Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Short Summer

I'm going to start this blog off the same as I always do, apologizing for not keeping everyone updated. It has been a crazy June to say the least. From finishing up coaching at EP, to flying to Eugene to recruit new athletes for the fall ITA training group, to hosting/race directing for the Steamboat Classic, to taking a trip to Des Moines for the USA national championships, to spending countless hours making calls and replying to emails concerning the new program, and finally organizing and running a summer training clinic for some of the serious local high school runners twice a week has kept me plenty busy.

As I said in my last post my time as the official head coach at EP is up. I am still acting as a "volunteer" and showing up twice a week to help get Coach Swain acquainted with all the boys and show him how to run the day to day operations. To be honest I really fear that there will be a serious lack of motivation from the majority of this group now that I am not in their face everyday, but we all know that it is not the coaches job to show up at houses and drag kids out of bed. It is to motivate and coach the ones who want to be there. My suggestion to Coach Swain is to be more of a disiplinarian than I was and get rid of the kids I should have 2 years ago. Ill get off my soapbox as there are still a lot of good kids on the team who want to show up everyday and work hard.

Peoria played host to the 37th annual Steamboat Classic on June 19th. My official job title for the event is assistant race director but I wear many hats during the week. Playing host to Steamboat friends, setting up the finish/starting line, media coverage are just a few things that kept me busy. The race turned out to be one of the best weve had in the last few years with Shadrack Kosgei outkicking Peter Kamais to run 17:36 and Edna Kiplagat cracking 20 min for the womens title for the four mile race. I also got a chance to catch up with my old buddy Tom Bedford aka SOD (Son of Dave Bedford) which kept me out late for 5 nights in straight ; )

One of my parting gifts to the Peoria hs running community was putting on an 8 week summer running clinic. There are a lot of talented kids whom ive watched over the past few years that continue to struggle with injuries. Most of these were due to poor form and lack of strength. So I decided to put on a clinic with a good friend of mine, Dr Jay Benningfield, which is aimed at getting kids in the gym for a serious strength program where they learn more about their bodies. We go Monday and Wed mornings from 6-9 incorporating 75 minutes in the gym and then heading out to the soccer field for form drills and barefoot running. After that they are on their own for a run which most do together. I try to stay away that part as not to step on other coaches toes. Here is a link to a really nice article that the local newspaper did on the camp.

It has actually been nice to get back to traveling again. After jetsetting around the world for 8 years I was really tired of it. But since moving back to Peoria I havent left but a few times in the last 3 years. At the beginning of June I headed out to Eugene OR to watch the NCAA Championships and had a lot of good conversations with coaches and athletes selling the program. To be honest I really felt nervous about coaching a group of professionals because I felt that I had fogotten everything I learned over the 8 years I was a pro. On top of that coaching hs runners just broke my confidence down to nothing! But getting out of town and back in the running circle brought everything back in no time. I also traveled over to Des Moines for the USA national meet to do some recruiting as well. Most of my "recruiting" involves me explaining everything we are offering and what my goals for the group and what my training philosophies are. Everything sounds good to people but there is that inevitable question...who else would be coming? I have a couple of commitments so far but am going to wait to make an official announcement next month. I will say that there will be some very talented people making the trek to Hanover NH in September. Im still working hard to get a few more athletes who are waiting to make a decision till they get back from Europe later this month before they make a life altering move.

There it is folks. I will be putting out an announcement about who is officially committed to the new ITA program in the next 4 weeks. I want to wait mainly because I am hoping for a few other maybe's to say yes so I dont have to do multiple updates. As for the next month I am home all day playing nurse for my girlfriend/roommate, Ms. Bekah Aavang, who is 4 weeks non weightbearing from her peri acitabular osteotomy surgery! She is also making the big move with me to Hanover in 6 weeks time so I will be doing all the packing and moving on my own inbetween carrying her from the couch to the bathroom ; ) All the best to everyone. tb

