9/25/14

Excellent mental tips from Dr. G!

I can't believe that it was almost a year ago when I was heading to the Big Island of Kona for my third Ironman World Championship!!
My mental coach and BFF Gloria met me on the island and we spent the next 10 days together in complete island happiness. It was one amazing experience filled with laughs, love, positivity, inspiration and gratefulness. 

Since our jobs revolve around working with athletes, Gloria and I both made good use of our time in Kona by creating a series of videos (mental tips from Gloria and nutrition tips from me) to help out other athletes. We wanted to provide tips that would make athletes of all levels feel more comfortable and confident before and during important races. 

Gloria, as a licensed sport psychologist always provides the best advice....in other words, she can think logically when we (as athletes) can not. She speaks with a big heart and without a rollercoaster of emotions inside her mind/body (like us athletes sometimes).

Gloria just put together a blog featuring all of her tips that she provided in Kona last year. I know that many athletes return to her Kona blogs before races (of any distance and sport) because the tips are extremely helpful. 

I invite you to check out her blog to learn more about staying mentally focused and keeping perspective during your race week. As Gloria mentions, there is often a lot of anxious nervous energy on race week/race day so being aware of the environment and people around us is very important but we also must be able to manage it. 


Here are a few pics from our trip....

Getting my bike from Tri Bike Transport


Time to register for the World Championship


Finishing chute getting setting up, walking to rack my bike on the day before the race. 


Race day. A bunch of calm athletes...NOT!
Picture taken by Gloria. 


Water entry/exit from the 2.4 mile swim


The water we get to swim in...a big fish tank!


Practice swim with Go Pro. 


My old bike, just chilaxin. 


The evening view from our porch. 


Gloria - my mental coach, BFF and BEST sherpa ever!! 


Me and Gloria


Warming up on the Queen K hwy (bike course)


There I am!


First Kona!


Second Kona!


3rd Kona!


Shopping at the local market for yummy food. 


Yum.....fresh, local fruit in Kona!


Practice swim with Gloria...thanks Triathlete mag for the pic! 


Loving my 110% towel!



Sporting my new custom Oakley Women shades at the Oakley house. 

Transition bag packing for a 140.6 mile event!


Me, Emily and Gloria at the Undie Run.


Everyone has to take a pic like this in Kona ;) 


Isn't she the best??? Carrying my bags to the transition area for bag drop off. 


A new PR in Kona...10:37!


FINISHER swag!


Lovely! Heading to the Power Bar post race breakfast.


The view from the pier (dig-me-beach)








9/23/14

Why YOU train... inspiration/motivation coming at ya!



Thank you, thank you, thank you!

228 amazing, inspiring, motivating female endurance athletes have completed my Female Endurance Survey that I shared 2 days ago. 

I have learned so much from your responses and I am really looking forward to presenting some interesting findings at the Women's Fitness Summit  and to eventually share on my blog and via presentations to women's tri/running groups. You all gave so much fantastic feedback for me as a RD who specializes in sport nutrition. I believe that the info you provided is not only helpful for me since my main focus is on fueling the endurance athlete's body as well as learning to eat for fuel and for healthy AND developing a healthy relationship with food and the body BUT to share with other sport nutrition professionals. I also hope that I connect with the many sport nutrition companies out there so they can better understand how female athletes think about their body, fuel their body and choose/tolerate nutrition. 

As I was reviewing the survey responses (which has been hours and hours of learning!), I couldn't help but go back to the first open question. 

Why do you train for your sport of choice, specific to performance/health goals?

The responses not only made me smile but it brought me back to when I started training for triathlons almost 9 years ago!
I feel it would be extremely rude of me to not share some of these anonymous responses.
I could feel the excitement, passion and positive energy as I was reading these responses (and many more) and I know you will be just as inspired as me to know why female endurance athletes, of all ages, train for half marathons, marathons, half IM's and IM's. 

No matter if you are reading this now and are a male or female, I hope you enjoy a large dose of motivation from some amazing female endurance athletes.

Please use this positive energy to dream big and to help fuel your next workout or race! 


EXPERIENCE: 
LESS THAN 1 YEAR


For fun, for overall health & fitness, to challenge my body and mind, and to push to new levels of fitness.

