Tour de FireOn Saturday, I rode the Tour de Fire for the second time. This year I was thankful for cooler temperatures and a better sense of what to expect. I had registered for the longest distance (139 miles) in the hope that I would be trained for it and with the knowledge that I could ride any of the shorter distances if I chose to...which I did.
Last year, I rode the 46 miler and I opted to do the same this year. The ride is early on Saturday morning and due to our schedules, we didn't roll into Vegas until around 10 p.m. on Friday night. So, any hope of getting rest before the race was out. Also, I learned an important lesson--check that your old bike rack fits your new bike before you due to leave town. Since we had rented a car for the trip, I needed to use my old trunk mounted bike rack and I learned that my tri bike doesn't fit on that bike rack. So, I loaded up the old road bike and we headed out.
As I said above, the temps were much cooler than last year. It was in the 60's to start and in the 80's when I finished (as opposed to 80/100 last year). However, there was a bit of wind throughout the ride. There were a couple of spots where I felt like I was being pushed sideways. All in all, it was a good ride. I took 30 minutes off my time from last year, which isn't too shabby. It's a very hilly ride--the first 23 miles is pretty much a steady climb, as a result the return was mostly downhill (just two big climbs on the way back). I decided to turn around at 23 miles because I was still feeling good and I really wanted to feel good at the end of the race too.
The best part of the trip--visiting with my friends Stacey and Eric in Las Vegas!! They're the greatest hosts and it's always fun to chill with them for a weekend. :)
Bike FittingToday, I visited Bill Wilson at Camelback Coaching in Scottsdale to get my tri bike fitted. I was inspired by Kate's positive experience and I had heard good things about Camelback Coaching, so I decided to bite the bullet and get fitted. Upon arriving at CC, I saw walls full of posters signed by Ironman champions thanking Bill and Anne for their coaching! I decided these guys probably knew what they were doing.
I learned that I was not getting the most out of my awesome bike. First, my seat was too high--I was over extending my leg, which meant I wasn't using a proper pedal stroke and wasn't articulating my ankle (hence my numb toes--I'm pretty sure Annette and/or Kristin told me that I need to articulate my ankles once before too!).
Also, my aero bars were way too far forward, this meant that I was not using my skeleton to support my body putting extra stress on my neck and shoulders and causing me to get out of the aero bars, which pretty much defeats the purpose of riding a tri bike. So, I got the positioning adjusted and I immediately started creating more energy output--it was pretty amazing!
I also learned that I need to work on positioning my pelvis--I need to rotate them forward and working on getting a good, elongated "yoga" spine when I am riding. This should help with the hip/back pain I felt during Marquee (also more core strength, but I think that will take more than 90 minutes for me to fix).
With all that, I am excited to test out the new settings during the Tempe International spring tri coming up this weekend!! The temps are going to be high (it's supposed to hit triple digits). I am hoping to be finished before it gets really warm (one of the benefits of racing the sprint tri instead of the olympic!).