Tuesday, July 21, 2009

12 Hours of Potluck

In attempt to add a little variety to a years worth of point to point racing and prep for next weekends 24 hour of 9 mile I decided to do the 12 Hour of Potluck. I entered the 12 hour solo freak division in hopes to push my fitness beyond comfort knowing that if I could withstand 12 hours on my own I would put myself in the best position to help my team next weekend at 9 mile.

My overall goal was to stay on the bike as long as possible and if breaks were needed to make them quick. Little did I know I would end up in an epic battle with Dave Grant, Ace Hardware Team, that pushed both of us to insanity. Both of our goals quickly changed. His, to keep the pressure on and not let the small gap he had on me dwindle into the night. Mine, attack every lap to catch him until my body blew up.
The day started dark, drizzly, and cold. The race promptly started and the 12 hour clock starting ticking. For the first 3-4 hours I kept a high zone 2 low zone 3 pace trying to establish every lap I could early on while I felt good. The plan panned out as it left me feeling really good at the half way point. As hours 7-9 approached I realized Dave's gap was growing slowly and I had to come up with a plan. The plan was to attack 1 lap and rest for 2. It started to work as at about hour 9 I had taken his lead of over 20 min down to 15 min. Knowing the night was coming to an end I attacked again at hour 9 1/2 and hour 10 resulting in cutting the gap from 15 min to 11 on the 1st lap and from 11 min to 7 min on the 2nd lap. The 2nd attack ended at hour 10/12 and totally did me in. At that point I attempted to attack again and my body would not and could not respond. I had nothing left in the tank and used every ounce of energy just to finish the 12 hours. In the end Dave held off the attacks and increased his lead back to 15 min. We both completed 22 laps (a new Potluck record) but Dave did in a bit faster. Congrats Dave.

It was a great day of racing and I truly enjoyed my experience. The day left me with 12 hours of non stop riding, 22 laps, 129 miles, countless feet of climbing, too many cliff bars to count, gallons of Gatorade, 2 Culver's Chicken Sandwiches, and 10,000 less calories.

During a 12 hour race you have no time for rest. This picture truly represents fast food. Thank you to my sponsor, Culver's, for the well needed nutrition. (Check out my right hand, chicken sandwich).

A huge thank you to my parents who were there to support me. Without them it would have not been possible to stay on the bike as long as I did. Thank you for your love and support.

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