Essential Sports Nutrition


Lake Tahoe

It is something here! We are just in winterland heaven!
First off, I miss Campy and Smudla. I think about them all the time and since I don't have kids, I miss my furry little babies :)
We finally got snow today! It came down overnight and when we arrived at the Tahoe Cross Country spot, it was snowing even more!
Yesterday was our first time on the snow. We had a lesson for cross country skiing and Karel was a natural. I am not surprised since he seems to excel at everything he does. I enjoyed the lesson and our instructor was great. She was super nice and we even had our own personal FREE lesson. After about 30 minutes of our lesson, our instructor said that we were doing really well and we picked up really quickly. Since Karel was off on his own during our lesson, I liked the company and the instructor and I chatted as we were skiing.
After the lesson, Karel and I were on our own. I didn't ask Karel to wait for me because I was a bit slow for him, but Karel didn't go too far from me. I really enjoying the cross country skiing and it was a great workout. I think Karel and I were enjoying ourselves a bit too much cause for our first day we did almost 3 hours nonstop. There were a few uphills that were challenging but for me, the downhills were a bit hard. I am still working on the stopping and turns. I did pick up some ski skating but I prefer cross country skiing. Because I snowboard, it was hard for me to think about only my toe being stuck to the ski and that I could lift my whole heel off the ski. It was all new to me and Karel but it was a lot of fun.
This morning we arrived bright and early at the same ski place to take advantage of the Early Bird Special. We got a super discount by skiing until 11 (we had to get our ski's back by 11am to get our discount). The time flew by and we covered a lot of ground. I did much better today and 2 hours and 20 minutes later we were back at the lodge. What great fun we had! We just picked up our rentals for skiing (karel) and snowboarding (me) tomorrow at Diamond peak. We are both a little nervous so wish us luck!
Here are some pics from our vacation so far....


Hello from Reno!

After 11 hours of traveling we finally made it to Reno. I am not a fan of traveling by plane because I am not in control. I love to travel but I like to be able to have a say in...when we leave, what we eat, where we stop, etc. It is just the way I am but when it comes down to it, I can adapt. Especially, since we are on Vacation.
For lunch we ate at the aiport in Tampa. Karel picked up bagels from Panera on Wed morning and we each made a bagel sandwich. Karel had a chicken sandwich and I made a PB, nuts and raisin sandwich. I also packed two giant bags of trail mix, a bag of grapes, two apples, 2 granola bars, a few sport bars and our water bottles. I think that all lasted us until dinner time. We flew on Southwest which had great service and lots of snacks and beverages but no TV or radio. I read my nutrition book and Karel is almost finished with his book From Lance to Landis.
At dinner time we had a 3 1/2 hour layover in Phoenix. I had my choice of a burrito at a Mexican grill or a salad at Wendy's.
The Mexican grill had a vegetarian option but I am always hesistant to order "vegetarian" when there is a grill in the back where the veggies are cooked on the same hot stove as the meat. No thanks. Plus, for $5 I am really getting a high calorie white tortilla, lots of rice and beans and of course, lots of cheese. Although it may fill me up, I know how those fatty meals make me feel later in the evening.
So, I moved onto Wendy's. Of course there are no "vegetarian" salads so I would have to order a salad w/o the meat or pick off the meat and give it to Karel. So really, I would have to pay $7 (with tax) for iceburg lettuce, croutons, cheese, 3 cucumbers and a tablespoon of shredded carrots. I may as well throw my money away because I would find myself eating one of my sport bars about 30 minutes after the salad. I like to bring sport bars on trips because they are high enough in calories to get you through a few hours of sitting around, without leaving you super hungry right after.
So, when I tossed out the idea of an expensive tossed salad I went with my 3rd option.
A Vanilla Frosty at Wendy's!
Although I am on vacation, I don't like to think that I can eat whatever I want. I still want to be healthy so I am not looking for foods that I normally don't eat. But, when it came down to getting my money's worth and eating something good, the Frosty was the best idea I could come up with and thanks to Karel, he was the one who gave me the suggestion.
That Medium Frosty was the best dinner I have had in a while...yummmmm. At 410 calories, I decided to top it off with some nuts, raisins and my organic cereal (all in the trail mix) to make it a yummy and crunchy dinner. It sure did the trick cause I was very satisfied afterwards and only spent $2.16!! What a deal :)
At 9:30pm we were greated by my grandparents at the Reno airport and we were in bed by 10pm...reno time. I don't think Karel and I can remember a time when we were up at 1 in the morning but we were super tired and ready for bed.
This morning we were up at 5:30am so we still got a good 7 1/2 hours of sleep. We started our morning with coffee and couldn't wait til the sun came up to see Mt. Rose behind my grandparents condo. We had a super healthy breakfast this morning of stove-top oatmeal and a fresh fruit salad. We are so spoiled by my grandparents and we just love their company.
Now we are just getting ready to head up to Incline village to see where we will be staying for the next 4 nights. Barbara (my grandp's wife) has graciously given us a condo (that she rents out) for the weekend. We will be staying right on Lake Tahoe and they are even expecting a fresh batch of snow today!
After we see the condo we are off to Northstar ski resort for our 1:30 XC ski lesson. I am a little nervous if I will be able to pick it up but we have the whole afternoon (after our lesson) to cross country ski.
More pictures to come.... but for now, enjoy!

