5/29/15

Summer hydration tips for athletes

Can you feel that? 
The warm weather is finally here!!

For the past few months, it's likely that you have been just fine with your fueling/hydration strategy while training/exercising. Perhaps you feel like you have been just fine getting by with little to no fluids or electrolytes when you train. 

Well, when summer arrives, it's extremely important to make sure that you are focused on preventing dehydration and heat-related illnesses by making a huge effort to fuel and hydrate during every workout. 

As an athlete, you should never ever feel like you are just getting by. If you do not make an effort or do not know how to fuel/hydrate properly for your workouts you will limit your ability to progress with your fitness as you work your butt off to get stronger, faster, fitter and more powerful. 
You want to tweak, perfect and nail your sport nutrition and hydration regime all the time to ensure that you are getting the most out of your training and keeping your body in good health. 

Here are a few hydration tips to apply to your training/racing to ensure that you are not putting your body into a dangerous situation. If you feel like you are underfueling/underhydrating, consult a sport RD to help you in your athletic journey. 

-Staying hydrated on a daily basis is extremely important so that you go into all workouts well hydrated and with normal electrolyte levels. Don't assume that you can under-hydrate throughout the day and then "be good" during your workout and meet your performance needs. 

-Before workouts, you should not feel the need to overdrink but don't assume you can go into a workout dehydrated and make-up for it during the workout. In the 2 hours before a workout, aim for around 20 ounces of fluid, with 8-10 ounces in the 30 min before the workout. It's ok if you drink a bit more but you want to all urine output to return to normal in the 30 min before a workout. 

-During a workout, your goal is to consume a well formulated sport drink to prevent dehydration and excessive changes in the balance of electrolytes. Consume your sport drink in frequent intervals, every 10-15 minutes, 2-3 swallows at a time (1 ounce = 1 small mouthful of fluid) for all workouts more than 60 minutes. 
I suggest to aim for around 30-50g of carbs and 200-400 mg sodium for workouts between 1-2 hours.

-Much of an athlete's fatigue that occurs in the later miles of a workout is from dehydration and a drop in blood sugar so a well formulate sport drink is an effective way to keep good form and focus to take your fitness to that next level. Stop "getting by" without adequate sport nutrition during workouts. 

-Post workout, your goal is to replace the fluid/electrolyte deficit that occurred through metabolic heat (muscle contractions) and sweating (especially in hot/humid temperatures). Rather than consuming a large amount of fluid immediately post workout, aim to drink around 16-20 ounce of fluid every 2 hours post workout, starting immediately post workout with an electrolyte replenishment drink and protein recovery drink.

A few extra tips: 


Thanks SHAPE Magazine for interviewing me for hot weather dangers.
Article here

5/28/15

1 year ago.....


One year ago today, the world lost a very special man. 

This man was a mentor, an educator, a great story teller and the chief optometrist of the New Port Richey VA clinic. 

He was a husband, father and son. A lover of life and someone who lived his entire life happy, patient, kind and supportive. 

This man was my dad. 

When a friend looses a family member/spouse, it is within our heart to be compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic and loving. 

When you are the one who loses a family member, your heart becomes empty because someone so very important to you, that you see or talk to all the time, is no longer sharing your life with you. 

Life presents many challenges but nothing was as hard as saying good bye to my dad one-year ago today. My dad lived his entire life as a strong, hard working, determined and busy man but sadly, he could not win on his 10-month fight with cancer. 
But as a lover of life, he sure fought hard. 

When I lost my dad, my sadness had me asking "why my dad?" 
Everyone in my family was upset that my dad, who had remained so healthy and active throughout his entire life, had to be the one who lost his life so early, at the age of 67. 

There were many times in the first few months after my dad's passing when I would find myself crying and saying "it's just not fair." We all grieve differently and although I forced myself to continue to love my life and never waste a day (just like my dad had always encouraged me to do), every now and then it would just weigh heavy on my heart that my dad could no longer live the life that he loved to live.  

I talked to my dad almost every day. When he was diagnosed with cancer, I called him every single day. 
Karel, Campy and I would visit my dad (and my mom) almost once every month from June 2014 to May 2014, driving 4 hours just to make more memories with my dad. 

Although I now no longer find myself asking "why my dad?" I now find myself most sad when something happens in my life, and he is no longer here to experience it with me. I find myself constantly experiencing new things in life and wishing that my dad was still here to share life with us. 