Monday, May 24, 2010

Final Season Coming to an End

Well folks, my chapter as a track and cross country coach at EP is coming to a close. I cannot believe how quickly my time here has passed. When I first came aboard 4 years ago, my only objective was to help get the boys cross country program headed in "A" direction. But in true Tim Broe fashion, I ended up being the head boys cross coach and the assistant track coach for both boys and girls distance. It has definately been a lot more work than I anticipated but it has also been a truly rewarding experience that I will never forget. Seeing kids like Jacob VanGunten break 5 minutes, watching an unlikely group of seniors win a conference 4x800, coaching a freshman Keving Eades to a 15:45 and a state birth are all memories that will stick with me forever. At the end of the day it really had nothing at all to do with getting faster, but rather getting a group of young people off their couches and getting them excited about the sport of running. I think I can safely say Mission Accomplished!

I haven't been on here for a couple of weeks and there is a lot to report. The boys had their conference meet almost two weeks ago and finished up their season Friday night with the state qualifying sectional meet. Although we did not have any big PRs or gold medals, I feel like this group has turned a corner...emotionally speaking. Im not sure if it was the abrupt departure of senior Hugh Gill, the reality that most of them are going to be seniors themselves, or that the reality that I am leaving is finally setting in. There has been a lot of talk about how much people are going to run this summer and I really hope they stick with that plan. A real bonus for me has been that we have found an more than suitable replacement. Will Swain, a former D3 All-American while at North Central College just accepted a physics position as well as the head cross postion earlier last week. That is a big relief to know that everything I have worked so hard to do will not just fall apart when I leave. Will is a heck of a nice guy who is young and passionate about he sport and will be a great fit at EP.

On the flip side the Lady Raiders have had an awsome finish to their season after what I would consider a rocky start. They had some really big performances at their conference and sectional meets over the last three weeks highlighted by Cassie Lohmeier and Emma Preston bringing home state medals! To say that I am going to miss coaching these young ladies would be a major understatement. They have been so enjoyable to work with on a daily basis. No back talk, hard work and a willingness to do whatever is asked of them to get better is what keeps coaches coming back season after season.

So here are my last shout outs as a track and cross coach at EP:

Kevin Eades - Gave everything he had despite knowing he was not at his best and also having what I beleive is a tibial stress fracture to finish 5th at the conference 3200. Not to worry folks, Kevin has a lot more in store for you all ; )

Alec Gonzalez - ran a pr of 4:45 in the 1600 at the sectional meet

Alec Cortes - finally dug deep and ran hard for two full laps to hand off tied with the leaders at the conference meet in a 2:05

Cody Margetis - taking a leadership roll all season with his relay teams and running a huge season best of 53 in the 400

Evan Jenkins - despite a 3rd stress fracture in as many years still showing up everyday to help me in any way he could, swimming at 5 am every morning and biking every afternoon shows the kind of dedication and determination that very few possess

Brant Watson - just wanted to give him another thank you for being such a great leader and roll model for every kid on this team. He also finished up his career running a respectable 11:00

Gage VanOrder - finally decided to run through discomfort in the 800 and run 2:10 at sectionals. He also made a race at the frosh conference meet just getting beat at the line in the 800 as well

Jacob VanGunten - what can I say about this kid that I havent already. He quietly shows up every single day with a positive attitude and does everything I ask him. His willingness to shut his mouth and open his ears along with his drive and ability to dig deep everytime he races will take him a long way in life. Jacob finally got his sub 5 mile finishing 4th at the conference meet in the frosh 1600!

Zach Sells - I think I can finally say that Zach is going to be a runner. He resisted for 9 months, but given that determined look I saw on his face when he almost won the Tim Broe F/S Invite 400 and the smile on his face when I told him he ran 61 in the 400 proves that anybody can do this if they just give a little effort on a consistent basis ; )

Austin McGraugh - This team player is going to be a real leader someday. I have never coach a kid that is so positive and is willing to do anything I ask of him all while he wears that big goofy grin on his face! Unfortunately Austin had a season ending injury a week before conference while high jumping but he has informed me that he intends to run 750 miles this summer!

