Keeping with the sealed for freshness theme, Today’s post recounts an event that happened mere hours ago! 16.5 years ago I had to make a difficult decision to put a bow on my martial arts hobby. It was taking a toll on my body and at that point in my life there wasn’t enough recovery time to get healed before taking another round of injuries. Problem was how to fill the healthy athletics void that would leave – then my wife mentioned something called the Bix 7 race in Davenport IA. Soon after purchased some running shoes and jumped into a new adventure. 15 years ago practically to the date I completed my first Bix 7 and I was hooked. Guess what…
I haven’t missed a Bix since that initial run – 15 years of toeing the line and taking on one of the toughest 7 miles course you can run in the area. They even give you an anniversary pin if you look close at the swag picture at the beginning of the post. I wasn’t the only family member testing their grit on the course. Linda also took part in her 16th Bix race opting for the Quick Bix which is a 2 mile alternative to the full race. She met up with a friend from her childhood who had recently started participating in the event. My running friends were planning on running with me today. Sung made it even though he has been struggling with some leg issues. Unfortunately, got word right before the race that Ryan was not going to be able to make this year – not sure what issue there was, but I know it must have been disappointing having trained for a number of months for it. As you can tell, the sun was shining on a cloud free day and the weatherman promised me a cool temp at race time. That ended up being a slight exaggeration – they claimed 61, it felt hotter than that at the starting line and it only got hotter from there. Admittedly, this was still better than we had feared being this far into Summer.
Hit the jump to read how things turned out!
Continue reading Another Bix 7 in the Books
Amazing how fast this month went. Seems like days ago when I was relaxing by the pool with a smugness born out of knowing I had successfully made it to the standard post quota for another month. Add in a healthy dose of training runs, a local birding run, an out of state birding vacation and an agility dog show we find ourselves right back in the fire trying to closing it out. The good news is I have plenty of fodder to choose from these days having done some overtime in the digital darkroom. If you thought the last post was fresh, this set of pictures still has the chemicals dripping off them.
First off, a bit of an apology. This set of pictures is not my best work. Even with The Beast (200-400mm) I was barely able to reach the subject. The fact it is good enough to even tell it is a bird is amazing in itself. However, I was not going to leave without getting something to verify my new +.5 encounter. Hopefully, you are in agreement that the shots that were obtained are sufficient enough to ID this deadly feathered predator as a Peregrine Falcon. Technically this isn’t the first time a Peregrine has appeared on the blog so giving myself just a .5 instead of a whole 1. While closing out a Yellowstone trip back in February of 2016 (link here), I added a single shot of a bird and asked for verification of whether it was a juvenile Peregrine. My brother Ron did provide feedback confirming the juvenile. Now I officially have the adult version producing the full +1 yeah!
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this deadly bird
Continue reading The Deadly Skies
I’m back! Sorry for the long delay in getting a wildlife related post out. It isn’t that I haven’t been productive this month, just decided it was time to give a little love to my loyal readers on my other blog. Since those posts were neither furry nor feathered animal related, they were not replicated to this more narrowly focused social outlet. In an effort to provide some compensation you get to experience something rather rare in my blogging world…
Ummm, definitely not rare in the sense this blog has a very heavy leaning to our feathered friends. Nope, this oddity relates to “when” not “what” nor even “where”. Typically the shots featured here are produced from a queue that currently spans over 2 years. This a result of a horrible backlog that makes me break out in cold sweats every time the thought of that queue comes to mind. No need to find a towel to dry off for this post! (keep telling my wife I need and intern ha)
Hit the jump to read more about this incredible birding experience!
Continue reading Fly In Food
My loyal readers of my wildlife blog are probably wondering where I’ve been this month, this being my third non-wildlife related post in a row! I’ll take care of that in a bit, but right now the focus is getting the running queue drawn down before the Bix7 which is less than a week away. This post is a bit ominous when in comes to that upcoming run.
The third run of the season is typically the Steamboat Classic – this year was no different. Having had good luck on the April races, things were looking up for this June race. However, there is one aspect of the Steamboat that the Illini races did not have. That difference is spelled out right there in the name S T E A M. One might be under the impression that it is named in honor of the paddle boats that ruled the Illinois River. I, on the other, hand believe it is named because that is what comes rolling off your body long before that race is finished. There were false rumors from the often wrong Weather.com app that it might be bearable this year – WRONG AGAIN.
Hit the jump to see how this race turned out (hint, not well)
Continue reading Steamed Rolled Over
Greetings everyone. Going to try and get a post out, but the campground I am currently at has horrible WiFi – so not sure how this is going to go. At worst case I’ll have the post written and will upload whenever we find a spot with sufficient connectivity. Seemed appropriate to go ahead and finish up the two parter started with the previous post – yep, the second part of the Illini Marathon I-Half Challenge. Unfortunately, only the easy part was completed the night before – the big race was the following Saturday morning with the holding of the 150th Anniversary of my Alma Mater. I forgot to mention that in the previous post, but you might have been wondering what that extra bling was dangling down from the finisher’s medal. They added a mini 150th medal on to the 5K AND the Half Marathon medals. You can see it right side up in the half medal on the left side of the swag shot below.
Now that is the cherry on top for a medal whore like myself (Linda’s term, not mine hehehe). Not only do you get THREE medals for finishing both races, two of them have extra bling – score! I kind of left you hanging in the last post wondering how things were going to turn out. If you recall, my 5K plan didn’t go as planned due to perfect running conditions and a snafu with locating Linda after the race that ultimately left me in pain far surpassing anything a hard night of burpees has ever left me with. That Friday night was rough. Lather on some Bio-Freeze, Tiger Tail the hell out of the calves and upper thighs hoping to break up the knots enough to be able to bend the legs and hopefully hold my weight. This process was repeated time and time again until standing didn’t bring tears to my eyes. One more hit of Tiger Balm on the last remaining spots before getting some shut eye – it was going to be an early morning. 4:50am alarm woke me to the brisk morning and good news on the legs front. They were still stiffer than ideal and tolerable levels of pain, yet no reason to complain too much. The body is an amazing healer as long as you keep it well oiled.
Hit the jump to read more about how the race went! Continue reading Illini Cool Complete
It’s race time everyone! Umm, well, actually it has been race time for a while now. Been a little busy and the running posts tend to take a healthy bit of time getting the race day pictures processed, getting the swag photographed and then tracking down the official results. Because of that, the race posts tend to be pushed down the queue. Normally I’m a race or two behind but rarely 3 races, yet that is exactly where I am at ugh! Having just completed a training run for a race at the end of the month thought it would be prudent of me to get some of these popped off the queue or face falling 4 behind which is complete insanity. So, without further delay say it with me I-L-L
If you didn’t immediately respond with I-N-I then you did not attend my Alma Mater and for that I am sorry hehehe. Why a shot of my stadium’s scoreboard?…well, that happens to be where the first race of the season occurs. Each year most of the way through the month of April a hardy band of runners head to Champaign IL to test their meddle against the racing gods… and more ominous, the weather gods. They call this race the Illini Marathon and for those of us who like a little spice with our athletic competitions, the Illini I-Challenge.
Hit he jump to see how this race turns out
Continue reading Illini Cool – 5K