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Showing posts from 2008

Resolution: Clean and healthy

I've been a mission to have a clean and healthy life for the past 5 years. Although I was in top shape in college, the 18-20 hours a week swimming (not counting meets) did not justify a diet full of carbs and cheese. As a vegetarian athlete and no education in nutrition, I lead a diet of pizza, pasta, cheese and bananas (I wasn't a big fan of veggies) in order to fuel 7000-8000 yard workouts on a daily basis. However, in 2003 I started building a collection of nutrition books and for the next year I learned how to eat healthy. It wasn't until the next 4 years that I jumped into the world of sports nutrition and started learning how to be a healthy athlete (let alone a vegetarian athlete). I haven't once looked back at my days of Dr.pepper, french fries, cheese-smothered foods and lots of candy. Although my body may have looked fit on the outside from the age of 12 until 20, my insides were yucky and unhealthy. In a quest for weight loss in 2009, many people strive for a

Marathon legs

There has been no running this week. Some long walks with campy and short walks on the treadmill but that is it. I felt a little twinge in my right hip and I want to be a smart athlete rather than a stubborn athlete. 1-2 weeks of no running is much better than 1-2 months of no training. So, in order to keep myself sane, I have been spending plenty of time in the water and on my bike. The legs are still tired but my heart feels good. On Monday morning I did nothing and even though I was exhausted, I didn't sleep very well. I ended up on the couch because I was tossing and turning all night. On Tuesday I joined a few people in the pool for a quick 4000 yard workout. There was just a few of us in the pool because our coach was out of town but the workout went by really fast. On wed. I joined Karel for a nice 30 mile ride and ot was a bit obvious that I was tired. Karel kept asking me how my marathon legs were feeling and I just gave him a quick answer "ouch". But, it was goo

Happy holidays!!

I hope everyone has a safe, healthy and happy holiday!! From: Marni, Karel, Campy and Smudla....and the fishies

Campy, Campy, Campy

What a little booger. After the marathon on Sunday, I had the day to enjoy my 26.2 mile finish. It was only 10:30 when I wobbled my way to my car so I had a good chunk of the day to recover. As I was driving home, I thought about the perfect concoction of ingredients for a great smoothie to help me recover. Then I would crash on the couch with campy in my lap and we would watch TV all afternoon. By early afternoon I would probably be ready for some pancakes and then I would have the rest of the day with Karel to relax. Karel did a 92 mile ride and headed straight to work (12-4) because the Trek store has been busy, busy, busy. When I got home I immediatly let Campy outside to pee. As if walking up 3 flights of stairs was hard enough, it was agonizing walking down the stairs with an excited dog that wanted to go for a walk. Sadly, there was no walk that morning for Campy. I told him to do his 5-10 squirts so I could get out of my gross clothes and take a cold bath. After I slowly made m

26.2 miles and so much more

Although I was stuck on the couch for most of Friday and Saturday, I kept an open mind about the marathon. In the midst of sniffling, coughing and trying to clear my stuffed up head with green tea and probiotics, I kept telling myself that I don't have to run 26.2 miles, I get to run for 3 1/2 hours. So, with my positive attitude and very little sleep for 2 days straight, I woke up at 515 on Sunday morning and started my morning with tea and after my coffee was ready I got dressed and ate my oatmeal, banana and raisins in the car, on the way to the race. The race venue was just 4 miles down the road so I didn't need to rush to the race but I was a bit nervous about finding a parking space at Bolles High School. After I arrived to the race I headed straight to the restrooms. I knew my nutrition wasn't the best over the past few days because my head cold made me feel a bit nauseous when I thought about food. I did manage to get in eggs, toast, veggies and fruit on Saturday bu