Passing time at the Phoenix airport

Waking up in Reno

Yummmy (We aren't use to eating breakfast and not training right after...what a treat! I didn't want to stop eating!!!)

Good morning Reno!

My Campy (who is getting lots of love at my parents house.. Miss you Campy and Smudla!!)


What happened to my Tuesday???

It is now Wednesday and I am just killing time at my parents house until we head to the airport for our 2pm flight. It is super windy here in New port richey but a nice 50-degree, sunny day. I had a great hour run this morning to get the blood flowing before I sit all day.
Here was my tuesday....which felt like a 5 hour day, rather than a typical 14 hour day.

6:30am - Coffee, check email, check training peaks for workout.
7am - On trainer. Although this is my recovery week, the un-planned workouts start on wed (today). Shawn did break up the monotony of the normal Tues interval workouts so I didn't mind getting in a good sweat this morning. After the warm-up I did 1 min on, 1 min off, 2 min on, 1 min off, 3 min on, 1 min off, 4 min on, 1 min off. After recovering after the set, I repeated it again. The "on" was in the big chain ring and the "off" was in the small chain ring. The goal was to keep the same cadence throughout the entire set. I liked the workout and it went by super fast. 1 hour on the trainer was finished at 8.
8:15am - 21 min. run with Campy. I didn't realize how COLD and WINDY it was outside until we started running. I shouldn't have put Campy's sweater on him. My fingers were freezing, even though it was around 45-degrees out. It was just super windy! We had a great run and it is becoming more and more fun to run off the bike when I have my "running" partner with me. We also got a big "hi" from Karel as he was driving to the Trek store to meet Jeff for their windy and cold bike ride of intervals on their TT bikes.
9:00am - Breakfast (SMOOTHIE!)
9:30am - Folded laundry that has been sitting in the dryer for a day. I am horrible at finishing laundry...not my favorite chore.
10am - Work on nutrition write-up
10:45 - Work on school work
11:45 - Start packing
12:30 - Walk Campy
1pm - Lunch. I ate random stuff in the fridge so that we wouldn't have spoiled food when we came back.
2pm - Finish packing. Seriously, I have no idea what to bring. I have so much winter stuff and I haven't had a chance to wear any of it in so long! As you know from the news, Kentucky is known for snow and lots of ICE so I have lots of clothes from living in Lexington, KY.
2:20 - Checked us in online for Southwest.
2:50 - Head to school for my first day of biochemistry. So I am probably not the best student for missing the 2nd and 3rd day of class but I guess it is better than missing an exam mid-way through the semester. I really like my biochemistry class and I always tell myself if I had the money (and energy) to get a PhD I would get one in biochemistry. Love that stuff!
4:45pm - Finish school. Head home in traffic.
5:20pm - Go to the bank
5:45pm - Hit to the road to my parents house. Luggage, carry-on's, food (trail mix of course!), Campy and Smudla. I thought the car ride would be more horrible than it was, since Smudla hates the car, but she did ok.
9:30pm - Arrived at my parents!

Phew..what a day!
I am so happy that I can finally get to the airport and relax. I will post pics as soon as I can.
This Floridian is heading to the SNOW!!! (I did bring one pair of sandals...can't go anywhere without them :) hehe. I will wear them next to the fire)


Train like an athlete

Check out for my latest article...and don't forget to subscribe to the FREE newsletter!!!

Train Like an Athlete
By Marni Rakes

Do you find it hard to use the word "athlete" when referring to yourself as a fit individual? Typically women who begin an exercise or weight loss program exercise at a different intensity compared to an athlete and therefore, rarely use the word "training" when describing a workout session. Even if you are exercising in order to participate in an upcoming Iron Girl event, you should never compare your fitness routine to the women winning their age groups at the races.

