One month into 2018, here is the pulse of our USATF Nebraska Association LDR program.
Two registered active LDR Clubs, LRC Racing and Run Guru Elite, Inc. Another 9 registered clubs serving youth, throws, and admins. Twenty four clubs not yet renewed from last year, I expect most will.
Team Nebraska leads with 10 registered athletes. Club 402 with 8. Run Guru Elite, Inc. with 7. LRC Racing with 5. Its early and hope to get many more signed up in time for the Association 5K Road Championships. Our Championships program beyond February 10th still a work in progress. The LDR Program now entering its 16th year. Always here to serve.
There hasn’t been a dull moment in the last 16 years. Constantly changing cast of characters, smorgasbord of successes, subterfuge, peaks and valleys. Always with an eye on the future, always hopeful that Nebraska will produce a National Champion. Founder’s vision, harder than steel.
We’re largely sequestered out here at the Bar None. A trip to town for staples (flour, dairy, liquor) every other week. No inclination towards the social high life. Menard’s or Tractor Supply or Baumgarts Farm Store as necessary.
We do like our company though. A relatively steady stream of visitors gathering eggs or honey or dried goods or advice. Bar None General Store. Cock of the Walk Ashram & High Level Training Center.
As always, everyone welcome. Except one. The one with the high fever and cough and runny nose and body aches. H3N2 flu virus, no need to come knocking.
Hey Fellas! The Valentine’s Day 5K is mirroring last year’s registrations. 65 pre registered, 45 women and 20 men. The race also serves as our USATF Nebraska Association Road 5K Championships. https://www.active.com/waterloo-ne/running/distance-running-races/two-rivers-valentine-s-day-5k-2018?int=
The USA 100 Mile Trail Championships are this weekend in Huntsville, TX. Nebraska has had a good showing in previous years.
And at the top of the competitive ladder is the USA Cross Country National Championships in Tallahassee.
USATF, everyone welcome, Bar None.
I’d heard the rumors going into last December’s USATF annual meeting . We had given deep consideration and finally our blessing. The program that launched my USATF administrative career was officially retired. The Association Athlete Development Program (1995-2017) served American athletes for over 20 years. Opportunities for top local and regional athletes to measure against the best. My privilege (1996-2002) and Linda’s (2002-2017) to work with hundreds of up and coming athletes from all over the United States.
When I took over the program in 1996 it consisted of hand writing letters to the state USATF Association LDR Chairs. Soliciting top performing athletes from their Association road championships. Explaining the benefits of the program, including the elite level experience for those selected. Dozens more during my first 10 years here. Before Instagram and snapchat and facebook, the infancy of email. Bulky printers and fax machines necessary for basic communication. Hand address the envelopes, get them in the mail, follow up with a phone call.
The Freihofer’s Run For Women 5K would have up to 100 young ladies representing the entire U.S. The program grew to include all 11 of our National Champs Road Races. Became the entry point into our championships program for post collegiate talent across the country.
I’m pretty easy to find here at our 1998 USA Women’s 5K National Championships. Each association was allowed to select two athletes for funding to Albany. Mary Amen and Nancy Stanley of Nebraska in the picture above. After two decades this program, so close to my and Linda’s hearts, has had its final run. Bye bye baby!
USATF publishes a quarterly for everyone on their coaches registry. Its called “Track Coach”. The Editor is Russ Ebbets, an old buddy since my time in Albany, NY with the Freihofer’s Run For Women 5K. Russ has even been to Omaha to speak, no higher authority in his multiple fields of chiropractic, physical therapy, and non traditional, comprehensive treatment modalities.
This month’s edition (#222) features two well researched, scientific articles, seemingly dichotomous but spot on. “Do Distance Runners Really Need To Strength Train?” “Strength Training For Increased Speed.” To illustrate this isn’t Runner’s World, other articles include “Plausible Ergogenic Effects of Vitamin D On Athletic Performance and Recovery”, “Fascia As A Sensory Organ”, and “From Start To Finish, The Women’s 100M Hurdles.”
Dr. Jason Karp asserts a simple truth in his research for International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. The condensed version of strength training for distance runners is simple. It is beneficial for those just beginning a running career. Or, “Since Strength training can’t improve aerobic ability, it can’t directly make someone a better distance runner. The most direct way to become a better runner is to run.”
In “Strength Training For Increased Speed” Liam Coultman discusses Maximum Strength and Explosive Strength and back squats, front squats, deadlifts, power clean, snatch, squat jump and standing long jump. All excellent work for sprinters and jumpers and those seeking to cultivate every possible fast twitch muscle.
My personal training philosophy meets in the middle. At the center of my stride. Strongest at the hinge of my Giddyup!
Spent half a day shoveling yesterday. The monster snow blower antsy and confounded by its solitude. The dichotomy of work. The more you can do the more you want to do. Paths to the barn, front gate, mailbox, garage, studio, parking and front porch. Then on to check the elderly neighbors, at 60 I’m a relative pup out here.
My days of sitting in front of the wood burning stove are dwindling fast. The chickadees have returned and are filling the lengthening days gathering and stuffing and binding. The front porch busy with promise. No more clear sign that Spring indeed is just around the corner.
You learn to pay attention when life slows down. Pick up on nuances provided by The Good Mother. How quickly the sun crests the horizon. Shade line receding, bed by bed waking to a sunny turn. The moon and the stars at night. The juvenile squirrels dancing overhead and fat Peter rabbits tramping about. Things are starting to move. Setting things in motion all around. Time to get busy with it.