NFL game

A few weeks ago, our friends James and Jennifer S. asked if we wanted club seats to the Jaguars game on December 18th. We said sure, why not. Karel and I are not NFL fas but I use to be a big basketball and football fan. We had never bee to a NFL game and we heard the game would be good against the Colts. The whole experience was new to Karel and he just thought it was crazy that people come to the game 4 hours before the game and grill hot dogs and burgers and eat chips. Now tailgating is a new word in his vocabulary. :) We had a great time and it was nice to get out and do something totally different from our normal lifestyle. The club seats were a treat with a variety of gourmet food options (very expensive but good) and very good seats. We also saw Jeff (karel's boss and team manager) and his family there. Jeff use to play for the Jaguars. Can you believe it, football player turned cyclist? He is super strong and a lot leaner than his football days. Unfortunatly, with a game co

Keeping yourself healthy

I answer a lot of emails. I just love it. However, I seem to get a lot of questions about what to do when a person is... Injured Craving sugars Has a cold Is not recovering properly Feeling lethargic during exercise Feeling lethargic at work From the popular topics, I get the most questions about what to eat in order to help with recovery, being injured and to get better with a cold. I wish I had a perfect recipe or nutrient for everything, but unfortunantly the body reacts to stress by giving us symptoms that are hard to cure overnight. I believe that the best way to help with these problems is to prevent them. I know I'm not the only one who doesn't get sick that often but when I do get sick, I get it bad. In these cases, there is very little that I can do (nutritionally) to make myself feel better. In these cases, I do my best with nutrition and just give it time for whatever is in my body to leave. I am a firm believer that being a healthy athlete is a daily effort. There m


I think I have at least 6 ounces of yogurt a day. I can't even remember the last time I haven't had a little yogurt at least once a day, for the past few years (yes, I am including yogurt ice cream). I love yogurt! I am a big fan of yogurt because it is filled with healthy bacteria (low sugar is recommended). I had to go the vitamin shop a few weeks ago because Karel needed Flex cream (he can't live without it). I don't shop much for supplements because Wal-mart has my whey protein and fish oil capsules and Hammer has all my sports nutrition products. However, if you put me in the nutrition store I am bound to read labels and see what is the latest and greatest product(s). I spent a lot of time at the amino acid section but the probiotics caught my eye. I have read about probiotics and my good friend Cassandra Forsythe is a fan of them. You may know of Cass from two books which she just published: New rules of lifting for women The perfect body diet Here is her website


I'm starting to think twice about my Marathon goal time. With only 1 week to go I am wondering if I did enough to prepare. I think the marathon is one of the hardest races out there. I even think the Ironman is more comfortable than a solo marathon. Out of the 2 marathons I have done (Miami and Boston) and the two Ironmna's I have done (IMFL and Kona) I was more sore after the marathons than the IM's. I just think it is so hard to just start running and finish after 26.2 miles. I still love long distance running but it sure does hurt. I just can't seem to recover after marathon training. On saturday I did my last long run. I think I should have ran longer but the last hour was long enough. I did 2 hours and 35 minutes and the first 90 minutes went by really fast. It was that last hour, on my familiar turf (I ran the first 90 min. on new roads) that become very boring. I did have time to think about lots of stuff and with my radio keeping me zoning out, I didn't stop

Where'd the days go?

It was just Friday...last friday. Geezz how time flies! I had a great time with my parents. Campy LOVES being in a house and having backyard to run around. I enjoyed eating dinner and not having to cook it and having someone to wash the dishes. Gotta love parents! Karel had to go back last Sunday for work so he drove back down on Tues evening. It was great to see him. On wed morning Karel and I went to the Y by my parents house and it was great to get in a nice 40 min run to start the day. In the afternoon, Karel, Campy and I headed back to Jacksonville and I was super excited to see all my fishies and see Smudla. It was early to be for us and early to rise for me. I never miss swimming unless I am traveling so there is no second guessing getting up on a Tues/Thurs at 5:15am for my 6-7:30 swim practice. This Thursday was KICK day and I have been asking for a whole practice devoted to kicking. Kicking is my weakness when it comes to my stroke. We ended up with 3600 yards and the main se