I train to keep my body in motion. I want my heart to beat for a long time and be able to watch my children grow up. My goal never changes.. Do the very best that I can and try to outperform my last race.

To learn and grow as an athlete, not just in the physical sense, but also the mental. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to become stronger, faster, and healthier.

Sitting at a desk all day makes me feel like my body is slowly degenerating. Running gives me results faster than a class at the gym like Zumba, when I'm looking for real, lasting change that I can feel in my body. 

I trained for fitness and health. I also train to maintain a good body weight. It keeps me from sitting on the couch watching TV.

I like the long distances. I have a half-ironman distance triathlon and multiple International/Olympic tris. I prefer triathlon because of the various disciplines--swimming is my favorite sport and makes me feel most alive. Cycling is for the speed junkie in me.


EXPERIENCE: 
1-2 YEARS


I started running because I saw a group of Disney friends having so much fun. I then had major hip surgery since running uncovered a congenital abnormality with my hip joint. I have now run 4 half marathons! I am not nor will I ever be super fast, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment after each successfully finished race. This year, 2014, I will have run 7 half marathons! 
Yay for me!


I train to challenge my body and mind and see personal growth and improvement.

To be healthy and fit. Also to be a role model to my kids.

I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, and it was enough to really make me mad. I saw the difference in my body, the way it responded to exercise, food, food allergies. Training and focusing on something other than constantly feeling like crap helped to feel like I could move past this set back, and be healthier in the long run. Plus - race medals are addicting. :)


I love the dedication, the mental toughness and to push your body to it's full potential. I prefer tri's over any other event because it makes me feel more well rounded, my over all health and body love the different events and mentally I just take one sport at a time.

I train for half marathons (and now a marathon) because I genuinely love to run and stay active. Being able to just run and not have anything else pulling me in different directions, just focusing on my body, is an essential part of my day. I also rely on it for stress relief and to help with occasional mild depression.

Training is part of the complete triathlete's lifestyle that I embrace, which includes not only training and racing, but maintaining a high level of fitness, sound nutritional habits, discipline, focus and perseverance, and rewarding relationships with like-minded individuals.


To push my body to see how far it can go and how much I can improve on my abilities. 

I simply love the feeling of being outside and the freeing our sport brings everyday.

I have always been athletic, but when I was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis, diet and exercise became even more important to me. I am combining my naturally competitive edge with the need to be healthy to create   a positive life long outcome - mentally and physically.

I've only done a few half marathons and think I can perform better. It seems to be the distance with the right amount of challenge.

Feel good, improve my health and defy what I think is possible. I also run for those who can't and those who won't.

For the challenge,...... when i started running, i thought a 5k was impossible.... took me years to overcome that mental hurdle, but then accomplished a few 8ks..... and after a couple more years, a friend pushed me to dig deeper..... so i trained for my first half marathon.... which i thought was beyond impossible..... and 10 months later, I completed my first marathon..... its all about the challenge to dig deeper, push to where i never thought i could go

Training - no matter how hard a workout may be - is an escape, a getaway, for me. I work a demanding job and training provides an outlet to get my mind off work and into enjoying life. I also love feeling strong!


EXPERIENCE: 
3-4 YEARS


I have two boys. I want to show them that women are strong...that their mother is strong! I want to be healthy for the rest of my days.


I I enjoy working toward a goal. Working out just to work out doesn't interest me.

I love training & seeing improvements, and conquering goals (racing is fun too and provides purpose, but I really love training and that great post-workout feeling). I like the added benefit of a healthy and strong body, good sleep, endorphins.

To challenge myself, to become faster and stronger. To try and keep my mind and body as fit as it can be.

It's a challenge. I like being able to work towards a goal and see how my training pays off.

I love to push my body to see what I am capable of. However, I also choose the distance based on how much time I have to dedicate to it. I don't ever want to set myself up for failure so when picking goal races for the following season I like to look at every aspect of my life to truly see what I can give to my training. At this point, I generally tend to stray towards the half marathon distance.


I love all three sports. Also love the discipline it brings in health, rest and fitness. I am a Mom of two boys so training helps me not put myself last.

