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Kona Kountdown – 12 days out

I continue to be amazed that race day is 12 days away. The electric feeling is already in the air here in Kona. I met a big group for a swim out to the turn around buoy this morning. It was a cloudless morning, bright sunshine, with many fishes to see along the way, even an eagle ray. The ocean is so full of amazing creatures that take my breath away…in a good way. This past weekend was the last big brick build out on the Queen K. I was able to experience the wonderful cross winds that literally make my bike go along at a 45 degree angle as well as the infamous heat on the highway. It was a humbling experience! While running back to the car , Craig Alexandar, Terrenzo, Mathais, Edwardo, Cam, and a couple other pro men were headed out to the Energy Lab at a clip I could only dream about. It was awesome to see these guys!!

I was again helped on the run with my Hammy SpiderTech Tape. Love the colors, but even more it has kept me injury free, healthy and ready to race. I even figured out how to cut one and use it to help out a knee issure for the run. Where has this tape been my triathlon life.

Good luck and safe travels to everyone not yet in Kona. It is such an incredible place to race.

Laura

This post was originally published at the SpiderTech blog: http://www.l2computingsolutions.com/spidertech/

Kona Kountdown – 24 Days Out

We are just over three weeks out from the Ironman World Championships. It is finally becoming a reality and it continues to thrill me thinking about lining up on the beach race morning. The Hawaii Ironman World Championships is totally amazing, chill inducing, and greatest place to be if you love triathlons! Seeing the people you read about, talking to all the athletes, and soaking up the energy of race weeks reminds me of why I love triathlons and why I continue 25 years later to still enjoy this sport.

Thankfully this year with the help of Spider Tech, I am able to keep those nagging muscles a bit more healthy and focus on training. YEAH!

I am looking forward to the next 24 days and beginning to taper and really take this all in as I get ready for Kona #20.

Laura

This post was originally published at the SpiderTech blog: http://www.l2computingsolutions.com/spidertech/

Kona Kountdown: Rest Week – SpiderTech Update

Laura in SpiderTechThis past week was an awesome week, REST week! I absolutely love how your body responds to the lower volume of training. Also, I received my hamstring Spider Tech tape. It works incredibly well. I even did a test. I put it on for the run to protect and help my tight hamstring through a 2 hour run. Perfect, zero pain level in the run. Then, I left it on to test it out…took an ice bath (brrr), shower, sat outside a read for a bit in the 90 degree heat, slept with it on and then swam this morning. Spider Tech Hamstring Spider ROCKS! It made it through protecting my hamstring for 36 hours straight. Yeah!

Looking forward to the coming weeks of build for the Ironman World Championships and continuing to stay healthy with the help of Spider Tech. Thank you all so very much.

Have a great week, and a wonder Labor Day Weekend. I am off to the mountains for a tough training adventure!!

Laura

Kona Kountdown: Big Training Block – SpiderTeach Blog

Laura in SpiderTechWell I am officially into my long training block for Kona and the Ironman World Championships…Amazing! This past weekend was a long ride with some of my crazy friends doing IM MOO and Muskoka 70.3…so I had many training partners. That is soon to end though as they take on their IM adventures. We made it through the long ride and brick run and was more than happy to call it a day and head home for my wonderful “Ice Bath”….I am really learning to love these, almost anyways. Sunday I decided to test out my new Sider Tech Calf/Arch tape. I have been dealing with nagging issues on both my heel and calf and knew that a 20 mile run would make everything more sore. Well, the best and most incredible news is that by using Spider Tape, I ran pretty much pain free…unbelievable really. I love the tape and the pretty blue color :) My running partners were jealous! I did learn something though, Do NOT, put any kind of lotion or sun screen on the part you plan to tape! All in all it was a good beginning to my building block and my Kona adventures. Hope you will follow me as I continue my build/training all the way to Kona!!

Happy training!

