Essential Sports Nutrition


Iron Girl 10K Race Report

  • Iron Girl Clearwater Results
  • 5:30am and I was writing on my blog. Thinking I would enjoy this experience and the fact that I can actually run w/o a limp and just be the Iron Girl that I am. Well, the nerves seemed to subside when I arrived to the race site. My mom and I parked the car around 6:40 and walked to the beautiful start line/race venue a few minutes later. So many families, so many people and so many future Iron girls. After saying hello to way too many familiar faces I started to feel a lot more comfortable with the fact that I was about to run a 10K. The #7 on my bib didn't really help my "just want to race for fun attitidue" and when I bumped into familiar faces it was hard to not think competitive when people asked me "how fast will you run", "are you going to win your age group", "are you ready to place top 10 again" Oh jeez..thanks everyone!! I mean, i really do love just being out there and showing my passion for health and physical activity but I couldn't help to want to run fast. I love pushing my body, I love seeing what I can do and I love practicing what I preach. I believe running events (even if you walk) are a great way to be around so many people who share similar passions and to be around so many women at an Iron Girl event just made it easy to want to run fast. Ok, so it is 7:30, 5 minutes until the start and I am 2 rows from the start. After going to the bathroom about 3 times I squeezed my way to the start only to find...those fast girls who I know all of them by their first and last names. I race with them at running events, I check their race results even if I am not running and I even see some of them at triathlons. So my "competition" is far beyond my speed and there is no way I would ever be able to catch them but I guess I felt like I could compete just like they do. The gun went off and the first mile was great. I felt so comfortable and ran 7:09. Up the memorial causeway and I still felt good. No lactic acid, breathing was under control and I could still see my competition. Down the causeway and I was getting closer to one girl. I pushed a little harder to catch her and we stayed together for most of the race. I have never really ran with someone before but i felt like we were helping each other by drafting each other every couple of minutes. Mile 2 and I just ran 6:46. Ok, still feeling good and enjoying this. I needed a quick splash of water at the aid station, which came right after I saw a few girls make their turn for the 5K. Ok, that eliminated a few of the top super fast girls which I didn't need to worry about anymore. It was the fast girls in front of me that I kept trying to chase, but I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to catch. So for the next mile, I made a couple quick looks behind me to see who was chasing me down. I could see one girl behind me but I was in good shape to keep my place for at least the next couple of miles. The breating was increasing and I felt a little stich in my side. The girl who I was racing with (literally, side by side for over 3 miles) was kinda slowing down as well so mile #3 I ran at 7:02. We are now on Mandalay in clearwater beach and we were running with the wind. That means, after the turnaround, bring on the wind. I had a boost of speed when I saw my dad by the roundabout in clearwater beach and he was cheering for me with his camera telling me that "this is nothing like the Ironman". Thanks dad, I know...this is SO much harder (yes, sprinting for a 10K is a big thing for me, mentally and oh so physically). My dad had an optometry clinic on my race course so he left the course to come take pics. Thanks dad..hope I didn't get you in trouble! A few more pics when I came back to start heading back towards clearwater and I was still racing right with the other girl. By the time I made the turnaround, I had counted 9 girls in front of me. Nice, I might be top 10. I knew i had more in me but I had to pace myself. I still had one more run up the causeway and 1 more mile after that climb. Mile 4 came quick and was around 7:30. I had to slow down cause I was hurting. Not due to an injury but this speed thing was getting to me. So we are getting to the climb on memorial and I see all the 5K walkers. Just what I needed. The cheers and applauds from the walkers, little kids and spectators drove me up the causeway and the girl I was running with was now behind me. I thank her so much for pacing me and I never once got frustrated that we were side by side for most of the race. I make a quick look behind and she has dropped back but the tenth place girl has caught her. Great, they are going to chase me down. I get to the top of the causeway and without lactic acid buildup (thank goodness for all the road cycling this winter!) I sprint down the causeway. Next comes the helix which is so much fun to run down. You are running on a wide spiral down to the ground from the bridge and it was great to be able to see my competition 3 floors above me chasing me down. Last mile was around 7:50 (I think) and I was going full force for the finish. One more little climb back to the main road and I was running hard. I had a brief moment of feeling that flush of everything go right into my legs but i wanted so bad to go 45 minutes. I had the walkers to weave around but I didn't want to get in their way. I stopped my cheering of walkers (which i did most of my run on the causeway) because i was huffing and puffing to the downhill finish. I ran because i was being chased down and with a hard effort I ended up finishing 8th!!! I had my mom to great me at the finish and she was so proud of me...but I was proud of her for running a little bit of the 5K walk, feeling great and going a PR by 4 minutes. 41 minutes for my mom's 5K and she achieved her goal of beating me! Congrats mom. After some water and walking around for atleast 20 minutes I started feeling that flush of well, everything again, in my belly. I drank some milk and a little later had some fruit and I was feeling better by the time the awards started. I placed 1st in my age group (25-29) and enjoyed my 3rd Iron Girl clearwater race. I can't wait until Iron Girl Atlanta (tri) and this race was just what I needed to remind me why I love what I do. I love helping people with their nutrition because if you can nutritionally fuel your body, the reward of pushing hard in an event is so much better. Most of all, that last mile of the 10K was run in the honor of Kona...since I barely made it to the finish line in Hawaii. Thank you everyone for your kind words and for cheering me on blogger-style!

