E-12 hours – Double HealthFX solo podium – Sweet!

It was a well organized race with 63 solo riders starting (52 men and 11 women). I won the women's and Dave won the men's solo categories - how cool was that! Dave was the only rider on course to complete 14 laps and I won the women's by a 2 lap margin in 13 laps - good enough for a 4th place overall. A nice day indeed for Team HealthFX.

This was a training race for me. I came into the race with a Chronic Training Load (CTL) about 120 and Acute Training Load (ATL) of about 90. These are huge high numbers for me and the first time I have started a race over CTL 100. How my body would react was a bit of an unknown but that is what training races are for - testing out new stuff to see if it makes you faster.

Goals

  1. Start FAST! I normally start conservatively and I was in the mood to try something different.
  2. Even split my laps. This goal doesn't jive at all with #1 so I split my race up as first 4 laps fast and then finish it off with even splits.
  3. Streamline my pit stops. No stops over a minute.

How did I do? I ran like a mad woman and stayed right on Dave's heels. Dave hit the single-track in 3rd and I was in 4th!! Here is a pic of us coming through the start finish on lap one in 3rd and 4th. I've ridden a few miles on Dave's wheel and know his style. It was a super comfortable place for me - in fact I was elated and laughing out loud to be moving fast and flowing free in front of the dust bowl crashing shouting gridlock backed up cluster fest that was behind. I'm never ever gonna run slow again.

Coming through happy with a relatively traffic free first lap.

Laps were 10 miles. My splits for the first 4 laps were 53:07, 51:40, 51:16, 53:32 and I was sitting in 10th place after these four laps. Then I dialed it into my go-fast-all-day-with-no-fade pace to even split the next 9 laps. Next 9 laps were 56:40, 55:47, 57:07, 58:15, 57:03, 57:41, 57:27, 57:26, 56:10. Purty even I'll say :-) What was amusing was how my lap split ranking got better and better. I saw guys who went faster than me early slowly blow and fade behind me. Lap split rankings from lap 5 - 13 went 11, 8, 7, 6, 4, 6, 3, 2, 1. I had the fastest 13th lap on course!! Dave had the #2 ranking for the 13th lap. On the 12th lap he was ranked #1 and I was #2. We were out there moving around the course.

Here is Anna hustling Dave through his pit stop. She moves fast and works hard. She sets the gold standard for pit operation. The guy in the shop apron in the background is Andy. He saved Dave's bike from falling apart.

My pit stops were dialed. Steve was so on top of things and I got in and out of there in about 10 seconds for the first few laps then in about a minute for the rest of the laps. Steve was awesome. The biggest suprise of the day for me was having a mechanic. Andy from Desert Cyclery in St George came up and wrenched for Dave and I. I'd roll into my pit and hand my bike to Andy while Steve smeared sunscreen on me while I was picking up my food and supplements. Then I'd grab my bike back from Andy with the chain wiped and lubed and be off in less than a minute - very slick operation. Andy is awesome and quickly picked up the reputation in the pits as the guy to go to with bike troubs. I was so psyched to have him on my team and will do anything to get him on my 24-hours of Moab team. Andy - just tell me what you need! You are an ace to have on my team. Moab is the big show and I need a guy like you who can get it done.

I caught sight of Dave creeping up to lap me on lap #11. I'd pull ahead on the climbs and he would close the gap on the descents - I gotta get that downhill thing improved! On lap #12 he got on my wheel at the end of the longest descent and we had a wee chat. From that point on we yo-yoed and kind of rode together which was a lot of fun for me.

Here is my finish shot.

This is what 13 laps looks like

This is what 14 laps looks like

Boris and his family run a fine series of events, The E-12, The E-50 and the highlight The E-100. The National Ability Center, the site of the E-12, is a super setting and the E-12 hour course was fun, fun. Boris puts a lot of thought into course design. You can tell he is a mtb rider himself. The E-12 course has a great flow and a little bit of everything in there.

After the race several solo riders who had followed my training plans for this race came up and told me how they did. All of them had great races and a couple had standout races. I was impressed with one athlete who completed 11 laps on his single-speed!! Thanks to everybody who came and said hi to me.

A tremendous day out indeed.