When you see an athlete training specifically for a race, it is common to think that all athletes strive to compete and win. As a fitness enthusiast, have you ever hesitated signing up for a race because you thought you would never win and you just hoped you didn't come in last? Sadly, many women, who love to exercise, pass on the opportunity to sign up for Iron Girl events due to the fear that they would need to train at an uncomfortable intensity in order to finish an event.

In many textbooks and exercise manuals, physical activity refers simply to keeping the body in motion. Activities such as mowing the lawn, taking a brisk walk or playing in the park are a few of the many physical activities that involve increases in metabolism and muscle contractions. Because people will exercise harder than they perform daily activities, it is likely that you are inclined to use the word exercise, over physical activity, when talking about a spin or aerobics class.

Exercise is simply a subcategory of physical activity and refers to structured activity in order to improve cardio respiratory fitness. Although athletes appear to have a little more agility, skill and speed compared to the normal fitness enthusiast, it is very possible to train like an athlete, no matter your fitness level. Training like an athlete not only controls weight, but also improves cardio health, endurance, muscle strength, respiration and flexibility.

If you are a woman exercising on a daily basis, do not be afraid to use the word "training" when talking about your exercise routine. Rather than exercising on the treadmill for an hour, think of your workout as an opportunity to train specifically for an upcoming event. Stop going through the motions of doing the same thing each day and start feeling the rewards of challenging your body by training like an athlete.

How to train like an athlete:

1) Weight training- Increase your weight (free weights or machine) by 5 lbs every two weeks. If you normally perform two sets of 15 repetitions (reps) start performing three sets of 15 reps. If you normally perform three sets of 15 reps, increase your weight by 5 lbs and perform two sets of 15 at the heaver weight. If you currently steer clear of the weight room, start weight training (two sets of 15 reps) two to three times per week.

2) Establish an effective core routine - Reduce the number of standard crunches that are performed on the floor and instead, start using equipment to challenge the core. The abdominal region is the foundation of balance and overall strength. A weak core equals a weak body. Work all areas of the core by using the Bosu, stability ball, captain chair, decline bench, hand weights or abdominal crunch machine. Instead of performing a high number of repetitions, an effective core routine will "burn" the abs at around 20- 30 repetitions (not 50-100 reps) and only two to three sets. Also, don't forget the back! A strong core requires that you strengthen the lower back.

3) Perform intervals - If you are doing the same distance and intensity on a daily basis, you will receive the same results. No matter if you are swimming, cycling or running, add a few 1-2 min. intervals, at a faster pace (above 80 percent max heart rate), with a 1- 2 min. recovery period at around 65-70 percent max HR (or about 6-7 on a perceived exertion scale). Adding five to 10 intervals into your current training routine will not only improve your current level of fitness, but you will burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Start with five intervals of 1 min. and gradually build to eight to 10 intervals. Once you reach eight to 10 intervals, start increasing the volume of the intervals from 1 minute to 2 minutes (don't forget to increase the volume of the recovery as well!). If you aren't into running, try fast walking on a treadmill and bump up the incline (rather than speed) for your intervals.

4) Sign up for a race and stick to a training program - Give yourself six to 12 weeks to train for a race or event. Not only will you hold yourself accountable to a training schedule, but you will also see yourself getting stronger and faster over time.

5) Train consistently and focus on quality - Athletes work out most days of the week. However, no workout is alike. Be sure to incorporate a variety of workouts into your weekly schedule by including; a long session to focus on endurance (60+ min), a short and intense workout to raise the HR (30-45 min), a tempo workout at a moderate intensity (60-75 min), a weight training workout to build strength and reduce your risk of injury (20-40 min) and an easy workout that serves as activity recovery (30-60 min). Don't be afraid to try different types of activity, such as swimming with a team, attending a circuit training class, running on a track or joining a spin class. The more variety in your workout the more likely you will avoid burnout or boredom from your training routine.


First race of the season!!

I can't believe that Karel is already racing. I still have a few more months until I think about getting into the ocean for a triathlon. But I do love watching Karel race because it gives me that boost that I need to keep me fired up to train all year long.