    Iron Girl race day

    Just waiting for my coffee to get ready. My mom stayed with me last night at my place since I live about 4 miles from the race site in clearwater but I'm the only one up. the early morning stuff isn't really her cup of tea. I don't blame her...I could use another hour right now! Anyways, I'm kinda nervous for this race. 1) Hope the leg is ok to "race". this is my first race since Kona and although I have been training strong, I haven't really pushed myself yet. I will really need to listen to my body this morning. 2) I haven't really "hurt" yet during training. Besides my heart almost coming out of my chest on interval tueday, I haven't pushed myself for 6 miles in a long time. 3) this is my 3rd year doing this race and I know how hard that "mountain" is to climb. Memorial causeway (for those who did the world championships 70.3) is super tall and long and we have to go up and down, around the roundabout and back up and down. seeing that this is a 10K for me, that means super fast for a short period of time. ouch!
    Well, i guess I will see what happens. At least i am with hundreds of other Iron Girls (and my mom) to keep me company. It is just those few top 10 girls at the start of the race that get me a bit nervous.


    One busy Iron Girl!

    This morning I woke up to sleepy cat with a big yawn. Yes, I was tired too. I was on the bike at 7am for a 36 mile ride (more like a spin). As soon as I got home I had my smoothie w/ toast for breakfast and finished an article on pre-race nutrition which I had started a few days ago. Article was finished and then it was time for Biology. Study study study. I debated about going to the Y for a swim around lunch but I was super tired and not in the mood to get wet. Time for lunch. I needed to get ready for my Iron Girl Clearwater 5K/10K pre race clinic talk on nutrition, so I looked over my notes for a bit. Then back to Biology and a little global marketing (I have two exams next week, mon and wed). I decided instead of practing my talk again in the mirror I would go for a swim. What better than to occupy my time in the pool with lots of laps of thinking about my talk. I had to make a quick stop at the post office and then I was at the Y around 3:45pm. I actually thought about my entire talk in the pool and gave myself a few sets to keep me busy. Funny how you can actually be productive when swimming. Sometimes I think of articles and blog entries when i am swimming, running and biking. Swimming works the best cause I can really zone long as I have my watch to keep track of my splits. I tend to forget what lap I am on after about a 100. My workout today went by really fast: 500 warm-up, 2 x 400 (100 easy, 100 fast), 3 x 300 (100 easy, 200 fast), 2 x 100 kick (fly, free w/ board) and 100 warm-down. A 2500 and I was out and ready to head home for dinner. I needed groceries so I made a stop at the store to get some tofu, eggs, mushrooms, bread, bananas, strawberries, cottage cheese, yogurt and milk. I had a yummy healthy tofu, mushroom, egg whites and cheese sandwich with cottage cheese for dinner. One more look at my notes and then I was out the door at 6:30 to head to Chainwheel drive for my talk. I was very honored to talk at the Iron girl pre race clinic for the event on sat. This was just what i needed to get me in the mood to race. I put a lot of pressure on myself to go fast and place well but because of my kona injury, I know I am not near my potential. I needed the Iron girl motivation from Judy and the other newbies to remind me why I love pushing my body. It isn't about the finishing time but about the lifestyle and healthy habits that I can share with many other people. My talk went great and I hope I educated the women about pre-race nutrition for 5K and 10K distance races. I will have an article on Iron Girl about this topic next month (check out the taste column on for my latest article).
    Well, time for bed now. What a quick day and I have a busy one tomorrow. Starting at 6am-7am, I have my morning swim and then I swim coach for the next hour. Sometimes I think my life is super busy but I just don't think I know of any other is just works I guess :)


    Deep thoughts of Marni

    As I am approaching the last month of school (THANK GOODNESS!) I have a lot of time to daydream in class. I try my best to pay attention in biology but sometimes my mind likes to wander. Among the many things I think about that I should be doing each day but seem to hardly get to, I pay close attention to the things people say around me. Here are some of my thoughts in the past couple of days.
  • Why do people think that those who are lean, toned or in shape are able to eat whatever they want. The way people look is reflective of what they eat.
  • Why do people think that because they exercise, they can eat whatever they want. When the average person consumes close to 1000 calories in excess everyday, it doesn't matter if you are "training" for an event to validate eating a big meal after exercise.
  • Why do people think that bread, carbs and fat is bad for you?
  • Why do people think that vegetarians can't be athletes...let alone endurance athletes?
  • Why do people think that have to run in order to register for a running event? Why not walk?
  • Why do athletes feel guilty about taking a day off of training or missing a morning workout and only work out once a day?
  • Why do gym enthusiasts believe that 3 days of exercise a week is sufficient enough to strengthen their heart?
  • Why do athletes think they have to eat before every workout?
  • Why do athletes think they don't have to eat immediately after a workout?
  • Why do I find such joy when explaining what my M-dot tatoo means to non-triathletes?
  • When my mom tells me that my m-dot tatoo is big, I smile when I tell her it is a big race.
  • Why don't people read food labels. If they only knew what they were eating?
  • Why do people think that exercise is suppose to be hard?
  • Why do people think that exercise can be easy?
  • Why do people think that loosing weight should be fast?
  • If we told children that school is pointless and they didn't have to be determined to succeed, would it then be ok to think that loosing weight would be easy?
  • Will I ever be able to change the world with their nutrition? I may have high hopes but perhaps I can make a difference.
  • If I continue with my education for 1 more year, does 12 continous years since my freshman year of high school qualify me to start changing the world? (I sure hope so cause this school stuff is getting to me!)
  • Why do I use the word "only" when I talk to non-triathletes about my training? I mean, only an 8 mile run is kinda a long distance to someone who can hardly run a mile. (I'll work on that)
  • Why did I convince myself that I never wanted to get married? Perhaps i needed to find someone who complemented me and didn't complete me.
  • Why am I so in love? My love for Karel gets stronger everyday.
  • Why do I love animals so much. I probably save way too many bugs and insects.
  • Why do I look at coupons and commercials and think I would save so much money if I bought 2 big macs for $3 instead of $6 for a 6" veggie sub.
  • Why do I feel I need to help so many people? Perhaps I take multitasking too the extreme.
  • Why do I feel such immense joy of surrounding myself with triathletes, cyclists and runners who share similar passions?
  • Why do I feel such happiness when I convince one person to try a running, cycling or multisport event for the first time?
  • Why am I so lucky to have such a supportive, caring and helpful family? After many emotional times, they still love me and put up with my many emotions.
  • Do we (triathletes) really need to be upset when we have a bad training session? Maybe we should look at the positives that we are able to have a bad session rather than not one at all.
  • Why do I think that every training session could be my last? I'm careful to never leave a dissagreement unsettled, an email unanswered and task unfinished.
  • I try so hard to live each day to the fullest but i must remember that there is always tomorrow. However, I must always look back on yesterday in order to feel accomplished and fulfilled.
  • 4/1/08

