Essential Sports Nutrition


Ironman World Championship spectator tips!

Tomorrow IS the day!!
For 7-17 hours, triathletes and fans will be glued to the internet all day long (or watching live on the big island) to watch 1500+ age group and professional endurance triathletes race for 140.6 miles on the biggest stage of endurance sports. 

The waves, heat and wind will all be conquered as one female and male professional athlete become the Ironman World Champion and many athletes will follow to become Ironman World Championship finishers.

The Ironman World Championship medals are very hard to earn but when one is around your neck, you know the commitment, refusal to give up and hard work was all worth it.

Without a doubt, tomorrow is the Superbowl, Olympics, Wimbledon, Formula One, Final Four, World Series of the sport of triathlon.
Tomorrow is the  2014 Ironman World Championship!!!

Tomorrow is the day when fitness enthusiasts turn into athletes. The though of training for a 5K or sprint triathlon will quickly become an afterthought. By Sunday, our society will likely have gained hundreds of new soon-to-be athletes with a race on their schedule and a training plan to start by Monday. 

Tomorrow is the day when athletes dream just a bit bigger. Watching the best athletes in the sport of triathlons is inspiring and hearing stories of athletes who prove that anything is possible kinda makes us all question our silly little excuses and doubts. 

Tomorrow is the day when so many of us will sit at the edge of our seat, glued to the computer (or TV) to marvel over fit, trained, well-fueled bodies in motion (of all ages and sizes) and be in awe as to how amazing the human body (and mind) can be when called into action. 

Tomorrow is the day when 1500+ age group and professional athletes make a dream turn into a reality and for all of us watching from home (or on the island), it's so incredible that a one-day sporting event can change lifestyles.... and can even change lives. 

What's your athletic dream?
Is it a World Championship event or conquering a new distance with your body?
Never limit yourself as to what your body can do and don't be afraid of the work that it may take to reach your goals.

The big island of Kona is a magical place during IM week. There's a lot of triathlon history on that special island. 

Karel and I are already counting down the days until the 2015 Ironman World Championship. A day that was once a dream, is now a reality.

Karel and I realize that we have an incredible opportunity to race together in Kona next year but we want you to be part of it. 

Because as a 3x Ironman World Championship finisher, I can tell you that nothing compares to IM Kona. 

It is truly a magical place that should be on everyone's bucket list regardless if you race or not.

And with this being Karel's first IM World Championship, my 10th Ironman and our first World Championship together, we would LOVE to have you enjoy the island with us!
(there is never an easy Ironman but the Kona IM really tests your limits so all cheers are welcomed!)

If you think it is inspiring, exciting and motivating to watch the Ironman World Championship on TV/computer, just imagine the experience if you were there in person!
Swimming with dolphins, hanging out with the professionals, running on the famous Ali'i drive.....

If you are thinking about spectating or volunteering at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, here are a few of my tips.


1) Book your hotel/condo/house as soon as possible. Yes, even 1 year out as the key spots fill-up quickly. Check
(our condo is booked, we are staying at Kona Plaza)

2) If you are a spectator and wanting to be involved in all things Kona week, I personally recommend to stay as close as possible to the race venue. Here is a map of Kona condo's along Ali'i drive (the first out/back section of the run course). What's close? Within 2 miles will allow you to easily get to town by foot but 6 miles or less is still considered "close" by car (although expect some on and off traffic on Ali'i drive all week). There are houses for rent which may be a more practical option for you and your family/friends rather than being close to the venue.

3) There is something to do for the entire family and there is no way you will get bored in Kona during IM week. I recommend to stay no less than 5 days (although I can honestly say that 5 days is not enough time to get your full IM Kona experience). I recommend arriving no later than Wednesday and leaving no earlier than Sunday. Remember, the race is on a Saturday!

4) Don't forget to bring your cap and goggles. Spectators can swim at "dig me beach" anytime as it is a public swim location (and the start of the IM). You can swim to the coffee boat, use your GoPro to take pictures of the fishies in the clear blue water and you may even get lucky and see some sea turtles and dolphins!

