Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bix 7

This past Saturday morning, I ran my first Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa. While I knew this was a big race, I didn't know just how many participants would grace the hills of D-Port. Okay, so there were 18,000 people in this race. That's the biggest race I've ever been in; and probably the most annoying race I've ever ran!

I was feeling good at the start of the race. I consumed my trusty blueberry pancakes about two hours beforehand, and I knew that I had properly trained for the hills. I did notice, however, that my mother (she ran it too) and I were lined up toward the end of the second pace group. Not good. I also noticed that there were just three tiers, including the elites. Not cool.

We started the race and we were off hitting the first mile, which is a large hill. Loved the hill. HATED the walkers. I know 'hate' is a strong word, but GEEZ. I had TONS of walkers in front of me, blocking the runners' paths and contributing to my growing annoyance. With 18,000 participants, I soon realized that I was not going to PR. I was hoping to average an eight-minute mile, as this is a tough course full of challenging hills. I quickly discovered that I'd be lucky to average a nine-minute mile. My first mile was over 11 minutes, followed by a 10-minute second mile. Ugh. Not good.

While the crowd and volunteer (water, ice, etc.) support were excellent throughout the race, I was still pissed. Cursing under my breath, I weaved between people who woke up and just decided to participate in a seven-mile race without any training (and lined up at the start improperly). I didn't get a break until about mile five, and from there, I was able to put on some speed. While I averaged an 8:45 minute mile in the end, I had tons of energy to still expend once I finished. I did not deserve the free beer and Twinkies at the post-party!

Now, I know I may sound mean (and I'm really not an evil person), but COME ON! Is it necessary to line up in the incorrect tier and walk the first mile?!?! I think not. But...that's just me.

Although the overall weekend in D-Port was fun and relaxing, if I ever do the Bix again, I will stop and accept a supporter's invitation to partake in shots and beer. Why not? On that note, I guess I'll be back at the Bix 7 next year!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July Doldrums

Since it's been such a long time since my last post (my apologies, dedicated readers), I've decided to buck up and give you a rundown of the past few weeks. Here's the recap:

In case you forgot, I went to San Francisco for a weekend getaway the last weekend of June. Although I've been there multiple times, I hadn't been there for about nine years (since my 21st birthday, to be exact). I LOVE this city. Great weather, beautiful, cute neighborhoods, and...HILLS. Yes, we were "overserved" in Napa Valley, and we went to the wharf (UGH! Not my favorite place) for overpriced crab. But...I did get a workout in almost every day, and this includes running the HILLS (these things should be illegal; seriously). I met up with a Saturday morning running group that meets at Club One, a gym at the upscale Fairmont. They were very friendly and the lead trainer gave tons of tips about running in the city. Not only did I meet new people, but I also learned the layout of the city. PERFECT.

While I did not want to leave the land of trolleys, I had to return to Des Moines for the Fourth of July. Luckily, my hill training in San Francisco prepared me for the annual Fourth of July run in a nearby suburb. Before this 5k, my PR was 25:30. I knew I could run faster than that, but I didn't expect to reduce it by much more than a minute and a half. Well, dear readers, yours truly clocked in at 23:30. Although this may be somewhat slow to all of my elite runner-readers, this is fast for a short and stubby girl like me. To celebrate, I went home and watched a little of the Real Housewives of New Jersey (bad, I know), while making a homemade batch of Guinness baked beans for a party. These beans were amazing, I have to admit. They were renamed "sassy beans" at the party; quite fitting, as they did have a kick.

After a long weekend of Fourth of July festivities, I've been focused on hill and strength training. I also started another round of yoga today. So, yoga isn't really something I get excited for, but I always feel great after a session. I feel that it's a decent workout for balance and flexibility; I also feel SO relaxed when the instructor says, "Namaste."

Dear readers, on that note, I think this is the perfect time to end this entry with, "Namaste."