Wow, thank god this is a long month. Been so busy as of late I have not been able to really focus on posting as much as I like. Figured you might need a break from all the bird posts so opted for a post topic that is only a month old. I know, I know it hasn’t been given a chance to properly age hehehe.
Last month (I guess the shirt tells exactly what day) we headed up to Davenport to once again participate in their giant summer party. This particular party requires you to break out the sweats to get in. Yes, I’m talking about the Bix 7 race. 7 miles on the daunting hills that will test your mettle no matter what level of runner you are. (admittedly pretty poor shirts again this year, but the afterparty makes it all worth it). This year we were without our running buddy Ryan who ended up having a conflict with a St. Jude charity run he was running in Washington IL.
However, we were still able to convince Sung to once again brave the hills with us. Granted, we didn’t have to twist his arm too much – all we need to do is mention Whitey’s Popsicles and he’s signed up before the last syllable make it out of our mouth. Now that is commitment to running …..err… well at least to fine desserts. Once again Linda was walking the Bix 2 with her friend – she got a pin this year for her 15th time! She has me by one event, so this was only my 14th, but next year I get a pin yeah.
Hit the jump to see how the race turned out!
From a temperature perspective, the starting weather wasn’t too bad. If you know anything about the Bix, you know it can be brutally hot being that it is held in the hottest time of the year here in the Midwest. It was actually a little cool in the morning and this year it wasn’t raining. The question was whether that temperature could hold for the duration of the race or if the sun was going to burn its way through the clouds and start baking the pavement. Heat is always a question point for me now post “the event” but I’ve decided to trust in my training and promise to listen to my body for any early issue indicators.
Overall the race went really well, but things broke down at mile 5. Up the first hill in the mass of humanity was done in a very respectable 8:15 pace. Trust me, getting around all the people who didn’t deserve to line up in front of me and clearly adding to the overall distance trying to find seams in the traffic make it very hard to get a decent start and that was still 15 seconds less than I had expected. Next mile clocked a blistering 7.22 followed by a 7.52. Decided to try out a new strategy where I powered down the hills, tried to maintain on the flats and took it easy up the hills. So far the strategy was paying huge dividends.
Unfortunately, that strategy meant I had to expend a lot of energy in the early parts of the race. On the way back the hills started to get the best of me falling back to an 8:12 then an 8:24 and 8:44. I expected to take a hit due to the large uphill portion that makes up the back portion of the course, but was hoping I could hold my early gains through this part. No complaints about that 12 and not so much the 24, but that 44 was disappointing. It was really due to the sun opening up at the end of mile 5. The body was damn tired.
I finally pushed through and got my second wind after reaching the top of last hill – all that was left was a downhill followed by a run out – mind over body and lots and lots of training miles resulted in a 7.40. To say I was elated with that number is an understatement. Digging down when your body is screaming at you will give you a thumb’s up and put a giant smile on your lips – Bix race demons conquered – now on to the party.
Oh, and Linda made it through as well!
Oh, and of course our friend Sung owned it as well – even pulling off a PR for himself – mind you this was done even while taking picture of me on the course as well as other costumed characters.
….. and why do we do this every year…well, for popsicles of course! This year they added Chik-Fil-A sandwiches which were quite yummy as well.
Yes, folks, we were able to hunt down an ambulance for the traditional post race shot.
Adding this wider shot in as well – the ambulance team guy hanging out on the bumper cracked us up.
I should note, it was harder than usual to locate an ambulance this year – someone managed to get hit by a train while trying to park their car across the street. Never heard how that turned out, but wow. I didn’t manage to pull off a PR, but I am very happy with my time. Was able to break 57 on the chip time which is much better than I was shooting for at the start of the race. Last year I ran a 57:54 – a year older and still dropping time.
Just to give you a feel for how big this race is… here is shot soon after the start – unfortunately I was slightly past the bottom of the picture at the time, if you look close, you might be able to find Sung in there – he was wearing blue heheheh.
That’s all folks – have to go get some stuff done for work tomorrow. Take it easy, see you next month.