Cassie Lohmeier - What can I say about this kid...she is one of the special ones. At the conference meet she ran a school record 2:17.56 in the 800 and followed that up with a win in the 1600. At sectinals she comfortably won the 3200 and came back to finish 3rd in the 800. The state meet did not go as well as we would have liked but she ran tough and finally got that medal shes been chasing for the last 4 years finishing 7th in the 3200

Ashley Schmitt - What a little fighter. Watching her teammates run 217 like its nothing only motivates her to work that much harder. She didnt miss one practice since Ive been here and it finally paid off at sectionals when she finished 4th in a 30 sec pr of 11:45, which also qualified her for the state track meet! She got some invaluable experience and ran a respectable 6th place in her heat down at the state meet over the weekend

Emma Preston - All I can say is that Emma is a thoroughbred. When she figures out what she really wants out of all this she is going to be a really dangerous runner. Emma finally ran like she was capable at the sectional meet when she pulled up on the 2 time state 800 meter champ at the sectional meet with 50 meters to go. And although she didnt win, she did figure out that she is capable of running witht the best in the state. Oh yeah and she ran a school record 2:15.97 to boot! She broke her own record in the heats at the state meet running 2:15.55 finishing 2nd and qualify for the fianls. In the finals she over came a mental lapse from 600 to 700 meters and picked herself up to finish a remarkable 4th place!

Hannah Sheppard - She finally gave in and admitted that she is an 800 meter runner after she was nipped at the line at the conference meet to miss winning by .2 seconds. She ran a big pr of 2:34 along the was and has decided there is a place for her in this sport. she wants to be on the bus to Charleston next year and is going to do whatever it takes to get there

Heather Jones - Ran a huge pr at conference in the 4x800 of 2:35 and put us in the lead after the 2nd leg. She came back and won the frosh mile running 1st from wire to wire with a pb of 5:51 to boot!

If you cannot tell I am extremely proud of everyone of these kids. They have worked harder than 99% of all their classmates and have found out what it means to be dedicated. I never thought I would get so choked up about watching a girl run 1145 or a boy run sub 5 but it just goes to show that winning is a very small part of what sport is all about. I hope the lessons and th memories that these athletes have learned with me stick with them for the rest of their lives. Who knows, I may be coaching future track coaches themselves!

On a very different note, I got up to New Hampshire to finally see the new place for myself. Totally awsome! Thats the only way to put it. I definately have my work cut out for me over the next few years but I know it will get accomplished as I have very determined and talented people supporting me. I am going to save my plans and updates for the new project for a later post, but needless to say there are some big things happening with ITA in the very near future!

Thanks for reading and as always Go Raiders!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Changes in Latitude!

For those of you who do not follow ITA news, there is a big announcement up on the site as of last week. I will be making the big move to ITA's new headquarters in Lyme, New Hampshire later this summer to begin building our very own post collegiate training group! This will be a one of a kind program for athletes who wish to continue chasing their dreams of becoming top distance runners in the US. ITA will provide access to training facilities, a housing allowance, a living stipend, equipment, health insurance and competition-related expenses to all qualifying athletes. In turn the athletes will be required to participate in community programs aimed at exposing youth to the benefits of physical exercise through track and field. Not a bad deal if you ask me ; )

Needless to say there is a lot to do from my end over the next 4 months before even moving up to NH. First and foremost is beginning the recruitement of Americas top young talent. I have already gotten a lot of emails and phone calls from interested parties and I fear this may be even bigger than we hoped for! Our goal is to have 12-16 athletes by this time next year and I am determined to fill those slots with 12-16 finalists at the 2012 Olympic Trails. I am really geeked to get up there in a few weeks so I can get a lay of the land and will be better equiped to pain a picture for prospective athletes.

That is a really brief overview of what is going on at ITA and I will keep everybody posted on our progress thoughout the summer. In the mean time, lets get back to the business. As you probably have guessed the East Peoria kids have been bummin a little since I broke the news a few weeks ago. There were a lot of tears and sad faces but in the end I believe they understand. My goal when I took over this program was to instill a passion for running in every kid I coached. To get them motivated to get out of bed every Saturday morning and accomplish something they may never have dreamed was possible. To have a priority in their lives other than winning the online Halo tourney. I believe my mission was accomplished; all the school records, conference titles, state qualifiers, and countless prs was just a bonus.