Training is something that i have total control of. No one can do it for me. Crossing the finish line of every race means accomplishing a goal and not giving up. Racing and training help me to believe in myself.

Because I truly love to do it. I love to move my body and to challenge myself both physically and mentally. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a long race and the atmosphere races provide for helping me to push myself to the limit. But even if I didn't ever race again, I wouldn't want to change my current lifestyle. I love to bike, run, and swim (well, I am learning to love the swimming part:) and am grateful everyday that I get to do it.

I enjoy running and cycling, so I like to challenge myself with races that pertain to what I enjoy! I want to live a long life, so figure these sports will keep me healthy and active!

To stay healthy, have fun and set an example for my kids.

It gives me a goal to train for and it's a great place to practice real life skills like flexibility, adaptability and perseverance.

Because I enjoy it and it has become a way for me to get away from my super busy job and focus on myself.

To stay healthy. Still enjoy the competitive feeling. Getting over some fears. Open water swimming.

I must always have a goal to keep my training on track. Without a plan I'd spend more time napping and Netflixing.


Friendship... I love biking and running with an amazing group of women who have become close friends.

All my life I would see people able to do something....almost seemingly without effort, but actually it was a lot of effort, it just didn't seem that way because they loved what they did. Finding triathlons was my "love". I loved to work at it. I love to get lost in it. I love the lifestyle it brings with it.

As a mother of 4, my husband and I like to train to keep us healthy and active so we can keep up with all the running around we do with our children. We love the discipline involved in training for a race. We believe we are setting good examples for our children as well. They see us manage our careers, our family and our fitness levels. We strive to live healthy lives for our own benefit as well as our children.


For the thrill of competition, ability to drive personal/physical progress and joy of the sport.

EXPERIENCE: 
5-6 YEARS

I love the process. Looking at each step, each workout, each week. Knowing that if I do all the little pieces I will arrive at the start line ready to complete the race.

Part of it is to maintain health, the other part is for mental health. Running gives me the "me time" that I need. I love the feeling of conquering a run and I love the feeling of exertion. I also love the bling. Through the years I have set new and different goals each year.

I simply love to train and having a goal of something that to most people may seem unattainable, makes me want to achieve it even more!

I'm a competitive person and this is a healthy outlet. I enjoy challenging my mental and physical abilities and finding other people who enjoy the same thing.

It fuels my fire. Running energizes me. I have more energy. I love the challenge.

I have a healthy appreciation for my body and while I'm not the "typical" triathlete body type, as I carry a little extra weight than most skinny triathletes who usually make podium, I get it done all the same and have a secret pride in beating those who DO have that triathlete body type. I think I'll always want to lose those 20 pounds, but at the same time I know that I don't have to be skinny to be in great shape.

It's a hobby I am passionate about. I love pushing my body and going outside my comfort zone. It also teaches me invaluable lessons that translate into my school/work, family and friends world.

I started triathlons with a desire to lose weight and get my health back. Now, I continue doing triathlons to maintain my weight loss and push myself to become a better version of myself. Every ironman is a journey and you learn so much about yourself through the training.

I'm driven by nature, always looking to do something more, something that is not the norm. I began the journey to stretch the limits of my belief, now I have the honor to coach first time half marathoners on their journey. I love helping others break their belief barriers.



EXPERIENCE: 
6+ YEARS

For my sanity and running with my dogs.

Maintain my health/weight and socialize. Outlive my competition so that I don't have to go so fast to win.

Train to stay healthy as I age; to stay at the top of my age group; like what it does to keep my body fit for being able to age gracefully and still be able to compete with younger athletes.

I lost about 25 lbs over 10 years ago and have been able to keep it off partly because of running. Also, frankly, it is convenient - even while on vacation or traveling for business, it is easy to run while being away from home.

Sanity. It's my passion. My escape. Something I can call mine. Makes e a better person to myself, my husband, and my kids. .....and because I LOVE it.

Because I love the feeling of completing a goal, the ccamaraderieof other athletes and their families, and love the joy my body feels from training smart in all three activities:running, swimming and biking! I use the knowledge I gain through training to carry over into my work and encouraging others to live a more healthy and active life. I enjoy training with family members and friends for a fun social life too! It keeps me connected as a masters triathlete!