What a tiring past few days. I am finishing up in my microbiology class and I have an online final to take before wed. Karel and I went to my parents house on Fri evening so that we could attend the Gearlink Cycling team, Holiday party, which was on Sat. The party was awesome and it was so great to be around all our close friends. We haven't them since our wedding so it was nice to catch up. Plus, as a married couple, Karel and I can know get great advice from all our "older" friends (I am one of the youngest on the Gearlink team). Because I knew I would be doing a bit of cycling this past weekend, I had to think ahead with my workouts. Thursday morning I did my normal morning swim and it was tough. However, I had one of my best workouts in the pool and that was great because the past few weeks of swim workouts have been kinda crappy for me. The main set was 4 x 100's, 3 x 100's, 2 x 100's, 1 x 100's and you get faster with each set. I started out at 1:30

Off-season nutrition

Here is my latest article on Subscribe to the FREE newsletter for more great tips!!! Off-season nutrition By: Marni Rakes, M.S. You've set your goal and have decided to train for an Aflac Iron Girl event. Great choice! You replaced the elliptical machine and stationary bike with the treadmill and a few weekly spin classes. Now, you are counting miles rather than calories burned. The day you register for a race you begin to train like an athlete. The day you finish a race, you become an athlete. No longer do you tell others that you have to "exercise." Instead, your workout routine is structured, planned and disciplined. Although training for an event may seem tiresome and sometimes boring, an end goal will give you the determination and motivation to stay true to your training routine. As mentioned in last month's article, winter brings cold weather and a lack of motivation for your training routine. Even non-structured activities become difficult. Do yo


Now that I am approaching my last week of school, I have a little extra time on my hands. So, what better than to look at old pictures. I think my life wouldn't exist without pics. I am always camera happy and I am so fortunate to be able to look back at some many good times. Here are some great memories.... My dog Misty. She battled bladder cancer for over a year and she lived longer than expected with the help of my mom's holistic diet for her. She was the best thing that ever happened to me. I think about her every day and I miss her so much but she allowed me to truely enjoy life for what it is and to never take anything for granted. This pic was at Karel's cycling race. Misty was in her last few months of life and this was one of her best days. I miss my 21 years in Lexington Kentucky but I don't miss this. Life in Lexington Kentucky= ICE! I miss my old house but I don't miss the ice tearing down all our trees! But misty LOVED the snow! My very first triathlon


What a great long weekend. I got in a 37 mile ride on Friday morning, a 40 mile ride on Saturday morning and a 8.5 mile run this morning. I spent a bit of time on the computer working on training schedules and nutrition write-ups and I finished up a few assignments for school. This is my last week of school and I am super excited. I can't wait to have Dec. off before I start another semester of school. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. Karel and I went to Lenore's parents house in Riverside (downtown Jacksonville) at 2pm. I brought my fruit pizza dish and I also made a brocoli and chickpea side dish. I added a little low sodium ginger soy sauce and sesame seeds to the brocoli dish and then baked it in the oven. I was really excited for Karel and I to celebrate our first thanksgiving together as husband and wife and I was also excited for Campy to meet his new girlfriend. I was looking forward to this all week....Lenore has a chihuahua named Annabell and this would be the first tim

Outback classic half marathon report

I had my doubts on Wednesday. After feeling super heavy during my 4 mile warm-up run on the treadmill at the Y, I went to Karel in the weight room and told him that I felt a little strange. I wasn't too concerned because I knew what was coming. Let's just say that mother nature gave me a little surprise, 5 days late and 1 day before my race. I don't mind admitting it because well, I am a women and it is part of life. All the women out there live with it and well, I think it is just one more challenge for us women to overcome as we are training. Unfortunatly, after leaving my microbiology class on Wed I was feeling super horrible. My body was all crampy, my stomach hurt and I was just feeling awful...absolutely awful. I just wanted to go home and sleep. I had some errands to run and I tried to keep my mind off how miserable I felt. When I got home, Campy and I went for a long walk and as usual, he cheers me up. Later that afternoon we did our daily 1.2-there and back walk to