    Interval Tuesday

    I could not get out of bed this morning. I was physically stuck...well, half asleep when the alarm went off at 5:15am. I didn't have swim coaching on monday morning so I took that morning to sleep in until 8am. WOW-you know you are in need of sleep if you say you will sleep in and you end up actually sleeping 3 hours later than normal. Unfortantly, I was tired ALL day. I had class at 11-12:15 and a meeting at 12:30-2. Then home to study and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I took a power nap for 30 minutes around 4pm and spent the next hour after I woke up trying to think of excuses not to go to my 7-10pm global martketing class. I never ever skip class but I try to think of every excuse possible. Fortunantly (I guess) I never get sick (last time was June 2007, 2 days before the IG atlanta event I was signed up to do and 2 days after I returned from Las Vegas) and before that I can't remember. Maybe I had the sniffles or a sore throat. When I did my internship with Ironman in 2005 I had the flu. Ok, so I guess I am pretty healthy, a person with high morals and values and I am just so bad at lying. Therefore, I don't even try to lie....I am an open book and just 100% honest (hum...I think that is a good thing). So, I went to class and when I came home at 10pm Karel was up and had a lot of things on his mind. Instead of crashing and calling it a night, we both stayed up talking in our computer/bike room for about an hour. I would miss sleep for a talk with karel any night so it was well worth catching up with him. We cross paths a lot so good thing we have a trusting, supportive relationship. Anyways, 11pm I was in bed but I couldn't fall asleep. I didn't have anything on my mind (a good quote is if you have something on your mind when you are trying to go to sleep, just remember that you can't do anything about it until the morning. Write it down and clear your head) but I just couldn't fall asleep. Another important thing with training is that when you sleep, you need to have restful, sound sleep. It isn't like you can lay in bed at 10, fall asleep at 11:30, wake up at 1:30 because you are thirsty, wake up to the alarm at 4:30 and decide to fall asleep for one more hour and then expect to get up at 5:30am rested. You must go through several REM cycles to wake up feeling rested. That is why some people only need 5-6 hours of sleep because it is restful. I recommend 6-7 hours of sleep. :) Ok, so the alarm went off at 5:15am so that I could head to the Y and be on the treadmill at 6, do an hour of intervals, swim for 40 min to cool off and then clean up to go personal train someone. Well, it wasn't happening today. the alarm was re-set for 6am and after that went off, my plans changed. Running outside at 7am, wake up at 6:30am. Of course this isn't restful sleeping but I wasn't ready (or able) to get out of bed. This may not be typical marni but I have been super busy and I have more super busy days approaching...and my race season is starting this sat! So I finally woke up at 6:25 due to the smell of fresh coffee that Karel made when he got up at 6am. I was up, changed and drinking my coffee by 6:40 and out the door at 6:50. The weather was beautiful, I felt free out on the trail and I was totally enjoying my decision to skip the treadmill for the open road. That is, until I started my workout. I had a plan of the intervals i wanted to do today but since I had a long trail and many miles of scenery to keep me company, I knew i could push the limit this morning and stay focused without the monotony of the treadmill numbers. Todays workout was all on perceived effort and with the thought that I have the Iron Girl 10K on saturday in Clearwater 10 min warm-up, 5 min tempo (half marathon pace). Main Set 15 x 1 min ALL OUT with 30 sec. recovery jog-more like catch my breath so that my heart didn't explode out of my chest. Because I could hardly breath after each 1 min all out (around 5K pace), I took an extra 30 seconds rest (total 1 min) after a set of 5. I ran a total of 57 minutes and i knew this workout would go by fast. I did another 5 min. tempo after the 25 minutes of intervals and then ran with a comfortable pace (and good form) back to my place. I saw Karel on his bike as I was almost home and as I waved hi to him he kinda looked twice at me. yes, I probably looked like death. Well, I felt it in my heart an hour later but the legs felt ok. I think I am getting back into my anaerobic zones but I will need to continue training at a hard effort. I have Ironman Florida 70.3 in less than 2 months and I am looking forward to starting out my racing season this saturday at the Iron Girl 10k.
    I am now studying for a Biology lab quiz and looking forward to my 3hour lab being over with at 5 so i can get to the pool and have a refreshing swim to loosen out my legs for tomorrow. Now this was a great Interval tuesday!