My mom has stayed incredibly strong and since my parents had their house on the market when Karel and I moved to Greenville last May, my mom is now settling into Greenville, making friends and staying busy. We also do a great job keeping her busy as Karel and I are constantly looking for fun ways to explore nature and stay active so my mom joins in on the fun (and also serves as a great Campy babysitter - which she loves). 

So much has happened over the past year that it's hard to really begin to explain how much I miss my dad. I feel like I did my best to stay strong and to continue on with life but something inside of me still hurts, that I have to do this for another year and many more years to come. 

My dad loved watching my brother and I participate in sports. He was so proud of his two student athlete children - in college it was gymnastics for my brother (he competed at University of Michigan) and swimming for me (first year at IUP and then sophomore until senior year at Transylvania University in my hometown of Lexington, KY). He spent many years driving us to practices, whether it was 4:45am for me or 6pm for Aaron. I always remember my dad being there for us - nothing was more important in his life than being there to support my brother Aaron and me. 

My dad walked me down the aisle when I married Karel in October of 2008 and even when my dad was recovering from his spinal surgery, he found the strength to walk down the aisle at my brothers wedding to Dana in Pittsburgh in September of 2013 (for one of the first times in three months). 

After graduate school, I started racing triathlons. No longer was my dad watching me race for less than 3 minutes but instead, he was standing on the sidelines with my mom for over 10 hours during my Ironman triathlon competitions. 

My dad never lived long enough to see Karel race in an Ironman but he spent many years hearing about Karel as a cat 1 cyclist and even attending some of his local cycling races around the Tampa Bay/Clearwater area. My dad was a great photographer! My dad was alive when Karel finished an Ironman in 2013 when we raced our first Ironman together in Lake Placid.

 My dad would have been so happy to know how well Karel is doing in triathlons these days especially with us both qualifying for the 2015 Ironman World Championships. And of course, as a fellow runner, I know he would have constantly kept asking Karel how fast he is running these days (my dad always knew Karel had the need for speed - whether it was in a car, on a bike or on two feet). 

Beyond athletics, my dad was very proud of his children. My brother works for Ernst & Young which is the third largest professional services firm in the world. As for me, well Karel and I have our own small business (Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition), which has been a long-time dream for me.
I watched my dad for many, many years, enjoy his job and never sought an early retirement. He never ever complained about working. I always desired something similar in my career so after 9 years of higher education, I found a career that is rewarding, fulfilling and really makes me happy. I have my dad to thank for always supporting me and for never letting me give up on my dreams. 

Just over a month ago, Karel and I bought our first home. This was years in the making and really a dream come true for us because we have worked very hard and have saved a lot to be able to afford a place that we can call our own in Greenville, SC. Karel came to the US with only a backpack and I remember once having negative dollars in my bank account after graduate school. My dad was all about hard work and he taught us that all the time. 

As much as I loved having my dad support me in athletics and in my career, I constantly find myself saying "Dad would  know how to do/fix that" when we talk about things around our new house. Whereas once I was sad because I didn't understand why my dad's life was taken way too early, I find myself now getting sad more often, just because he knew how to do everything - and he enjoyed helping us when we didn't know how to do something. 

 I wish my dad was here to go to Lowe's with Karel. My dad would know exactly what we need for our house/lawn/garage. My dad had every tool and he loved working on projects. He was a skilled craftsman and was a wonderful landscaper. 

I often find myself imagining how excited my dad would have been to work on projects with Karel around our new home. Karel and my dad had a great relationship for they shared so many things in common - like cars, electronics, gadgets. 

I can't believe it's been a year since I lost my dad. I really don't know how time can just pass like that. It feels like yesterday when I said good-bye. 

My dad rests peacefully here in Greenville, SC. Every time Karel and I travel somewhere to make memories together, we find the perfect rock from nature, to put on my dad's grave site. This is our way of bringing my dad with us wherever we go and wherever life takes us.
When Karel and I race, we wear my dad's favorite Corvette hats. 

On Sunday I will celebrate my 33rd birthday. For almost 32 years, I had the honor of calling Dr. Jim Rakes, my dad. I am thankful for my mom and dad bringing me into this world, and for raising me to be who I am today. 

I will never forget how amazing of a dad I had - he was so supportive to me and my brother (and a great father in law to Karel and Dana). I will always remember what a wonderful husband he was to my mom and just a one-of-a-kind person that everyone wanted to be around. 

