Monthly Archives: May 2019

COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Linda and I were headed to a graduation party yesterday, I posed the following:

“If you could at this point,  give advice to your high school self, what would you say?”

Easy to ask, harder to answer.  Based on my own experiences here is some sage counsel to Will, Class of ’75.

  1. Be nice.  Treat everyone with kindness.  I know people that live this way and they seem to be the happiest.
  2. Be respectful.  Everyone deserves their due, opinions aside, dovetails with number one.
  3. Patience is a Virtue.
  4. Find your passion and life will be wonderful.
  5. Redefine your sense of moderation.  A recalibration of over indulgent lifestyle from 1975-1983.
  6. Know when to walk away.
  7. Know when to Run.
  8. Cherish every day.
  9. Find Humility.  A daily pursuit.
  10. Be Thankful.  For what you have.

 

 

L-O-L-A LOLA

“Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walks like a woman and talks like a man
Oh my Lola”

The Nebraska State Track & Field Championships are not awash in gender identity issues.  Tick, tock, do.

“I’m not the world’s most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight she almost broke my spine
Oh my Lola”

We are a little insulated here in the Good Life, takes things a while  to move center from the coasts.  If you pay any attention at all to our sport, most especially the high school and collegiate level, you know that gender identity  is taking center stage in state meets and college rankings.

What say you?

PILLOW TALK

Runners and dreamers we’re one and the same.  I’ve got all my bases covered now that my quilt is finished, -Nov. 7, 2018 I’m In Stitches

Big Tips to neighbor Becky, seamstress extraordinaire.  Thirty five squares part history book, part heirloom, all treasure.

You can see here about half of the huge piece.  My marathons, clubs, races, travels, memories all captured.  The single non running square is just to the right of the 1983 Illinois Track Club Freedom Marathon- the Chicago Fire football logo from the 1970s, like most of these, never worn.  It earned a place due to a fond association with my dear departed, talked like a sailor, smoked like a stack, drank like  a fish, mom.

My debut 3:11:11 now a stitch in time.

Some are races I’ve put on like the Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Trail of Terrors and the Ivan Marsh designed 2011 Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run, and Henry Rono’s signature from the Omaha Mile.  I ran occasionally for the Terlingua Track Club out of Houston while living on the Gulf Coast.  The 1988 Galveston  Marathon Relay recalling old mates and good times.  Maine Running Camp where I met Andy Palmer and John L. Parker Jr.

This treasured t-shirt ended up incorporated into a throw pillow for the quilt.  One of a kind, just like Pre.

 

New Haven 20K always our National Champs, t-shirt artwork by Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau.  Team Nebraska its chapter along with sponsor Lincoln Marathon.  Houston Tenneco, the Swamp Stomp.  The first running club I founded, Gulf Coast Wind Breakers, 1983, in response to what I thought inadequate athlete advocacy by the Bay Area Runing Club (BARC), imagine that.

1986 Galveston Marathon (2nd Overall) and 1987 Lamar University Intramural Cross Country Champ (and record holder).

Grateful for a career that has  spanned almost 4 decades now.  Taking the USA World Championships Half Marathon team to Rio one of  the highlights.

The Brazosport Road Runners Association were my 2nd club, circa 1992-2001.   Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. the current effort.  Thirty six years of club management experience.

 

 

 

 

 

HELL GETTING OLD

I’ve become a cliché.  Old folks sitting around the table discussing various aches and pains, some new, others companions for years.

It started with me nearly 20 years ago when showing my daughter Katie the proper way to toss the discus.  A single afternoon of instruction had me right stove for the next week.  It needn’t be as exotic as a weight implement to start a discussion.  Sometimes you just wake up and are sore somewhere.

I strained a rhomboid throwing a 100′ roll of 4″ drain pipe up into the barn loft.  Nearly 10 days ago, I’ve hardly slept a wink, wrenched locomotion more akin to a zombie’s gait.  Linda saw a grown man cry.  Getting better every day.

You readers of a certain vintage are in the same pain parade, the way of the world after all.  And just as certain as its hell getting old is the fact that its all worth it to wake up another day.   Another shot at lacing them up and going for a run.  To pursue that moment when you feel free and flying and young again.

