34 years old

It's hard to believe that I have been alive for 34 years!!!

To celebrate 34 years of life, I thought it would be fun to share with you 34 things that you may or may not know about me. 

1. I was born and raised in Lexington, KY. I moved to Davie, Florida for graduate school (FAU) in 2004 and graduated in Dec of 2005. I then moved in with my parents (who moved to New Port Richey for my dad's new job as the chief Optometrist of the VA clinic) for a year and then moved in with Karel (after we had been dating for a year) in Dunedin, FL. We then moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2008 and Greenville, SC in 2014.

2. I swam competitively in HS and college and my specialty strokes were 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly and 200 IM. I was a lifeguard all through HS (in the summer), taught swimming lessons, taught water aerobics and have always loved being in the water.

3. My brother was a gymnast from a very young age. He went to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado to train a few times and went to University of Michigan on a full ride as a gymnast. He finished 4 years of Division I gymnastics as the 2007 Big Ten High Bar champion.
We think his next calling is to be a Ninja Warrior.

4. I have 11 ear piercings and my belly button pierced. I had my tongue pierced my freshman year of college (sorry mom, I know you hated it). I got a Mdot tattoo (on my right ankle) after my first Ironman in 2006 (I was 23 years old).

5. I became a lacto-ovo vegetarian when I was 10 years old for animal reasons. I love all animals and I rescue anything "alive" in our  house (bugs/insects). Please don't talk about killing animals, hunting animals or the death of an animal around me as it makes me very sad and uncomfortable. It's ok if you eat meat in front of me. I will never lecture anyone about meat or not eating meat.

6. I suffered from hip/back injuries throughout my competitive swimming years and then from 2007-2013. I had my start of hip/back injuries as a triathlete 30 days before my first IM World Championship. I haven't had an injury since May 2013.

7. I haven't been sick since 2007. No cold, no flu, no antibiotics, no medications. Thank you body.

8. I've never broken a bone or had a stress fracture. But my muscles are not always the happiest with my active lifestyle. I do 70%+ of my running on the treadmill which works well for my swimmer turned runner turned triathlete body.

9. I don't have any food allergies or intolerances. But if a bug bites me, I will swell-up right where I was bit/stung. No perfumes or smelly lotions for me in the summer!

10. I love cinnamon!

11. I haven't chewed a piece of gum since September 2014. I gave it up cold turkey because I didn't like eating sugar alcohols every day and found myself "addicted" to chewing gum for many years prior.

12. Karel and I met on a group ride outside of Clearwater, when we were set up on a blind date, on my birthday in 2006. I was a horrible cyclist - but Karel took me under his wings and believe in me (or he knew that our relationship would be a lot more fun if I knew how to ride my bike better).

13. Karel and I got engaged on his birthday in 2007 and married in 2008. Karel asked me to marry him at a restaurant in front of a group of friends (and much of the restaurant watching). I decided that he was the one for me after we traveled to Reno, NV and rode our bikes around the lake. During IMFL (6 months after we met) I told Karel I loved him while I was racing, after he told me "you are going to Kona!"

14. We rescued Campy from a foster family (found on Petfinder.com) in 2008 just a few weeks before our wedding, when he was almost 1 year old (although we were told he was 18 months).

His original name was "Sparky". HERE is the story about how we rescued him.
Campy was found behind a building from a foster family before he came to his forever home.
Now he is living the GOOD life.

With a little attitude and always protecting his mommy!

15. We have two cats. Smudla is Karel's cat who is 13. He rescued her when she was just a few months old. Campy found Madison (who is named after cow's in Wisconsin - although she is white with black spots) in a bush outside of our apartment in Jacksonville just a few months after we rescued Cmpy. After a few months of seeing her outside, we welcomed her to our home to stay.
Smudla (pronounced SHMUD-LA but we often call her Shmud-lee) runs our house - drinks only from the sink, eats when she wants to eat and loves sleeping and hiding in boxes. She always has a new sleeping spot in our house.

Madison (or Maddy) is obsessed with Campy.

We also have two fish tanks (55 and 70 gallon).

16. My grandpa is 94 years old and is sharp as a whistle.

17. My dad passed away from cancer 3 days before my birthday in 2014. My dad was liked by everyone and never had a bad day. I talked to my dad every day on the phone and he was always there when I needed him, especially for a good laugh. I got my positive attitude and constant need to smile from my dad. He is now resting peacefully here in Greenville.