Laura

Ann Arbor Triathlon Pictures

Tri Camp Day 4 Sunday April 19th

Sunday was the end of camp.  The day began at 4 a.m. with Peter, Nikki, Bz, and Drew heading back.  Everyone had a long drive ahead and they were the first to be out the door.  When the rest awoke we found a slight drizzle of rain and the rest of the triathletes decided it was a good time to head home.  Kevin and I soon found ourselves with only two campers left.  Rob decided to head out to the mountain bike trails, so Kevin and I headed out for our last ride.  We rode the 3-Gap course.  I missed having all of the camp people around!  It has been  a challenging, enjoyable, exciting, exhausting, and incredible  way to “jump start” the ironman training season.

Enjoy your season and we look forward to having a Dahlonega Tri Camp in 2010!

Laura

Tri Camp Day 2 Friday April 17th

Day 2

Friday April 17th

Wake up call was 6:00 a.m. Everyone made their bottles of nutrition….Hammer of course;  had  breakfast of  coffee, toast, cereal, muffins, and with a bit of nervousness they were ready to begin the day. The driveway of the house we were staying in has a 25% grade and is steep all the way to the bottom. They had the option of riding down, which then meant climbing it at the end of the day, or taking the car to the end of the gravel road and begin the ride from there. I would say it was 6 for riding and 6 for the car. I am a car person J We had one group picture and were off on our journey. It was quickly apparent that the fast group was gone…Kevin, along with Jon, Peter, Bz and also David (a local Atlanta resident) were out of sight in the first mile!

Our first climb all 8 athletes were together, even Drew with the flu (feeling a bit better) made it up Woody’s Gap. We then flew down to the town of Suches and made the turn on to 180 with Rob pulling us along and Neal agreeing to be the sweeper. It was a great plan but with all plans things do change! The next climb was to the top of Wolf Pen…again we all gathered for pictures and slowly began the switchback descent to the bottom of Wolf Pen. Wayne showed us all how he loves to descend putting us all to shame. It was fun to watch him go! At the end of Wolf Pen two people chose to ride 3-Gaps twice and the rest continued on to the 6-Gap course. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, and such a clear blue sky it was truly amazing! We were blessed with a beautiful, fun filled day. We covered over 15,000 feet of climbing and descending all with smiles on our faces.

Next up was our transition run, a short 3.5 miles and then off to the “crik” for an ice bath. Today the water was 56 degrees. Sixteen minutes of pure pleasure.

Bed time came early Friday night. People were pretty tired and quiet. Looking forward to the long run on Saturday???

Dahlonega Triathlon Camp Blog

Day 1

Thursday April 16th

Thursday was the start of the inaugural “rainbow tri camp” (thanks BZ for the name). Triathletes began arriving Thursday morning, and by mid-afternoon we were ready for a 5.6 mile run. Well, Nikki, , Kevin and I ran Thursday morning as they and were anxious to get this out of the way. Nikki was quite surprised with our short 5.6 mile “Yahoola Loop! There are big hills and Nikki ran an awesome loop as we tried to keep Kevin in our sights for an easy run. Great training run to open the camp! Drew (the youngest camper) came Wednesday and ended up with the flu so he sat out this run. :(

We were off to Wheelworks Bicycle Shop to have  a quick check of our gears.  Jon was awesome taking care of all of our bikes! By mid-afternoon, Wayne and Brett and I had the chance to get out for their run oop…(I rode a bike!) They had good steady running cadence and nice form and were quite happy to see the car at the end of the hills! By dinner time, all 12 athletes had arrived and were ready for a bit of wine and an awesome chicken dinner, with wild rice, and Nikki’s moms homemade chocolate chip cookies. (Thanks to Nicki’s mom…the cookies were so delicious J )

Then we had the 6-Gap route talk provided by Kevin, who knows every in and out and up and down that course has to offer. We begin the ride from Yahoola Rd. up to Woody Gap then to Wolf Pen, to Jacks. to Unicoi, then up the dreaded Hog Pen and the 7 mile climb and finish off with Neels Gap. Kevin was able to share all his knowledge with the athletes and we then sent everyone off to bed thinking about day two J

2G2BT Cookies: Kona made cookies!