My history is running half/full marathon to half/full ironman and now back to marathons. I do it because I love it - the training shift back to running is time to train - 4 kids in 4 years. But I want to continue because it is part of what I do and it is important for me to have my kids see me train and race. My first marathon back this year (baby was 9 months, oldest was 4) since my first daughter was born and a qualified for Boston on a super challenging course. Made me happy that I could "still" train/race/perform with so many "extra" challenges to juggle. This body has done a lot, and isn't quite what it used to be, but it is strong and I'd like to keep it that way.

Healthy lifestyle, keeps me fit and healthy, love the social aspect of training and the sense of accomplishment and being able to train for and finish the long distance races.

To enjoy time outside. Performance goals help me to work harder and smarter as I get older.

I am 58 years old. I train to stay healthy, I train to stay happy. I love to compete.

Because it's fun. I love swim, bike, running and love the community. And I love pushing myself and finding new edges every day.

I love setting personal goals and reach for them! I love love the community of fellow athletes and inspiring my kids, their peers and my peers and strangers!!!! I love marathons and ironman!

Short and long term goals have always been in my life and this is what keeps me motivated, focused and fulfilled.

I train for triathlon because I absolutely love doing it!

I train because I love to see the fitness gains and what my body can do over time. I love to be healthy, in the fitness community and practicing what I preach in terms of a healthy body and mind!

So my bootie doesn't explode and my pants size remains the same.

I like the variety of training all three sports at one time. I also like the mental and physical challenge of trying to "put it all together" on the race course.

So my bootie doesn't explode and my pants size remains the same.

Training helps me compete at the competitive level. For years I was a recreational athlete and might place in my AG but now I try for personal bests and or prize money. Also, it is very much a part of who I am. I love the thrill of pushing myself to be my best.

Ex college soccer player- love pushing myself- love the feeling of total exhaustion- and with 4 young boys, need the mental release- make me better mom to have my own long term goals:)

I love the feeling of accomplishment as I check off the workouts in a training plan, and I love being able to (usually) meet the goals I set for myself. Training for marathons/HIMs/my one Ironman helped me feel healthy, strong, and confident

I love to have goals for myself. That motivates me to eat right, train, and stay healthy. I also have grown to love competing and identifying myself as a strong, female athlete. Chicking the boys is fun too! :-) Triathlons help me do all of that.

Gives me a goal to grow, improve and push myself while keeping me physically fit.

First and foremost, training connects me to my mind and body; it's "me time". Secondly, training is an outlet where I channel my thoughts into creative energy that manifests into reality. Lastly, racing is the measurement of my personal bests.

My mom has ALS and my father has had a quadruple bipas so I know life is short and while I can I am committed to seeing how far I can push my body and stay healthy and live a life with no regrets.

I like the feeling of being healthy and strong.

Spectator advice for races

Cheering on Karel at 2012 Rev3 Venice

5 months earlier, cheering on Karel at the 2012 Athens Twilight Pro crit race


For the past 8 years (since we met), Karel and I have spent many of weekends on triathlon, running and cycling race courses. For the first 6 years of our life together, I felt we make a great team because we both shared a similar active lifestyle with different sport passions. Our athletic passions merged together in 2012 when I started to love riding my bike more and more and Karel was beginning to swim and run, in order to turn himself into a triathlete. 

Although this past year (2014), we raced together at every race (except Clermont Olympic distance in March), we are currently putting together our 2015 racing schedule and we will not be racing together at every race. We both have different strategies as to how to best utilize our racing season as we both gear up for 2015 Ironman World Championship. Additionally, we will continue to spectate our Trimarni athletes at key races, as much as possible. 

The best part about being a spectator (athlete or not) is being able to make memories and celebrate with someone else....without having to be in the race. Watching someone race can be very inspiring, motivating and exciting and should not be done with jealousy or spite. Although Karel and I both share a triathlon lifestyle together, it's exciting to share a special moment with your special athlete.

