I have mostly wonderful memories of this course from last year. I came into Dallas in 2012 having finally rested enough to show off the fitness I had built up over the summer training with Greg Billignton, and I raced fast.
This year I was excited to do even better. Iâ€™ve been riding crazy fast, and I felt like a hilly and challenging course would be a great way for me to exploit my strength against some flimsier athletes.
Sometimes facts are more important than dreams.
I started off racing like planned. I had a good-enough swim and came out with the leaders. Cameron Dye and I were off the front within a few miles and I spent most of the race just behind him. Every time I tried to take the lead he would surge to come back by me, so eventually I settled into second and held my stagger. The fact that he could surge back past me repeatedly should have been an indicator, but I naively assumed that the ache in my legs would go away as soon as I started running.
It didnâ€™t. The run is where Dallas offers the most challenges. There is not 100 meters of flat pavement on that course, and the first half mile is straight up. My legs failed within a few minutes of the start of the race and I watched Cameron trot off into the distance. You know that feeling when you finish a set of squats and your legs are wobbly and ready to buckle? Thatâ€™s what I felt like trying to run up and down the hills. My run was a full minute slower than last yearâ€™s time, which allowed Hunter Kemper and Stuart Hayes to pass me by.
I was fourth at the finish line, Just about a minute down from Cameron.
- Fastest bike splits are great, but you have to have an accurate gauge of your fitness. It takes beast strength to back up the fastest bike split with a race-winning run.
- Iâ€™m not training in Colorado anymore. Perhaps how I perceive my ability on hilly courses is no longer accurate?
- In the two weeks since Tempe and Vegas I barely recovered and only had a few days of hard training before Dallas. Perhaps training through a tough double like Vegas and Tempe takes a greater toll than itâ€™s worth. I may have been better off resting for the double then getting back into tough training sooner.