So here are my shout outs from the last week. There are quite a few as everybody has really turned it on over the last two meets. We have finally started to do some "speed work" and they are finally feeling fast and rested. Unfortunately we had our big invite cancelled Friday night so everybody will have to wait till this Friday to get out and step on in!

Cassie Lohmeier- suprised even me by running a solo 11:16 3200 last week
Ashley Schmitt - ran a prs of 5:38 and 12:15 in the 1600 and 3200 respectively
Hannah Sheppard - learned how to race a full two laps to a pr of 2:37 in the 800
Heather Jones - finally cracking the 6 minute barrier in the 1600 at 5:56
Emma Preston - just missed the school record in the 800 running 2:18.9 solo
Gage VanOrder - finally decided to try and dropped big time in the 800 and 400 2:13 and 56
Jacob VanGunten - just missed breaking the 5 min mile barrier running 5:00.1!
Zach Sells - dropped 8 seconds in the 400 to run 62 and almost won his heat of the Tim Broe f/s Invite?! How does that happen ; )
Austin McGraugh - jumped 5'5" in his first HJ comp ever...and I didnt even know the kid could jump!
Kevin Eades - cruised to a win the 3200 at the TB Invite

As you can see the Varsity guys are missing up there but most of them have been tired and I started the tapering process a week later from the girls. They are ready to pop big times but unfortunately Mother Nature decided to unleash on us last Friday at the Normal Invite. I will keep you all informed as best as possible and as always Happy Running and GO RAIDERS!
p.s. Here is an official link to the new program


Monday, April 12, 2010

Outdoors Has Begun

It is officially spring and I cannot remember ever having as nice of weather as we have had here in Central IL over the last 3 weeks. Considering it was one of the coldest winters in history, the warm weather is well deserved. It is amazing how the weather can affect attitudes as well. A few weeks ago everybody seemed to be tired and have pains all over, but the minute the mercury started reading 65 we looked like a new team!

Last week the team started out at the Shipley Invite in Moline IL. This meet always provides really steep competition and this year was no different. In fact, we only had one medal winner out of the whole guys team and a handful from the girls. I am not sure why we ran so poorly. My only thought is that it was the first time inn 4 years that they had to race without coach Broe staning at the 150 mark yelling every lap as I was in Ann Arbor MI for a wedding. It could also have been that we were on spring break all that week and I am sure they wore themselves out tp'ing me a few nights before in retaliation to the workouts I put them through during their week off! None-the-less we came back nicely last Tuesday for our first conference triangular meet and got a bunch of wins and good performances.

So here are Coach Broe's shout outs for the week:

Kevin Eades won his first open 800 ever in 2:09
Gage VanOrder medaled in the 3200 at the Moline Invite
Jacob VanGunten cut 5 seconds off his pb in the 1600 running 5:10
Cody Margetis continues to impress getting nipped at the line but running 54.4 in the 400
Cassie Lohmeier returned from missing all last season to win her first 1600 in 2 years in 5:28
Ashely Schmitt split a pb for her first 800 of the season running 2:33
Hannah Sheppard braved the 300 hurdles for the first time running 55

We are still running a little tired, and that is why my list is so short this blog. I have decided to continue with hills on Monday and that is leaving people with heavy legs and slower than expected times. But this week will be our last really hard Monday so I hope that will refresh them and we will see the performances improve. Like I have stated in the past, I dont like racing tired, but sometimes you have to look at the big picture.

Attached are some photos I took from our workout we had Saturday. It is the second to last weekend we have off before we get into weekend invites so I took full advantage of the weather and ran them into the ground. The fresh/soph and mid distance guys did 3200 tempo followed up by 6x300 hard. Gill, Eades and EP alumn Shane Leiby did their first Michigan in a few years and as you can see from the pics they were praying to God by the end!

We have a duel/tri meets for the next 3 Tuesdays as well as the Tim Broe Invite this Thur and the Normal Invite next Friday. Both are really big meets. I will get and update on here after that and hopefully my list of shoutouts will be a page long!

Happy Running and Go Raiders!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Things Are Heating UP!

As spring begins to heat things up, so does the EPCHS track squad. Last weekend we competed at the Galesburg Invite with a few Raiders winning medals and several others running big pr's. I was really encouraged by the way we ran given the workload we had the week prior. Monday was our third week of hills and sprints, Tuesday 1ks/300s, and Thursday 3 miles tempo followed by 200s. And although we are still missing some of our top athletes to little injuries and suspensions, the group that raced Saturday brought it.

So here are my shout outs for the week

1. Kevin Eades ran a big pr and qualified for the state indoor meet by .29 seconds running 9:51.71, good for a 3rd place finish

2. Cody Margetis continues to shine running 54.7 for a 2 second pb, capturing 6th place

3. Jacob VanGunten raced through sore shins to run 5:11 for a 4 second pr

4. Heather Jones won her first race as a high schooler, winning her heat of the 800 in a pb of 2:44

5. Ashley Schmitt raced a tough mile to finish 5th in another pb of 5:40

6. Emma Preston ran the easiest looking 5:11 in the mile Ive ever seen, crushing the school record by 13 seconds and placing her 3rd in the state! Watch out folks, this girl is going to be a serious stud!

Kevin competed yesterday at our unofficial "State" Indoor Meet, missing a medal by .02 and finishing in dissappointing 9th place, but running a pr of 9:49 along the way (dissappointing by his standards). I am not a big fan of these indoor meets, but we need to learn how to race with a group vs 1 or 2 other guys. Kevin put himself in contention for 3rd which was our goal, but he just looked a little flat the last 1k. Im not sure if it had to do with another hard week of practice, the surging he did every lap or being out in 4:46, but I thought he did a great job and it was a great experience for him to build off of as we prepare for that state outdoor meet. Unfortunately Emma Preston strained her plantar en route to her school record so we decided to sit the weekend out and make sure this thing is gone before we head into the outdoor season.

School is out for spring break next week so we are going to take full advantage of the 70 degree forcast ; ) We head to the Moline Invite this Saturday for our first outdoor meet and then its pretty much racing 3 times a week. I wish everybody a Happy Easter and I will post again in a few weeks, hopefully with a whole book of shout outs! Go Raiders!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fighting the Injury Bug

As you have probably discerned from the title, we have been riding that fine edge of pain and injury. Unfortunately injury won out in most our cases. It is so difficult to keep a group of teenage kids healthy while trying to train them right on the icy roads of the midwest. But every year when the snow melts and we can get on the track and use the ice tub, it seems those winter-long injuries just seem to mysteriously dissappear. Such was the case for roughly half the team.

I seem to really stress over these injuries, not only becuase I want a team at full strength, but also because I feel responsible for the welfare of every kid I train. Lack of health care, poor shoes, unwillingness to ice and take anti inflamatories also doesnt help my cause. But Thursday was a real breakthrough day for the Raiders. Cassie Lohmeiers it band and achilles hasnt hurt for a week. Autumn Andrews foot (peroneus), which has been hurting since winter 2009, is responding well to orthotics and my special new wrap job. Jacob VanGunten finally got rid of his underarmor shoes : ( and two days later didnt feel a bit of pain in his shin for the first time in 8 weeks. Alec Gonzalez ran his first workout after trying to manage a achilles problem the last 8 weeks. Emma Prestons plantar has quit hurting after staining it at the indoor meet a few weeks ago (a special tape job as well : ) Those have been the big ones, but it just seemed everybody on the team, with the exception of Kevin Eades, has had to miss some time for one reason of another.

