Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/31 10:00:20 (139 reads)

Running Needs Another Steve Prefontaine

50 (Mostly Dumb) Ways To Be Happy

Three Simple Ways to Get Better at Getting Better

Haruki Murakami: The Running Novelist. He's terrific. Always mentioned as the next Nobel Prize winner. Consider: Kafka on the Shore, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, A Wild Sheep Chase, and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. ...I mean, after you've read Craig Leener's This Was Never About Basketball

Remember, mom said Play Outside.

Don't blame some Oregon forest folk for the state of U.S. track & field.

Boris Berian workout photo from May 22, 2017. I don't think he has raced since Rio (eighth in the final). Why not? I'm a fan.


Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/30 10:43:51 (56 reads)

Why Men Run Faster Than Women ...OK, got that, but what about the Little Man Syndrome?

Running on the treadmill is easier than outside.

Some Supplement Stats

16-year-old from Norway has become the youngest athlete to run the mile in less than four minutes. Three brothers go sub four on the same day.

More amazing. Celliphine Chespol, 18, stops dead in the steeple pool to adjust shoe, but still soundly beats WR holder Ruth Chebet.

the morning shakeout.

Wait a sec. They did 10 x 400 meters at a moderate effort, with one hard set of stairs between each lap, in a total of about 34 minutes?

WSJ: Save Yourself From Tedious Small Talk

Latest Research on Running Form

Nike’s Swoosh made one of its early appearances in Tacoma. And it went the wrong way. ...In laws live in Tacoma. We know it well.



Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/28 4:58:25 (91 reads)

Craig Leener is the former Signal sports reporter who chronicled the resurgence of Santa Clarita distance excellence, mostly in the 2-aught years. Though not a runner, we got him interested in The Beast, and he became a co-founder and director of the Annual Beast Run for Charity. Just as important, he put “the arm” on his baby (and prosperous) brother, Doug, who for years donated the race T-shirts. With other generous souls, we contributed every cent we collected to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, about $15,000 in cash over the five years of our involvement. A delight and prince of a fellow, Craig is now a novelist and has just released his debut Young Adult tale of redemption, “This Was Never About Basketball,” available on Amazon, here. The book is outstanding, a compelling read touching on timeless themes and values. Purportedly intended for young readers who are 12 to 20 years old, we strongly recommend the book for you and all the rest on this planet.

1. We know all about your talents with non-fiction, but how/why did this novel come about?

I think all writers feel that they have a book in them. I decided to finally make good on the threat. Basketball is my first love, so I knew the sport could drive the story. I wanted to use basketball as the vehicle to impart a lifetime of lessons learned to young readers who are about to start making potentially life-altering decisions.

2. Do you have any special insights you wanted to convey?

This is going to sound a little weird. I received the ethereal gift of my story concept while attending a memorial service for the mother of a close friend at the chapel of ease within the walls of Mission San Fernando Rey de España. At the time, I was struggling to come up with the book’s hook, and so I asked for help in the form of a silent request. A few seconds later, I heard a voice in my head say five words to me: “They’re taking the game away.” In that moment, I had my story, and I’ve never questioned where it came from.

3. Writing a novel is damn hard work, and 10-100 times harder than that to do one that’s readable. Comment?

Well, it was both the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It took me seven months to complete the first draft. At the end of every writing session, my wife, Andrea, would sit down with me and read the day’s work out loud. If she laughed or cried — sometimes at the same time — I knew I was on the right track.

4. What about those times when the dreaded writer’s block set it?

I’m fortunate enough to have a half-court basketball setup in the backyard, complete with an NBA-sized backboard. Whenever I hit the wall with my story, I would go outside and shoot free throws, lots of them, until things came into sharper focus. Part of that process involved keeping track of how often the ball went through the hole. By my count, I was shooting free throws at an 87-percent clip by the time I put a period on the final chapter. Since I shot in solitude, my high percentage is completely unverified.

5. The book deals with the possible demise of basketball (a sport you dearly love) and other earthly constructs that seem to be going astray. True?

All true. My protagonist Ezekiel “Zeke” Archer is on the fast track, with a full-ride scholarship to a Midwestern basketball powerhouse in his back pocket by the time he guides his team into the city finals. But Zeke’s bad decision and subsequent act of violence in that title game cause him to lose everything. At the risk to revealing too much of the plot, I can tell you that the otherworldly entity responsible for bringing basketball to Earth more than a century ago decides to take the game away for good because of Zeke’s actions.