I'm so thankful that my dad was always there for me in my life growing up as I have so many memories to hold on to for the rest of my life. Even though my dad's life is gone, I know he is still guiding me, supporting me and encouraging me, everyday of my life. 

Love you dad. 






5/27/15

Overcome your feelings - training motivation


On Monday morning, I joined a master swim group for an open water swim at Lake Jocassee (Devil's Fork State Park). I was super excited for my first open water swim practice of the season here in Greenville and excited to swim/train with others. Because the lake is about 1 hour away from where we live, I decided to make a morning out of the swim and combine it with an EZ 30-45 min run that I had on my training schedule. 
Karel stayed at home since he just returned from 4 days of RETUL fits in Jacksonville. 

I packed plenty of fluids and snacks and had my run gear, Nathan hydration belt and had everything I needed for two great workouts. I was super excited and had all the motivation I needed to have a great morning swim/run. 

I swam pretty hard for our 1-hour swim (out and back) as I was trying to keep up with three other super fast master swimmers. After the swim, I was really cold (we didn't wear wetsuits and the water was a bit nippy) and was tired from the swim (although it was a beautiful swim!) 

As I was walking back to my car, I was thinking that maybe I would just head home and run in the evening. Despite starting the morning with great intentions, having all my gear and being nutritionally prepared, I let a temporary feeling of being tired derail me from my plan. 

I know sometimes we can just push through discomfort and get it done but I was perfectly content with not sticking to my plan and I didn't feel guilty. 

But then as I was walking, I saw two other male triathletes who had joined us for the swim (they swam 40 minutes)and they were running. And just like that, I convinced myself that I should just go for the run that I had planned to do. 

And as I should have guessed - I had a great run, with good form (despite running on hilly terrain) and really enjoyed running on new roads, in a new environment. I was running happy for 6 miles!

I was so happy that I ran after my swim and both workouts served their purpose as I felt recovered and fresh to train on Tuesday. 

This morning, Karel and I went for an hour spin and he took me on a great bike tour of some new country roads (we are always exploring!). I was a little tired before the bike and started to doubt myself if I had it in me for today's morning workout. 
But with so much nature around us, it was a great ride to wake-up my legs before our track run. 

But after the ride, I started to feel tired. Again, another feeling that I was letting convince me that I didn't have it in me to run. Tired doesn't mean that I can't have great workouts. Heck, I'm tired after I swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles but I still find a way to run 26.2 miles to finish an Ironman! 

I had my nutrition ready for the run and all my gear in the garage ready for a quick transition and I fueled well on the bike in anticipation for the track run.

With Karel by my side, we ran up our hill and headed 3 miles to Furman University and then started our track workout.

MS: 5 x .75 miles (or 5 minutes for Karel) w/ 3 min recovery in between (with #4-5 being the strongest).

Then a run home
Total: 10.3 miles 

As the run progressed, I felt stronger and stronger. I made sure to bring extra nutrition for the track run and boy oh boy did I need it! 

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Every athlete battles feelings. 
Feelings of low motivation, low energy, low passion. 
We also have opportunities when we can bottle up our positive feelings. Feelings of being unstoppable, feelings of strength, durability and great health. 

Amazingly, regardless of how we feel, we have the ability to get things done, even when we feel like things can't get done. 

As athletes, we have a lot that we can do to set ourselves up for great workouts:
-Great nutrition before/during/after workouts
-Great daily nutrition
-Great warm-ups
-Great restful sleep
-Great motivation (goals in mind)
-Great support - family, friends, teammates
-Great stress management
-Great focus and consistency in your training plan (and a well-designed training plan)
-Great planning
-Great pacing
-Great ability to not make excuses

But let's be honest here - that's a lot to just have a great workout! 

To help you overcome your feelings and to help you stay motivated, my suggestion is to focus on setting yourself up for great workouts with things within your control (attitude, gear, nutrition, sleep, etc.). Then when you get to your workout, focus on what you want to get out of your workout. One of the easiest ways to have a bad workout is to put too much pressure on yourself on how you expect to perform during the workout. You can't expect your body to be "on" every single workout. 

As you can see from my last few workouts, in my head, I felt like I was not going to have good workouts and I was settling with my feelings. 

Well, you don't get much done when you do nothing. 

As athletes, we do this all the time in races ("how will my legs feel off the bike, how will I feel when I start the swim, how will I feel at mile 20?") and more often than we would like, we do this a lot in training. 

There will be times in your training when you feel great and you can have goals as to how hard you want to push in order to feel like you had a great workout. 