But....being a spectator can be exhausting. Early wake-up calls, dealing with a nervous/emotional athlete, long hours on the feet (in the heat OR cold), missed meals, etc.  Certainly we need our support crew on race day but it is important that our biggest fans follow a few guidelines so that they able to help you (athlete) execute your race day plan and put all your hard training to the test. And more often than not, when your spectator sees you succeed, give it your best effort no matter the outcome or finish the journey that you started 6 or 12 months ago, he/she is often motivated to workout more or even sign up for a race. 


SPECTATOR ADVICE


1) Stick to the plan - athletes will likely have to-do's on the days leading up to the race. In order to keep the athlete relaxed, don't try to change his/her tentative schedule. Additionally, one big to-do for athletes is to relax so as a spectator, encourage your athlete to stay off his feet or to choose low-key/relaxing things to do on the 1-2 days before the race. 

2) Eat on his/her schedule - an athlete is going to know what foods work best and when to eat them. Don't encourage an athlete to try new places or to stick to your eating routine. Discuss all eating plans with your athlete before you arrive to the race venue for your stay so everyone is prepared. As a spectator, your eating is just as important as your athlete so if you do not like eating dinner at 4:30pm on the night before the race, discuss this with your athlete. 


3) Don't ask too many questions - athletes can be a bit jumpy on race week.Wanting to know how they are feeling, if they are ready, if they know their finishing time, why they are doing this, etc. can bring self-doubt, concerns or anxiety to the athlete on the days before a race. Some athletes love questions. There's nothing wrong with wanting to give positive energy to an athlete but even the kindest intentions can be overlooked by an athlete who is really nervous about the event (the athlete still loves you but sometimes nerves get the best of them and they can get a bit emotional). As an athlete, never be rude to your spectators because they are there supporting you. If you are a very-nervous type of athlete, it may be best to isolate yourself for a few hours, from your question-asking spectators on the day before the race (or stay  in different rooms/housing). 

4) Review the athlete and spectator guide - almost all your questions can be answered in the program guide (often found on the race website). Course maps, race day schedule and other important details/rules for spectators can be found in the guide and can be very helpful for a fun race day experience. You can also use forums, like Slowtwitch and Beginner Triathlete to read about spectator tips at your upcoming race event, such as best places to stay at night, where to watch your athlete on the bike course, shuttle experiences, etc. Also, use technology such as Iron Trac app or live tracking on the race website (if applicable) to track your athlete if you get good service. Many athletes are being tracked by friends/family so discuss with your athlete if she/he wants you (the spectator) to connect with friends who may be "watching" the event online (ex. use Facebook, Twitter to provide updates for followers).

5) Be prepared for a long day - no matter the distance of the event, you will likely be up early and there will be idol time throughout the day when you do not see your athlete. Be sure to bring plenty of food (easy snacking options are great) and water and dress appropriately as the weather may change between 4am and midnight. Expect extra time for awards (if applicable) and to allow an athlete to properly recover post race. Discuss with your athlete if it is necessary for you to watch the start of the race because many times you will not see your athlete or it is too congested to spectate (especially for little kids or a large group). Although watching the start of a race is super exciting, sometimes athletes enjoy actually seeing you on the course. Many times you can position yourself at a place on the course by bypassing watching the start of the race.

6) Be a superstar spectator - once an athlete is out on the course, he/she will need your help to get them to the finish line. Dress in fun costumes, make t-shirts and signs and give a loud cheer. Bring a camera (charged!) and wear comfortable clothing (athletic shoes, not sandals) to move quickly to spot your favorite athlete along the course. Be aware of race rules for most races will NOT allow you to run or bike with your athlete for that causes a DQ for an athlete or penalty (no outside assistance). Come up with funny phrases and avoid any phrases that may discourage an athlete (this may need to be discussed with your athlete ahead of time for you may have good intentions by telling an athlete she/he is almost there but in reality, she/he is not almost there when there is 1+ hours left in a race). Also, do not give wrong information. Don't tell athletes where to turn, what place they are in, how far they have left in the race or how far they are behind a competitor unless you are positive the information is correct AND the athlete wants to know this information (discuss ahead of time). Often, athletes are in a zone and too much outside information can distract and overwhelm an athlete whereas other athletes like to hear this outside information. 
Athletes also like surprise visits on the course. Many times athletes have low  moments but seeing their biggest fan at a time when they are least expecting it can bring the biggest smile to an athlete who is having an off moment. Often times, these surprise moments get athletes through races (in addition to the planned moments).
But most of the time, if an athlete is less than 15 minutes from the finish line, get out your loudest cheering voice ready, for he/she will likely need it in order to dig deep and finish strong. 