Do's and Don'ts of Thanksgiving

In no particular order.... - DO eat breakfast. Rather than going for the daily bowl of oatmeal, cereal, toast or bagel, think protein. Egg white omelet, whey protein shake, yogurt or lean/veggie meat. Although turkey is high in protein, there are is abundance of carbs on Thanksgiving and there is nothing worse than starting off your day with fluctuating blood sugar levels and feeling extremely starved when your thanksgiving meal is served. If your thanksgiving meal is before 4pm, aim for a decent sized breakfast (around 400-500 calories). If your thanksgiving dinner is after 4pm, stick to protein foods, at around 350-400 calories. - Do not go long hours without eating. Again, stick to foods which will stabilize your blood sugar and will not digest too quickly. Choose foods such as deli meat, cheese, string cheese, nuts, PB, carrots, celery, cucumbers, apples, pears, yogurt or egg whites (hard boiled). Stick with snacks around 100-150 calories, every 2-3 hours. - Do not go into the th

Somewhere around #20, my arms fell off

"Earn your turkey Tuesday" or for me, "Earn my sweet potatoes" This morning at swimming we had a change in our typical workout regime. Rather than doing sets, our coach Lindsey decided that we would do 100's all practice long. The practice started at 6am and ended whenever we needed (or wanted) to get out. I normally stay in until 7:15 (depending on the set). Lindsey had us pick an interval and then it was time to repeat 100's. I picked the 1:30 cycle, but in order to change things up, I did: 3 x 100's on 1:30 3 x 100's on 1:40. This broke up the monotony of swimming and swimming and nemo would say. After 2 sets of my 6x100's, I was ready for a break. However, I found it hard to stop. I kept telling myself just to get in 3 more fast ones. But then when I finished the 1:30 cycle I wanted to do the 3x100's on 1:40 to relax a bit. Finally, at #20 I took a "social" break and did a 100 kick. Then back to the 100's. By

At least I'm consistent

Yesterday was another early morning ride with the guys. After watching a movie with Karel on Saturday evening, we were asleep by 9:30 and the morning came really fast. We set the alarm at 5:20 so that we could be out the door by 6:20. Campy was in no mood to get up (as usual) but once we told him we would go Outside he was fully of energy. It is just too cute how he gets so excited to go outside, even at 6 in the morning. Campy and I walked outside, after I bundled myself up with a sweatshirt and pants. After my normal pre-ride breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, I started layering for the ride. It was around 41-degrees out and I was trying to stay positive that I would eventually get warm. The one thing I hate to be when training is cold. In the pool, while running or on the bike...if I am cold, I am miserable. But, I've learned that layering on the bike (in Karel's winter clothes, since I don't have my own yet) helps a lot. After dressing in my leg warmers, shorts, t-shirt,

A cold morning

I woke up to the mid-30's outside. Brrrr, another cold day. I know, we don't have snow, but wind, anything under 60-degrees and a Floridian is not a good combination. Karel and I are enjoying the cooler temps but it takes a little getting use to when we are training. The run this morning was good. I slept in until 6:30 (ok, it was 6:20 when I finally decided to get up) and heade out at 7:30. I was suprised that I could run 1 hour and 33 minutes without water when dressed in long sleeves, my ear warmer/headband and gloves. By 20 minutes, I was a little warm but in no rush to take off the gloves. My music kept me going and I wasn't even thinking about my I was running. I guess I was just enjoying the morning and thinking about the run on Thursday when I try to break my PR at the Outback Distance Classic. Karel went to Hannah Park at Jacksonville beach at 8 this morning. But instead of mountain biking, Karel, and several other mountain bike riders in the area, cleane