Essential Sports Nutrition


I suppose I should end my recovery session and start my RD exam studying but I'm envious of my chihuahua who makes it nearly impossible to get anything done.

He's just too cute, I can't help but love on him all day long.

This morning Karel and I parted on the road as he did the Open Road ride in town and I made my way to the beach for the Lodge ride. Looking forward to putting my new bike fit to the test, I figured that TriMarni would enjoy one of our favorite group rides.

After 20 miles, I met up with the group and the pace was fast. The lead group of around 15 guys was holding a crazy fast pace and I never grabbed a wheel to hang on. My group of around 25 guys (and one other female) tried our hardest to chase them down and with the lead guys in sight, of course we would get the red light. Bummer. I really wanted to push on this ride so I took a short cut in order to try to catch the lead group. I picked up my speed to all-out when I saw them coming because I knew I only had one chance to get on a wheel. I managed to get on and I just held on for dear life. The guys were riding crazy fast and my quads were working on overtime. I managed to stay on for a few miles but got dropped as the pace got to be ridiculously fast (I need to look at my power tap file to see how fast they were going and how hard, wattage-wise, I was pushing). I figured I was gaining a lot by doing intervals with the fast guys so I made a quick turn and time-trialed it again as I saw them coming toward me. I managed to get on a wheel (thanks to a helpful push from my friend Sean C.) and stayed on for several more miles. After an hour of what felt like VO2 intervals, I made a left turn and said good-bye (and thanks) to the guys. After 60 miles, I arrived at home and couldn't wait to tell Karel about the difference in my new fit. I felt AWESOME!

After grabbing my fuel belt, visor, hammer gel and radio, I headed out to what would end up being my longest run in over 4 months..not to mention my longest run off the bike in as far as I can remember. These transition runs ("run like a kid" as I like to call them, no gadgets, just running for time while focusing on form) are really helping out my base and I actually crave the run off the bike. I no longer do "solo" runs and it is now a habit for my body to run off the bike. This has taken several weeks to get to where I am right now, but I can tell you that my athletes are doing the same and are really seeing/feeling results.

I arrived home after a smooth 1-hour transition run and cooled-off with a shower and my 110% play harder ice, compression shorts. I think I am a bit of an anomaly because the heat doesn't significantly affect me in the summer. I try to use that in my favor by picking "hot" races. As for my athletes, who do struggle in the heat, I recommend for them to gradually acclimate to the heat by improving performance early in the morning or late in the evening and then when performance gains are reached, then moving workouts to later in the morning (on the weekends) when the time is appropriate (individual basis) to get acclimated to the heat. Because form and nutrition are often affected by the heat, it is important that you don't sacrifice every workout in the summer by trying to do all your workouts when it is extremely hot.

I wanted to share a fantastic website with my fabulous blog readers. has all your Triathlon gear, clothing, bikes, wheels, wetsuits, and other tri equipment...more than you could ever imagine. What I like about this website is that it has a lot of products that I use on an every day basis so it eliminates the need to pay for shipping from several different websites.

Triathlon Store

Some of my favorite products on the site, which I use as part of my tri-training, include:
1) Accessories -
2) 2xu and Zoot compression -
3) Swim goggles -
4) Everything bike related -
5) Fuel belts - (I don't leave my house without one when I am running)
6) Hammer Nutrition -

What's great is that they have a great guarantee on purchases: We offer the best value on the planet, period. If you can find a lower advertised price (including shipping and handling charges) at another online or retail store on any product listed on our website, we'll beat it. Already bought from us? Just let us know and we'll refund you 110% of the difference.
You can also sign up for One Tri promotions & discounts by joining the email list and you can view videos so you know what you are purchasing.

If you are considering a great pair of bike shorts, I recommend Louis Garneau as they have the most comfortable clothing that I have ever worn. I have been wearing
the LG compression shorts for ALL of my runs in the past 2 years (I have not worn running shorts in over 2 years for a run).

