Ya, I can run faster but I choose to ~TRAIN TO RACE NOT RACE TO TRAIN~
The Bix 7
7 miles (plus 2 miles warm and cool)
Time 1:25:44 (various intervals)
934 calories burned
153 av bpm HR
1) 11:42 (167)
2) 11:34 (165)
3) 12:43 (165)
4) 12:43 (165)
5) 12:21 (167)
6) 12:39 (167)
7) 10:44 (157)
Shoe mileage: 316 miles
Today rates up there as one of the most incredible days in my life and I am not trying to be a drama llama with that statement. In all the years I have lived in this area I knew about The Bix 7 race held in downtown Davenport, Iowa but could never relate to it. In the description of the course they refer to two SEVERE hills and they are not kidding people! This is a very difficult race course.
I was thoroughly prepared for the race and knew exactly where to park and what to do as I had really done my homework in order to make this a seamless event for me. I slept a lot better than I thought I would and did not wake up until about 4:30 which worked out well given that I wanted to be out the door by 6am in order to snag a great parking spot. Of course, for the third time this year I look on the radar and was welcomed by a mass of approaching yellow and red coming our way. I did not freak out and grabbed a few extra items that I may need given the rain.
After getting situated in a very primo parking spot right at ground zero and close to flushing toilets inside the River Center, I ventured outside to get the lay of the land. At this time is was raining lightly. The atmosphere was rich with the sights and sounds of Bix. My adrenalin was flowing! Then it rained harder but with just a few cracks of lightening and it was time to line up in our appointed areas.
After the pre-race festivities, it was 8am and we were off and Brady Street hill loomed ahead. Oh dear God just help me up! I made it with just a few walk breaks and visualized all of my Spark running buddies at the top waiting for me. I made it to the summit and toodled on down the road with that small victory behind me and turned the corner. The miles seem to drag terribly as we were at just mile 2 and we came to a downhill grade and things were clicking along. Finally! I was starting to enjoy the festivities and music along the course. What I did not know was around another corner was yet a very bad hill. At this point it was only mile 3-ish and I was already very weary of the “severe hills” that was in the race course description.
It was time for the turnaround and I was a happy camper because up until then it was all downhill. Woot! I made the turnaround and guess what? What goes down must go back up and up and up and….. Oh dear God, please help me make it through the next few miles as I run UP this dagblasted hill! I GU’ed up and that really seriously helped. The grade became very manageable and I took it at a nice easy pace UNTIL the grade increased. This is starting to get old.
I stopped and refilled my Nathan QuikDraw Plus and scurried on my way. When does this hill stop? I even asked a fellow runner and they said just a little longer. Of course, the folks on the sidelines said its almost here…ya right. They always lie LOL. Then I cam up on a sign…BEER IN 2 MILES!!!! At that time, I turned in to the greyhound following the rabbit. That seriously gave me the boost I needed. We reached the top of the hill and I knew that there would be no more.
Before I knew it we were back on Brady Street and I knew the beer was now just a little over a mile away. The hill climbs were finally behind me and had the pleasure to run down Brady Street hill. The crowd of spectators was incredible and they do indeed give you the strength you need to finish. I finally reached the intersection of Brady Street and Third Street and rounded the corner. The finish line was in sight and I felt a rush of emotions come over me. I was going to successfully run Bix for the first time in my life! I was even beaming from ear to ear for the official race photographers. I had never done that before in a race as I always looked like I was in pain, but those have been 5k races where you put 150% fullout speed the entire time. This 7 mile race was different as I could pace myself without gassing out.
Through the finish chute and on to the post race party! Excitement was everywhere and it was party central with nothing but sweaty, rain soaked giddy runners with the one thing in common. No matter what finish times were, we all conquered the “severe hills” of Bix along with the elite runners that come from both far and near. Oh, and yes I did indeed enjoy my beer! Running truly ROCKS!!!
I gained so much personally from my Bix experience including the days before. I climbed out of my safe little box and ventured to a place I had not gone to by myself and attended my first expo even though it was a small one. A few ka-chings later I scored some running treats for myself including new Adidas and a gorgeous pink running skirt.
I also ran a long race WITHOUT MY IPOD and this is huge! I opted to not take a chance and ruin my Ipod from the rain plus I wanted to take in the whole ambience of the Bix experience. There were just a few times I really missed my music, but I lived LOL. It was fun listening to the music from the DJ’s, bantering back and forth with fellow runners, watching for the running Elvis’s and the cheers and encouragement from the spectators.
I RAN IN RAIN!!! I had never done that before as that is a little prima dona in me. Today I had no choice and you know what? It was so much fun and it was truly comfortable as it held the heat down. There was nothing dry on me expect for my feet. People! Get yourself some Drymax socks cuz those things are amazing!! They are pricey but so worth it. Love my socks! My skirt was dripping wet and I had to wring it out every whipstitch. My shoes and socks were filthy but I did not care. I was loving my runner’s high and did not have a care in the world.
I learned how to pace myself on hills in a race situation. I also ran the longest race so far for me as all I have run is 5k races. This was a great experience to get me ready for my Half Marathon in September here in the Quad Cities. That is invaluable to me and gave me some new tools to keep in my running mental toolbox.
Most of all, I ran the Bix 7 race and I have the tshirt and finishing time to prove it. Time…1:25:44 which is a 7 mile PR LOL. I am now anxiously awaiting the official photos…the ones that I will be smiling from ear to ear. I now have a goal for next year when I will “BIX AGAIN LIKE I DID LAST SUMMER!!!!!!
The Bix 7 ~ standing in front of The Bix 7 statues of Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers