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Archive for the category “hills”

Bix 7 2014

After missing last year’s Bix 7 due to reasons other than physical injury, you could say I have been waiting 2 years to return and run my favorite race. 10 years in a row was a good run and I am looking forward to another 10 as I approach 50 years of age (T minus 2 and counting).
Last year physically was a pleasure. I ran the entire year without pain in my knees yet didn’t run a single road race. This year started off with hamstring and knees issues putting me on the shelf for all of February.
It seems like I have to warm up longer and pay more attention to the little things than the younger me who could fly out the door and run for 2 hours without much thought of stretching or proper hydration.
This being Bix Eve Eve (2 nights prior) I look to hit the sack early and get those z’s that will more than likely elude me tomorrow night as Bix Eve’s tend to do.
So excited to be back, but I am concerned about a goofy hamstring and I strongly hope I have no issues on the hills of Davenport, IA Saturday morn. For the love of running and for the love of Bix.
Plus I looking forward to seeing Meb since he ran past me as I watched him win the Boston Marathon 2014. It will be cool to see him long before I get to the half way point as he hopefully has a large lead. Best part of an out and back course is seeing the elites running toward you. Participant and fan all in one.
Peace.

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

7 and 7

In honor of Bix weekend I went for two 7 mile runs. My way of feeling connected to the race I skipped for first time since starting my streak of 10 in a row. I know the race will be there next year and I can start a new streak then, yet I am a tad sad, but I can run, so that is the important thing. Run for mind, body and relationships. Health of all three is key.

This week on the ipod I have been playing my Bix7 2012 playlist ,which has a few songs that I had been rehearsing for an audition for the band Rattlebox. At the time of Bix 2012 I had auditioned, but had yet to find out if I had made the cut or not. It was a very stressful time and I remember thinking more about the band than running that day. Running is so cool that when you are running your mind can take you somewhere else completely. The ultimate multi-tasking.

I wrote this blog with one hand as the other arm had plasma taken out of it. Hows that for multi-tasking? lol

Bix 7 Results 2013

The weather was perfect for fast times and even better memories. Well, that is if you were fortunate to hit the starting line this morning. After 10 years in a row of running my favorite race, the streak came to an end. Yeah, I am a bit sad, however I will look forward to next year’s Bix and will take this time to reflect on some fun moments over the last 10.

10. Seeing Bill Rodgers in jeans 10 minutes before the race and thinking, “Too bad Bill is not running this year, wonder what is wrong with him.” and then having him pass me at the turnaround. I tried to keep up with him for the next mile, which was great hearing the fans yell his name. I pretended my name was Bill to use the extra support as motivation to keep going hard. He eventually did drop me, but I did have my best time that year.

9, The rain year. Hiding under a bank’s overhang to stay dry before the race. Being soaked for most of the race and then a good 1/2 hour after the race at the post race party. Not the best memory, but there is always the most of something race and this was the most drenched race.

8. The Marilyn Monroes. Several ladies all dressed in all white Marilyn outfits running and then dancing at the post race party. Good for a chuckle and a smile every year.

7. Brady Street Hill. Right off the bat a 1/4 mile hill that keeps the disciplined runners honest and the fools in side stitches or worse. Even effort is the key here.

6. Post Race Party. I will admit it was better when they had live bands, yet it still remains the best post race party in the land. Plenty of food and drink to satisfy all that complete the full hilly 7 miles.

(come back tomorrow for the top five)

Bix 7 2013 Report

The Iowa mornings have been unseasonably cool lately, which should mean for some awesome conditions for this year’s Bix 7.  Since the Bix is a hilly race the common thought is that no one PR’s at the Bix. Well…. how many 7 mile races are out there anyway? Not many. The Bix is the only 7 mile race that I have ever participated in, so wouldn’t one’s PR at the Bix be his or hers 7 mile PR? Most likely. So this should be the year.

Of course the weather could change quickly as it is known to do in the Midwest, so no one really knows until race day. What ever the weather there is always the best post race party at the Bix, so there is always that to look forward to.

Bix 7 Davenport, IA July 27, 2013

Bix 7 – Run Hills for 7 Miles

Fast and flat used to be all the rage. Down hill even better. Now the trend as flipped to the tougher mudder races. Well there is an old fashion tough race called the Bix 7. No need to fabricate a tough race, the Bix 7 has hills that have been there for hundreds of years. The city streets of Davenport, IA provide the tough the natural way without the mess.