5) There are events all week during Kona week for everyone! The schedule on does not change much year after year so you can expect the same events such as the Kona Underpants run, Parade of Nations, IronKids Dip n' Dash, PATH 5K and 10K, Ho'ala 2.4 mile swim, race expo, pro briefing and welcome banquet/banquet of champions. 

6) If you have a favorite triathlon brand, it is likely at the expo. You do not want to miss the expo as well as the many opportunities to interact with the pros and major triathlon companies. Get ready for free swag and many opportunities to buy new gear (of course, a lot of it will come with a logo that you have been to the IM World Championship!)

7) Parking can be tight on race week and the roads are closed all day on race day. Depending on where you stay, expect to walk a lot on race day. To help you get around (ex. farmers market, grocery, race venue) you can also rent a bike (way ahead of time as they go fast!) or buy an inexpensive bike at Wal-mart or in/outside of town and then give the bike to a local kid (or person in need of a bike) before you leave the island. Mopeds are also popular.

8) A rental car is highly encouraged if you plan to do some sightseeing around the island. If you plan to stay only in town, you can take a taxi from the airport (it's about a 20-25 minute ride to town).

9) Book your flight somewhere between 6-3 months out for the best rates (~$600-$1500 per ticket is a rough estimate depending on where you are traveling from). Also, if traveling over a few time zones, expect hoping from plane to plane. Kona is 6 hours earlier than EST.

10) Do not feel pressure to bring your own bike. Although you can expect lots of triathletes riding out on the Queen K hwy (which is where most of the 112 mile bike course takes place), you will be able to stay extremely active by running, walking and swimming. You may end up getting fitter in Kona because well, everyone is moving all the time! And even if you don't like open water swimming, you will absolutely love swimming in the Kona crystal blue"fish tank".
Bring your run/walking shoes. There are many "aid stations" set up on Ali'i drive from sport nutrition companies so you will have no shortage of fuel/hydration. Bring you camera as you will likely see a pro or two running next to you or across the street!
If you want to take a visit to (or run in) the natural energy lab (which is miles 16-20 of the marathon run, special needs is placed in the energy lab around mile 17-18), it is around 6 miles away from town.
(When Karel brought his bike in 2011 to watch me race, he never rode on the Queen K to train. Instead he headed up the mountain and said the roads were extremely challenging and steep...but a lot of fun to descend!)

11) If you want to get really involved, volunteer. Check the website to find out what volunteer options are available and without a doubt you will love giving up a few hours of your time in Kona to be part of this amazing event. 

12) Spectating is exhausting! Don't over-exhaust yourself on race day. Here are my recommendations as to what you may enjoy the most:
*Swim start is exciting but you have to get there early to get a spot close enough to see anything. If you are staying at the King K hotel or another close hotel (ex. Kona Ali or Kona Plaza) you may be able to see the swim start from afar.
*Watch the pros getting on to their bikes or head to Palani drive, anywhere around the "hot corner" to watch your favorite age groupers twice on the beginning section of the bike course.
*With a lot of time to "waste" in Kona, head back to your room (if you are close) and watch the LIVE coverage which will give you behind the scenes of everything going on (if you have internet access). You can also get a bite to eat downtown or go for a swim. Plan for at least 4 hours to relax and stay out of the sun so you do not exhaust yourself.
*Ali'i drive is packed with spectators for the run and you have at least 6 miles in town that you can place yourself for the run (and see athletes twice)
*Many condo's are on the water edge, on the run course so this is a great option if you have kids/family members that may not be able to stay in town all day but want to watch some of the athletes run by.
*Keep in mind that the male pro's will be on the run course by noontime so you may want to catch the pros before your favorite age groupers come a few hours later.
*Spectators are not allowed past a certain point on the Queen K Hwy for the run so once you see your fav triathlete go by in town (and out on the Queen K for the last 1/2 of the run), try to get a spot to watch the pros finish along Ali'i drive. Great places to watch (if you can't get directly on the finish line chute) would be Kuakini Hwy (which is also the first out and back section of the bike in town) and Hualalai drive.
*You do not want to miss the last hour so make sure you get a little rest (and eat) before you head back to the finish line around 11pm (remember, the course will be closed so plan accordingly in the evening hours). 