The morning started at 7am when I spent about 20 minutes deciding where to run. Treadmill or outside. It was 27-degrees and I had a 16 mile run to do. At 7:30 I was starting my run on the treadmill. I thought I would just run an hour and then go outside but after 10 miles of watching shows on TV I decided to stick it out and finish to 16 miles. It took me 2 hours and 5 minutes.
After the run I took a shower, got dressed and made myself a calorie-filled protein smoothie (topped off with cereal) to get me through the next few hours. I packed a PB&J sandwich, granola bar and an apple for later on.
We headed to Deland which was a new area for me. After 2 1/2 years of watching Karel race, I feel like I have been everywhere in Florida. Not only was I looking forward to Karel's first race of the season but I had Campy with me!
Campy joined us for the day and I was really excited to take him to his first (of many) cycling races. Campy had no idea where he was going but as usual, he loved the car ride and slept the majority of the ride.
1 hour and 40 min. later we were in an industrial park of the Deland Airport. The wind was strong and there was a slight chill in the air. I dressed warm but it got warmer as the day went on.
The race was at 2 and we got there around 12:40. Karel got him number and soon after we saw Jeff, Clint and Ryan (other members on the Lidner Capital Team). Karel warmed up with the guys and Campy and I walked around. The area around the start/finish line was great because it was lined with people and lots of grass for campy to pee and smell. Oh how he loves to do both! :)
Campy was the hit of the race, I must say. Aside from the Pro 1,2 race which brings lots of spectators, everyone wanted to pet Campy. I was one happy momma :)
Campy was a bit scared of all the bikes but this was great training for him. We are working on his anxiety with anything fast, so diverting his attention by standing in front of him or walking in another direction works great. He is doing so much better.

The race was fun to watch because there were 75 riders in the Pro race!! I couldn't believe the turn-out. In January, I couldn't believe how many people were ready to race. There were only a few people that got dropped but 68 people finished. Karel and his team didn't really have a strategy for this race because they all wanted to scope out the other riders, see what teams had new riders and just test their fitness right now. Jeff took a few good pulls for the team and broke away a few times from the competition. The race was a crit-style race but rather than having the course be less than a mile (typical crit format), it was more like a circuit race. The course was 1.2 miles and they raced for 60 minutes + 2 laps. There were lots of prems (premiums) where they ring the bell and whoever crosses the line first gets a prize. Sometimes it is swag but sometimes it is money. On the second from last lap they did a gambler prem. Those are always exciting to watch. In a gambler prem they give away money and at this race, it was $261. The reason why they do this prem with 2 laps to go is because you are either going to go for the win, or go for the money. It all depends on \ if you want the glory or the money. Cause with 1 lap to go after the gambler prem, there is no way you can sprint for the prem and still have legs to sprint for a win.
After the gambler prem it was time to watch the finish. I had my camera out for the finish and I missed Karel. I didn't see him finish but I wasn't expecting anything big from him since he just wanted to enjoy the race. He is super happy he doesn't have the pressure of placing top-6 in every race in order to upgrade. What a relief to just be able to race.
Well, I guess Karel was feeling good because he placed 5th!!!
I can't believe I missed him finish....I guess I was looking for him near the back :) Sorry Karel!
Campy and I were super proud of him and to make it all even better, Karel got $80 for his 5th place finish! YAY!
I can't wait to see how the season goes for Karel. Based on his fitness right now, just getting out of his base training (no lactate training yet), I have a feeling he is going to have a great season!
Here are a few pics w/ Campy's leash in one hand and the camera in the other....

RESULTS of top 10:
Pos No. Name Laps Total time Diff Best time In lap Best speed
1 260 Yosvany Falcon 22 1:09:18.638 2:56.194 22 29.422
2 141 Seth Hansley 22 1:09:18.818 0.180 2:56.626 21 29.350
3 188 Chad Burdzilauskas 22 1:09:18.869 0.231 2:55.964 22 29.461
4 174 David Guttenplan 22 1:09:18.891 0.253 2:56.076 22 29.442
5 119 Karel Sumbal 22 1:09:19.019 0.381 2:56.100 22 29.438
6 189 Daniel Chavez 22 1:09:19.045 0.407 2:56.341 22 29.398
7 149 Rudy Robaina 22 1:09:19.055 0.417 2:55.981 22 29.458
8 185 "Eduardo " Colon 22 1:09:19.074 0.436 2:56.076 22 29.442
9 111 Wayne Burgess 22 1:09:19.160 0.522 2:56.627 22 29.350
10 1 Phillip Elliott 22 1:09:19.207 0.569 2:56.370 22 29.393,run,runid,1039169