WAUSAU – This space was supposed to be reserved for whimsical description of my adventures in four different western Wisconsin counties.

Oh my, I had some grand plans late last week for the 2017 Runnin’ and Ridin’ in Wisco Project, my effort to run or bike in each of state’s 72 counties before the end of the year.

I was slated to spend some time with in-laws in the Twin Cities, so had taken a few days off from work. My intent was to hit Eau Claire, Trempealeau and Buffalo counties on my way over to Minnesota, and Burnett county on my way back.

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The wretched troll Bleak Luck intervened. Earlier this summer I contracted a particularly nasty case of food poisoning. Tuesday night, on the cusp of my little western Wisco adventure, similar gastrointestinal distress struck. I don’t know if I had another case of food poisoning, if this bout was related to the first, or if I contracted some completely different stomach virus.

I do know by Wednesday morning, when I had hoped to be cruising along the Chippewa River State Trail in Eau Claire, I was curled up on my couch with all the strength of wet tissue paper. All dreams of ridin’, runnin’ or even catchin’ up with the family disintegrated in a cloud of dust.

But I did have plenty of time to think about the project as I sipped kiwi/strawberry flavored Propel and intermittently tried to nibble on white rice.

Here are seven things I thought about while my stomach churned:

7. This project started out as basically a framework for goofing off. And it’s been a resounding success at that. But it’s also become a kind of mid-life…