I've decided that there's something about racing together (or opposite each other) that make you look more alike.
Cale and I did our first twelve hour of the year up at Northern Kettles this past weekend. It was a pretty quiet race because of Chequamegon (can you believe I spelled that right on the first try!), so it was a weird dynamic all day. It started out warm and oh so moist, and stayed pretty humid throughout.
Nothing seemed to dry. Up until the 6 and 3 hour races, we didn't have any teammates around (due in large part to Velocity) and my approx 38 minute rests were spent in relative silence at the tent. I chatted when I lined up to wait for Cale, but getting to take a break from that the rest of the time was kind of nice.
It had rained the day before, so the trails were wet in the morning. As the day wore on, they dried out and were better in some parts, but mysteriously worse in other places. Some sections had mud/dirt like peanut butter. Orrr velcro. It didn't stick to the tires, but it felt like a flat. The smooth, round rocks never dried out and it was slippery going in some corners and hills. I ran tubeless Race Kings (2.2") with around 21 or 22 psi, which worked out about as well as it could, I think. The tread did well with the dirt and mud, and the low pressure let me slide among the rocks instead of bouncing over them.
While I was out on the trails, I cooked up an extra special analogy. In the beginning, I rode like a pack of hungry ermine, hungry for miles. My pace was quick, but after my first lap I relaxed a little bit, though maintaining the speed. Then, Cale figured out we were in second place. After that, I rode like a pack of ravenous ermine, intensity ramping up as we cut the gap on first down. I rode a double lap as the short breaks between laps only served to make me stiff and cool. By the last lap, I was riding like the last remaining ermine of the pack, starving to death, feeble with hunger and mewling pathetically.
To steal a line from Coach McGuirk; Who didn't love that analogy?
The only way in which that stellar analogy doesn't work is that we did eclipse first place in the early afternoon and managed to hold them off.
Toward the end of the day at 6:00, I was waiting for Cale to come in, relishing the fact that I would be heading out on my last lap. When Cale came in, just before I headed out, he asked if I could do another lap after this one. Thinking that he was asking me to do a double at the end of the day, I grumpily conceded and headed out. I took it easy and just rode, knowing I'd be a few minutes slower but conserving for a possible second lap if Cale couldn't make it. Thankfully, when I completed my lap Cale was waiting to go. What with the day's riding, Cale had miscalculated- he thought I would have time to do another lap after his. I had thought the same thing, before recalculating. It's clinically proven that 12 hr races adversely affect math skills.
At the end of the day, we had done 17 laps, which put us second out of all the teams, right behind a four person team of guys! I was surprised and pleased. We usually do an even number of laps, but Cale had started and happened to end it. I did eight laps of seven miles each with 500 ft of climbing each lap. Now that I'm no longer fatigued, I can tell you that's 56 miles and 3,000 ft of climbing for the day. Not too bad.
Next up is the rescheduled Stump Farm, which I'll be doing solo as a 100 miler. I'm not sure how that'll shake out. Can I set a steady enough pace to keep going all day? Will that steady pace be fast enough to finish the 100 miles within the 12 hours? Only time will tell!