But many times, you are going to need to remove the emotions from the workout which can cause you to feel frustrated, disappointed and "slow" if your anticipated goals for the workout do not match your RPE or how you perform.
Through years of training and racing, if there is one powerful message that I have learned (and take with me to every training session and race), if your body is healthy, never ever count yourself out of a workout. Keep adjusting until you find a way to have the best workout possible - don't just "get through" the workout. 

Try to find a way to "feel" like you are having a great workout and more often than not, you will have a great workout!









5/25/15

Challenge Knoxville half - 13.1 mile run



My game plan for the first few miles of the run was to establish good-form running as quick as possible and then run as strong as possible for the remainder of the race. It typically takes me around 15-20 minutes to warm-up my legs in any given run and race day was no exception. I didn't look at my Garmin for the first 3 miles (even with it auto-lapped each mile) and I just focused on good form, tall posture (for my 5-foot frame), quick cadence and light on the feet. I did set up my Garmin to show the following on the interval screen:
Lap pace average   Current pace
Lap distance     Total time

When I got to the first aid station, I stopped to take a drink of water from the volunteers and to take a few deep breaths to try to get my HR to lower. Like many athletes, my HR goes up in the first mile but then if I can stop and take a few breaths, it will lower to normal levels. To ensure that I had plenty of fuel in my tank for the later miles, a high heart rate in the early miles was not part of my racing plan. So even though I didn't feel like I was breathing hard or struggling with my form, I still made the conscious effort to stop almost every aid station, especially in the first 3 miles. 

I never see walking/stopping as failing to run or that it is preventing me from running a faster time. If anything, it helps me run stronger in the later miles as I can maintain good form and more focus through my "interval" run/walk strategy (Karel walks too when he races and so do our athletes). 

I had heard that the bike course was hilly but the run course was also very hilly when we get into a neighborhood. Race maps can be deceiving online/on paper and every athlete has his/her own definition of hilly. When I lived in Florida, every bump in the road was a hill and a bridge was a mountain. Certainly, after living in Greenville for a year, my definition of "hilly" has changed a lot. Now I say "bumps, hills, bigger hills and mountains". 

I took a sip from my Nathan hydration belt flask between each aid station so that I could drink just water at the aid stations. Each flask had 90 calories in it so I consumed 180 calories during the 13.1 mile run + a little water at every aid station. I never felt bonky or lethargic or dehydrated. It's really important to find the right balance of how "fast" you can run to be competitive but also how much you can fuel to support that effort. There is a fine line between running too hard and not being able to meet your needs which often ends up in a bonk-like scenario, dehydration or GI distress. I consider myself a very metabolically efficient athlete as I use sport nutrition in all my training so I utilize carbohydrates very efficiently for rapid energy to my working muscles. Karel is the same way as he also uses sport nutrition in every workout (and we always run with our hydration belts - even for the short runs). 

So now on to the fun stuff - let's talk about the race!
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As I started the run, my body felt good. Not great, but not bad. With many endurance events behind me, I can tell you that how you feel when you start the race can be very misleading. Never let how you feel in the first few miles of a race convince you if you are going to have a bad, great or good race. You have to literally run with it and find a way to settle into your rhythm. 
I shut off all feelings and just ran. I saw ahead and my two competitions were ahead of me...like way ahead of me. 

The road slightly inclined and declined but it was not challenging for the first 2 miles. I knew I didn't overbike because my legs felt fairly fresh. 
We then made a left turn on to a running path and I began to settle into a rhythm. Still taking walk/stop breaks at the aid stations (which were almost every mile), the road began to incline/decline a bit more and I finally felt like I was in my element - hills and nature. 

With my competition no where in sight, I found myself passing a few guys and watching the pros (running in the opposite direction on this out and back course) really digging dip. 

I found my right leg feeling a little tight - it was kinda like my ITB was tightening but I couldn't really identify exactly what was going on...but that's ok. With 6 years of chronic hip/back injuries, I've experienced so much in training that I don't need to diagnose myself in a race to figure things out. Thankfully, in the last two years, I have learned to trust myself that I am not injured every time I feel a niggle. 

I began to check-in with my Garmin every time it lapped at the mile around mile 3. My time was hoovering around 7:40-7:50 min/mile and I wasn't sure what to think of this. I had studied previous race times to learn what would be a "fast" run time on this course and previous times alerted me that this was not a "fast" time course but instead, a course for those who could run the strongest off the bike. 