2G2BT Cookies Since I spend training time in Kona I have met many incredible people.  One such person is Annette  Leopold.  Annette makes these incredible cookies that taste delicious and are good for you.  Check out her website to find out more about these delicious treats.

"…2G2BT Cookies are nutritionally dense, low in fat (I don’t use any butter or margarine), low in sugar and each cookie has a vegetable.  2G2BT Cookies are loaded with functional ingredients, such as bee-pollen, wheat germ, flaxseed, protein powder, etc to provide you with consistent energy.  The best part about 2G2BT Cookies is that they taste great."

http://www.2g2btcookies.com

EUROPE ADVENTURE 2008 – SPAIN!

Hola, from beautiful Spain. We arrived Wednesday July 2nd after climbing Mt. Ventoux outside of Avignon. It was a wonderful climb, (can’t believe I said that!), climbing 13 miles with a 7.5% average grade. Some sections were 11%. The top looks like what I imagine the moon would look like. Lots of gray rocks, chilly, but awesome views!

Spain has been peaceful and sunny on the Mediterranean coast along with many hills even though we are on the coast. While we have not had to climb mountains yet, they still feel like mountains as we continue our tour in Europe. Wednesday we met up with Neal in the seaside town of Tamariu. Neal flew in from Detroit to spend the last two weeks riding bikes with Kevin and me. We have a beautiful view of the ocean. Kevin has great routes out of Tamariu. One was from the hotel where we had to climb 3km out of town and rode to Bisbal. Then Friday we went to Banyoles to swim in one of the only lakes in Spain. Unfortunately it is a rowing lake and we were asked to leave after 15:00 of swimming. They missed Neal and he got his entire swim in. Neal said the guy felt sorry for him since he was swimming slower than we were! We then rode from Olot straight up for 10km. The descent was beautiful, winding, and fast. I am learning to descend much better than last year. I guess you can teach “an old dog new tricks”! Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day and we did a 100 mile ride taking almost 7 hours. We thought it would be about six hours, but again the terrain makes it deceiving. We rode to Tossa del Mar. It was breathtaking. We first saw it from way up above as we rode about 15 miles on this winding up and downhill road through Costa Brava or the Savage Beast. The rode is aptly named as we were either climbing or descending but the views were spectacular. Neal had two flat tires on the way there so we actually had a couple of breaks in the ride. While in Tossa del Mar we stopped for food…we were starving. I had chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookie…life was great. We ate it at the beach crowded with sun bathers, many topless women or men in skimpy Speedos! Quite a sight to see J In the beginning of the ride, we ended up being a bit lost and while stopping for water, a very nice woman came out speaking only Spanish and luckily for us Neal is fluent in Spanish. She offered us fruit which was delicious and her husband came out and drew us a map in the dirt so we could get back to the main rode.

I have learned a few things while in Spain. People are incredibly friendly to cyclists, they give us lots of room while passing, and they offer us food, directions, and always a smile. The medieval castles are truly places to see with stone roads, incredible architecture, and a glimpse into the past dating back to 16th century. There is nothing like that to see back home. I have also learned that as we enter most cities, cow manure is spread on the outlying areas. It made for very fragrant rides. Lastly I am learning to eat late at night. Most restaurants do not open until 8:30 and then it is a long meal, usually 2 hours in length. A very late night for me as I finish dinner and go right to bed. I miss my early dinners. Also, everything closes from noon until four p.m. My Spanish is not very good and in fact I keep saying French words instead of the little Spanish that I do know!

Today we head to the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain for 3 more days of riding before we head back to the Pyrenees in France for another few days of mountain riding and watching the Tour de France. So, Spain has been a wonderful interlude from all the mountain climbing.

Adios,

Laura