Karel has a lot of LG clothing and I promise, they are worth the price! I know a lot of females complain about down-there issues and the padding is super comfortable for when you are riding. I suggest taking a look at them and trying them out.

Enjoy..happy shopping!!


Cycle, Run and Bandit fun

Yesterday was a fun-filled day.
The morning started with a beautiful 35 mile ride on TriMarni at Jax Beach. I had a few glimpses of the ocean which made me incredibly happy. After the bike I went for a 35 min transition run and enjoyed new streets, new sights and new faces as I ran along 1st street, just a skip and a jump away from the boardwalks.
I recovered with a super yummy recovery drink (cookies and cream Body Fortress protein powder) and got myself cleaned up for my first ever Retul fit (and first ever professional fit). Jeff Kopp (Karel's boss and owner of the Trek Jax bicycle stores) knows my history so it was very beneficial to have both Karel and Jeff do an amazing job analyzing my body and my current fit.
Here is a little about Retul fitting..a costly purchase but a priceless investment:
Karel has been fitting me for years and after the Retul fit, we only had to make a few minor adjustments to my seat post, saddle position and aerobars. We did not focus on aerodynamics as that is a minor concept for many triathletes, considering that many athletes end up with tight hips, overworked glutes and poor cycling skills by trying to be as "aero" as possible. For me, the focus was working with the alignment of my body (particularly hips) and making adjustments based on the differing results of my left and right side, while pedaling. I'm super excited to take TriMarni out this weekend and focus on the few areas that Jeff pointed out as weakness's in my riding style.

After the bike fit I went home to spend the rest of the afternoon studying the Food Service domain for the RD exam (the area that concerns me the most as I prepare for the RD exam).

Around 6pm, Campy and I headed back down to the beach Trek store for the Bandit Beer Run. Every Thursday the Beach Trek store puts on a free 3.5 or 4.6 mile run, ending at Engine 15. Jeff pays for a glass of beer for all of the runners and with over 75 runners (or beer drinkers) at each Thursday night run, it was only a matter of time before this fun run turned into an event.

Last night was the first ever Beer Run race, with the flyer reading "you are paying for the t-shirt, you may as well bandit the run". There was a beer glass prize for the overall female and male but most of all, every runner who paid for the t-shirt (entry) received a wrist band for free beer at every Thurs night beer run. What a great deal!

Campy was well-rested and tapered for his first ever running event. His mommy, on the other hand, was super tired and a little sore. However, I can never turn down an opportunity to make my dog smile and nothing makes him more happy than running with other runners.

Despite many pee pee stops and a poopy stop, Campy managed to keep a great pace and pass several runners on the course. We made it about 2 miles (half way up the bridge) when Campy decided that he needed a break and water. Of course, with no aid stations on the course, I made the call to cut the course short so that I did end up with a dehydrated doggy. I carried Campy for about 1/2 mile as we cheered for the other runners. I guess Campy got his second wind because he was ready to run after seeing the other runners pass us on the last mile to the finish.
With the finish line in sight, Campy sprinted to the finish only to win his division and the overall doggy prize. But no worries that Campy was the only dog, he is still a champion in my eyes.

Not sure exactly how much we did but I think Campy managed to run a tad over 3 miles. Way to go Campster.....I'm so lucky to be your mommy!

Karel finished his group ride with a post-Campy run, celebratory beer. What a great day....I'm already loving this new chapter in my life.


Eating on the Road

Swimming is the best way for me to brainstorm. I have come up with many ideas for talks, presentations, blogs and articles while swimming lap after lap after lap. Yesterday at Master Swim...was one of those practices where I had no choice but to brainstorm.
300 warm-up
100 skull
6 x 100's 50 free/50 IM order (2 fly, 2 back, 2 free)
6 x 50's drill
Main set:
1 x 3000
200 warm-down
Total: 4500 yrds

Well, at least she only had us do one 3000 and not two! So for 43 minutes, I thought about anything and everything and the time just went on by.

