Sunday, August 10, 2008

Illinois and the Bix 7

I went up to Illinois to visit my family at the end of July. Mom, Aunt Jerry, Aunt Tracey, and Emily all picked me up at the airport. We had a good time talking, laughing, and catching up on the way to Mom and Dad's, it made the 4 hour drive pass by quickly. The next night Mom and Dad invited the family over for dinner. It was great to see everyone and talk with them!Uncle Casey and his girlfriend Ellyse
Grandpa Don and his wife Barbara
Aunt Jerry
Aunt Tracey, Uncle Bill, and Emily. Claire had to work that night.
I also got to see my cousin Mark and his kids. Nathan is getting big and very smart and Addy is very cute and talkative. Mark seems really happy and loves being a police officer. Tracey, Claire, Emily and I went to see Grandma Geneva too. It's amazing that she's 99! There is a picture of Grandma Geneva and I somewhere, on Mom's phone I think, I'll put it up here if I get it.

Dad has done a ton of work in the campground since I'd seen it! Reed Lake (now he calls it "no name lake") is HUGE now! and look at the decks these campers have built to enjoy the sunset on the lake!

Dad's D8 caterpillar, that's how he's gotten so much done the last couple of years.
This is the "new" pontoon boat Dad built. He's always building crazy things out of scraps.

Hummingbirds hang around my parents' house constantly now. I got this shot
and this one
Dad took this one
I also got to run the Quad City Times Bix 7 while I was in Illinois. I have always wanted to run the Bix, it's a 7 mile run, very hilly and it's usually very hot. It wasn't quite as hot this year, I think the high was only about 90 that day.The Quad Cities takes the Bix pretty seriously.
Mom and Dad walked out to the 1 mile marker while I got ready to start. They saw some kids writing good luck messages in the street.
There were about 15,000 people running so it was crowded and it took me a few minutes to get across the starting line. The Bix is famous for the "Brady Street Hill" at the very beginning of the race, it's a long steep hill. I really enjoyed running up it, it felt like a big accomplishment just starting the Bix. I have always wanted to run it, but back when I lived in Illinois, I could barely run 2 miles.
The fast runners coming up to the 1 mile mark where Mom and Dad were watching
The front of the pack. Wouldn't it be fun to be able to run like that!Mom and Dad were watching for me at the 1 mile marker. I saw them from a little way back, they were in the median and I was toward the right side of the street, I waved and yelled "hey", but they didn't see or hear me, so I made my way toward the median and yelled a couple more times. Finally I was right beside them and Mom was still very intently looking WAY down the street. I yelled "MY GOD YOU GUYS" and finally they both turned and saw me and started laughing. Dad was quick enough to snap this picture, since I was pretty much past them when they finally saw me.
So with this many people running, I guess they have an excuse for not seeing me at first. I was going a little faster than my goal for miles 2 and 3 so I slowed down for 4 and 5, the course was out and back so we turned around at 3.5 miles. At that point I was right on target for my 1:20 goal. Between miles 4 and 6 I started getting pretty hot and decided I'd run through any spraying water anywhere on the course, there was a lot of it! Tons of people had their hoses and sprinklers turned on for the runners and some even handed out baggies of ice! That was great! I couldn't believe how many specators there were, it was really fun the entire race.
Mom and Dad had figured out their spectating plan by the time I came back at mile 6, they saw me really early and Dad got 5 or 6 pictures this time. By mile 6 I had sped up again, who cares if I'm hot at that point, only 1 mile to go! I sped down the Brady Street Hill (surprisingly my quads weren't really sore the next day) and finished in 1:22:16, a little slower than I'd wanted, but I was very happy with my run.
Mom and I talking after the race, I have no idea what was so funny.
Dad got this picture of the finish line after I finished and found them.


LeftRightRepeat said...

How cool is it that your dad has his own bulldozer!!! I am SOOOOooo jealous!!

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