Olympic Gold Medal Winning Freestyle Wrestler and Hall of Fame Coach Dan Gable pushed himself and his teams beyond their talent level. Running up the stairs at the arena and pushing themselves to the brink of puking (sometimes beyond) gave them a competitive advantage. There wasn’t any other team in better condition.  Racing over hills equates to pushing yourself beyond what the average runner is willing to do. Sure training over hills is advantageous, yet competing gives one a mental advantage over someone who merely trains over the same terrain.

The Bix 7 is one great way to challenge yourself and the enjoy the spoils at the best post race party anywhere. That is of course if you have the guts.

Mile High and Higher

As kids, my parents took us to Colorado on a family vacation. We found a basketball court and played around for a short while. Short because we felt the effects of the thin mountain air. Today the experts call it “altitude training” back then we just called it “sucking wind”.

My best marathon was after some mountain runs, so I feel like it helps to work out at altitude, however there were several other bonus attributes (lowest weight and overall conditioning) at that time, so the results are not scientific. I can attest to running in the mountains to be much more difficult than running at sea level, so that is all that is important. Like riding an old heavy steel bike compared to a new high-tech light one, the hard makes all the difference. I’ll take the hard every time in training to make the final event feel easier in comparison, which does wonders for the mental aspect of competition. To struggle in training makes it much easier to be run relaxed when it counts.

I was fortunate enough to hit the mountains of Truckee, CA over the weekend for the first time in about 10 years. My lungs burned as I ran up from 6,600 feet to around 7,600 feet. I got in about 15 miles over 3 runs (pulling a double on Sunday) in 2 days. Not a lot of miles for a weekend, yet the inclines were brutal, so the miles weren’t my main objective, survival was.

I have a cousin who lives in Monmouth Lakes, CA, which is where many elite marathon runners go for their altitude training. 8,000 feet in city and only up from there in the mountains. He says he can feel a big difference from Truckee to Monmouth Lakes. I sure would like to visit and give it a test. Maybe next year.

Now I am back home to 95 degree heat. Will have to see if heat is more of a challenge than hills and thin air.

Off for a run. Talk to you all soon.

Balance

Father’s Day seems to be a logical restart to the blog that has been a big part of my life and my family.  As the last entry noted I joined a band and the added hobby took too much time away from running consistantly to have time to write about it as well. My bad.

As with any activity of merit there is always the give and take of work, family, life and death, The death part becomes more of a concern over 40 as parents, aunts and uncles are just of that age where time is running out. Throw in the unexpected diagnosis or accident and it is a mine field to make it a year or 2 without having the death of a significant person throw off one’s own healthful concerns. It may be self to write about it in these terms, but remember without your health then you become someone else’s unexpected family death.

Running is one of those hobbies that should not be taken for granted. Finding that balance to make it a priority is important to both yourself and your family. Think about the stress that is released on that run and then think about that since that stress is now gone it is not turned on your family since it is gone, gone, gone…. Gone enough? Ok.

I run during the week during my lunch hour and just one weekend long run, so time away from my family is limited.  There is time out there,  just need to find it.

Bix 7 2012

Last year at this time I had run a marathon, 1/2 marathon, 5k, 8k, 10k and 10 mile race. My seventh race of 2011 would be the 7 mile Bix 7 race in Davenport, IA. 2012 has been raceless so far, but one thing for sure is the Bix 7. Over the last 9 years there has only been one appointment race in my book and that is the Bix 7.

Challenging hills, over 10,000 runners and a great after run party make for good times for those who can handle it. If you haven’t already, give it a shot. The Bix 7 will not disappoint.

Habit of Bad Habits

To say I like to over do things I like to do would be an understatement. A lot of the good and even more of the bad. If I didn’t run I would probably weigh 300 pounds. Running makes me not want to do the bad things, but I still over eat from time to time and a day off from running makes me hungry or bored or both.

We all have different reasons to run. I love it and it loves me. At least that’s what it has been telling me lately. From the books I have read and the hills I have climbed, it has all come together to make it the most life affirming choice of this life.

The book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall notes that the ability to love and running do have a connection. Looking back on my life, I was not capable of love before I started running. Not sure if the connection runs that deep, but I am willing to run with it. Oh golly!

I didn’t care much for myself, before I starting running. I couldn’t maintain a relationship before I started running. I was only successful at escaping from my problems before I ran with them and worked them out.

Run far and find….yourself.

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