I hope you enjoy my latest IG article. A topic that I have discussed several times before but hopefully there will be a new tip that you can apply to your journey in becoming a healthier, stronger and better well-fueled athlete.

Eating on the Road

Pertaining to nutrition, the overall mission of an Iron Girl athlete is to develop a healthy relationship with food. Although body composition goals are often primary reasons for embarking in the Iron Girl lifestyle, longevity, performance gains and a commitment to keeping your body healthy are top priorities when creating lifelong, practical dietary habits. For the nutrients that you put into your body will help fuel your fitness routine as well as reducing the risk for disease or illness.

If you prioritize heart-healthy choices on an every day basis, you should welcome traveling (or when celebrating a special event) as an opportunity to try new foods and to enjoy a temporary change in routine. While it is advisable to maintain a few healthy habits to control blood sugar levels, maintain energy and limit overindulging, it is important to be "ok" with not abiding to your every-day eating routine. By feeling confident with the foods that you put in your body on a daily basis, you should find yourself at ease when eating on the road.

Regardless if you are traveling for an athletic event, for fun or work, a little creativity will help you apply your personal healthy eating habits while on the road. If you haven't quite figured out how to balance everyday eating with eating on the road, here are a few helpful tips:

1) Plan ahead to have an idea where and when you will eat. Google the surrounding area to have an idea of your dinning/grocery/food options. Do not go into a meal starving.

2) Bring along single-serving and/or portioned-controlled snacks such as fruit, veggies, yogurt, canned fruit/applesauce, trail mix, cereal, string cheese, nuts, granola bars, sandwiches and water (if traveling for an event, don't forget to bring water for race day!)

3) Pack your own meals for the road. Make your own wrap, bagel or deli sandwich (purchase a quality cooler and/or insulated lunchbox).

4) Be creative. For example, gas stations typically have microwaves. Bring along a packet of oatmeal or a 100-calorie bag of popcorn for a satisfying snack.

5) Be frugal. If you are going to spend your money on a healthy meal, it's suggested to pass on the $8 lettuce and tomato salad. Create a meal that will make you feel most satisfied. Consider a $1 yogurt parfait at McDonald's for desert, a PB&J sandwich (from the Kids Menu) at a bagel shop or an egg-white flatbread sandwich at Dunkin Donuts or Subway.

6) Snack on fruits and veggies. It's really easy to have a colorless diet when you travel (unless you count M&M's or Skittles). Ask the locals for the nearest grocery store and pick up a few servings of fruits and veggies for a colorful and fibrous snack.

7) Don't forget about protein. It's really easy to indulge in carbs while on the road (especially if you are a vegetarian). Mom-and-pop restaurants (or diners) often cook-to-order. Cottage cheese, yogurt, tofu, skim milk and egg whites are great sources of protein to add to your meal.


Perform Beautifully

To perform beautifully one must aim for progress not perfection. I love my body, not for a number on a scale, but for allowing me to cross finish lines and for being healthy and strong. Every day is worth waking up for and I’m not afraid to set goals which require dedication and energy. Every person is unique and because of that, I embrace the Oakley brand and the beauty that it brings to the female athlete or fitness enthusiast.

In April, I applied for a contest from Oakley, called "Perform Beautifully". My good friend Laura told me about it and I enjoyed filling out the detailed application because I was able to write from the heart.
Here's a little blurb on the contest from

Running for two months, the contest allows women to share inspirations that fuel their active lifestyle by posting their pictures and videos for the chance to win an Oakley Ambassadorship for a year and a fitness retreat in Napa. Winners will be chosen by Oakley judges and visitors to the website, according to the Company.
"This is a great opportunity for women to express themselves and show the beauty of an active life that makes sport and style one and the same," said Jennifer Bradley, Women's Global Brand Director of Oakley. "The Oakley Women's Collection erases the line between form and function to bridge the gap between active and attractive. We're shaping innovation with fashion to bring active women solutions that work with their approach to life, inspiring them to perform beautifully. This contest offers an opportunity for them to inspire others," Bradley concluded.
The Company said contest entrants must submit photos or a video, and describe how they "perform beautifully" by writing about their outdoor activities, as well as the things that inspire them and keep them fit. Ten winners will be chosen. Each will receive a prize package and the opportunity to become an Oakley ambassador for one year. The prize package includes a fitness retreat in Napa Valley, California, and Oakley apparel and sunglasses delivered throughout the year. Including the retreat, each of the ten prize packages has an estimated retail value of $5000 USD.