13) Share this experience with others. Every triathlete knows the history behind the Ironman World Championship event and it may even be the reason why you got into your sport to prove that anything is possible. Sure, it may be the greatest spectacle for endurance sports but do you even need to convince your friends/family to travel with you to a beautiful, sunny, warm island in October?

Hope to see you there in 2015!


Happy 7th B-day Campy!!!

Today we celebrate Campy's birthday!! Since Campy is a rescue dog, we aren't sure of his exact date of birth but we got him around the age of one. So every year, for the past 6 years, we have celebrated the day when Campy came into our life.

Here are a few fun facts about Campy. 

Campy loves to travel! We find pet-friendly hotels and he never stays in the room alone. What a lucky doggy!

Campy loves the outdoors. He has endless energy....

Until he wears himself out. 

Campy loves nature. Any new place is an exciting place. Any old place is also exciting too. He never seems to get bored from walking the same routes on our morning walks but in the case that there is a new smell, Campy is always the early bird to find it! 

Campy is a Chihuahua Italian greyhound mix. He has a strong personality and he is really, really fast. He was 11 lbs when we got him and now he is 13 lbs. I'm pretty sure he gained two lbs of muscle. Campy is an athlete!

Campy was found behind a building in Amelia Island. He was being fostered by a nice family for two weeks until we found "Sparky" at Here is the story about how we found Campy. 
Campy is named after Campagnolo. Only a high-end lifestyle for this rescue animal.

We got Campy just a few weeks before we got married at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, Florida. Little did we know that Campy would change our life in so many ways. All for the better. 

We could not have asked for a better furry child in our active lifestyle. 

Campy is not the best eater. He is not the type of dog who will steal food from a plate or start eating from his bowl as you are putting food in it. He won't eat dry food, only wet food. And his favorite food is chicken, rice and veggies (homecooked). 

Campy loves going to races although he has never watched me race. Campy has cheered on Karel and many cycling races and a few triathlons. Campy even spectated at IMFL last year and watched the last hour of the finishers...what a trooper! We will be at IMFL again this year to spectate and cheer on our athletes. 

Campy sleeps more than he is awake. He is an excellent sleeper and a master at cuddling. 

Campy loves to smile. He is a really happy doggy. But just be sure to ask me if you can pet him if you ever see him because he is super protective of his mommy and often brings a big attitude wherever he goes in public. 

I have more pictures of Campy than I can count. I will not regret this one day, many many years from now.

Campy has slept in our king size bed since the day we got him. Even though he has his own doggy bed, there has never been a night in his life that he hasn't slept in a bed. 

Campy loves pillows....

And blankets. Campy loves to sleep under blankets. 

This is called roaching. Campy assumes this position when he is exhausted. 

Campy is not built for distance but he is a great sprinter. He has one speed and it is fast. He loves to be in the lead or be chased. He makes for a great run partner off the bike as he never complains. Campy's longest run was 4 miles although a quality run for this 4-legged friend is around 10 minutes. 

Campy loves his sweaters. Although he didn't have to wear them much in Jacksonville, FL, we may be shopping for new sweaters here in Greenville, SC for our first winter. 

Campy loves to de-stuff toys. Every toy is called his "bear." This is Campy's mission in life, to destroy every bear that is given to him. Or, as this picture shows, if he is visiting someone who has a dog, be sure to hide all toys or Campy will find them!
"Campy, did you do that?"

Every year, Campy gets a Thanksgiving plate of real food. Ok, I take that back. Campy is a GREAT eater on Thanksgiving.

Campy was a great Thanksgiving left-over turkey helper to my dad. 

Campy has helped me train for 7 Ironman's. He gets stronger and stronger every year!