I tried to keep my emotions aside, assuming that I needed to run faster with every mile so I just stayed focused on my competition ahead of me. 

As I was around mile 3,5-4ish, I looked ahead and saw a super steep incline. The road just went straight up. No problem, I thought. Let's just tipy-toe-jog my way up with powerful arms and call it a "run". 

As I was running up the hill, I spotted my friend, pro triathlete Katie Thomas and she looked so strong running down the hill. She was smiling and I was so happy for her that she was having a great race. Katie and I have raced together only a few times and she remains a great friend to me (and awesome athlete!). 

As I approached the aid station after the hill, I decided to not stop but to keep running. With another hill after the aid station, I wanted to get the hill over with and "recover" at the top. I grabbed my water to sip and another to cool my face (even though it was cloudy, I could still feel myself getting hot) and then when I got to the top, I looked ahead and saw "the neighborhood" that everyone had been talking about. 

I took a quick stop break, gathered myself and in less than 10 seconds, I came to the realization that I felt amazingly good and the miles were just ticking away!

 Despite dealing with a few issues with my sport bra feeling super tight (I'll go back to my Oakley Women sport bras instead of my Brooks running one that constricts my rib cage), my leg acting weird and my mind trying to convince me that I wasn't running fast enough..........

My first prey was now behind me! I passed her before the neighborhood (I think) and then as I was started running again when I entered "the neighborhood"....I saw Karel!

Karel was on the other side of the street, running up the hill that I was running down. I shouted "Go Karel" and he was in his zone. He looked so strong and I figured he had to be near the front of the AG male race. 

And in a matter of 5 miles, it really hit me.
My why.....It's for the love of competition!

When I train, I love the journey that I get to take myself on. Just me and my body and mind.
But on race day, I am out there with hundreds of other athletes who have all been on their own personal athletic journey and I get to be part of the action. It's not about who is the best based on a time or finishing place but instead, how we all bring out the best in each other and how and why we compete. We aren't exercisers....we are athletes!

At Challenge Knoxville, I found myself feeling so extremely grateful to my body for allowing me to compete. For allowing me to chase and actually catch my competition. 
Victory, winning or feeling successful is not simply about a PR, a placement or a finishing time.
Since my last key race was 8 months, I forgot what it felt like to be hungry to race. To be excited to push beyond the limits on what the body and mind are capable of achieving. 

For the next mile, while running up and down long gradual hills in "the neighborhood", I kept thinking about Karel and how hard he was pushing. Karel has the amazing ability to dig so deep because of his former crit-racing days (where your best day is only as good as your ability to hang on to the riders wheel ahead of you who is having a better day). Through years of being injured, I have always desired the ability for my mind to be my only limiter on race day. And here I was, trying to understand my "why" as to why I was racing. And with my healthy and strong body, I had no reason why not to dig deep and let my mind be my only limiter. I began to say to myself "the hurt from pushing hard is so much better than the hurt from an injury!"

With every mile behind me, I found myself getting closer and closer to what I now thought was the 2nd place overall amateur female finisher (I wasn't 100% on who was ahead of me). She was within my reach but I just couldn't catch her as she was not slowing down.

After mile 5, I decided that now I would take the risk. The risk that we have all taken during a race and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. 

I made my move on an uphill with the strongest effort I had given since I got off the bike that morning and I was right behind my competition.
Ok, now comes the risk. If I pass her and she has another gear in her, I am pretty sure that with 6.5 miles to go, my body would not be able to win that battle. 

I causally moved over to the right side of our road as I feared being side by side and having her sprint past me. She got ahead of me on a downhill and when the next uphill came, we were running side by side for at least a 1/2 mile. There was no talking or eye contact. We were both focused. 
When we got to the turn around, I found myself inching ahead of her. I just stayed focused and kept doing what I love to do and that's run on hills. 

As I neared mile 7, I could see a few girls on the other side of the road and I took a quick look back and the other lady was still in my eye sight. 

Ok, here I go. One more risky move. On the next uphill, I turned on the gas one more time and when I got to the top of the hill and ran hard downhill. I then stopped, took 3 deep exhales and then continued on running my sustainable strong effort. As I made my way up the last long climb (where I spotted Karel) I could not wait to see that aid station knowing that that steep uphill leaving the park was now my "recovery" downhill - and boy, it was a steep downhill! 

