On Friday I covered the first and second degrees of Real Racing.  Course Certification and Self Reliance.  Knowing the exact distance and having the confidence in your own training (regardless of paradigm).  In most parts of the country Course Certification is not an issue and we are catching up here in Nebraska.  Self Reliance is more difficult to come by, gained only by consistently cultivating volition and effort.  Important to note that Self Reliance deals primarily with training discipline.

The Third Degree of Real is the hardest of all to possess.  Or the easiest.  Depends totally on the individual.  The Mind is the Athlete then completes the troika of Real Racing.  For historical reference, AndyPalmer (2:16 marathoner, Phd. Sports Pshychology) espoused this mantra, I adopted it after his untimely passing now a decade ago.

That has been my call  to Team Nebraska and to the running community in general.

Being a stark realist I began cataloging runners by how the words were received:  Mentally Strong or Mentally Weak.  It was as plain as the nose on my face and didn’t win me any popularity contests.

Mentally Strong = Honesty, Courage, Determination.  Accepting your result with the knowledge that you have given your Absolute Best.  Concerned only with the victory of self mastery existing between the gun and tape.

Mentally Weak = Fearful, Doubtful, Alibi at the ready.  Afraid to Race.  Having a bag full of tired excuses to explain away a less than desirable performance.  Blaming someone else being the worst infraction.

I’ve seen both sides.  And my position will always be:  NO!  We’re NOT All Winners!  I don’t measure or count pure talent in this equation.  I’ve seen the first across the line turn out to be the mentally weakest in the field, and that has been one of my biggest disappointments.  It matters not where you finish in the results, you are only a winner when you can take the heat of competition, both from without and within.

We had a great turnout of mates on Saturday.  Twenty three of us gathered for some monster hills south and west of Gretna, thanks to Kelly Crawford for hosting.

The most talented runners in Nebraska gathered in Gretna last weekend to get our group training on.  Rasmussen, Thor, Pohren, Stack, Logsdon, Bohlken, Mollak, Clouston, Cerda, Thomas X 2, Como, Shultz, Shaw, Schneider, Cassar, Higgins, Shain and Barb and Bill and Linda and Will and Kelly, whew!  The Mind is the Athlete!

Online registration for the 8th annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K & 4 Mile Trail Runs is up and running at

Be sure and check  I’ve got some words up without window dressing.