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Kona Kountdown – 8 days out

Eight days from race day, deep into taper…the weeks you love to hate. Most morning I wake up and feel like I have been doing way too much but realize that is because I am doing so little. I love the short 2 hour total workouts, and even miss my five hour workout days! However, I do enjoy my off time but really want the race to be here! Friday is a total day off of training for me. I love sitting here at the ocean away from town and all the nervous energy thinking about race day and the fact that I am here racing again at the Ironman World Championships. The best place in the world to be this week!!

The ocean has had big swells and swimming has been a blast. One moment you think you are swimming only to find yourself on top of the swell, up higher in the ocean than you believed you should be and your stroke has gone! Love it!! Great time heading out, slow time coming back in. Be careful coming back in, as there are many of your close friends heading out at the same time you are heading into shore.

Good luck to everyone in this last week, enjoy the week, soak it all in. It is truly a special place to be. Make sure to visit the expo and talk to the SpiderTech people. They know how to protect those nagging injuries and help you get to the start line ready to race.

Enjoy Kona!


This post was originally published at the SpiderTech blog:

New Photos Added! – IM Wisconsin 2009

Photos from Ironman Wisconsin 2009 are now available in the Photo Gallery!

Welcome to Sophiea Coaching!

Sunrise IM Wisconsin

Laura Sophiea brings 25 years of competitive racing, knowledge and experience to her coaching program. Laura will develop a manageable triathlon program to fit your lifestyle, family, and your life. She monitors your progress and will work together with you to refine your program to meet your goals.

Patience. Precision. Perspective. Poise.

Training for triathlon is a complete journey.

It takes patience to follow the steps necessary to reach your full potential.

You will bring focus and determination to reach your goals.

It is important to train in the moment and be aware of your body, how it feels, how it reacts and how it grows stronger.

Triathlon should help you bring balance to your life, not cause further imbalance.

At Sophiea Coaching we believe in bringing all of these principles into your triathlon training. We work with you to determine your goals, short term and long term; then we craft a plan to get you there. Your coach will check in with you as often as necessary to ensure you are working the details of your plan, but also taking a step back to see the bigger picture. We will work with you to make sure your training enhances your life; work, family, and friends. Triathlon is an incredible experience, it will bring out the best in you; let us help you get there!

Sophiea Coaching – achieve your possibilities!

Ann Arbor Triathlon Pictures

Lesson Learned !

***Here is a note from Brett who recently raced the Black Bear half ironman. He reflected back on his race and has generously allowed me to share his post race thoughts. Great race Brett!!

1) We got to the race early. No wait to get into transition or for the bathroom. Relieved a lot of stress having all the extra time.

2) Put heart rate monitor on my bike helmet so I don’t forget to put it on.

3) I need more electrolytes. I took 21 on the bike with me but dropped 3 on the road. Didn’t have any major issues, but could feel the cramps starting towards the end of the ride as I would get out of my saddle to peddle up a hill. I think I need to have 3 of those Hammer tubes filled for a full Ironman. Plan on one for each half, and the third as spares for any I may drop.

4) I need new water bottle holders. Even on a smooth course I managed to lose my bottle off the back of my seat.

5) Coke is my friend on the run. If I would of had some when I first started to feel sick I wouldn’t of had to wait over two miles to find an aid station that had some.

6) I felt the Energy Surge I took while on the run really helped. It was hard to tell on the bike since I took it before I climbed the last large hill.

7) I didn’t have any cramping issues on the run but I should have some electrolytes with me to be safe. One of my friends had issues while running and didn’t have any electrolytes with him and had to push through it.

8) Remember to shake protein bottle before drinking.

9) Took approximately 1300 calories with me on the bike. I had 4 gels in my flask, one bottle with 5 scoops Sustained Energy 1 scoop HEED, one bottle with 3 scoops HEED, and water in my aero bottle.

Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Overall
Gulf Coast ’07 45:05 9:25 2:58:33 5:25 2:58:24 6:56:51
Black Bear ’09 39:31 3:12 3:36:09 2:38 2:20:59 6:42:27

Tri Camp Day 3 April 18

The long run would become the highlight of the camp and one to be talked about later that evening. The day began with a later 7:00 a.m. wake up call with the run beginning at 8:00 a.m. We all descended down in our cars to Yahoola rode to begin the 5.6 mile loop. The goal was to complete 2 or 3 loops making each loop quicker. We would stop at the cars, refuel and re-hydrate and begin the next loop. We started out together and quickly the fast “boys” were gone and the girls hung tough along with Rob, and then Drew who finally recovered kept us all in contact. Within the first ½ mile Max (cute dog in the pictures) was attacked by 3 dogs waiting in the grass for him. Kelly went after the dogs; the boys came back and checked on Max and Kelly. He was shaken but OK…and he went on to run the 17 miles plus a few more because he would chase the boys, come back to the girls, finally hanging out with the “chicks”. It would be another gorgeous day for a run 57 degrees to start the run and 65 by the end of the run. Everyone completed the hard, hilly loops on pretty tired legs. We were not done yet, after a quick return to the house, we changed and were out the door in 20 minutes for a 30 mile ride. I do not believe there is any flat rode in the north Georgia mountains. As Wayne said later that afternoon, he was not ready to ride so soon. Next year Wayne, I promise, one hour between events. We had a nice ride to the fort, well until Bz, and then Peter took off and made it a race which Kevin soon joined and the rest of us being of smarter, sounder minds, and painfully sore quads rode a steady pace to the Ranger fort. Time to head back home and all of us made it up the driveway at the end of the ride!!! No car rides for that group J

Off again to the “crik” for another day of ice baths, and lots of pictures of the group jumping off the rocks into the water. I think they had more energy left and maybe next year we will do 3-Gap on Saturday after the long run!

We headed back to the house after spending about 30:00 in the water. Next up was a talk on Ironman nutrition, lots of good questions, and information to be shared along with each athlete receiving the book “The Endurance Athlete’s Guide To Success” from Hammer Nutrition along with a goodie bag from Hammer.  We also covered training with Power.

The culminating event for the afternoon was the awards. We had King and Queen of the Mountain award, (Peter and Kelly) along with the Mental – Stick –To –It award to Nikki…who had a truly amazing camp. Jon, Wayne, Brett, Drew, Bz, Neal, Rob, each  received their special award and then we had a great dinner and lots of laughs, wine, and beer. It was a nice way to end the day.

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???

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 70.3-11/08/2008


Arriving in Clearwater was great with beautiful weather and warm 72 degree water.  The first day of putting the bike together and getting organized was relaxing as Mike and I arrived on Weds. instead of Thursday. I was happy to have him this year as Laura wasn’t there and it’s best to have your support with you. They had the expo and registration right at pier 60 this year so it was so nice to not have to drive at all.  It was very organized.  I went out for a beautiful swim and felt very comfortable. Since I was still tired from Kona, I did very little the days before the race.


Race morning was the typical nerve buster but I was determined to just enjoy it.  I had been really tired this year after Kona so I just decided to enjoy myself.  Our age group was the first to go after the pro’s and I had never been in that wave before so I arrived early.  I had a good start and felt very comfortable in the water.  I have to admit that I like this swim the best out of all 70.3 races I have done.  I made one mistake of forgetting that they strip your wetsuit for you and took a bit of time stripping it at waters edge.  I still PR’d by a minute so I was happy.


This is where Clearwater gets a bit murky.  I had a good run on the bike as I felt like I was in a time trial and stayed aero. There were parts of the course where I couldn’t see another cyclist.  With 16 miles to go I was enveloped in a group of about 20 riders and then purposely dropped back.  There were 2 women in the mix in that one.  Apparantly, this is how the flat course shapes up.  I did not see an official the entire bike this year where last year they were everywhere.  So I guess depending where you are in your wave and if you are lucky not to get caught, you can really fly in the bike.  Unless they can change the course to a hillier one, drafting will always be a problem.  I was 8 minutes slower than last year but biked hard and am proud to not have been in a drafting situation.


