Monthly Archives: March 2018

A CERTAIN AURA

I was standing completely rigid, gripped in fear.  As the menacing  figure neared I began to panic.  He was pissed and coming straight for me.  I could see his approach but something was wrong.  Part of his face began to shimmer.  And then melt into a glimmer.

I was 19, in boot camp, and had just made up my bunk for inspection.  The Drill Instructor, doing his job with this raw class of recruits, scare the hell out of them.  But my hell had no explanation.

For the last 40 years I’ve experienced what I  call “spells”.  No real trigger, no set frequency, spells just spells.  Usually accompanied by a small headache.  Inconvenient only  when in the company of others really.  Usually passing within a couple to a few minutes.

I have to admit I’ve always  worried  just a little.  Mainly thinking it was some precursor to ocular disease.  Sight, such a gift as to not be taken for granted.

I’ve tried to explain these spells to close associates for years.  Seemingly a singular condition.

As the fates would have it I experienced one of my more significant episodes in the presence of Dr. Bill Weeks.  Getting ready for our Saturday morning run through the hills South of Yutan, things started to blur.  I knew I needed to sit down.  And then began explaining what was manifesting.  Bill knew the answer immediately to the question I’ve been asking my entire adult life.

Migrane with Aura.  A migrane headache without the associated intense pain, light and sound sensititivity, the Real Hell.  Just a glimmer and a shimmer.  Just a certain aura.

CHAUN NOT CHAN

http://www.usatf.org/events/courses/search/

Thanks to the course measurer for sending in the correction about the LC10K being USATF Certified.  Hope no one was offended by the fact I could not find it in the USATF data base.  I was entering the correct spelling of Leprechaun when conducting my search.

A CERTAIN PLUCK

Pluck- To snatch quickly
Pluck- Spirited Determination and Courage.

We’re going with the latter this morning.  Perfect descriptor for Liz Starbuck.  Rhymes with Pluck.  Liz has that spirited determination and courage.  And more.  Sweet, polite, congenial, earth aware, family oriented, respectful young lady.  Its what smolders just below the surface that has me admiring the cut of  her jib.  She gives off a vibe on the starting line that I wish I could bottle.

Liz took the Overall for the Lasses at the Des Moines Leprechaun Chase yesterday.  We’re darned proud of her.  But not surprised.  Liz kicked off the year with a 17:54 Certified & Sanctioned Full Wolf Moon 5K on January 20.   Safe bet that she takes another minute off that before year’s end.

Liz came to us from the Colorado School of Mines.  Works in the environmental department for a Fortune 500 contractor based in Omaha.  Lofty goals in running and in life.

I’ve lamented for 6 years the loss of an advocate for Nebraska’s Track & Field athletes.  I see a time when that need will once again be addressed.   Point is as much as I believe in the talent across all disciplines of Athletics in Nebraska, inside this old man beats an LDR heart.

Which is why I’m pretty jacked to see Liz moving up.  She made her 10K (39:32) road debut at last September’s Freedom  Run 10K in Valley.  Her 38:44 on a cold and windy morning a new personal best and Run Guru Elite club record.   And a half debut on the horizon…

The Des Moines LC10K.   USATF Certified (IA15015MF) first couple of miles on the roads of SW 11th and MLK, the rest on the trail surrounding Gray’s Lake and back.  Interesting that the Omaha LC10K was not USATF Certified or Sanctioned.**update- I’ve been informed the LC10K Omaha is indeed certified through 2023 though it is not currently listed on the USATF website, http://www.usatf.org/events/courses/search/

 

FARM REPORT FRIDAY

Best news out at the Bar None?  In a trick that would have ‘Ol Lazarus green with envy our dear sweet Natalie has returned!  I was mentioning to Linda that I can’t pass the windows without looking for her to come, low to the ground-opposite of her big, bold  brother- comport always easily recognized.  Had hardly finished the sentence when she slowly came across Howard and Rose’s preserve for a back yard.  Thin and weak, she’s bounced back to 100%.  Howard and Rose, our eclectic neighbors.  Rose a dental pharmaceutical professor at Creighton, Howard just retired as a biochemistry professor from UNO.  They go to his home in Liverpool every summer.  He has tales of the Cavern and attended university with Prince Charles.  Two  of the brightest minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of, way ahead of the curve if you will.

A small paradigm adjustment (progress!)  in the garden this year.  One section dedicated entirely to 20’X8’  raised bed construction, numbered 1-20.  Six planted yesterday, Gladiator, Javelin, Hollow Crown and Harris Model Parnsips , and 3 rows of  Hablange Parsley Root in 11.  Golden Ball, Shogoin,  and Purple Top White Globe Turnips in 12.  Nelson, YaYa, and Napoli Carrots in 13.  Here’s a trick- plant your radishes in the same furrow as your carrots, sounds counterintuitive but works like magic.  This year I’ve mixed in D’Avignon French Breakfast and Roxanne Hybrid radishes along with.  Red Ace beets in bed 14.  Strike and Maxigolt Peas in 15.  Flamingo Spinach in 3.

I’ve also started 25 flats (72 plants/flat) of leeks, bunching onions, broccoli, collards, swiss chards, lettuces, basil, parsley, kale, kohlrabi, celery, cutting celery, cabbage, and fennel.  All sprouted and growing and looking forward to the move into the new digs, the potting shed, then into their own tidy beds.  I’ll start peppers and tomatoes and eggplant and squashes and melons and peanuts and potatoes and cukes and more as the season rapidly approaches.

Every single thing chemical free.  I like my food like I like my athletes.

Ordered 25 Cornish roasters that Linda and I will butcher in 10-12 weeks, freezer birds.  And another 18 layers, keeping true to my multi-variety, high egg production, colorful feathers and eggs.

And all the while, all around, the cacophony of migration.  Dense racket darkening the skies and setting wonder and awe to all that see.  Learning to love and appreciate this little slice more and more each year.

The Good Mother’s annual show never ceases to amaze.

 

PROMPT RUFFLES

Prompt.  Triple entendre and I like it.  Prompt means punctual.  Prompt means quick.  Prompt means spur to action.  2018, so far a year of promptly prompted.  Quickly motivated.  What prompts my promptness?   What drives me now?

What pushes me back up on the stump?

Ruffles.  Triple entendre and I love it.  Ruffle means to muss someone’s hair.  Ruffle means a bird raising its feathers in display.  Ruffle means disturb the smoothness or tranquility of.

What prompts my ruffles?

Seizing today’s opportunities and trying to fit them into my Grand Design.   I’ve been writing some iteration of this blog for 15 years.  Have explicitly defined that design.  Expectations born of a life’s experience in our sport.  The drive to keep my values and principles, defining my work and final coda.  My Life.  My Passion.  My Vision.

 

 

DEAR SWEET LINDA

Happy  Birthday!  Brand new age group today!  Leaving those youngsters in the 50-54 to battle amongst themselves.  Some serious age grading coming up.  I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have you.

I put out the call to our USATF Nebraska Association clubs to gather in Chicago on March 24.  The Shamrock Shuffle  8K!  The Big Time.  Real Racing.  Fair Playing Field.  Everyone Welcome, Bar None.  No Politics.  No Agenda.  No  axe to grind.  No personalities.  No blogs.  No power trips.  Just Racing.  The best of the best no matter the kit.  All afforded the same opportunity to race.    Shamrock,  you run your game like I run mine, like it should be.

Checking our 2018 Nebraska Association USATF Memberships.    Team Nebraska has just 7 men with 2018 memberships, just enough to field a full team.  LRC Racing has only 4 male 2018 USATF members.   Not enough to field a team but still a couple of weeks until the race.  Hope to see our clubs get their memberships together and teams entered!  USATF, different from Road Runners Club of America.

I’m damned proud of David Adams , 2nd overall in 23:21.  2012, the last year of a unified effort in Nebraska, standing out more and more as time goes by.  A time, a standard, that should be a beacon of excellence, what once was, what can be once more.

Grant Wintheiser finished 4th (23:55) in 2016.  I haven’t changed my expectations for our sport.  Nationally, regionally, or locally.

 

SO LONG DR. DAVE

We recently lost one of  the most respected members of our global running community.   I first met Dr. David Martin in Kansas City, 2002.  An exercise physiologist, he was by then one of the most influential people in our sport in the entire world.  Recognized internationally as perhaps the best scientific running mind of our time.

Dr. Dave annually attended our Women’s Long Distance Running executive committee meetings.  I enjoyed twelve years of his bringing meticulous notes on the preparation of our USA Olympic Marathon teams.  The science behind the efforts.  Seeming minutia adding up to a grand design.  Dr. Dave would spend months leading into an Olympic marathon studying the locale with methodical certainty.  Collecting historical data and taking measurements on ambient air temperature, actual road temperature, wind speed, course design, humidity, hydration requirements- frequency and exact replacement composition.  No detail left unturned.

Dr. Dave established the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance (LEAP) at Georgia State University in 1970, serving our top USA athletes for forty years.  A much published author, his 1980 work,  ‘The Avon Report on the Status of Women’s Distance Running’, led to the inclusion of  the women’s marathon in the 1983 World Championships and Olympic debut in LA in 1984.

A Giant of our sport.  IAAF President Sebastian Coe quipping “David was one of the cleverest people that it was my great fortune to have met in my life.”

It was a privilege to know and work with you Dr. Dave.  Thank you for a life’s contributions to our sport.

Famed Finnish runner Lasse Viren (L), chats up Dr. Dave in 1978.
photo credit Peter John L. Thompson

POTTY MOUTH

As the days gradually lengthen our sights turn to Spring’s roads and trails.  Budding trees beckoning us come run,  singing birds encouraging our efforts.

One of the most popular events every March is the Leprechaun Chase, it is this Sunday.   I ran it only once, as a fundraiser for a kids fit program.  A nickel for every female I passed.  Have Fun!

The Blarney Stone 5K, Omaha’s long running celebration of shamrocks and suds.

The Early Bird 10 Mile.  Pink Gorilla moving their efforts into the Omaha scene and we’ll be better off for it.  The bulk of that event will be held at my old dojo.   Something I always wanted but could only dream of now a reality thanks to the work of the Maestro (Ben Cohoon).   One caveat based on my 25,000 miles around Lake Zorinsky, refreeze can be a bear.

I knew something was up, none of  my business I’m sure but still intrigued.  When I first heard  Early Bird was scheduled for March 31st I knew it was the portent of demise for State Farm 10 Mile.  Sure enough, the venerable race will be held for the last time just a week after Early Bird.  Good timing.

Alex Lamme St. Patrick’s Day Dash 5K and 1 Mile in Fremont on 3/17.

I’ve always maintained that I’m only successful with my efforts and advocacies and programs when I am shaking a hand and wishing well.  And it is with those words in mind that I wish Jay Willis Welp all the very best!  Jay is moving to Iowa City, getting married, and changing his kit to Iowa RunAblaze.  He will make his debut at this year’s Shamrock Shuffle.

OK, RunAblaze and the Kansas City Smoke, without question the standards of the Midwest.  Lincoln Running Co. Racing the best of Nebraska, with the promise of potential to reach those upper echelons.

Toilets.  Sinks.  Tub. Showers.  Drains.  Faucets.  Tile.  Backsplash.  Countertops.  Lighting.  Floors.  Completely remodeling our two bathrooms.   Progress at the Bar None.