Every time Karel and I travel or go somewhere to make memories, we bring back a rock or shell (from nature) for my dad.

18. I am 5 feet "tall".

19. For seven years I watched Karel race crits (his favorite), road races and circuits as a Cat 1 cyclist. Karel has been racing bikes for all his life.

I have always loved being on the sidelines for Karel. I get such a rush when I watch him race.

Karel's first season of triathlon racing included a sprint, olympic and then half ironman (all within 4 months). His first half was Branson 70.3 which was then ranked with the hardest US bike course. Go figure Karel would pick that race as his first long distance triathlon. And he finished 5th AG!
It was a special experience to share that race together as it was also my first overall amateur win in a triathlon.


20. All of Karel's family lives in Czech. We have visited them twice (and in 3 weeks we will be traveling to Europe for the third time). Karel went 12 years before he went back to Czech for the first time, since coming to the US.

Karel loves being back in his hometown and seeing his family....and drinking some good beer.

Did I mention that Karel loves his Czech beer?

21. My mom lives 1 mile from us. Campy loves going to grandmas. We love having her close by too. She is always super busy with activities (she has more friends than we do!) and she goes hiking with her "hiking class" at Furman (Olli program) once or twice a week. She's always been supportive of my/our active lifestyle and loves watching us race.

22. I went to graduate school to become a strength and conditioning coach but after receiving my MS in Exercise Physiology, I wanted a career in sport nutrition.

23. After graduate school, I did a 6-month internship with Ironman (back when Dr. Gills owned the company and there was only a handful of employees) and met the fabulous Judy with Iron Girl who was a great mentor for me as I was finding my way in the field of endurance sports. I then worked at a YMCA as the wellness coordinator for 1 year and then went back to school to earn my RD credential. I love writing and public speaking. My most memorable speaking event was at the CIA where I helped with a cooking demo and talked about nutrition at an Oakley Women event. I nearly cried (ok, maybe a little) as I was overjoyed with the experience.

24. I worked as a clinical RD (PRN) for 3 years before moving to Greenville. I never wanted to be a clinical dietitian when I was a dietetic intern but when the opportunity came about, I thought it would be a great challenge to learn something new and balance it with sport nutrition. 

25. Karel and I moved to Jacksonville, FL (from Clearwater) in 2008 after he got a job as the GM of the Trek Bicycle Store of Jacksonville. Karel had an amazing boss and we are grateful for his opportunity to work with Trek and to be the general manager of two concept stores as he gained a lot of knowledge and experience about running a business.
I started Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition in 2012 and Karel started to work with me full-time in May 2014 when we moved to Greenville. We spend almost every minute of every day together as we are training partners, business partners and life partners.

26. I traveled to Japan in 8th grade for an exchange program and to the Philippines in 2004 for a work service project.

27. I went to IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) for my freshman year of college and swam competitively. I transferred to Transylvania University in 2001 and continued to swim competitively for the next three years.

28. I majored in Chemistry in undergrad for my freshman year and then moved majors to Exercise Science. I minored in Psychology. Transylvania University is a liberal arts school which focused heavily on writing and public speaking.

29. I have been strength training since I was 10 years old (when I started swimming).

30. I never take naps but I'm a great sleeper at night.

31. I love to travel but do not like to fly. I think I would be more relaxed on an airplane if it was filled with doggies.

32. I read textbooks and research articles before bed each night. But I am not a book/novel reader. I'm also not the best at watching movies as it is hard for me to sit still and not multi-task.

33. I qualified for the Boston Marathon after my first marathon and the Ironman World Championship after my first Ironman.
My parents thought I was crazy for training for an Ironman and Karel thought I would be one-and-done after IMFL.

Ten Ironman's later, I still love this sport and feel so lucky that I get to share it with Karel.

We love coaching all levels of triathletes but absolutely love helping athletes train (and understand fueling) and complete their first Ironman distance triathlon.

34. I went to Montessori school and then an arts school before High School. I was very creative and loved drawing (and making things) growing up and played in piano competitions throughout middle and high school.

I'm a very visual learner and learn best when I can see and apply information as oppose to just reading things in a book.

And for a bonus for next year....
35. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing coaching and nutrition athletes that have come into my life over the past 4+ years. I learn so much from every athlete that I work with and I feel very lucky to have a job which allows me to make a difference in the lives of others, as it relates to performance, health and nutrition.