I don't have any special excuses for not blogging for almost a month (!), so I'll just acknowledge the silence and move on ...
Yes, I'm still doing the Bix 7. Quite a few pieces of this experience will be different from the past three years' worth of races I've done.
Totally new: racing seven miles; sleeping in a tent the night before (I'm joining my RAGBRAI friends in Coralville just so I can see Cheap Trick!); and coordinating a finish-line viewing with other out-of-towners (my parents are coming in from Rockton to watch my race and then hang out).
Unfamiliar: traveling any farther than a half-hour — and outside my metro area — to a race; racing a distance that isn't 5K or a half marathon; picking a race between Memorial Day and Labor Day; and doing a race where my goals are basically no loftier than "finish."
What are my goals? In a second.
First, let me emphasize how glad I am that they're so underwhelming, because pretty much all conditions will be against me Saturday: hills PLUS 90 percent humidity, with the start-time temperature at 75 degrees. It should, at least, be overcast.
With that said, don't laugh too hard at how lame my aspirations are.
Most attainable: Beat my friend Emily's 2012 time of 1:19:03 (11ish-minute miles).
That summer was awful, so I'm not judging her ... but back when it was still late spring and I was fresh off my half marathon PR, I thought this seemed like a piece of cake.
Midrange goal: Focus on the experience and not the difficulties.
Lofty goal: Don't walk.
Pie-in-the-sky goal: Finish under 1:10:00 (faster than 10-minute miles).
I haven't trained hard — running twice a week — and much of the summer has been mild, but I haven't let myself avoid hills, and I have stayed active. So I'm not really sure what to expect ...
... except beer and ice cream. Bent River, here I come!