FARM REPORT FRIDAY

I was reminded last night that there are some truly crazy if harmless people in the world, or across the table at Buck’s Bar  & Grill.  What’s this got to do with the Bar None?  A Pearl, pretty as you please, dropped out of a 45 minute stream of consciousness rant.  “We live out here because we love it.”

That’s the report from our little slice.  Now that all, save a few swollen ditches, the waters have receded everyone is taking stock.  What did we learn?  A lot, most I’d say, of the Twin Rivers homeowners have been here 25+ years, many a lot longer than that.  It was us newbies that were hit hardest by the flooding.  Neophytes to the Real Platte and Real Elkhorn, not the tame version we’d lived with for the last 6 years.  The oldsters making it through another event in their long tenure.  We’re much better prepared for the next biblical occurrence.

Going to be an interesting year.  We’ve put the entirety of our 16,000 square feet into a summer cover crops.  Pasture mix in the bulk, some finer stuff in the raised beds.  Our land will sit idle this year, the best recovery for it and maybe us.  Melancholy because I look forward to some of my favorite plants, nurturing to maturity, the Good Mother’s Bounty.  We’ve raised 90% of our own food the last few years, that is what we’ll miss the most in 2019.   Starting what we can above ground but now more Customers than Vendors.

Congratulations to our nephew Noah Ollerich Kunasek!  He qualified for state in the long jump at yesterday’s Class B districts.  The Flying Bohunk is a 3 time state qualifier, long jump and 100 meters, huge natural talent.  5’7″ and 145 pounds, can do  a standing back flip and dead lift over 400 pounds.  After graduating in a couple weeks he’ll be heading to Midlands to play football and run track.

Fast and sharp dressed!

TIMES OF YOUR LIFE

Just a little over 6 months until I’m eligible for social security.  Meaning I’ve lived approximately 60% of my life.   I can’t imagine being happier than I am with my dear sweet Linda, Jedediah and Desi, Natalie and King.

Enjoying the point in life where I can focus on what I really want to do with my time.

Look, Running and Racing are what I know best.  Nothing in life has raised me up like our sport.  Allowed me to travel the world, touch thousands of lives.

I’m going to continue to give back to our sport.  The best way I can do that is to take advantage of the natural topography between the Platte and Elkhorn.  Offering all runners the  opportunity to Run To Their Potential.  Pancake flat and Lightning fast describes our Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series.  September’s Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon currently the flattest, fastest in the state.  Valley 7 Lakes designed as the flattest, IAAF record eligible, closed road marathon in the entire world.  All these races built for speed, regardless of ability.

This is what I choose to do with my time then.  Offer you the Times Of Your Life.

 

 

YOUR BETTER HALF

We had some good Midwest representation at last weekend’s USA Half Marathon National Championships.  The Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  No athletes from Nebraska.   Iowa’s favorite son Brogan Austin took another step towards national class finishing 4th overall in a nice 1:03:39.  Leonard Korir (1:01:53), Stanley Kebenei (1:01:57) and Andrew Colley (ZAP Fitness, 1:03:11) took the podium spots.  The Kansas City Smoke was well represented with James Wilson (8th, 1:04:38) and Nate Guthals (28th, 1:08:02) lining up with the big boys.  Stephanie Bruce (1:10:44) led the top 4 women under 1:12:00.

You want to be a big leaguer you’ve got to go to the show, run with the big dogs.  Next up is my favorite of all USA National Championships, this weekend’s 25K in Grand Rapids, MI.  Best Elite Athlete Coordinator (Greg Meyer), best host hotel (Amway Grand Plaza), best course, and for me personally best distance.

At this weekend’s NJCAA Region XI Championships Iowa Central Community College athlete Kassim Kibet won the 3000 meter steeplechase (9:20.93), the 5000 (15:28.35), and 10,000 (32:02.92).   I’ve got strong opinions about laying the riding crop on that hard.  Points at the expense of the athlete’s long term development doesn’t set well with me.

15.5 miles, right at the top of my competitive sweet spot!

 

 

 

LINCOLN RECAP

It was the Perfect Morning.  Yesterday’s Lincoln Marathon by the numbers:  967 finishers in the full (average time 4:16:42).  Down 25% from 5 years ago.  The half featured 6393 finishers (average time 2:22:25).

