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Bix 7 2016

This is the time of year I become a broken record and profess my love for the Bix 7 road race in Davenport, Ia. A hilly 7 miles with thousands of spectators and participants on an out and back course that give everyone the opportunity to see the elites tear down back half. All of this followed by the best party on the road racing circuit. No, I am not on the payroll of the race nor any of it’s sponsers, but the passion exists because this is one fun race set amid a Jazz Festival, so there is great music all weekend (not all of it Jazz).

Head on out to the QC on July 30, 2016 and enjoy. You will not regret it.

Marathon Training Kinda Crazy

You know you are kind of crazy when the marathon training is what you look forward to the most. The actual completion of the marathon is fun and exciting, however that is the end in a way. The event really is the training. The marathon for most people lasts less than 5 hours of their lives, but the training is the hobby, is the reward, is the pleasure, is the life of a runner.

Each week of marathon training can be a waiting period if you think in terms of it’s still 18 weeks until my marathon, it’s still 10 weeks to my marathon. Personally I think in terms of long run to long run. I can’t wait to get to the next long run as the runs during the week are just too short. Sunday comes and I am off and running both emotionally and literally.

Let me know if you have similar experiences.

Marathon Training Injury

A relatively new friend of mine was training for her first marathon and suffered a hip injury 2 weeks out from her marathon. The injury is so serious she is forced to pull out of her marathon. As a runner we all know how devastated we would feel in that situation. 16 weeks (out of the planned 18 weeks) of serious marathon training which was preceded by years of running. Many of us have built up from 5K to 10K to half marathon to get ready for the full marathon. It just doesn’t seem fair.

In 2010 after a layoff from marathon training I decided to run a fall marathon and started my training ramp up a bit late about 15 weeks out. With 3 weeks to go before the marathon I suffered a knee tweak that at first I thought I could fight through it and keep training. I wasn’t successful. I was crushed, but it didn’t break my will. I got in the gym and worked on my overall leg strength and made a plan for both a spring and fall marathon for 2011.

Running to the runner is obviously the basis for a strong existence. We define ourselves by being able to do what we love. Injuries for the most part are a sidetrack, but not a wall. We will find a way eventually. Staying positive is not always easy, but is also the best way not to be defeated.

Runner Vs. Non-Runner

In a Presidential Election year in the USA the difference between the two main political parties are analyzed ad nauseum. We runners often don’t understand non-runners as they do not understand us. It comes down to who or what you love. Runners love running and those who don’t runner have no affection for running.

I have met some people who tried to run, but just didn’t have that feeling that I tried to explain to them. Runners know that feeling and we can discuss it in a group of runners, but try to speak of it to the non-converted is almost useless. I remember when I was a single guy with no children and it wasn’t until I had kids that I understood what having kids meant. What it feels like. It is impossible to articulate the feeling. The runner’s high is in that category. You either get it or you don’t.

If you know anyone or are someone who just hated running at one time and then learned to love it, please speak up, it would be great to hear about it.

 

Marathon Random Thought

Post marathon there is the ride home. For most of us that is a drive of hundreds of miles, which the afternoon of or the day after a marathon can be brutal. The best practice is stopping frequently and stretching those battered legs. There is solace knowing that at each rest stop there will be others just like you getting out their cars and limping around. An easily identifiable kinship.

Mental Game Running Goals

On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.

The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.

Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to  focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.

Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.

Chicago Marathon 2016

I got in the Chicago Marathon. 7th time overall and first since they went to a lottery system. What a great feeling. Now it’s time to ramp up the miles and the blog entries. Talk to you all soon.

A Few From Fifty

Wow, it has been a few years since I posted last, a few years since   I last ran a marathon and just a few months before I turn fifty. I suppose it is as good time as any to get back in the swing of marathon training and writing about it.

I entered the Chicago Marathon lotto and will find out Thursday April 21st if I got in (or not). If that falls through the back up Marathon is the Quad Cities Marathon. The  QC is only 2 weeks earlier than the Chi so my training schedules are pretty compatible.

Winter training has laid down a stable foundation and my long runs have been at over 10 miles for more than a month now. Feeling healthier than the last couple years heading into spring training, so this should be a good year.

Looking forward to more of these updates. Talk to you all soon.

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.

Central Park Then Boston

I am finding it difficult to sleep with a bucket list type run just a few hours away. Central Park in NYC has to be up there. If my walk down 7th Ave some 50 plus blocks tells me anything is the people will be the scenery on this run. I was wondering if everyone in NYC is an actor or if people just seem more interesting here. They do seem in pretty good shape. I suppose walking those long city blocks everyday would help keep the people of this city in shape.

More of a report on the actual run itself later,

Also looking forward to taking in a run for the first time as a spectator. It is kind of a big deal maybe you have heard of it? Last name Marathon, first name Boston. The prospect of the chance to view the race I have dreamed of running and have qualified for twice is pretty darn awesome. I am sure there will be mixed emotions with the joy of being there filled with the wonderment of what could have been. Hey, it is what it is. I planned this trip to show my deep respects to a marathon and a city that took a sharp blow last year and more than recovered to get an even bigger event (if that’s possible) out there this year.

I probably should get some sleep before these 2 runner’s high events, but I am not sure that will happen, More words later,

 

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