Essential Sports Nutrition


Body Positivity for Runners

Positive Body Image
The 365-Day Running Journal, Pg 18.

Whether you are a casual jogger or an experienced racer, you may believe that changing your body composition will help you reach your running goals. After all, how many times have you heard the mistaken belief that lightening-up will speed you up? With any type of sport, it’s normal to look to others and see where you stack up based on performance, training volume and body type. While running can be a great activity to help shed excess body fat to improve your overall health, there’s a downside to competitive leanness. Chasing the idea that weighing less will enhance performance may deprive you of the fuel and nutrients that you need to optimize performance and to maintain great health.

The media is oversaturated with images of fast runners with six-pack abs, lean arms and long slender legs. Constant exposure to these images can make you believe that you are not built like a runner - increasing body consciousness, lowering self-esteem and intensifying body dissatisfaction. Constant bombardment of an unrealistic body type can make it easy to mistakenly slip into unhealthy or disordered eating behaviors, while increasing your risk for sickness, hormonal disturbances, mood changes, injury, negative energy availability and burnout. The perceived ‘runners body’ is not something you need to strive for. Success looks different on everyone. Instead, learn to embrace the unique traits and qualities that enhance your running journey. Not every athlete body is going to look the same.

Runners come in different shapes and sizes. If you watch any race – marathon to 5K – you’ll see all different body types celebrating across the finish line. Let’s get real - your smartwatch doesn’t know how much you weigh.

Own your body image. Run because you love to run. You define your own success. If you are avoiding signing up for a race because you fear being judged, crush those mental demons. Let go of comparison and be proud of your strong body. Your body belongs at any race distance. Never let your insecurities define you. Run because it tests your courage. Instead of bashing your body, thank your body. Be proud of the function of your body and all that it’s capable of achieving. How you perceive yourself largely influences your actions. Discard the bathroom scale if it leads to self-destructive thoughts. Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself when you run. Create goals that make you feel proud of your body. And most of all, figure out how you need to eat, sleep and train in order to stay healthy for the long-term. How you need to look may be different than how you think you need to look. The process of developing a positive body image takes time but to love your body in motion is worth the patience and hard work. Running doesn’t care what you look like.

For more educational information, tips and quotes, don't forget to reserve your copy of my latest book "The 365-Day Running Journal" for the September 24th release (and gift one to a friend).

Click HERE to pre-order.


Grandpa Joe: A life well lived

On Sunday evening, we lost a beautiful soul. Just shy of 96 years, Grandpa Joe touched the lives of so many. While it's never easy to say good-bye to a loved one, Grandpa passed away peacefully in his sleep - without suffering from any disease or illness. Certainly, a goal of us all to live a long and fulfilling life!

When I was dating Karel in 2006, we traveled to Reno to bike around Lake Tahoe.

I remember how worried Grandpa was about us and spent the entire day awaiting for our arrival. We finished the ride with ice cream - Grandpa's treat. Then for my honeymoon in 2009, Karel and I traveled back to Reno in the winter and Grandpa loved that we could share a bit of his hobby on the ski slopes.

My grandpa took up skiing at the age of 50. He taught his three daughters and all of us grand kids how to ski. His long-time wish was to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered over Mt. Rose.

Karel loved hearing stories of “way back when” and Grandpa had a way of making Karel feel part of the family from the first day when they met. Then again, they did bond over a good alcoholic drink.

Grandpa always supported my active lifestyle and loved Karel. He would constantly tell me "Marni, you picked a good one."

I remember when I told Grandpa that I fainted before the IM 70.3 World Championship in 2017. I told Grandpa I got up too quickly out of bed. Grandpa saw this as a valuable lesson. He told me, "Everytime when you get out of bed, rub your head for a minute or two. This will help you so that you don’t get out of bed too quickly."

Grandpa loved being independent. It was very important to him to maintain his independency for as long as possible. It wasn't until this last year that he was admitted into a nursing home.

Grandpa embodied resiliency. While I didn’t know Grandpa personally when he was young, I do know that he survived a lot. He was in the Army and Navy in World War II and earned a purple heart.

He was our resilient Joe. We even named one of our coffee blends after Grandpa.

Many of my friends were blessed with the opportunity to meet Grandpa Joe but here are a few things that will always remind me of Grandpa:

Beer and wine – It was hard to turn down an invite when Grandpa opened a new bottle of wine. He didn’t like to drink alone.

Photography – Grandpa loved to capture memories. There was always an opportunity to take a picture. Grandpa loved his camera. And not just a phone......a real camera. He would often develop pictures and turn them into cards that he mailed to family members.

Good food – Grandpa had a tremendous appetite! Especially salmon and nuts. I couldn’t believe how much food he could eat at a buffet! Grandpa spent the last two years in Fort Wayne, IN (where my aunt and uncle live) and Grandpa was part of a group called the ROMEO'S - Retired Old Men Eating Out. It was a great opportunity for Grandpa to connect over good food with "old" people in the community.

Good music – Classical and jazz were some of his favorites. He had a lot of great stories from his upbringing in New Orleans.

Reading – Grandpa had an exceptional mind throughout his entire life. He was a great reader. He would always tell me how proud he was of me and my writing and that I should one day write a book. He was so proud of me when that dream came true.