We can define the “modern era” of Lincoln towards efforts maximizing participation.  The race cap has grown and grown now up to 13,000 runners.   With a 2019 total of 7360.  The 967 marathon finishers this year the lowest number since the 905 finishers in 2005.  The 6393 half finishers the lowest total since expansion began, 6116 in 2010.

Further: Average times for full marathon finishers in 2003 (4:09:25), 2004 (4:04:24), 2005 (4:04:35), and 2006 (4:06:31).  For the Half 2003, (2:10:32), 2004 (2:07:53), 2005 (2:08:01), and 2006 (2:08:03).  Average times for the full marathon in 2017 (4:24:38), 2018 (4:23:44), and 2019 (4:16:42).  And for the Half 2017 (2:24:14), 2018 (2:25:17), and 2019 (2:22:25).

The annual bus from Coon Rapids, MN packed with C level Kenyan fellas took home the majority of the morning’s top finishers cash in both races.   Peter Falcon was the top Nebraskan in the half, 6th in 1:09:29.   Nolan Border 7th in 1:09:44, two Nebraskans to break 1:10:00.  Mary Noel (2nd overall) ran 1:19:19, the only Nebraska female sub 1:20.

In the full, no Nebraska men sub 2:30, Cory Logsdon running 2:32:52 for Good Life bragging rights.  The women’s race driving home the old adage, “The Race Begins at 20.”  Hayley Sutter had significant leads throughout most the race until the wall jumped up at 20.  Eventual winner Misiker Demissie (2:50:14, Ethiopian born, got U.S. citizenship last October) and 2nd place finisher Nebraska’s own Kaci Lickteig (2:50:38) both closed the final 10K in 40:00.   Sutter struggled the last 6.2 miles (48:00) coming home third 2:56:05.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HEAT IS ON

The new furnace was installed yesterday, 6 weeks after the flood, the last major appliance finally in.  We’ve had the wood burning stove fired up since November 1st, heating the Bar None the old fashioned way for just over 6 months.  Pioneer spirit, be careful what you wish for.

Furnace, A/C, hot water heater, water softener, well pressure tank, sump pump, electric panel, washer and dryer all replaced.  Still deciding on replacing the refrigerator and deep freeze.  I can’t thank enough those of you that donated to our go fund me page.  It has helped us more than you can know.

We haven’t thrown in the garden towel.  I buy materials to make our own potting soil; peat moss, coir, perlite, phosphate, lime, azomite, bloodmeal, worm castings, compost.   Made four batches yesterday, enough to fill 20 large pots.  A new approach with the same strict sense of  completely chemical free.  My best varieties of tomatoes and peppers, we’re selling pots if you are interested.  Amish Paste and Lungos, my two favorite canning/sauce tomatoes, Orange Woodles, Black Carbons, and Pink Berkeley Tye Dyes bringing color to the basket.  Jalapenos, Sugar Rush Peach, Escamillos, California Wonder Bells, peppers for all occasions.

Think I’ll warm up my coffee and turn the thermostat up to 67!

 

 

 

MATTER OF SECONDS

Sunday morning into early that afternoon, and then like a ton of bricks on Monday.  That was the impact personally from running a marathon.  Training cycles somewhere between fair and great, good enough to chase a personal  best every single effort, a couple age graded.  Legs all done in, hobbling through days.

The Clock.  It is the most honest person you know.  And cruelest.  A tick here, a tock there.  If you are a Real Marathoner you are digging what I’m laying down.  Do you believe that every marathon should be run as if it is your last?  Do you race your marathons?  Do you embrace the idea that your marathon personal best defines you as a runner?  Do you care if no one else gets it?

So get some like you’ve never gotten it before.  Get out there and earn your mark.  Post up a personal best that will be your badge forever more.  It all comes down to a matter of seconds.

Today’s Big Tip of  the Sombrero goes to Jennifer Lee Wilson.  Her pursuit of a sub 5 achieved at this past weekend’s  Run For The Lakes Marathon.  Her previous pr was 5:03, consistency and determination knocked off 23 minutes to a nice 4:40.  Darn proud of you Jen!