Slowly the pain went away, I was able to ride more and more. Didn't really focus on running much but it also came back. I spent more time in training than ever before. Months into the new year I felt I was at the top of my game. I felt invincible again, just like in 2011, when I thought I will run ultramarathons.. That ended with a torn meniscus, months without training and even more time with recovery.
Come April I was super excited going to Vegas. My weapon was that experience a year before, the belief of being smarter, a full suspension bike and a flight to Vegas versus a 20+ hour drive across the US.
By Sunday at noon I was back on Earth.
Once off the bike I knew I wasn't going to shine. It took me rather long to pick up my cruising speed and by then my muscles started to give up. After the mile-long uphill, on the way down my hammies said they've had enough. I just passed a fellow Canadian friend (North Dakota is like Canada, eh?) when I had to come to a full stop to stretch my legs. From that point on it was more of a fartlek run with faster sections going uphill then a slow and careful, recovery sections on the way down. I must have passed a dozen of age groupers with the last one (eventual 5th place overall finisher) just about 3/4 mile to go. Mission: run the last 1km all downhill at full speed to hold off another racer while avoiding the almost unavoidable cramping. I was probably a funny sight when I ran with straight legs at times.
Lesson to learn: