Find ‘em, Relax ‘em, Cock ‘em, Stab ‘em and Lift ‘em

And we are back on the Mississippi River for the second part of the spoils from the recent Davenport, IA Eagle run.  As promised, part two will take you from the more traditional shots like this.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

(mental note, go back and lighten this one up) and bring you more action oriented perspective like this immature preparing to bring death to those that dare swim too close to the surface.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to see a crap load of action images from the Davenport shoot.

Continue reading Find ‘em, Relax ‘em, Cock ‘em, Stab ‘em and Lift ‘em

Featuring Fresh Friday Finds for Followers

Welcome everyone!  Today we are bringing you something right off the presses… err, rather out of the digital darkroom.

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Yep, the Bald Eagle is once again front and center.  If you recall, January was  closed with a 3 part series on our country’s national bird (link here, here and here).  Originally thought about holding off on featuring Eagles again so soon.  Problem is, I made a commitment to you to emphasize fresher shoots – well for at least part of the week.  In that vein, how about some tins from TWO days ago!?! (a round of golf claps please ha)

Bald Eagles found in Davenport IA in February 2021

Hit the jump to see a few more of the traditional Eagle shots.

Continue reading Featuring Fresh Friday Finds for Followers

Another Bix 7 in the Books

Bix 7 July 29th, 2017

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…

Bix 7 July 29th, 2017

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.

Bix 7 July 29th, 2017

Hit the jump to read how things turned out!

Continue reading Another Bix 7 in the Books

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

Continue reading A Bittersweet Anniversary

Another Medal for the Collection

Bix 7 MedalTo complete this month’s quota, I figured I would mention I recently earned another medal for my running collection.  I basically train year round for one key race a year and that race is the Bix7 held in Davenport Iowa.  For those who have never experienced it, the event is 7 miles  (actually 2 miles if you choose to do the QuickBix) in some difficult hills.  The first 7/10ths of the mile is basically straight up followed by ~2 miles down and then the smaller but definitely harder hill short of the turnaround and then reversed.  This year I finally lined up at the start without much injury for a change and that coupled with favorable start temperature led to a P.R. for me.  Usually the temperature and humidity are through the roof due to the late July start, but thanks to Global Warming (smirk) we starting the morning at 57 degrees (yes, I was shivering when I got out of the car) and warmed up to around 87 by mid race.  I’ve ran it in the past over 90 with 23 people going to the hospital that year.

The best part of this race is all the spectators that come out to cheer you on along the road.  Lots of bands are also playing around the route to help cheer on the 15K or so runners.  Of course there are also those participants who sacrifice themselves (at least their dignity) to run in costumes.  Standouts this year included 2 young men running in diapers with pacifiers, the annual appearance of the Elvis’ and the Oscar Mayer Wiener.   The wiener cracks me because he is in full costume and I can’t figure out how he actually makes it around the 2 mile Quick Bix.  If you want to get a dig on my wife, mention the fact she lost to the wiener one year.  There was a valid reason for this, but I am not going to reveal it because it is my favorite thing to kid her about.  For the record, Linda also had a P.R. in the Quick Bix but I am contributing that to performance enhancing drugs.

Almost forgot, similar to a site that has been burned into my retinas last year, this time I was subjected to a 6’4″ or so guy running in a bright blue spandex wrestling outfit and as far as I can tell, that was it.  While working hard to make it up the return hill, I took a brief look up the hill to see how much further I had to go.  Expecting to see some key landmarks I was instead met with this guys butt about 3 feet in front of my face.  Imagine if you will what this site consisted of about 5 miles into the race.  I had to mentally poke my eyes out just to keep from puking on the spot.  Fellow male runners, please stop the spandex on long runs or minimally put some shorts over it.  This warning does not apply to hot looking ladies.

Tomorrow starts the 361 days of training until next year’s race!