We will be racing the second, and last, indoor meet of the season this weekend. And being that I dont have any pics or much to report on I am going to share with everyone our workout log for the last 2 weeks. We are starting to transition from tempos and fartleks into race specific track work with hills and sprint drills in there as well. In hindsight, I should have done this a long time ago, but here it is:

Mon March 1 8x hills, 6x200
Tues Mar 2 5x1200 tempo intervals
Wed Mar 3 30 easy, 6x150, weight circuit
Thur Mar 4 4 mile tempo
Fri Mar 5 30 easy, 4x150, plyos
Sat Mar 6 60-80 min finishing last 30 min at "marathon" pace
Sun Mar 7 off or 30 easy
Mon Mar 8 8xhills, 6x200
Tues Mar 9 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 tempo
Wed Mar 10 30 easy, 6x150, weight circuit
Thur Mar 11 4xmile tempo (Eades totally killed this one 5:30, 5:35, 5:18, 5:10!)
Fri Mar 12 30 easy, plyos
Sat Mar 13 60-75 easy
Sun Mar 14 off or 30

This week:

Mon Mar 15 8xhills, 10x100 sprint drills
Tues Mar 16 4x1000 (at 2 mile pace)
Wed Mar 17 30 easy, weights and plyos
Thur Mar 18 fartlek (6x2 min steady with 3 min float inbetween) or 4x800 tempo 6x200 (Im not quite sure yet)
Fri Mar 19 25 easy, 6x100 strides
Sat Mar 20 Race Day!

So there you have it folks, there is the secret workout schedule of the EP Raiders! It may look like a lot to some (and may look like a joke to others) but everything we do is very controlled. Tuesday will be the first day that I get in their faces a little bit. I will post results and pics from the meet this weekend. I also have a big bit of personal news for everyone, but I am going to wait another week to make the announcement. Safe and happy running and GO RAIDERS!

Monday, March 1, 2010

First Race of the Season

The Raider Track Team raced our first indoor meet of the year and things went really well for those who trained all winter.
I wasnt expecting to much as we have not done anything but tempo runs, tempo intervals, long runs and strides over the last 3 months. They did not have a 3200 at this meet so most everybody got thrown into the 1600.

In the fresh-soph, conference xc champ Jacob VanGunten once again suprised everybody by running 5:15 for his first mile ever! I as hoping to see him run around 5:25 but he got in with a good group of runners and just competed. What was really funny was him coming to me and saying in his quiet bashful way "ummmk Coach, how do you run a mile?"! I said, just like you did xc, pin you ears back and run like heck! Freshman Austin McGraugh just started back with us after wrestling all winter and was still nursing a sore shin which has a stress fracture last fall. In typical Austin fashion, he went hard to the lead and did all the work for everybody for the first half of the race. Needless to say he paid the price. Whats a coach to do with an attitude like that? ; )

In the girls mile Ashley Schmitt and Emma Preston both race state indoor qualifying times of 5:43 and 5:26 respectively. That was a personal best by 2 seconds for Ashley which tells me she is going to make some huge jumps this track season. Preston, who is a sophmore, did not do track last spring so this is the first track race for her in almost 2 years. Despite that she was out with 2 state medalists from last year in 72 seconds...ouch! We had to back off as she was not quit prepared for that pace, but she rebounded nicely and had a blazing last 200 to finish second and almost catch the leader. Needless to say, she has a lot of talent.

Kevin Eades was set up for a perfect early season mile, following a state champ from last years 800 and a runner up from the 1600 last season. He settled into third and just hung on for the ride. After going throught the 800 in a fairly pedestrian pace of 2:20 the race started to heat up. With a lap to go Dunlap star John Crain made a hard move and Kevin tried his best to jump on it. He hung onto 2nd till the last 5 meters when he was nipped at the finish for a third place finish and a 1o second pr of 4:38! That puts him just a second off state qualifying but our focus wil be the two mile which we will try at our next meet in a few weeks.

Others that ran well were Cody Margetis (2:15), Evan Jenkins (2:25) and Hannah Sheppard (70). We have one more week of tempo and base work before we move into our 2 mile race pace workouts along with hills. I have been really pleased with the way we have responded to the weights and plyos that I have added this year. Hopefully that will make the difference when it counts. A few more weeks of long runs, one more indoor meet and we will be getting ready for state indoors and the outdoor season. Weather is supposed to finally warm up into the 40s so hopefully we can finally get some work done! Thanks for reading and I will keep everyone posted as the season progresses. Go Raiders