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Greenville, SC

Trimarni is place where athletes and fitness enthusiasts receive motivation, inspiration, education, counseling and coaching in the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, sport nutrition, training and life.

We emphasize a real food diet and our coaching philosophy is simple: Train hard, recover harder. No junk miles but instead, respect for your amazing body. Every time you move your body you do so with a purpose. Our services are designed with your goals in mind so that you can live an active and healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Trimarni Blog

A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life

Filtering by Category: "dream big"

Kona Ready: who said it would be easy?

Marni Sumbal

In six days I will have the opportunity to challenge myself in one of the hardest endurance events in the world ALONGSIDE the best endurance athletes (age group and professional) in the world. The finish line is the goal, anything else that comes with it (ex. PR on that course) is a bonus. 

For the medal awarded to every athlete that crosses the Ironman World Championship finish line before midnight is the prize that commemorates months and months of hard work, discipline, passion, commitment and a body and mind that was trained to perform. 

Knowing that athletes and fitness enthusiasts, family and friends from around the world will be watching their own favorite athletes as well as the successes of strangers, it is likely that you will be inspired by watching every athlete cross the finish line...from the first professional male and female winner to the last finisher that crosses before midnight. 

While the inspiration will fill your body to the point that you have no choice but to set a goal so big that you can't wait to wake up on Monday morning and start working hard for your goal......

What you can not forget is that the Ironman World Championship does not only award those who set PR's all season, only award those who never got injured, only award those who never got laid off/who never lost a job, only award those who never suffered with cancer (or experienced a family member getting cancer) or only award those who face absolutely no setbacks in life. What's so great about the Ironman, alongside any type of event with a defined start and finish line, is that every athlete has his/her own reason for competing as well as his/her own reasons for not showing up in the first place. 

When you watch the spectacle that is the IM World Championship, you see athletes who are refusing to give up. As a three time Kona qualifier and two time Kona finisher, I know that this is one tough race with dozens of obstacles to face on race day. But when "we" the athletes are out on the course, trying to battle every obstacle in our way, you anxiously await "our" finish. And when we finish, you see success - no matter what time is on paper, there is a finish line that is now behind each and every one of us and that is what inspires you to work hard for what you want in life. No matter what is thrown in your way, you can not reach that finish line, no matter how difficult you think life is, if you give up or hope that things would be easy. 

Every athlete has his/own struggles in life. Not always do you have to share those struggles with others or vocalize them as an excuse to the world. But what is required of you as an athlete, is to finish what you started. 

If you signed up for a race, put in the time to train for the event that you paid for. 
If you start a race, race your own race and execute as you put your training to the test. 
If you find yourself with a setback with training, don't focus on the CAN'Ts, focus on the CANs. 
If you find yourself feeling great during a race, expect a low to come. 
If you find yourself feeling low during a race, keep on moving forward to reach your greatness. 
Thank your body and respect your body. 

And most of all, have fun. Set goals that are meaningful, practical and realistic for YOU and only you as you will likely inspire others along the way. 

Are you planning on racing anytime soon? Check out my recent article with a week worth of to do's for race week: 

To follow me during Kona week and on 10/12/13 (race day): 
FACEBOOK Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition  (LIKE page for quicker updates)
Twitter: @trimarnicoach
Instagram: Trimarni (also check out #Trimarnikona and my roomie and sport psychologist TRIATHLETEDRG) - BIB 1933 (MARNI SUMBAL, Female 30-34 age group)
Thank you for your support, encouragement and inspiration. 

Kona ready: reflecting on the journey

Marni Sumbal

It was October 2005 when I heard about the Ironman World Championships taking place online. I was in the Nova medical library studying for my exit exams for graduate school and I was a few months away from running my very first marathon in Miami. I couldn't help but get on the computer to watch whatever was online at that time and although only having completed about 4-5 triathlons, I just felt like I needed to sign up for the Ironman. Not knowing what the training would be like or what's needed to complete an Ironman, November came and I registered myself for Ironman Florida (with my friend Carlos also joining me in this crazy adventure).

I remember calling my parents and they thought I was crazy. Covering 140.6 miles in one day seems impossible for the human body and I knew that...and that's why I wanted the challenge.

After running my first marathon, I qualified for the Boston Marathon. After learning about my accomplishment, I was addicted. I loved the journey of seeing where my body could take me both physically but also mentally and I couldn't wait to train for my very first Ironman.

After completing the 2006 Boston Marathon in April, I went on to finish my first half ironman in Disney in May. After I recovered, I was 100% focused on training for my first Ironman. I found a pre built plan for free on the internet and I followed every part of it. 

I went into IMFL with a goal. 
To qualify for the Ironman World Championship.

 I told my friends and Karel (who I was dating starting May 2006) and my parents and many people thought I was crazy...not only for running a marathon after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 112 miles but also for setting such an ambitious goal for myself. 

I never once thought the goal was crazy. I was motivated by my goal every day and the challenge made me excited. I never felt confident that it would be a breeze to win my age group and receive the 1 slot in the 20-24 age group for Kona but I also didn't let my worries keep me from dreaming big.