I wasn’t sure whether I was still tired from Ironman or just went too hard on the bike but it took me longer to get into a rythem this year.  I pushed as hard as I could though. I came off the bike in 3rd place and ran into 2nd place.  I did notice that it was alot cooler on the run since our wave was so much earlier. It has felt so much hotter the last 2 years.  It was fun being able to cheer on the pro’s this year as well.  Mike was my great inspiration out there as well as Brian Enge, who was in the race and cheering me on the run. (CEO-Zoot Sports).  All in all I was happy with my performance and only ended up 2 minutes slower than my winning time last year.

I have to thank the sponsors that keep me at the top…Zoot Sports, B&L Bike,Look,Easton,Giro, and Oakley. You guys are just the greatest….and Mikey my biggest fan.

Dream Big,


Kim’s Kona Race Report

Kims Kona Race Report

Race Week

Race week began for me with a beautiful memorial service for my friend Barbara Warren.  She passed away from complications from a bike crash while racing and we celebrated her life on Sunday before leaving for Kona.  I had been pretty torn up and decided to dedicate my race to her as I couldn’t stop thinking about her beautiful smile and inspiring spirit.  I made a white cross with her name to wear on my back race day and could feel her energy.  Race week was the usual frenzy with 1800 athletes and even more volunteers and spectators filling up  little Kailua town.

The Swim

The swim was the usual nerve buster for me as it is my weakest event and the Kona start is just plain scary.  I got trampled, kicked, run over and smacked so much I felt like I was in a washing machine. Even said, since it is my 4th Kona, I was ready for it and held my ground.  I have worked hard on my swim this year and even though I did the same time as last year (a little disappointing), I have to say I was less fatigued than in the past.  I also realize that I will probably never be a great swimmer..  Oh well…

The Bike

I knew that I was going to have to bike out of my mind if I was to podium this year.  I worked hard on the bike as well this year but work obligations prohibited me from doing alot of mileage.  I stayed as aero as possible and paid close attention to nutrition and hydration.  I felt strong but really pushed the pace harder than in the past.  The turn around in Hawi was welcome but the wind was not.  I was nearly blown off the bike more than once and struggled to stay aero.  I tend to get nervous.  I could hear  Barbara’s encouragement to stay relaxed but keep pushing.  About mile 90 I think I bonked a bit so I increased my salt and hydration.  I managed to PR on the bike with a 5:52.

The Run

Finally….I am always so glad to get to the run. Unfortunately this year I learned what it means to leave your legs on the bike.  I felt pretty horrible and had to spend an extra few minutes at the first aid station to get myself together.  The important thing about Ironman is to "keep moving forward".  There are always "bad patches" that you mentally and physically have to push through.  I felt like I was running so slow and actually questioned whether I could finish but the runner in me argued back.  Just after mile 22 my friend Eric Niellson (a volunteer on a motorcycle) yelled out the time of day-5:17.  It took me a minute but I started calculating that if I really pushed it, I could break 11:00.  Then I remembered that 11:00 was my goal this year.  I dug deep.  When I hit the downhill on Pilani Road I could hear Mike Reilly calling athletes in and then heard him start counting down for the 11:00 cutoff.  When he brought me in I just stared at the clock and smiled.  10:59:52.  It was a hard one and I am grateful for a personal best and completing my 4th Kona…..Barbara, this one was for you my friend.

I want to thank my sponsors, Zoot Sports, B@L Bike, Look, Easton, Giro and Oakley for all that you guys do for me.

And Mikey, my partner in crime and the love of my life.

Kim launched!

Welcome to all current, new and future clients!  Laura and Kim are excited to introduce their new website!  Here you will find interesting tidbits about Laura and Kim, their comings and goings, favorite workouts, as well as the training services they offer.  We look forward to working with you to reach your triathlon goals!