TriMarni Training Camp Day 2

I woke up on Day 2 of TriMarni Camp much more refreshed than Day 1.  A full night’s sleep and happy tummy after I fueled with my favorite long-bike morning snack: two wasa light rye crackers with nut butter, half a banana sliced, raisins and a handful of granola.  Plus a large glass of water of course.  On the Day 2 schedule was a long (4-hr) ride plus an optional 30-minute run, followed by lunch, presentations and my Retul bike fit from Karel (yay!).

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{ an example of my favorite long-ride snack }

We met at 7:10 AM at the NTC, all bundled up for the 45-degree weather.  I’m the first to admit that I overdressed, as Houston’s humid 45 degrees seems colder than the drier 45 degrees we had in central Florida, whoops.  Karel and Marni explained the ride was not a specific workout, but rather a long ride with some fun hill sections including the famous “Sugarloaf Mountain”.

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Long Brick: 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Bike: 4:11 hrs, 60ish miles?  (I actually stopped my Garmin at one of our stops and forgot to press start again for some time!).  We started the ride with some leg/hip openers that I’ll try to use for future rides.

Ride fuel: 4 bottles of 1.5 scoops Infinit Speed formula – this works GREAT for me!  Infinit quenches your thirst, keeps you fueled and gives me no stomach problems.  So easy.

group photo

I’ll admit I was a little nervous going out not knowing this group I would be riding with.  I had not been in the saddle for 4 hours since last year on my road bike and I wasn’t sure how it would go.  We split into two groups and I headed out with Karel’s group; for the first hour I was pushing a little to hold on.  Luckily I don’t mind descending, so I could push harder on the downhills to catch up as needed!  We re-grouped before starting the loops; Karel and Marni had spray painted the ground to help us with directions, but I directions aren’t my strong point, so my goal was to keep other campers in sight.  I really enjoyed the scenery and terrain – great road surfaces and challenging hills; I was glad I brought a climbing cassette.  It was not what I expected from Florida! 

Karel rode nearby and gave me some good advice on getting in/out of the aerobars while climbing and when to stand while climbing.  Because after all, when you are going 6 mph, what difference does aero make? Good point.  Instead sit up and push your weight back a little to better utilize your muscles, and stand to punch it up at the end. 

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After a couple of the smaller loops, we re-grouped and were going to do Sugarloaf mountain twice.  I love hills, so Sugarloaf was a fun challenge, and the surrounding lake views at the top were stunning.  While climbing up Marni reminded me to loosen my upperbody while standing and zig-zag the bike back and forth a bit to use the momentum.  It helped a lot. 

At some point while going home, I had to stop for water (Marni & Karel had left a cooler at the loops for everyone to use) and Karel was kind enough to stop with me then pull me back to the group – of course he could have gone way faster, but it was fun for me to ride his wheel a bit since he is a very steady rider!  After the ride, we got back to the NTC and transitioned to the short brick run.

Run (~30 mins):

  • 10 min warm up
  • MS:  3 x 5 mins at Olympic run pace (I ran them around an 8:00 min pace with hills), with 1 min walk/rest in between
  • 5 min cool down

One thing I have noticed with my TriMarni training is that my runs off the bike are really improving!  I felt really strong on hills with an 8:00 minute pace – amazing. In fact, I hardly notice I am running “off the bike”, it’s just like normal running.  Plus, the runs also go by so quickly with the intervals Marni provides.

After the workout I refueled with my new favorite post-workout combo of almost frozen Zico plus a scoop of Hammer Chocolate Whey protein powder, and a Maple-Pecan Kind bar.  So delicious!

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Lunch

We met back at the NTC at 2 PM for lunch, informal discussion, and my Retul bike fit.  We were all really hungry and happy to partake in the pancake bar Marni provided!  Pancakes are one of me & David’s favorite post-workout meals, so I was all over it.

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We talked a little about biking, including biking on crowded courses, cadence, hills, and any other questions regarding the ride that morning.  Then Kelsey took the stage and gave a “Find Your Awesome” presentation that I tried to listen to during my Retul fit.  I wish I could have tuned in 100% because it was a really great discussion!

Retul Fit

After more than 5 fit attempts in Houston, and trying out 5 saddles, I was ready to get my bike fit right!  I have a great bike, however, it just hadn’t been working for my body.  The saddle height I needed for my long legs partnered with low aerobars created a 4″ or so drop that was just not manageable for me – yes, some can pull it off, but I could not lean down that far comfortably.  The saddle I settled on that has been working really well for me is the Adamo Attack.  It was more narrow and less cushy than the Adamo road, and worked really well, hitting all the “right” spots.  In addition, at Karel’s suggestion I had already replaced the Felt bayonet stem for a longer one with a little more rise to open up my back angle a bit more.

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Once Karel started the fit, he did a lot of checks on my flexibility and symmetry.  He noted that my hamstrings are tight (I sort of know this and always try to stretch them…), but otherwise things were fairly symmetrical with no major issues.  A Retul fit is very comprehensive, and here are just a few of the things Karel changed after reviewing my position (every fit is different of course):

  • My cleats had shims (spacers) that Karel though were not necessary.  They were also slightly uneven (fore/aft) which could have been shifting my body sideways a little.
  • My cleats were positioned quite far back on the shoe, which did not allow me full use of my lower leg muscles, so he moved them forward a bit
  • My saddle height was low (I had done this to remove pain), so he increased the height but also added 10mm risers to my aerobars (I brought a Felt riser kit with me).  Even though my saddle height increased, my back angle still was more open than before thanks to the risers.

At the end of the day, I met David once again, who had finally got a little bit of kiting in, albeit gusty conditions.  He was doing a lot of driving back and forth, so I was keeping my fingers crossed he would have some good kite days.  We were both exhausted and grabbed a quick bite at a local Cuban restaurant.  David loved the seafood paella, but for me it was pretty greasy, so I just opted for rice and beans, which of course, I woke up hungry from later that night.  I think my only issue with Clermont was its lack of healthy/fresh restaurants considering all the athletes coming through.  We probably should have just stopped by Publix again and made dinner in the hotel room for the freshest option.  Next time!

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{ #happykiter }

All in all a solid day and a confidence-boosting bike ride for me.  I really appreciated the time Marni & Karel took to ride with us and give us tips to improve our cycling skills.  Can’t wait to practice them on the IMTX course soon!

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