Chef Steven let me make the roux for the gumbo on Friday.  It took well over an hour of constant whisking the cast iron dutch oven with 3.5 lbs of butter and 5 lbs of flour.  Slowly bubbling, starting out whitish, developing into a nice caramel brown, and finally ending up similar to a 60% cacao dark chocolate color.  That really was the glue that held the dish together, instilled the character, satisfied the palate.

A patient approach to training and racing also yields tasty dividends.  In training it is keeping the big picture at the fore.  Realizing that part of any sound training program is to have long term and mid term, as well as short term goals.  Everyone encounters a day, or days, or weeks (drats!) where injury or aches keep us out of our game.  I noticed my training partner completely out of form beginning today’s run.  Was told not to worry, “It’ll warm up”, “Once I get going fast I hardly even notice it”, and “It hurt some during yesterday’s race.”  Another benefit of having a coach, I declined all laments and insisted she return home to the ice pack.  And 2 days minimum off, No Running!

No @#$%!  I’m keeping a tally, I’ve only used profane language twice since Market to Market.  Those that know me are amazed.  I’ve set up a kitty and am donating a dollar for every time I slip.  I’ll donate it to our Children’s Running Program at the end of the year, I hope it stays at $2.00.  On a serious note, it has helped me compose my thoughts before speaking and that is a good thing.  Thanks David & Matt & Josh for the inspiration.

Some Swamp Stomp stuff:  The people that came out loved the event and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  110 finishers, another 18 or so in the Little Gator Gallops, a bunch of family and friends, a nice intimate group that enjoyed one of the nicest mornings of the year.  Thanks to everyone for coming out and to our sponsors: Timeless Aesthetics, FrontRunIt, and Sunrize Donuts.  And to Chef Steven, The Prairie Gators, Tom Whitaker and the Omaha Run Club, and all of our volunteers.  Especially Jody Green.  Mama Jode has taken our road race management to a new level and it showed Saturday.  We’re getting ready to do it again this Saturday out at Vala’s, we’re looking at nearly triple the number of participants, that’s a lot of smiles.

Peter vd Westhuizen was the overall winner in 24:47.  Course measured out to 4.72 miles, you do the math and be amazed.  Certainly an all time best pace for that venue.  Notice his heel kick.

Everyone that came out had a great time on a perfect morning for a fun run through the woods.

There was some mad racing going on too!  Matt Schneider (L) was testing out his foot and Cory Logsdon was showing little sympathy.  It made for an exciting last 200 meters between the two.

Brian Wandzilak showing good form over the log.  He’s very strong on downhills and used that speed for a 6th place finish in 27:19.

The Little Gator Gallop off and running!  Giddyup Little Gators!

Z Money Megan Zavorka was flying and so was her ponytail.  She ran away with the Women’s title in 29:36, good for 11th overall in a strong field.

Age group award winners donned these festive Jester’s Caps for their prize.

A two thumbs up morning all the way around.