Quick with his words – Along with his sharp mind, Grandpa was great with words. Giving a speech on the fly was one of his specialties. Grandpa would often email me witty sayings and kind words after reading our weekly Trimarni newsletter. For example, when Karel became a US Citizen this past September, Grandpa emailed me and said “Karel now that you is one of us you can now listen to our tales of woe or pay our bills. Just really want to say – Congrats and much good wishes. Love Grandpa.”
And when I wrote about bike safety tips, Grandpa said “You sure are “wheeling” in the right way. And when I wrote about stretching the comfort zone, he said “How true it is-You always want to delay the learning curve of uneasiness. Put it off till tomorrow!!!!” Stretching the comfort zone is always needed if you want to be successful!!!!” “And lastly, for the holidays, When you see Merry give her my love and also to you two. Much LOVE-Grandpa”

Memory - Grandpa remembered everything. Before Karel and I went to Whistler, Grandpa told us where we needed to visit (the Glacier) and could recall specific details of the ski town. Everytime Karel and I traveled, Grandpa always had a recommendation for us.

Naps – Grandpa was an exceptional napper – anytime, anywhere. While this may be an old age thing, this was one of the many things that Grandpa excelled at.

Skiing - Grandpa moved from Cleveland to Reno, Nevada to be closer to the mountains. For anyone who has lived by the mountains or travel to the mountains, you know how therapeutic nature can be during any season. Grandpa loved the snow and the slopes. I’m so happy that he was able to live so many years in a place that made him truly happy, with someone who he truly loved (Barbara) in his second marriage after my grandma passed away from breast cancer. Grandpa didn't care for snowboarders....of course, three of his five grandkids picked snowboarding over skiing.

Smiling – Grandpa could always find something to be happy about. Genuinely, he was a positive and joyful person. After my dad passed away, I lost the person who I spoke with on a daily basis. This was quickly replaced by Grandpa as I always knew he was just a phone call away.

Dancing – Grandpa was never shy and loved to shake his hips on the dance floor.

Smart - Grandpa was book smart and life smart. As an engineer for several phone companies, he had wisdom and knowledge of everything. He truly had an answer for everything!

Great story teller – Grandpa had a unique ability to tell stories with such great detail.
Had a vivid and sharp memory. I can only imagine that Grandpa and my dad will have some great discussions and will continue to share stories together.

Grandpa was loving, supportive, kind – he was never judgmental but he was also never shy to express his opinion. He always reminded me that life is all about being happy. If something doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. He had a great sense of humor (often a bit vulgar), loved being around family and really enjoyed making social connections. He was extremely active all of his life and even in his later years, when he was no longer able to ski, he turned to other modes of activity like Tai Chi and sitting in the hot tub. He was brave, courageous and he also had a lot of pride in customs and traditions.

Although we will all miss Grandpa Joe tremendously, he lived a long and happy life, surrounded by people that meant the world to him. He had a special way of making everyone feel special.

We will always love you Grandpa Joe and we will never forget the impact you made in this world and the many lives and hearts you touched. 


7 week IM Kona countdown

Time is flying by and I'm happy to report that I am now running! Although it's only been a few 10 minute runs on the treadmill (three of them), I'm thrilled with my progress. I'm a firm believer in frequency over quantity when it comes to a return to activity after an injury for the body needs time to adapt to training stressors and frequent exercise will allow for slow but gradual adaptations. Also, in my situation, I'm learning new motor patterns and finding myself wanting to go back to old bad habits of arching my back (anterior pelvic tilt), using my back and hamstrings to move me forward and not engaging my glutes. So in an effort to fix these things, I need constant exposure to this movement - which means continuing with PT, strength and marching.

My movement specialist has been great as she touches me in the right spots so I can feel what muscles I should be using and where my body should be moving. She is also a stickler for posture. I'm also continuing to water jog and my deep water run workouts have become much more intense. I am typically exhausted after I finish them! In addition to daily strength, I feel like I am carrying around a lot of run fitness and stress without really running!

On Friday, Karel and I went out for our long ride. I was shocked how strong I felt and how much my glutes were working! If only I could carry this over to running right now! I enjoyed my time with Karel as it had been several week since we went on a long ride together. We thought we selected a more flat route (well, nothing is flat here in Greenville) where the miles would go by quicker. Although we did average 19.1 mph (which is super speedy for us here on our Gville roads), we still managed to collect over 5000 feet of elevation in 4.5 hours.

The swimming yards are accumulating and I find myself spending a lot of time in the water. Not complaining though as the pool is my happy place.

Weekly training stats 8/19-8/25
Total training hours: 19:55
Swim distance: 20,000 yrds (4:39)
Bike duration: 11:31
Run duration (treadmill running + water jogging): 2:45
Strength: 1:00 (not including PT work)

In addition to training, I spent all of last week finalizing my manuscript for my third book. I'm so relieved to put that behind me as writing two books over the course of 6 months required a lot of mental energy from me. But I'm super excited for my followers to read my third book. Hint: If you like, love or are interested in triathlon, I think you'll love my 3rd book.

Oh and lastly, we have two new additions to our furry family! More on this later but for now, a little bit of cuteness.