

NE Trail Run 2-OUTLINES

 

 

 

I’VE BEEN FRAMED

You’ve got to consider yourself fortunate when you get a Second Chance.  Second chances usually come around to those deserving.  I’m not talking about running clubs today although the parallels are similar of course.

My dad tried hard to teach me electrical and plumbing and pouring concrete and framing and finishing.  Middle of the 1970s, I was far more interested in letting my Freak Flag Fly.  I missed so much.

I’ve been buckling down hard though.  Getting my hands dirty better late than never.  You know the satisfaction I receive from building athletes.  I’m feeling much the same with the continued erection of the new structure.  Maybe I am talking about running clubs.

20170304_114425 (1)Footings and foundations dug and formed.
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Foundation poured and forms knocked down.

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Building the knee walls with our benefactor Bill Weeks of “W” Realty.
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Setting the corner posts with Bill and Carl.
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Treated 2 x 6s drilled and mounted to the foundation.  Knee wall mounted to the 2 x 6s.  Solid 7′ corner posts, F-1 worthy.  Not a bad end to a good day’s work.

A BUCK TWENTY

And in this corner, at 66″ and 115 pounds, Eliud Kipchoge.  His opponents tonight, towering at 69″ and 125 pounds, Lelisa Desisa and the diminutive one, at 63″ and 119 pounds, Zersenay Tadese!

About one pound per minute is my take.

These three African cats are NIKE’s hand picked runners to chase a buck twenty.   Completely staged, every variable scientifically controlled for.   I’ve been saying my whole life that a sub 2 hour marathon is possible, and will happen in my lifetime.  But I’m a purist and consider this attempt at history is shenanigans even if successful.  More Nike Circus fare, geared more to Runner’s World sensationalized headlines than Real Competition.

Back to the weighty issue a hand.  The average of these little fellas is <120 pounds.  I would, if I could, go back in time* and place, reincarnate as one of these waifs.  Line up at Berlin with the other two.  Make it a Real Race.  Mano a mano a mano.  It might take another generation but those arbitrary ticks and tocks patiently, legitimately await.

*I’d have to come right back to this big plate of Bar None Breakfast as soon as business was finished!

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I’d like to meet Zersenay Tadese’s tailor!

 

HARD ROW TO HOE

True story I share today.

Carl is 88, maintains 5 acres right across the way.  Been there since 1968, almost 50 years in the same farmhouse.  Built a chicken coop last year and enjoys 25 laying hens.  Neat as a pin.  Sharp as a whip.  Strong as an ox.  First one to volunteer for any neighborhood project he can find.  Eighth grade education.

Gave his daughter and son-in-law 5 of his original 10 acres, 15 years right next door.   Last 3 Hatfield/McCoy-esqe.  Carl in court this morning.  Fighting for his dignity, his good Lutheran values, his Truth.  He can still drive that’s for sure.  He wheels the old Ford 8N like nobody’s business.  One of his last road trips to Custer, SD to see Etta Mae just last summer.

The kids have other ideas, prompting today’s combination of letters.  Seems like they are intent on having him, if not committed, then utterly  grounded and under their complete “admini$trative” care.   Opening up the adjoining, original 5 acres.  Not yet some of the hottest property West of everything else, but won’t be long by my lucky stars.

Carl’s mom and grandma both died institutionalized.  Both received electroshock therapy for  Alzheimers, living into their nineties, decades in a vegetative state.  Carl’s Greatest Fear this morning.

Only 3 years older than my own dad, proxy now for almost 4 years.  Dear friend of the  neighborhood, Bar None mentor and advisor, daily confidant, never count you out, Linda and I are pulling for you fella.

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Just a few weeks ago we expanded the main garden to 16,000 square feet of Good Earth.  I couldn’t have done it without Carl’s lifetime of experience.  His 1956 Ford 8N as neatly maintained as the rest of his daily routine.

WINTHEISER TWIST

I’m stimulated again.  Fired up.  In It To Win It.  You all know the story.  With an unhittable curve ball this time.  The Wintheiser Twist.

I’ll preface with this:  Grant is one of the nicest, most humble fellas you’ll ever get to know outside of a start and finish line.  It’s  between those two arbitrary points that you really don’t want to mess with this cat.

In 20 years experience advocating for elite runners, I count Grant as the most talented that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing my kit.  Any kit.    Think about that for a moment.  There will never be another Mike Morgan, or David Adams, or Peter vd Westhuizen.  Those three I call the Gold Standard.  But Grant has something I’ve not seen before.  An ease and confidence.

Grant has been training with Michael Rathje and Nolan Zimmer and Johnny Rutford of LRC Racing.  Good for them.  Lucky they live in Omaha.  Omaha.  Omaha.   Say what?  Its like tennis folks, you only get better by training with someone more talented, and those fellas will attest to the difference.  I am so very grateful for Grant’s loyalty, it would be such an easy  jump to any other program.

I got jacked when Jay  Welp  told me he was Ready to Race State Farm 5K.  I smiled a mile yesterday when Grant indicated he was entering the 10 Mile.  NRGE, Inc. ready to start shaking up the local race calendar.  Run Guru style.

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Grant was out for 14 miles yesterday.  Ons at 4:50 pace, tempo at 5:20s, strong finish at 4:40s.  Middle 10K in 31:12.  Would have won Lucky Charms by a minute and a half.   Another favorite son Luka Thor also out at the Bar None yesterday.  I am thankful for both of these fine young men.

 

 

WHO KNEW?

Today my dear sweet Linda celebrates her 54th trip around the sun.  I would give her the world if I could.  I will give her what I  can instead.

WHO KNEW
I moved to Omaha feeling blue
Leaving all those I knew
Friends I had, more than a few
I moved to Omaha not knowing you

I changed that day that you ran past
I knew right then that you were fast
And happy, I could see your smile
Something I hadn’t had in a while

You shared your story and touched my heart
You saw my running, understood my art
Two blocks away, a world apart
I shared my story and touched your heart

I moved to Omaha not knowing you
And after all that we’ve been through
All I can say is “Who Knew”
That you and I, we are two
My Dear Sweet Linda
I Love You