Let's be honest here - but as I neared mile 10, it started to feel a little hard. I was cutting a lot of deals with myself like if I made it to mile 11 at this effort I would allow myself to slow down (of course, when I got to mile 11, I made another deal to get to mile 12). Those risky moves were catching up to me but for the love of competition, I did not want to give up. I was going to dig and dig until I crossed that finish line and I refused to let my mind be weaker than my body. 

I found myself running with another guy for the next 2 miles in the park and he was keeping a great pace. I no longer even cared what my Garmin was telling me each mile as my only goal was to get to that finish line in the position that I was in with less than 2 miles to go. 

As we left the park, I found myself back on the open four-lane road with the river to my right. I tried to focus on my breathing (which was getting heavy as I was trying to run as "fast" as possible), good form (which was probably not that pretty) and staying focused (thankfully, no bonking or dehydration). 

As I neared the last aid station on the road, I stopped, grabbed some water, looked behind me and finally felt like my strong body and smart race tactics had me finishing one spot better than my pre-race goal. 

But, nothing is final until you cross that finish line so as I made the left hand turn on to the sidewalk path by the transition area, I weaved my way through spectators, pro finishers (thanks Maggie and Katie for the cheers) and volunteers for .25 miles and finally saw the finishing chute. 

I was so relieved to finally reach the finish line chute but my exhausted body immediately got a boost of energy when Karel and Campy were waiting for me at the beginning of the finish chute!!

 It was a total surprise for me to see them both and because Challenge Family allows family members and pets to run across the finish line with athletes, Karel and Campy joined me for my run across the line. It was the happiest of happy moments as it was such a great surprise (and better than any race result) and it was a moment that I will never forget. 

I gave my mom a big hug at the finish as I was so thankful that she was out there all day with Campy (taking great pics and cheering us on), chatted with Kelsey (who raced strong in the aquabike), chatted with Ed (who did amazing in the Oly) and then chatted with Karel. 

One of my favorite parts of racing with Karel is sharing our experiences, thoughts, highs and lows with each other after the race. I love hearing how we each perceived the course and how it all went down. After many years of watching Karel race bikes, it is so special to share our triathlon lifestyle together. 

There was a problem with the results and timing system so all we knew was the unofficial results which were not correct. We had a late check out scheduled in our hotel for 4pm (for only $35 extra) so after hanging out at the expo for a little (they ended up cancelling the awards due to the timing issues), Karel and I walked back to the transition area to get our stuff and check-out our bikes and then made our way slowly back to the hotel. We were both surprised that we did not feel more destroyed after our effort (I owe some of that to it being cloudy and not super hot) but we were super sore. As soon as I got back to the hotel room, I had a big glass of milk, a banana and some saltine crackers. 

We finally heard the results and regardless of what we heard, we both felt like we had great races. We felt strong, healthy and smart on the race course. 

Marni race stats:
13.1 mile run: 1:42.27

5th fastest amateur female run

2nd overall amateur female
Total time: 5:03.12

Run splits per Garmin (3.22 miles)
7:40
7:29
7:45
7:54
7:41
7:37
7:40
7:50
7:52
7:46
7:46
7:56
7:49
(average 7:45 min/mile)

Karel race stats:
13.1 mile run: 1:28.45 (1 min PR from Haines City 70.3 4 weeks ago!)
8th fastest amateur male run
2nd AG (35-39)
8th overall amateur male
Total time: 4:34.01

Run splits per Garmin (13.23 miles)
6:37
6:38
6:43
7:11
6:59
6:34
6:47
6:36
7:00
6:41
6:29
6:31
6:30
(average pace - 6:43)


Campy catching up on lost morning sleep. 


Karel sprinting to the finish line! Literally - he had another athlete sprinting with him for the last 2.5 mile and he was not willing to let him beat him!


What a special moment! Campy wins by a nose...or a paw!

Why do I race? Because I love seeing what my body can do on race day and I love sharing it with those who I love and with all the other amazing athletes on the race course. 



Sending a big thank you to all the Trimarni sponsors!
And thank you to the Challenge Family volunteers and coordinators.

And thank you, Trimarni follower, for reading. I love sharing my thoughts after races as a way for me to reflect. But I also love being able to help out other athletes. If you were able to take away a tip, suggestion or strategy for your next race, you have reminded of me of my last why as to why I still love to race. I've made a lot of mistakes in my 9 years of endurance races and I will continue to learn 
new things on race day. Thanks for letting me help you so that you can work hard, train smart and reach your athletic goals with your amazing body.