Campy loves road trips! He will typically sleep (in my lap of course, despite his bed starting in the back seat) unless we slow down or stop. Then he has to check to make sure we are on the right route. Campy's collar (and leash) are from Cycledog

Since we got Campy, he has never been in a crate and has never slept alone overnight. Campy has the best pet-sitters when we travel and has a few great home away from home. 

Madison loves Campy. She was found outside (by Campy) in a bush, not too long after we got Campy.

Madison always wants to be by Campy.

As close as possible, always trying to be just like Campy. 

Campy uses his "bears" as pillows.

We find him in these positions all the time. A bear as a chin-rest. 

Campy gives unconditional love all the time. He shows us every day how lucky he is to be in our family. 

But we are the lucky ones!

Campy can sleep in any position. As long as there is a pillow or blanket, he will find a way to get comfortable. He is not a floor sleeper. 

Campy loves to recover from workouts with us. 

And watch cycling/triathlons on TV.

We are true dog lovers. If something is dog friendly, we get super excited that Campy can join us. 

Happy 7th birthday Campy!!
To the 4-legged furry little guy in our life.....
You make every day a fun, happy day. You never have a bad day. 
Every trip is more fun with you. 
Although you have a strong personality, you know how to give a lot of love.
You love to be active and you love the outdoors - just like your mommy and daddy.
You make it so easy to take pictures of you and thank goodness we have so many photos to capture all the great moments in our life together.
You spent the first year of your life on the streets and we feel so lucky that we found you!
Campy, I promise to always give you the best life ever because you have made our life so amazing since we all became a family.

Keep on smiling and loving every day of your lottery-winning life! We love you!


2015 Trimarni coaching - apply now!

After I finished the 2011 Ironman World Championships, I was instructed by Karel that I would be taking a year off from Ironman racing in 2012. In addition to IM Kona being my only triathlon in 2011, I didn't have the race I wanted on the run in Kona due to some tummy troubles from swallowing a bit too much sea water (11:02 finishing time). 
With Karel guiding me (I was not quite ready to call him my "coach") in 2011, he felt as if I needed a year to rest my body from long distance racing and work on my speed. It was really hard to not want a do-over Ironman performance in 2012 and truly test my fitness (plus I love the IM journey!!) but according to Karel, it was just not possible (and too risky) for me to get faster while training for Ironman distance triathlons. 
"Alright Karel, I trust you."

It wasn't worth a deep discussion as I knew I would still be racing half IM distances (which certainly counts as a long distance race) so I trusted Karel and finally realized that every coach needs a coach. 

Although my mind was still struggling to accept this new process of training (more speed work, more rest, more strength training), it was quite amazing how great my body felt in 2012 but also how I performed at my races. After a chilly start to the season with the Donna half marathon in Feb, I won my very first race...and it was a running race! I was the overall winner of the 2012 Iron Girl Clearwater half marathon. (I could not have asked for a better first race to win than an all-women's race, particularly Iron Girl. My dad also watched me finish which was super special.)

A month later, I ran my first sub 20 minute 5K (19:52) and placed overall female.

I found myself really loving 2012 because I was able to race much more frequently and recover very quickly from races. This was a big change than just training for an IM.
Who would have guessed that Karel's master plan was actually working!?!

A few weeks later Karel and I headed to Macon, GA for one of my favorite challenging races, the Colesium Rock n' RollMan half Ironman. Now it was time to see if Karel's plan would really pay off. Could I take all that speed work to a long distance race and feel strong and have the stamina to perform well?
I raced super strong (and surprised myself) and finished 5th place overall female (which got me money!) and ran my fastest ever off the bike in 1:42 (a 6 minute PR on this course) on a very hard, hot course. 

Another great highlight of 2012 was that Karel switched from Cat 1 bike racing to triathlons!! In August at the Jax Olympic distance Tri Series #3, Karel and I did our very first triathlon together (Karel's 2nd triathlon and first Olympic distance tri). 
Not only was this super special to race on the same course together for the very first time, but I had another PR of 2:15 in an Olympic distance race! 