    The two P's of healthy eating

    Presentation and Portions. On friday night I wanted to cook karel a good dinner. He said he was feeling a bit tired and fatigued from getting a few yearly shots on Thurs so my first though was immune system boosting foods-antioxidants! I asked him what he wanted and he said a wrap. Yum-my favorite. I just love cooking the stuff for the inside of a wrap. He was on his bike for a little over an hour so I knew my time was limited for cooking. Most of my meals take less than 30 minutes to make but I needed to get some fruits and veggies for our meal. I decided to walk (YES-I said walk..not drive) to the fresh market 3/4 mile down the road. That took some time to walk and shop but only about 40 minutes. I bought loads of stuff (tomatoes, apples, mango's, grapes mushrooms, potatoes, butternut squash, bananas, chives, onions and lettuce) and for all of that, only $11. I think I would only be able to buy a few apples and maybe a head of lettuce and a pepper at the grocery store for the same price. I walked home with my bags of fruits and veggies and started cooking. Unfortunately, I kinda spent too long prepping my food and Karel came home before anything was finished. Oh well, I cut up some apple slices and grapes for him and with a glass of milk, he held off for 20 more minutes. I had never cooked butternut squash before and since I don't follow recipes (except for the recipes in my head that I come up with and what I see on the food network) I decided to cook the squash like a sweet potato and prepare it like my mom's mashed sweet potato dish. I microwaved the squash for 13 minutes (flipping it every 3-5 minutes) and then scooped out the seeds and then spooned it in a bowl. I added a small handful of oatmeal, a small spoon of Smart Balance Omega Butter, cinnamon and a little light brown sugar. For the wraps, I cooked the red potato's (after slicing them), mushrooms, tomatoes (which release more nutrients when heated) and onions. I cooked them in Spray Pam and a little Olive Oil, paprika, pepper and Cajun Spice (I love hot food!). I also hard-boiled some eggs and cut up some lettuce.
    Since I didn't need to eat all the calories from a whole wrap, I wanted to use those 40-50 calories on protein rather than carbs. I filled up on salad and egg whites and prepared 1/2 a wrap (open) with all my great veggies. I love my breads and other carbs, but I's rather have a little of those foods than a lot, especially since i have to be most strict with my protein. We had spinach wraps so I just toasted them a bit in the hot pan that i cooked the veggies in. For desert, since we only had a little room left in our stomachs a few hours later, I cut up the fruit (bananas, grapes, apples and mango) and topped it with 2-3 spoonfuls of orange and vanilla Edy's Slow Churned yogurt ice cream (100 calories per 1/2 cup). As you can see from the pics, Karel and I can eat the same foods but in different quantities. And of course, it is all about presentation. If it looks good on your plate, you are less likely to eat fast and you will also feel super good about the healthy food you are eating. Enjoy!