6. Any book-related personal appearances on the calendar?

Any events will always be on my website at www.thiswasneveraboutbasketball.com. For now, though, there’s just one. I’ll be signing books on Tuesday, June 6 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the North Valley Family YMCA at 11336 Corbin Avenue in Northridge. You should hop a flight from Eugene and stop by, amigo.

7. Is another novel already in the planning stages?

Yes, bits and pieces of ideas for my sophomore effort have already started to fall from the sky, but the current focus is on getting TWNAB off the ground.

8. If you were a billionaire and could give 2 or 3 books to every graduating high school senior, what would they be?

Good question. I’d start with Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must. It’s a wonderful book that encourages you to honor the voice inside that says, “You have something special to give,” whether you’re just starting out or completely starting over. (I read it before embarking on my own book.) After that, I’d follow it up with The Associated Press Stylebook, but I’m partial to the tools of journalism.The fact is the book is really an encyclopedia of cool and interesting stuff. Anyone who reads it cover-to-cover will instantly become way smarter than the guy they’re standing next to. That’s a fact.

9. Any advice to your younger self at 20 years?

I would remind the younger me to be an active participant in his life, not a helpless victim. I would also suggest he takes personal responsibility for absolutely everything that happens. Oh, and wear more corduroy.

10. Quotes you live by, or quote often?

Your past is not your potential, and your options in life are as infinite as your ability to think them up.

11. What possible advice would you give to young people who are considering a writing career?

The sure-fire way to become a better writer is to read all the time. I would recommend to young folks that they read a newspaper every day to see how the professionals organize their thoughts and craft words that touch people. Finally, I would suggest that future journalists and novelists consider the axiom that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The translation in this context is pure and simple: You must write to the human heart.


Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/27 7:14:58 (219 reads)

Stunning, thrilling upset by teen over Ruth Jibet at the Pre Classic. ...Complete results

LetsRun Pre recap. ...Don't miss the televised meet today, probably between 1 and 3 PM wherever you are. The Pre is the best track meet in the world.

A Football Coach’s Struggle With C.T.E.and a Guilty Conscience

The Power of the People Around You

NYT: Finding Joy in Running

Google's 3 secrets for perfect conversations

Steve Prefontaine photo montage

Pre Classic results

CIF-SS Masters results. No Foothill runners going to state.

Master's @ NAIA Champs results.

Just in from February, 2008. Bob Dickson: Conquering "The Beast"


Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/26 21:53:25 (70 reads)

2017 Pre Classic Friday Night Preview. We will be there.

13-Year-Old Girl Is Already Beating Elite Runners. ...Do you have a smartphone?
No. It’s my choice, actually. I don’t want to be addicted to something. It takes up your time. It’s just kind of a waste when there’s so much to do.

Brad Stulberg: To Get Better at Managing Your Time, Borrow a Training Strategy from Elite Athletes

20 x 400. ...Our Tuesday coached workout was 20 X 400 on the bark Amazon Trail, 10K pace, 45 second rest interval. ...I bailed at 12 (along with an older guy who attended the same Philadelphia Quaker school. as Mrs. Diary) ...80+ degrees at 6 PM. ...More 400s on the treadmill this morning after 1810 meters/10 minutes on the Concept 2 rower (the warm-up).


Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/25 11:50:52 (66 reads)

Week That Was

Signal reports on Diani Ellis and other COC athletes at state champs. ...If memory serves, COC removed the only steeple pond in SCV about ten years ago.

Ode to Bartolo Colon, Oldest, Stoutest Player in Baseball.

Abandoned. A World Without People

Life Lessons from Joan Benoit Samuelson

A 1-Hour Walk, 3 Times a Week, Has Benefits for Dementia. Figuratively and literally. Better, every day with your sweetheart.

The Colors of Mr. Rodgers

About fitness trackers. We think they're excellent motivators and historians. No BS. Done in the past six days:
95,036 steps. 230 floors (climbed 2300 feet). 48.04 miles.


Posted by donmclean on 2017/5/24 12:39:54 (173 reads)

Olympian uses his time on the streets as a cautionary tale

Master's @ NAIA National Champs preview

How the Pre Classic became the best track meet ever

Scholarships for Sherpas?

The 50K winner wore a skirt and sandals. Her training was herding goats and cattle, walking 10-15K every day.

Watch Mondo Duplantis (U20 world record holder) workout.

Ice yourself to greatness? See here and here. Not Don.

Remembering Mr. Rogers


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