Essential Sports Nutrition


Feel the Burn. I Felt it!

I thought I knew what was coming today. The smell of coffee woke me up around 5:50am. However, Smudla crying woke karel up around 5:15am. Apparently, Smudla (our cat/alarm clock) needed some attention so she jumped in a tall laundry basket and couldn't get out. Don't feel sorry for her..She is spoiled, always needs attention and well, we love her to death so we have no one to blame but ourselves. Instead of oatmeal I had toast w/ PB and a few walnuts. In addition to my water and coffee, I needed something super easy to digest before today's workout. I said bye to Karel around 6:30am as he head out the door for his 3 hour solo ride. He had 72 min. of threshold work to do at a given power range. Although some days are better than others (he was super tired last night), I am just impressed with his effort and determination on the bike. I headed out for an easy hour warm-up before I met the guys at CVS. I always say "the guys" because Gearlink is mostly made up of male cyclists. Roberta and Celia are two of the fastest and strongest cyclists in the area and they also ride with "the guys". I met Karel on a Gearlink ride (one of these blogs I will reminisce about that day) so I've really gotten to know everyone and those guys (which are range from age 30 to 50) are not only fun to be around but they are all really strong on the bike. At 8am we headed out to Sand Key beach, taking Alt 19, through downtown Clearwater to Bellair. A funny thing happened on the way to the Sand Key causeway as we turned right off the Bellair causeway. Well, apparently a cop was just waiting for some cyclists to come by cause we all got pulled over!! Can you imagine....a siren is telling 20 cyclists to pull over. Ha! I know it has happened before but I just found it funny. We didn't come to a complete stop at the red light before making a right turn and the cop gave us a lecture about being more careful. Seeing that cars roll through stop signs all the time, I wish cops would be more strict on cars that with cyclists. But it is important to be safe on the bike, assuming that cars don't see you when you are riding. Luckily, we have an eclectic group of cyclists so Bob (a lawyer on the team) was the first to talk to cop. We also have doctors, engineers, bike techs, builders, architects and a nutritionist (me!) so it all seems to work well when we are riding together. Just before we were about to start the 12 bridge repeaters (6 climbs on each side) I saw a familiar bike coming in the opposite direction. Guess who...KAREL!!! YAY!! He finished his workout and decided to join us. My confident booster, coach and buddy is here! Ok, good and bad. He gives me great advice but I always find myself pushing a little harder than normal. I wasn't sure how many repeaters Karel would do but I was pleased to find out that he was staying right next to me during all the climbs. He was giving me great criticisms (good and bad) and really pushed me to get up the bridge w/ a strong cadence. Although I was super tired and by #4 I thought we had done #8 (Karel let me down with that news) but he stayed with me through all 12 climbs. I can't tell you how great it felt to have him with me even though all the other guys were working much harder than I was. He could have easily gone home after his 3 hour ride or lead the stronger guys up the climbs but he was right there with me. At the end of the ride we all grouped up at a gas station and as always, the jokes went to Karel. The guys like to pick on him when we are both together. We all laughed when the guys said that Karel was slowing me down and Karel had to pull on my jersey cause I was going to fast for him. Of course I told everyone that I wanted to keep Karel company for those tough climbs but we know that is far from the truth :) After one more climb over the memorial causeway on the way home (opps-got dropped big time on that one) I ended up with 49 miles and very sore quads. I guess I pushed hard today and boy did I feel the burn. I felt it about 12 times and each time I was climbing I thought I didn't have it in me for another one. Climbing a causeway is nothing like climbing in GA but if it is the only thing we have, I will work my hardest in order to get stronger.
A little bit of resting before a x-mas party tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing the Gearlinkers in something other than bib shorts, helmets and jerseys. Have a great weekend everyone!