In my opinion, when one performs beautifully she is not living a strict lifestyle but one of balance, consistency and enjoyment. I believe I perform beautifully because I give myself many reasons to smile on a daily basis. I strive to be stronger and healthier every day and to not live a life of regret, failure and obsession. I feel comfortable and beautiful in my own skin because I live my life for me and I recognize my individual needs based on my training and lifestyle requirements. I love my body, not for a number on a scale, but for allowing me to cross finish lines, travel the world, be adventurous and for being healthy and strong. When one performs beautifully, she recognizes the rewards of exercise and eating for fuel. She thanks her body on a daily basis. To perform beautifully, one must be patient. When you perform beautifully you consider every day worth waking up for and you are not afraid to set goals which require dedication and energy. A beautiful performer will take pride in the steps that are required to achieve goals in life and will find ways to overcome obstacles with beauty and grace.

Last Thursday I received a phone call from two Oakley employees and I'm honored to say that I was chosen to be one of the 10 Oakley Ambassadors for the next year! Because I had completely forgotten about the contest (thanks to my internship), I guess you could say I was completely shocked when they called. I was smiling ear and ear and I graciously accepted the opportunity to represent the Oakley brand. And more than anything, continue to inspire, motivate and encourage others to live a healthy and active life.
A BIG congrats to the other Oakley winners:
Amanda Brooks, Brittany Costa, Caitlin Pruden, DeAnn Teixeira, Francesca Lollini, Katelyn Modisett, Katie Morse, Kimberly Doll and Lacey Calvert for winning the Perform Beautifully contest!

I am so excited to meet the other girls when we all gather in Napa Valley on June 24-27th, 2011.
Here's a video from from a previous Perform Beautifully event in Napa Valley.


Another Year Older!

As a triathlete, it is only appropriate that I remind myself that I only have 1 more year in my age group before moving UP into an older age group (30-35). But as a health and fitness professional, it feels great knowing that at the age of 29 (since today is my birthday), I feel younger than ever before. Since beginning of my journey of eating for fuel, I've learned to develop a healthy relationship with food as well as a strong desire to increase my quality of life. While I may not be able to prevent disease or death, my love for exercise and healthy eating is a passion of mine in an effort to improve my quality of life as well reducing my risk for disease. Because life has no itinerary nor any guarantees, I look back at the last 365 days and feel blessed that I had so many exciting opportunities and experiences to share with all my blog readers. Because I can't plan the future, I only hope I can continue to inspire, motivate and share my passion with others, as I continue to improve my life and making the most out of my days.

May 31: MY BIRTHDAY!!!

June 2010:
Rock N' Roll Half marathon -
Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon -

July 2010:
Started my dietetic internship!

August 2010:
Created a lot of yummy Marni-creations and started my IMWI Taper -

Sept 2010:
Wrote a letter to my body -
Thanked my team -
Finished my 4th Ironman -
Celebrated Karel's birthday -
Karel placed 2nd in Bartow and secured his win as the Florida Cup Pro 1,2 cycling champion -

October 2010:
Campy's birthday!!
Dietetic internship Food Service rotation Theme Meal -
2 year wedding anniversary -

November 2010:
Florida state cycling road race championships and awards banquet:
Received my issue of LAVA magazine with my article in it -

December 2010:
4 minute PR at the Jax Half marathon -
Started my clinical rotation -

Jan 2011:
Started my acute care rotation at St. Vincent's Hospital...13 weeks that changed my life forever, the best experience ever!