I trained really hard all summer for my key long distance race of 2012 Branson 70.3 with Karel (his first half and 3rd triathlon). This was my first time racing two half IM races in one season (4 months apart). We did a lot of track workouts and a lot of high intensity work in the pool and on the bike and lots of bricks and strength training/plyo's. The training paid off, again!

For the first time, I crossed the finish line as overall female amateur on an incredibly challenging course. I had the fastest female run of the day which was also a huge PR for me of 1:36.
Karel placed 5th in his AG which was awesome!

Even though I had great knowledge in exercise physiology, my approach was very wrong for my body and goals (and according to new approaches to long distance racing that I wasn't ready to believe). I guess I wanted to keep doing the same thing (and more) over and over and just hoped for different results. Well, actually, I ended up doing way more volume that I should have in my early years of IM racing and I didn't understand how to train or even race for that matter. I guess you could say I was barely getting by and really burning myself out as an IM athlete. For the past few years, I have felt healthy, strong and balanced. No burn out and always hungry to race.
I am incredibly thankful that Karel changed so much about how I/we trained for endurance sports and the results (and good health) show for it. 

I'm not sure exactly what summarizes a successful season, as we all define it differently, but 2012 was a season of PR's and top performances for me so I would have to say it was a very successful season (with no injuries too). Never would I have thought my body would be able to perform like it did all season long and I can't thank Karel enough for knowing what was best for me and my long term goals of being a faster long distance athlete.
Patience and hard work are so important in discovering your true potential as an athlete.

Oh and speaking of those long term goals.....

2013 Ironman Lake Placid (first IM in 21 months): 10:43 (10 min PR), Kona qualified
2013 Ironman World Championship (10 weeks after IM placid): 10:37 (new PR)
2014 HITS Ocala Half Ironman: Overall female winner
2014 Ironman Austria: 10:17 (new PR)
2014 Ironman Wisconsin (9 weeks after IM Austria): 10:44 (13 min improvement from 2010 IMWI), Kona qualified

4 Ironman's in 14 months.
Thank you body!
Thank you Karel!

As an athlete who is self-coached (with Karel over-seeing my training plan and instructing me on race execution), I have learned a lot over the past 8 years. I have learned a lot of lessons and have had to overcome a lot of obstacles as an age group endurance triathlete. 

Everything that didn't go well or could be termed as a mistake over the past few years, I have taken note to make sure I don't set myself up to make the same mistake twice (and this goes in training and racing). I always learn something new on race day, no matter the race and I also learn a lot about myself as an athlete, no matter the training journey. 

Year after year there is so much to learn. I spend a great amount of time learning about the sport of triathlons, specifically endurance sports. I learn from other great coaches, successful, consistent athletes and I also like to take note of what doesn't work for athletes. 

There's so much that I love about coaching. It is rewarding, inspiring and educational. But it requires a lot of work, it is extremely time consuming and often exhausting. Coaches have a lot of responsibility as a human body is within the hands of the coach and it is the coaches job to guide the athlete's body to success  but also to keep it healthy and well.

When I think about my past successes and many learning lessons (and now more learning with Karel as a new triathlete), I can count a lot of changes that have been made.  And this has actually been a very beneficial thing. I really enjoy growing into my full potential and I know that it happens overtime, not just in one season. And many times, it takes new approaches.

I feel this is true for all athletes and that is why I feel my job as a coach is so special. Regardless if I work with an athlete for a season or for several years, I have the great opportunity to guide an athlete, teach an athlete and motivate an athlete to learn how to train smarter to train harder and to develop a strong body foundation, good mental skills, exceptional physical capabilities and a great ability to understand how to fuel for endurance training/racing.

Just like with my own personal athletic journey, Karel and I have made some exciting new changes to our coaching services and we feel that with our improved knowledge and experience with coaching (and learning what didn't work), 2015 is going to be a great year for us but more so, for all of our amazing Trimarni coaching athletes.

If you are interested in being coached by Karel and me, be sure to complete the application by November 15th.
For more info on our 2015 coaching services, click below....

                        2015 TRIMARNI COACHING