My passion

It's no surprise that I love triathlons. During graduate school I wanted to become a strength and conditioning coach. I wanted to work with pro athletes, mostly working with football or basketball players. During my last semester of my masters I took a nutrition class with a free space in my schedule. I absolutely loved the class and since then I knew I wanted to do something with nutrition. I started running more and by then end of my Masters I had completed a marathon without knowing a lot about sports nutrition. After bonking for 5 miles of the Miami marathon in 2005 (miles 18-23) I wanted to learn more about sports nutrition. Since graduating with my masters in exercise physiology I have found a deep passion for sports nutrition. I am currently in the proces of getting classes together in order to go back to school and get my dietetic degree. I know the road will be a semi-long one but the next couple years will be worth it. Once I finish my dietetic courses and do my internship I can take the exam and hopefully I will fulfill my dream of being a registered dietician. Since graduating from grad school I have continued my education by reading, researching, writing and speaking. I have written many published articles on the internet in addition to an article in Triathlete magazine (not my Gatorade Athlete of the Month column) in the July 2007 issue (pg 140). I have had the opportunity to help so many people with their nutrition and it is such a reward to hear about people losing weight and/or improving performance. Through a detailed nutrition write-up based on a person's consultation form I am able to help people through the internet and continue helping that person reach their racing and weight loss goals. I wanted to post some of the comments i have received from some of the people I have helped. Congrats to all and I look forward to helping many more people!

"Marni, just wanted to let you know how the eating plan is going. i started last thursday and weighed 200lbs with clothes on. i have been eating about 5-6 times a day. mostly small meals of around 300-500 cals. the biggest difference i have noticed is that i'm not hungry very often. if i do get hungry its usually right before dinner so i have been eating a cheese stick or a few nuts to curb my appetite so i don't gorge myself at dinner. that helps a lot. today i weighed 193 with clothes on. of course most of that is water weight but i definitely feel like this is a way of eating that will be easy for me to continue and maintain for life. The best thing about the write up you gave me is that it covers all the training scenarios so i know how i should be eating under all those circumstances." -lost 7 lbs

"When I found myself at a loss for how to continue to improve my body composition and eat properly for my training and racing, I contacted Marni for help. She not only helped me properly apply the nutrition knowledge I had, she taught me about how to time my eating and helped me see several things I was doing that were counterproductive. Once I started doing the things Marni suggested not only did I drop the extra off-season weight quickly, my energy levels improved dramatically both in my training and my day to day life. It was important to me to seek out help from someone who understands the nutritional demands of triathlon." -lost over 30 lbs

"Marni, I am stsrting to get a fantastic reaction from people. Always being asked what am I doing to lose weight. Being told I look great, always nice and complete stranger stopped me in town yesterday and asked how I was doing it as she had been talking to her pals and wanted to know the 'secret'. LOL. So these things are nice and I take them and try to act modest. However it is more important to me know how my fueling will effect my ultimate goal of IM than how much I lose. (Still nice though). I have even started to think (dream) that I might actually stand a chance (faint) of one day qualifying for Kona." - lost over 35 lbs

"Wow! First, I'd like to say that I am very impressed because I have never seen anybody take the time to be this in depth. You defintely have a passion for what you do Marni and I look forward to working with you.Again, thanks Marni and I'm totally stoked that we'll be working together!" 1 week later.... "I've been feeling better overall by eating cleaner foods and staying away from constantly eating bars. I've lost 3lbs. in the last week so I think we're on track!" - lost 6 lbs in 5 weeks

"Hi! I wanted to thank you for the pre-marathon diet suggestions....that was really helpful"

"Just a quick update cause I'm feeling psyched about this today. I have officially lost a solid 10lbs. I am lighter than I've ever been since my husband has known me. (got together in 1994) Yeah!!Great feeling......but I need new clothes! That's fine by me! Thank you Marni. It feels great. I love going out for a run on a humid day and only wearing a jog bra. I never would before. I feel so fit and strong. Love it!" - Lost over 10 lbs, PR in 2 races, first time 70.3, top in age group


Check out my videos on Beginner Triathlete.

Ok- major plug for but I just love that website! I don't know how it is all done but there is so much info on that page. I have several articles for Performance Members only but I've also completed several nutrition and exercise videos. You don't have to be a beginner triathlete to take advantage of the many tools, info and forums on that page. I love doing nutrition consultations as well and I've gotten to know many people in an effort to help others reach their racing and nutrition goals.
Check out the videos and let me know if you have any questions! Feel free to leave your comments on the site or on my blog! Enjoy! (strength training exercises) (Bosu exercises)


I miss running. I am a jogger.

