Sunday, June 12, 2016

Grace Ping Stays Cool in the Heat

Saturday's weather was not as bad as Fridays as the dew points fell.  Once again they didn't seem to slow down Winona's Grace Ping.  Ping came prepared for the heat, however, with a blue duffel bag that contained a white vest filled with ice cold fluids. The ice vest is one of the measures taken by elite runners to keep the body as cool as possible in preparation for racing in hot weather.

"How do you like your ice vest?" Ping was asked.  Grinning she replied: "I love it."  Views are different among sports scientists on how much of an impact such measures have on dealing with the heat, but for Ping it is at least a psychological aid knowing she is doing everything she can to run fast.

As in Friday's 3200 Ping again had an ambitious goal for the season in how fast she wanted to run her events.  4:49 was the "magic number" for the 1600 and she hoped to run under 5 minutes on Saturday.  Ping completed her distance double in a time of 5:02.04.  When she was asked why she had picked 4:49 as her goal for this season, Ping said that was just a number she chose. It wasn't linked to any record or other reason.

She said she only has two races on the track left for this season, a  2-mile and a 5K at next weekend's New Balance Nationals.  After that Ping plans to go back to training and the occasional road race. As the New Balance meet is being held in North Carolina, she'll probably want to pack her ice vest as the conditions will probably be similar to Friday's temperature and humidity.
Grace Ping(1) chasing Hannah Truniger(5) at the beginning of the 1600.
Photo by Gene Niemi

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