Sunday, November 12, 2017


A Few More Pinhoti Thoughts:

Official Pinhoti results were posted. I ended up with an official time of 26:47:11, 47th of 140 finishers (247 starters) and 15th woman.

When Ryan read my race report, he texted back, "where's the drama?!" Ha! But seriously, there really wasn't any. I know, so boring ;)

I'm not saying I had a perfect race, but it did go pretty well and for that I am still incredibly thankful and happy.

Of course, when I look at the results, I definitely lost a number of places in the final five miles. In fact, there were three girls who finished right before me between 26:45 and 26:47:02, so if anything went less than perfectly it was that final stretch when I didn't push enough to get those few minutes and places back. I feel a bit of regret about that, but it is slight, and certainly not enough to tarnish my feelings about the race.

Strava also shows 2 1/2 hours of "non-moving" time, some of which was most definitely aid station time, and some of which was time on the trail spent peeing, stops waiting for people to get over obstacles, stops prior to water crossings, stops to adjust things here and there, and a few minutes at least at the very beginning as we all were at a standstill getting into the singletrack. Funny, I had really thought I did a pretty good job of keeping moving, but obviously multiple aid station stops were more lengthy than I remembered.

Still, looking over my data, it appears I went through the halfway point (50.3 of 100.6) in 13:02, so all things considered, not a bad split for a finish time of 26:47! So much more consistent than TARC, when I gave up 5 hours in the last half! ;)

More for my own recall than anyone else's, here are a few thoughts on fueling during the race, which I do think played into me feeling pretty solid energy-wise for 26+ hours:

I had clear thoughts on what food sounded good and there was no wishy washy standing over the aid station tables for me. My goal was to keep up with my gels every 1/2 hour for as long as I could, and also to eat something at every aid station (or food we had brought if it was a crewed spot), even if just a cup of coke or one cookie. I think I was mostly successful and I did manage to keep eating throughout. I did skip the mile 6 aid station and the mile 93 aid station in terms of food. Interestingly, the two food items that were the most appealing were bacon - I probably ate a dozen pieces in all throughout the race starting at mile 40 - and fritos. Otherwise, I'd say I ate maybe 3 small ice oatmeal cookies, 1 orange piece at 35, 1/2 grilled cheese at mile 55, a 1/4 quesadilla at mile 50 and at Pinnacle at 75, a few bites of watermelon at mile 40.  At mile 50, I had grapes and tried to eat some pizza but that got tossed. Same with the pizza at mile 85. I had two shots of pickle juice, one at 55 and one at 60. I started in on coke at mile 23, but honestly didn't drink a ton, maybe just a small cup or two at most stops, but not all.

I had a pack of Honey Stinger chews the first time my watch dinged 30 minutes, and a Gu Lemon Sublime at an hour. After that, I alternated between Honey Stinger Acai & Pomegranate gels and the VFuel Cool Citrus gels (which have a small amount of caffeine). Unfortunately, due to the warm weather, the Honey Stinger gels were out pretty early on (by mile 18, I think). They were just too sweet and thick. Luckily, the VFuel sat well all through the race, and I probably had 25 of those in all.

Of the food we picked up in Atlanta, the grapes we had brought were great, they went down easy. I drank most of the Blueberry Naked smoothie we had brought, as well as most of a bag of Fritos. I also had about 3/4 a can of a Starbucks Espresso Shot at mile 80. Only managed about 3 bites of the little debbie oatmeal cream pie that I took with me at one stop, the rest got chucked into the woods, and I maybe only ate about 3 regular potato chips, something about them just stuck in my throat. All the chocolate and candy bar stuff I had brought sat untouched. So weird sometimes how things that have worked before just don't sound good at certain races.

I think the small constant stream of caffeine from the VFuel, supplemented by the coke, helped as I felt like I had even energy for most of the race, with the major downs coming at mile 40 after I had climbed up Bald Rock in the heat of the day and at mile 80 when I was just plain old tired and sleepy. I never wanted to curl up on the side of the trail though, like I did during TARC. I felt focused and with it throughout, even when I was a bit faded.

Chafing was definitely better than at VT50 but I still ended up with a fair amount. I think I need to try some alternates to BodyGlide to see if I can mitigate that in the future.

I never had any cramping or serious leg break-downs during the race, and my legs felt so much better than after TARC and even VT50. Maybe in part to keeping a more even pace and/or training and/or better regulation of water and electrolytes, but for whatever reason, I was glad to have stairs not be the enemy the next day! :)

I think overall, I come away with the satisfying fact that I had a good race, in which I managed the humidity and course well, fueled well, had great support between Ryan and John, and overall kept up a good attitude, all of which allowed me to have a successful race! We learn something with each race we do, and I hope I can build on this positive experience for future ultras!

The Weekend:

Saturday was Sam's first swim meet. To say it was overwhelming and chaotic is really an understatement, but for her, once she walked onto the swim deck, she felt at home and in her element. So proud of this kid! We don't have results yet, but she swam the 25 backstroke, the 25 freestyle and the 50 free. Overall, she swam very well and I think she even won her heat for the backstroke! It was so crowded, it was hard to tell and the timing clock wasn't functioning for her lane, but regardless, it was awesome to see her swimming so strong!

We were there for 5 hours, so it was a long day but she had fun and we all learned a thing or two about swim meets! Now we know to bring folding chairs, computers, lunch, you name it ;) Hopefully next weekend's meet, which is just a dual meet instead of one with 5 teams, will be a bit less crazy but if not, I'll be prepared :)

So many people...

So many swimmers... thank goodness she had those bright pink/orange goggles so she stands out!

Hanging out on the swim deck with her friends

My little swimmer

This morning, I got out for a walk on the powerlines before Ryan headed up to Camden to meet Tyler for his run. I got all bundled up since it was only 26 degrees out, but really, it was quite lovely and I warmed up quickly. November is often a tough month as we lose light and lose the brilliant fall foliage, but there is a subtle beauty to be found out there on the trails on these late fall days. (2 miles walked)

Winterberry brightness

Ice patterns

Early morning light


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