I'm not really stressed as much as I am constantly thinking ALL the time. I've realized that life is very uncertain and you have to live one day at a time. Last summer my life was triathlons. All I wanted to do was train and work on nutrition consultations. I desired to become a Pro triathlete, not for the money but for the status to let me mentor and train other athletes. Now that it has been nearly 3 months since I ran (not counting the marathon in the Ironman) I get so sad about my future in the sport. I think I am most sad that I don't have running in my life anymore. I have been a runner for the past 4 years and I find so much joy and stress relief in running. I just love to run. I did jog today but I have to be careful with every step. It is more a fear I have of re-injuring myself but I completed 3 x 4 minutes of jogging w/ 3 min. walking in between. I did it all outside today and running with the ocean in my view just made everything so peaceful. I miss that in my life. I miss my life as a runner, which is what I called myself well before I was a triathlete. Before runner was swimmer so I'm kinda torn between swimming and running. Well, now that I take a glance at my two bikes in my room, I'm thinking I should continue to call myself a triathlete. Although I do admit that I am a fanatic for treadmill running, the cool weather in florida makes for amazing runs outdoors. I miss that cool morning/evening run which makes the day just right. Hopefully soon I will resume some type of training again but for now it's a lot of swimming, cycling and walking and jogging. I do want to see a physical therapist but I'm not sure how much I will have to pay for one. It is probably about time for me to see someone since I haven't seen anyone post kona but I'm so happy that I'm finally healing. It's good but bad that I've never had an injury before and now I am stuck with a twinge in my groin area that just won't seem to get better. Although I want to be fast, powerful and competitive again, you should have seen my face this afternoon as I was jogging along the sidewalk with the happiest smile on my face...a smile that would not dissapear no matter how slow I was jogging. I guess for now I will call myself a jogger.


It's official...

I was on the NBC broadcast of the Ironman. I will be signing autographs on Wed. Haha-just kidding. How crazy is this! Karel and I have no idea what happened to our HD recording on the IM but some how it got messed up. My Kona get together was great and we had a great time with some of our friends. Smudla (our cat) was the center of attention towards the end of the night, but that is expected from a spoiled cat. I was looking forward to riding with Karel on Sunday morning but I should have known that I would be riding his pace and not mine. Although I've been feeling great on my rides, I've been averaging around 16 mph on my road bike. I think I reach lactate threshold around 18 mph!!! :( Oh well, I'm enjoying riding my bike and I do pick up the pace for intervals, riding with the guys and for longer rides. When we headed out to Landsbrook to meet the group for the 7:30 ride we were a little pressed for time since we left at 6:55am and not 6:45am. therefore, Karel picked up the pace and I stayed on his wheel for our 13 mile ride to meet the group. There was a good showing of people for the ride and I enjoyed chatting with people as we took turns pacing the group. After 2 hours of riding, the group decided to make a stop for water and bathrooms and Karel wanted to keep riding. Plus, for Karel, this ride totally destroyed his power training. According to his power meter, it is amazing how riding in a group with really lower your power (unless you are pulling the entire time). Well, for me I am always working hard in the group so I not only pick up my average speed but I am always working near my threshold. Right now, however, the pace is nice and the rides are enjoyable. When Karel decided to keep going at the pittstop I decided to join him. Opps..I forgot that I haven't trained in a while and Karel is having amazing success with his power training. I felt a little soreness in my rt. leg and I was getting bummed about my lack of power so I decided to head home as Karel continued his ride. I stopped by my parents house to get the IM DVD that my dad copied from NBC on sat. and I ended up with 63 miles for my sunday ride. After a smoothie and breakfast (no pancakes this sunday :( Karel and I watched the Ironman and I loved every moment of it! I was worried that I would get sad about still being injured or that I didn't want to remember to pain I went through during the race but I just love seeing the amazing athletes and hearing all the amazing stories. IF you are reading this blog, I'm almost certain that you taped the IM (how could you only watch it once???). If you were in our house on Sunday you would have laughed how many times Karel watched me coming across the finish line. He thinks I'm a celebrity now. Haha! We both laughed at me. Anyways, go to the very end of the show and with about 3 or 4 minutes left they show athletes coming across the finish line. I am wearing a white jersey (from Zoot) and I have my white zoot visor on my head with my pink oakley sunglasses on top. My head is down so you won't know that it is me but you can see me fall into a volunteers arms. The funny thing is that right when they show me, the commentator mentions the word "PAIN". Oh, the irony.
I can only imagine a bunch of NBC editors sitting around their computers and TV's and checking out the pittiful athletes "Oh this one looks bad, no this one looks worse, oh check out this one struggling...etc." I guess I have learned if you want to make it on TV, you can race the best race of your life but you have to have a memorable finish.
I think we can all think of a time when we couldn't wait to finish a race. However, it is the determination you have during the race which prompts you to have a memorable finish. Be sure to capture and remember you BIG finish no matter how bad you may feel at the end. For to some people, your finish may be an inspiration to others.