Monday, April 28, 2008

Promise Land Post-mortem

(photo: Keith Knipling)

Promise Land 2008 will be remembered as the hottest on record (according to RD David Horton), and most of the finishing times reflected this fact. I was mentally prepared for the hot temps (high in the 8os), but not physically. We have had very few days to acclimate to this kind of heat and humidity. With the heat in mind, I started the race with two bottles, one with Sustained Energy and one with water (which later were replaced with Nuun/water and plain water, mostly for dousing my head and neck). I also consumed a 5-serving flask of Hammergel, a pack of Clif Bloks and a pack of Sportbeans. In hindsight, I could have eaten a bit more but overall I was pleased with my nutrition and electrolytes, particularly with the Nuun, which totally rocks in hot weather (I added one Nuun tablet to 20 oz. of water at three different aid stations).

I was hoping to run near to last year's 6:22 (my PR is 6:14), and was on track for most of the race to meet this goal, but knew it would be dicey because of the hot temperatures. I started off conservatively and felt strong through Colon Hollow (mile 25), but as soon as I got to the base of Apple Orchard Falls for the big climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 28), the heat really turned on and I was fried. I stopped at every opportunity along the falls to get wet (which felt soooooo good!), sacrificing a bit of time...but in the end it was worth it. At the top of the climb I came upon my C'Ville training buddy and Team Ragged Mountain teammate Bill Potts, who, like me, really suffers in the heat, and we pushed each other down to the finish line in our slowest PL times ever, 6:42! I did manage to finish as first "old lady" (Masters woman), which is always a goal of mine in races, so all was not lost! Results are here.

The post-run was a blast and as usual, it was fun to catch up with old friends. Nancy Horton and her volunteers cook yummy burgers and dogs and it was wonderful to sit in the cold stream after the run, cold beverage in hand. Promise Land is one tough ultra and a great test of I know what I need to do to get ready for Grindstone 100 (climb, descend, climb, descend, and get heat acclimated!!). Mike Day has posted a good report on heat training here as well as Neal Jamison here.

Next up: volunteering at the MMT100 on May 17-18 and racing Highlands Sky 40 in June, after I take some time off to recover and lacrosse season ends!!


Greg "Loomdog" Loomis said...

Sophie so great to see the calf was managed well and you were able to handle the hills and heat of PL50k without problems in it! Great stuff. I had family in town and had to miss out on this one for yet another year...bummer! Take care and we'll get together for some miles when I get back from Chicago in July.

Bedrock said...

Glad you enjoyed the race. Everyone I have spoken to said it was HOT! Look forward to seeing you at MMT.

Andrew Speidel said...

Nice job, Sophie!