7) Don't bring up time goals - A successful race is best told from the athlete, not from a piece of paper. Even if an athlete has a time (or place goal), allow the athlete to give his/her race report before asking about places and times.  Avoid immediately asking the athlete "how'd you do?" when she/he crosses the line or even a few hours later. Let the athlete recover from the race and then absorb the race. It usually takes a little bit for an athlete to have negative thoughts subside or for the athlete to process his/her achievement. Sometimes the best performances come from overcoming obstacles rather than finishing with a PR.

8) Have a finish line plan - Certainly, the finish is the most exciting part of a race. Don't miss your athlete at the finish! Encourage your athlete to communicate with you about "best day possible" estimated finishing times (either for the end of the race or each portion of the race if a triathlon) just to have an idea as to when they may finish. When all else fails, be sure to snap a pic in the last 1-2 miles of the race and during the post race celebration if you can not get right on the finish line chute. Be sure to have a designated spot to meet your athlete post race (although the massage or food tent are popular places, you can also choose a spot just a little away from the race finish that may be a bit more quiet. Discuss this before the race starts).

9) Dream big - There's a reason as to why your athlete has decided to participate in this race/event. Be inspired by his/her commitment to dream big and don't take that away from him/her. Even if an athlete has a "bad" day or may not be arriving to the race healthy or trained as he/she would have liked to be, don't discourage your athlete from having big dreams at this race and in the future. Every athlete is bound to have a bad race but hopefully, it doesn't have to be his/her last race. Many athletes feel pressure to perform well on race day because they feel as if they have made a lot of sacrifices with family/friends before the race and if the race doesn't go well, then it wasn't all "worth it." It is extremely difficult to have great races all the time. As a spectator, the more you support and give love to your athlete, the better he/she will feel about him/herself on race day. Many times, athletes will feel guilty that they are too selfish or spend too much time thinking, training and preparing for a big race (not to mention the money spent on races/training). If you (spectator) feel as if your athlete does spend way too much time training for races and it is affecting the family, do not discuss this with your athlete the day before the race or after the race. It is extremely important for athletes and spectators (especially family) to figure out the best balanced lifestyle for everyone so that there are minimal sacrifices made BUT the athlete can still properly prepare for the race. Be sure to communicate with your athlete that you enjoy being their #1 fan and can't wait to be out there on race day to make memories with your favorite athlete.

Thumbs up before I start the 2011 Ironman World Championship to show my favorite spectators that I appreciate them being there for me.
This picture was taken by my dad on the pier, who was volunteering with my mom before the race (body marking). 




9/22/14

Happy Birthday to Karel!!


Sending a big Trimarni birthday shout-out to my amazing hubby Karel!!!

Here are a few fun facts about Karel: 

-Karel's first language is Czech (and he has a nice accent to prove it)

-Karel eats bread and chocolate.....daily. 

-Karel has an espresso in the morning as he waits for the coffee to brew. Karel loves (good) coffee.

-Karel has a cat that understands Czech because she was the women in Karel's life before he met me. 


-Karel and I were set-up on a bike ride in May 2006. I stood him up for 3 weeks because I was afraid to do the group ride. 


-Karel loves beer....IPA to be specific. 


-Karel eats meat but rarely red meat (on occasion). He is a great eater and Trimarni creation tester...he will eat anything, even tofu. He loves wings. 

-Did I mention Karel loves beer, coffee, chocolate and bread? 



-Karel is a cat 1 cyclist (loved crit races) and has raced bikes all his life, especially while growing up in Czech. He has finished the Pro race for the Athens Twilight twice (which is part of USA Crit Speed Week) and is a 2006 Tour de Gila finisher and 2010, 2011 Pro 1,2 Florida Cup Series Champion. You can see all of his cycling and running results on our website Trimarnicoach.com about Karel


-Karel loves to ride his bike fast...especially down mountains...like really, really fast. 



