Wednesday, September 5, 2012

18 Hours of Joy!

Race Report from LPTRunner Troy Malinowski...

This past Saturday, I embarked up on my third and final Badgerland FX. As the week progressed, the weather wasn’t looking too favorable. Upper 80’s with rain; much like last year.
                  The day before, Tropical Storm Isaac switched it up a bit, and a mild cold front came through, leaving temperatures ranging from mid-sixties in the morning to high of mid-seventies with mostly cloudy skies.
                  My plan was a slow steady pace of 4.25 to achieve one hundred miles. As the event started, I toed the line with running legends Michael Henze, Jennifer Aradi, Bill Heldenbrand and Tatsunori Suzuki. This would be the largest field I have encountered at the event.
                  As the race began, I averaged five and a half mph the first two hours, feeling good and running with Michael for a few laps. The third hour was slowed to a five mph pace into four and a half the next hour. I continued this steady pace into the eighth hour. At this point I was approximately an hour and fifteen minutes or five miles ahead of pace.
                  This year and about this time, Robert brought in a masseur. Free massages were posted.
                  At the nine hour mark, I was feeling the afternoon heat and having a hard time cooling down. A lot of liquids, watermelon and such, made me feel bloated. At about the same time, Michael crossed the line at the 100K mark in approximately 9:10:20. He was looking strong, with no let off. Jennifer was not far behind; with Tatsunori in third. And I was presently in ninth place.
                  As I continued, I crossed the fifty mile mark at around 10:30:00. A solid hour ahead of pace and feeling good.
                  As the 12 hour runners were finishing up, the cloud cover seemed to mislead most, as Michael was slowing, Jennifer was feeling down, and Tatsunori was running at my walking pace. I slowed also.
                  Feeling it, I was wondering if maybe a “free massage” would help get the legs loose and pick up some speed. As I rounded the latest lap, I notice him taking down his table. Come to find out, he brought 20 free massages and a certain LPTR individual (that ran 37.8 miles in her six hour race) used up 17 of them.
                  So, I continued to run into the night. At the eighteen hour mark; 3/4ths into the event, I had lost my edge and was at just over the 3/4th mile goal with 77 miles.
                  The next hour, hit hard. And upon the 20th hour, my stomach was churning; I was tired, near exhaustion, chaffing and suddenly both feet started to burn. With this, the pads of my feet were starting to bruise up and get sore. Every step shot pain into my feet.
                  I was sixteen miles from my goal of hundred with four hours to go. Robert was telling me, “You have it.” And my body was going at a top speed of three and a half mph. The mind just wouldn’t give the strength needed. John, another 24 hour entrant, kept pushing me. He was approximately five miles ahead. His body would run for one and half miles at this time before needing some rest, while I was struggling to get half a mile.
                   I came to realize that the goal of 100 miles was not going to be met. I would be close if I pushed it, but mentally and physically, I did not see it happening. The disappointment of being “that close” wasn’t worth the pleasure of finishing 24 hours  of a well put together event and feeling physically bad the next day. I settled into a steady walk to complete the 24 hours. Christine walked with me, followed by Logan.
                   All in all, as always, Robert put on a first class event. It was good to be surrounded by friends and family that we have gained in our running lives. I accomplished 93.073 miles, placing seventh. Learned many things about myself, running, nutrition and even that Christine graduated from the same high school. And while feet are sore, my legs are ready to run again. And the following day, during a walk to get milk, I was “planning” my training because next year at the Badgerland FX, I need to accomplish that 100 mile goal.


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