There are a few things that are institutions in the Quad Cities. One of them is the Bix. Always held in the hottest of conditions the Bix is a jazz music festival and race. The festival is in honor of Bix Biderbecke, a cornet player and jazz pioneer in the 1920 born in Davenport, IA. It is a weekend full of wonderful music, street food and running. The Bix 7 is a pretty big deal. It is a 7 mile race. One that goes straight up Brady Street hill. The top male and female runner win a car, if I remember correctly. Or at least they used to win a car. It is probably purse money now. Last year I watch Ryan Hall (currently the best male marathon runner for the US) win it. It was amazing to watch. This year I am running.
Am I crazy? Yes, yes I am. Crazy for running and crazy about running. I signed up for cross country my freshman year of high school. Why? I really did not want to play volleyball and I knew I could run having completed 2 years of junior high track and several bouts of the "Eagle Marathon" (a two-mile race at my elementary school. In sixth grade, I was the overall female winner.) So I started to run. And I was pretty good. I was a varsity runner all 4 years of high school. I was also varsity track all 4 years. Running was not always fun. I always seemed to have shin splints and my stomach never seemed to like running. My running days have always been marked with vomit and bathroom breaks.
My running stopped 10 years ago. My senior year of track left me hurt and exhausted. I never wanted to run again. I really gave up running for many years. Throughout college and my graduate school work, I never gave running a second thought. After my daughter was born in 2008, I was in so much pain just walking I never thought to run. Then when my daughter was about a year old, a friend of a friend started running. She then inspired my friend to start running which inspired me. So in October of 2009 I ran my first 5k in years. I used the C25K program (couch to 5k) and highly recommend it. Shortly after that 5k we ended up moving and I tried to keep up my running but I did not. I still ran here and there but not regularly. Then with the stress of trying to sell our house and my husband being unemployed for months, I needed to run.
Now, I run a lot and I identify myself as a runner. It was just dormant in me all along. I would have to give full credit for me running to that friend of a friend, now my friend too and my friend for continuing to run. It is the best kind of peer pressure. Now we are all signed up to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) in Nashville this September.
This summer I have run several races, but none as long as the Bix7. I am nervous in a good way. I am excited to prove to myself and family that I can do it.
I run because they run. I run because I want to beat them. I run because of my competitive nature. I run because I am alone in my thoughts. I run because I can. I run because you are not. I run to run. It makes me crazy and I like it that way.