Feb 2011:
Training to be a RD..not much time for anything else in life -

March 2011:
Getting closer to becoming a RD -

April 2011:
Finished my dietetic internship -
Karel finished Athens Twilight Criterium -

May 2011:
My brother graduated with his MBA from Carnegie Mellon -

What an exciting and BUSY 365 day...but I wouldn't want it any other way!


Beautiful weekend away

It's always nice to get away, especially when family and old friends are involved. My training is going great lately and I couldn't wait to ride on familiar roads, down south in the Tampa Bay Area. While in Jax on Fri morning, after finishing a hot, 50 mile tempo bike, followed by a 46 min transition run, I recovered with a campy walk, stretching, ice shorts, a smoothie, more stretching/hip exercises and breakfast. Then came several hours of RD exam studying (with more stretching..I'm very careful not to sit too long as I've learned that my body and hip flexors are not keen on sitting for long periods of time). I was delighted to hear from a high school friend who was in town so Campy and I made a quick stop to visit her and her beautiful 3 kids. After a massive shower outside, I picked up Karel from work and we were off to visit my parents, late Friday evening.
I was super excited for Sat morning and couldn't wait to join the Gearlink group ride. Karel and I drove to Chainwheel drive to meet the group but only a handful of riders were there. It was great to catch up and ride on some of our favorite roads and Karel had an "easy" spin as I lost my legs somewhere after mile 30. With only 7 guys on the group ride (and me), it made for quick rotating and many tough pulls. But nevertheless, the memories of me attempting to finish warm-up with the Gearlinkers around 4 years ago, quickly popped into my head and I couldn't help but smile, as I maneuvered my bike as if I was one with my lovely Trek road bike. After a quick 55 miles, we arrived back at the bike shop and I gathered my stuff for my brick.
As a side note: For my upcoming training, I will be doing many runs off the bike and very few "run only" workouts. I have read a lot of articles from top coaches and my athletes (and myself..although, I am just now getting back into things after my hiatus from structured training due to my internship) who have really seen benefits of running off the bike. I have two key workouts designed for the weekend. One being a transition run where I do a tempo ride, followed by a "run like a kid" run (no garmin, heart rate zones, no concern for miles, etc....) where I just run for time and listen to my body. I also have a faster ride (which may be long in miles but is typically with a group so it is fast) and I follow that with a short but intense run. I call this workout a brick because the intensity is higher than in the transition workout.

After the bike ride with the Gearlinkers I put on my pink fuel belt (I never run without it) and headphones and headed out on my brick run. 10 min warm-up, 10 x 30 sec "fast" with 30 sec "easy" (last week was 5 x 30/30 and I plan to increase time for the "fast" rather than increase intervals) and 10 min cool down. Karel picked me up down the road and we headed home for a relaxing dip in the pool...ahhhhhh, so relaxing!

This morning was a beautiful day-off from training so I could spend the day with my fabulous hubby in Naples Florida. Karel was craving a race post-Athens Twilight, just to shake up the legs and make sure he still had "it" in him. Well, with an 8th place finish and most of the race in the break, I am pretty sure Karel is still riding strong (although, my European hubby hates cycling in the heat!).
Campy had a great time (as always) and even landed on the podium as the number 1, cutest dog in the world..award was a big kiss, given by me.

On the way home, we stopped for gas and spotted a farmers market stand across the street. We picked up several fresh fruits and veggies as I love supporting local farmers!
After another dip in the pool, we had a fabulous dinner with my parents who prepared a healthy and SUPER yummy meal (stew meat for the fam, boca burger for me). YUM!

Corn on the cob, spinach and kale salad, sauteed zucchini, boca burger, fresh bread and quinoa.
Wishing everyone a safe Memorial Holiday. As a holiday to honor and commemorate men and women who died while in military service to the United States, thank you to all who are alive, fighting daily for our freedom so that we can live our life to the fullest.