IceBox 480 - Wisconsin
The Dizzy Goat 12h had gone so well for me that I looked forward to another timed event. I like the concept. Instead of running a given distance as fast as you can, you are giving a total time and you can run as far as you can get during that period.
The "480" in IceBox 480 indicates the 480 minutes (8 hours) that you have to compile as many miles as possible. The "Ice" gives you a hint at the temperatures that we would be dealing with. Even though the course did not contain any icy portions, the temps ranged between 35-42 degrees over the course of the day. Usually I don't mind these conditions, As I run outside for the entire winter in negative degrees (that is if my wife lets me!), but I hadn't had time to acclimate yet to colder temperatures. Work had recently taking me to Nevada (hot), Tijuana (hot) and New Jersey (surprisingly mild at 60ish).
|What a good looking family!!! |
Note Leiana's red cheeks and nose,
high time she gets back into the warmth!
Everything was set and I still had some minutes to spare, so I went for my traditional pre-race poop. I'm glad I went when I did, because with about 5 minutes before the race started, everyone else seemed to have the same idea. The lines were about 20 deep and there was no way these runners would start on time or they would have to carry that little bit of extra weight :).
|Race start from 2013-14. I couldn't find a 2015 pic, |
but it looked the same
|beautiful single track|
|Jeff and I and I had two pairs of gloves :)|
It was freezing out and I welcomed the sunshine as it started breaking through the forest. Each ray was warming when it touched my skin. This wasn't so bad after all. I skipped the middle aid station again and enjoyed my day out. I didn't see anyone in front or behind and occasionally lapped the participants that chose to walk.
Finishing the second loop in ~56 minutes, I put more time into the bank. I knew I'll eventually start needed that time back, but was glad I was 10 minutes ahead of goal pace. I filled my water bottle with HEED electrolyte mix and started the loop anew.
|a volunteer actually used a leaf blower to make |
the trail visible. talk about service!
|two cramping legs!!|
I shivered my way back to the aid station and changed clothes that I had stashed in my drop bag. What a relief to get the wet clothes off. I was still cold to the core and gladly accepted a delicious cup of hot chicken broth. That was AMAZING!!!
|awesome mountain bike trail to run downhill on!|
I got to the main aid station a little faster though than I hand anticipated in my text to Christina. Now I didn't have another shirt to switch into as I was again shivering cold. I took off the wet shirt and threw on the hooded sweatshirt I had brought as that was the last thing I had left. I filled my entire water bottle with broth, downed an entire bottle of Gatorade and went on my way. I walked even more during this loop, but always found short sections that I could go a bit faster again. I got passed by a couple of people and was feeling sorry for myself. I hate that moment. I shouldn't feel that way. I decided to run this race and knew what it would encompass. I told myself that there is nothing to feel bad about as I am outside doing what I enjoy. I knew the down feeling came from nutritional issues and I would take care of them when I come through the main aid station again. The remainder of the 5th loop went by in a haze (~1:20h, I think) and I trudged through the main aid station, downing some Coke and more Gatorade and broth.
I got to the aid station and actually had a little bounce in my step envisioning how I would devour multiple slices in my very immediate future! Only....it hurts to even think about it today....they...they were out....
|no pizza left for me..|
Christina got my head on straight. She told me that I also caught up to other runners ahead of me. True. Plus I have been given 12 minutes to stretch my legs, loosen them and get some food and drink in me. Basically a guilt free break. Leiana goofed off around the aid station while I was prepping for the final hour of the day.
I started feeling excited for the last hour. I planned on staying ahead of the runners that came in behind me and maybe make up a spot or two to the front. My stiff legs got into motion when the RD signaled us that we could go a few minutes early. I wasn't ready yet! Man, others had a head start now. After some changing in the pecking order I was able to distance myself from some people behind me and zeroed in on the guys ahead of me. My belated start fueled me and I went a bit harder than I thought I should, but wanted to desperately catch up. After the first mile, I began to feel better. I could
painlessly run the second mile. Lapping others now they started encouraging me to keep running as they were only able to walk. The 2nd mile was done and I chugged my water bottle into the vicinity of my drop bag. I'd have to find it later. No sense in wasting precious time now. I started feeling the adrenaline pumping and was riding the runners high. I somewhat feared that this would wear off quickly and I end up really hurting, but decided to go for broke. If I had to walk the last 20 minutes, then so be it. I kept passing people and felt better and better.
|main aid station|
Anyways, my PR for 50 miles is 9:04h. I think I could've finished another mile in the 1:08h to spare, so it is safe to say I would've beaten that time. Therefore, the day was actually a great success. I wouldn't have guessed it earlier as I was feeling so down, but I kept an even steady pace even during those dark hours.
It turns out that I really enjoy these looped courses. It helps when I run races where I don't know the course, as the early loops give me time to familiarize myself with the route and know when to push and when not.