This past winter’s reading list:
“Killers of the Flower Moon”, The Osage Murders and Birth of the FBI, David Grann
“Run Strong Stay Hungry”. Jonathan Beverly. Inspiring stories by some of my heroes
“Running For My Life”, Lopez Lomong. Incredible story of survival and the human spirit en route to Olympic 1500 Meters.
“Love & Terror On The Howling Plains Of Nowhere”, Poe Ballantine, *Based on the true story of a murdered math professor at Chadron State College. I give this book my highest rating*
I’m amped about Running and Racing in 2018. This past weekend’s Full Wolf Moon kicked off proper for local and regional competitions. New introductions, sunny side up. Sixty runners touring the completely closed road course. Clean as a whistle, not a single car or curb or sidewalk or turns to break your concentration or stride. Nothing but wide open racing. This is my standard in Road Racing. I’m hoping it will become yours too. #FiveLakesMarathon
What are the advantages of Running and Racing on such a course? The opportunity to run to your potential. To get an honest assessment of your current fitness. To engage in friendly competition, pulling you to meaningful performances that you can be proud of. #FiveLakesMarathon
This is USATF. This is how our Nebraska Association Road Races need be conducted. This is the protocol and management style recognized across the United States. Benefitting every participant regardless of place of finish. We are spreading that message, still. The smiling faces and glowing reviews indicating words and deeds well received. #FiveLakesMarathon
USATF Certified and Sanctioned is important to Elizabeth Starbuck. And 17:54 matters to our LDR Program. Her 2018 debut is the fastest Road 5K by a Nebraska female since LRC Racing’s Hayley Sutter ran 17:45 in 2015. Fast and temporary bar, Elizabeth is just getting started. This is a part, and personal favorite part, of USATF!
Elizabeth battling Zack Jones (2nd o/a, 17:51) of Club 402 down the final stretch.
I’m always the biggest fan for those willing to toe the start line, no matter where you finish. Hear Me Roar! #FiveLakesMarathon
Linda and I are lucky. We love what we do. Our first race of the year is tomorrow morning. And on Sunday I’ll be starting seeds. Spring crops, onions and leeks and greens and sundry root vegetables.
We spread our message of fitness like we spread our produce about the acreage. With gusto. With belief in the good that results.
Putting in the good work early so we can share our passions with you. So rewarding, especially at this time in our lives. Knowing what we want to do and aspiring to be our very best.
Sixty of you pre-registered for tomorrow and all more than welcome to show up at 8:30 to sign up. The weather in our favor, good clean living my story and sticking to it.
Sowing the seeds of love.
The weather is smiling upon this weekend’s Full Wolf Moon 5K. You deserve a break from this harsh winter weather and the timing is perfect. New Year’s Resolution? Here you go. First timers? OK! Walkers, you too! Racers? Flat, fast, USATF Certified and Sanctioned.
What does all this mean for the running community? Let me break it down. Linda and I have been putting races on in the Omaha Metro for 15 years. Our mom & pop efforts are pretty low key, we do it for the love of the sport. No mega marketing, no paid facebook advertisements. We rely primarily on word of mouth, an ad in the Douglas County Post Gazette, listing on the free local calendars. That is one way we can offer you a great product for $20.
Official times, hot chocolate, home baked goodies, door prizes, hand crafted participation awards. All on top of perhaps the most beautiful closed road course in Douglas County. State of the art restrooms every mile. We will also have Dordio Photo out to capture your achievements, those included with your entry fee.
We keep to our principles that you can combine all aspects of the fitness community. Running and Walking and Racing need not be mutually exclusive. What other sport offers you the opportunity to participate with the very best? No way you can share the links with Tiger Woods, can’t hop on the Indianapolis Speedway, no pitch and catch with the Kansas City Royals But you can jump in one of our races with some speedsters. They will be cheering you while inspiring and motivating you. Hey, they put their britches the same as me and you. They started out just like us, putting one foot in front of the other, brother. We all have our own relative excellence and we invite you to come out and find yours!
Race day registration and packet pick up opens at 8:30 at the Two Rivers Park office. Race day entries remain $20. And you’ll be included in the official results. They and link to photos will be posted here by Saturday afternoon.
My excitement is palatable. Four cities have submitted bids to host our USA Olympic Trials Marathon. Atlanta, Austin, Chattanooga, and Orlando. The process remains open until March 19th. Four cities with vision and leadership. Houston and Los Angeles, our two most recent hosts are not bidding (and Boston before that and St. Louis before that….).
Why does this instill a sense of giddiness in your scribe? Because the Olympic Trials Marathon are the pinnacle of our sport domestically. Both for the athlete and the host city. Race Directors and city officials and administrators and sponsors all coming together to support American Athletes.
What better test of excellence? If you qualify with either the “A” or “B” standard you are in. The best get to race, period. USATF alive and well on a national scale.
Here is what primarily informs my opinions regarding marathons: In 2004 I sat with Dave McGillivray, on loan from the Boston Marathon, creating and detailing the conduct of our Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis. Learning from the master.
I was part of the 2008 Olympic Trials site selection committee. Twin Cities, Akron, Ohio, New York, and Boston Marathons. Visited each and listened to their best pitch. Ultimately landing in Boston where it belonged. And again spent many hours with Dave and his team to ensure the very best for our athletes.
When you hear or read my critiques on marathoning, they have basis. What I expected from every city then I expect from every city now. What I insisted on for our very best athletes, I insist the same for you. The list isn’t long. And should be filled by event directors and cities and sponsors and administrators.