A Bittersweet Anniversary

It’s the number 6 post for the month and as the tradition goes for the month of July, the topic is the premier running race of the season.  There is one race I look forward to every year and probably the focal point of my yearly training program — that is the Bix7 held in Davenport, IA the last Saturday in July.  For those without a calendar handy, that means yesterday was the date of this year’s extravaganza.  Things were falling into place nicely this year, the training had been going really well and as decided from the Steamboat Race (link here), there was plenty of heat acclamation – a lot of 95 degree runs with a sprinkling of 105, 108 and 110 degree runs addressed that shortfall quite nicely.  The weight was perfect (153), the distance endurance was there and the injuries were in check for the most part which is generally the critical concern for this time of the year.  Life was good and expectations were high!  The three races ahead of this one were miraculously PRs so there was an outside chance I could go 4 for 4.  After the last taper on Wednesday all that was left was to keep from getting sick or hurt before lineup at 8:00am Saturday morning.  Piece of cake right… umm ..wrong.  Even though I tried my best to sequester myself from large masses of people (greater the people, the greater the chance of catching a bug is my philosophy) and watched my food intake for the week to prevent another Steamboat incident (link here) some contagion made it through.  Friday morning I woke up with the start of a sore throat followed immediately by concern and genuine fear.  If there is one thing I know well, it is when my body isn’t hitting on all cylinders and even though Linda was confident it was just my standard pre–race fretting (Linda’s words), there was little convincing me.  Immediately, my thoughts rocketed back to an emergency 3 hr meeting for work the previous Tuesday where one of the attendees coughed during the presentation – the spidey senses went in full riot mode the minute that happened.  Here it was Friday, a mere day before the race and panic was setting in.  If there was any sign of hope, it was the fact that the throat didn’t seem to get any worse from the travel, dinner, the packet pickup process (although for the first time I really had a lack of interest in checking out all the running booths) and the pre-race prep.  Just a constant annoyance in the throat and a slight forming of congestion.  Maybe it was just pointless worry.

The alarm went off Saturday morning at 5:30am and the answer to that quandary was apparent.  I was officially sick with a sore throat and some form of sinus congestion.  The heart sank and the confidence was shattered.  A lot of hard work and sweat was at jeopardy.  The thoughts of PR were quickly transformed into hopes of being able to just finish.  The only thing going for me was my body’s ability to bend to the will of the mind – a lifelong creed that has come in handy many times over the years.

Here is what your pre-race photo looks like when you are not on your game – hanging out in a hotel lobby!  (part of this is because a certain someone ..uhummm LINDA was complaining about being cold … let me repeat that … TOO COLD for a Bix day, now that is a shock.

Hit the jump to see how this turns out

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