-Karel just learned to swim 2 years ago in the late spring of 2012. 


-Karel's first triathlon season started in June 2012, a sprint, followed by an Olympic, followed by a half IM (Branson 70.3 in 2012). His first IM was in 2013 (Placid)



-Karel has never ran an open marathon and doesn't intend to do one anytime soon. His marathon PR is 3:11:17 (after a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike). 

-Karel was the general manager of the Trek Bicycle Store of Jacksonville from 2008-2014 (the reason we moved from Dunedin FL to Jax).

-Karel has completed 3 Ironmans, PR of 9:22 in IM Austria and is a recent IM Kona qualifier (2015)

-Karel knows everything about bikes...seriously, everything. 


-Karel's family lives in Czech. 

-My dad loved Karel since the day they met. Karel impressed my dad with his knowledge of cars and electronics. My dad loved Karel's work ethic (and that he knew Karel would always take care of me). Karel learned a lot from my dad and he was the first person he would reach out to when he had a money, life, electronic, fish or car question. 

-Karel's dad and brother visited the US for the first time to come to our wedding in October 2008. Karel mom came for the 2nd time. We had the Sumbal and Rakes family together at our wedding. 


-Karel's other hobby (aside from tri training) is fish tanks. We have 2 fish tanks - a 55 gallon and 75 gallon (fresh water). 


-Karel and I work together, live together and train together. We pretty much spend every minute together most days during the week. To say Karel is just my husband is an understatement. He is my best friend, business partner, coach, training/racing partner and biggest supporter. 


-Karel is an amazing doggy daddy.




9/21/14

Calling all female endurance athletes.... I need your input!


I can't believe that it was only 2 weeks ago when I crossed my 9th Ironman finish line at Ironman Wisconsin and qualified for the 2015 Ironman World Championship with my amazingly talented and awesome hubby Karel!

This was more than a dream that came together with good luck. 
Understanding the human body in motion is something that I am extremely passionate about. Fueling the human body at rest and during exercise and training smart are just a few of the components to the equation of reaching performance goals. 

 Beyond training adaptations, I have an ongoing dedication to the science of sport nutrition and I absolutely love learning and applying information, especially to help endurance athletes. 

But seeing that many women in today's society often feel an added 'body image' pressure, it is also a passion of mine to not only help women develop a healthy relationship with food and the body. But especially for female athletes, to understand how to fuel appropriately before/during/after workouts and races to meet performance goals and to keep the body in good health. 

This coming weekend is The Women's Fitness Summit!!!

I could not be more excited to be part of this event. Not only to speak to the amazing group of women who are attending but to also learn from other inspiring and smart, fitness-minded women. 

Here are a few topics that I will be discussing in my presentation: 
        1) Mental toughness - destroy stereotypes, stay fierce and release       your competitive side! 
        2) Body image: learn how to develop healthy relationship with the       body. 
3) Training considerations: the importance of strength training           in a cardio-focused training plan.
4) Menstruation - are female athletes limited by menstruation and     should training/diet be modified during the monthly cycle?
5) Nutritional needs: essential nutrients to consume to reduce the      risk for stress fractures, anemia and amenorrhea.
6) Sport nutrition - understanding how to meet the demands of           training by fueling properly before, during and after workouts.


But before I finish my power point presentation, I need YOUR help.....and the help of all of your female endurance athlete buddies!! 

If you are a FEMALE ENDURANCE ATHLETE (ex. half ironman, ironman, half marathon, marathon) over the age of 16 years, it would be great if you could take a few minutes (right now) to complete the following questionnaire that I have put together.

Also, if possible via email, social media or word of mouth, please share this questionnaire with your female endurance friends/coaches. The more responses before 9/23, the better!! 

This will be the most valuable and effective way for me to better understand the sport nutrition views/strategies for female endurance athletes and to better help female endurance triathletes when it comes to fueling the body in motion.
I will also provide the results of this questionnaire in a blog in the next 2 weeks. 

The questionnaire is anonymous. 

Thank you for your help!