I never got the chance to write a race report from my first Ironman because I started my blog in 2007. But I remember IMFL like it was yesterday. I remember the fears, the mixed emotions and uncertainties of what the day would be like during this well-known endurance event. 

I also remember that with all the thoughts going on in my head as to the unknowns, I was so happy that I could finally experience what an Ironman was all about. And, if all went well, I was going to be an Ironman finisher!

Nearing the 1 week countdown until I participate in my 3rd Ironman World Championship, I still have the same emotions as I did with my first Ironman. I smile because I love what I get to do with my body and I enjoy the day that I prepared myself for. Although a bit more confidence and experience in my Ironman brain and body, I still respect the distance just like I did for my very first Ironman. #1 goal is always to finish, #2 goal - execute. 

No matter what type of athlete or fitness enthusiast you are, you must pursue a goal that makes you excited to wake up every day to see what the day will bring. Do not fear how long it will take you to reach that goal for the day will come anyways, you may as well make the most of your days on earth. Do not let others tell you what is not possible and don't be afraid to show yourself what is possible. Do not give up when things get hard and don't let yourself think that every day will be easy. 

Doing something for the first time is scary and the first step is always the hardest. You will make mistakes along the way and you will have setbacks. Many people get excited for a goal but never start the journey because of the uncertainty ahead. 

If you are driven by goals, you will find yourself always making progress. But you have to start in order to see what you are capable of achieving and you can never give up if you want to feel success. 

As I reflect on my very first Ironman, I am reminded of some things that still make me smile and I'd like to use this blog to remember some highlights of my very first Ironman. 

-It was around 40 degrees at the race start and super windy. I told Karel (my boyfriend of 6 months) that "the IM is hard enough, why does it have to be windy!" Still today, I have yet to beat the wind so I don't try. 

-I saw chicken broth was on the run course from the athlete guide. I was worried that what if I craved soup on the run....but I'm a vegetarian!?! I put a can of vegetable soup in my special needs run bag. However, I didn't use it and good thing - I didn't put a can opener in my bag!

-I was at a low moment on the bike course around mile 70 - 80. I finally warmed up but the bike was feeling long. Wouldn't you know...there was Karel and my parents waiting for me in the middle of nowhere. Thumbs up for being at the right place at the right time!!

-My tummy wasn't feeling so good at the start of the marathon. I made 2-3 stops at the potty in the first 3 miles of the race. I finished the marathon on pretzels and water. I'm ever-so-grateful for port-a-potty's on race courses. 

-After riding 112 miles, I couldn't believe that I just rode 112 miles. I never rode that far before and less than a year before that, I was scared to clip-in my pedals and not comfortable on my aerobars. I felt like I had already accomplished so much before I even started the run. 

Around mile 20 or so, I was getting closer to the end of the race. I had secured my Kona spot and 1st place age group win by 50 minutes. I felt absolutely amazing on this run course and I got by with the help of spectators, my family and the other athletes. I saw Karel with a few miles less to go and he yelled to me as he was running on the sidewalk "Babe - you are going to Kona!" and I yelled back "I can't believe it...I LOVE YOU!!"

That was the very first time I told Karel that I loved him. 

-After a massage and a few slices of pizza, we walked back to our condo and I was sore as can be. I could barely walk and I had never felt such soreness in my life. But I insisted on going back to watch the final finishers. Karel joined me. I hobbled my way back as I felt the need to watch those final finishers finish the race. The race that we all started together and with everyone having their own reason for finishing and refusing to give up when the mind and body say enough is enough. It is now my goal to watch every finish line in an Ironman that I finish. I've only missed one (Kona 2007) but I don't plan on ever missing another IM finish line. 

The feeling was surreal. A dream in the making. A goal that others told me was not possible for a swimmer, turned runner turned triathlete. I had this vision in my head as to what it would feel like to earn a Kona slot but never could I comprehend what it would feel like to cross the finish line as a first time Ironman finisher. 

Seven years later and six ironman finishes behind my name, I still get excited, happy and curious as to what body can do on race day. 

With Ironman #7 happening in 8 days, I hope that you are also counting down the days to watching the most inspiring event that you will ever witness and getting yourself excited to set a new goal for yourself. As you watch athletes from the world discover their limits and overcome obstacles on race day, remind yourself that the drive to succeed is from within and finishing a race is the culmination of weeks and months, if not years, of hard work. 
With your goals, you do not have to prove anything others so instead, set your goals for yourself. As you watch the IM world championship online (all day), dare to dream big for yourself and never waste a day working hard for what you want in life. 

A first for Karel (literally): HOT race report

Marni Sumbal

I love to dream big. It is exciting when the hard work pays off and dreaming big can be life-changing. For the 7th time in my life, I get to dream big as I take my body on a 140.6 mile journey to cross the most talked about finishing lines on the Ironman race calendar.

For many, dreaming big means accepting disappointment. It may even mean facing failure. A goal typically has an end point but a dream doesn't always come with a specific time-line. And that can be frustrating.

But if dream smart, you will find yourself discovering amazing things about yourself. Perhaps things that you never thought were possible because you stopped expecting failure and disappointment and instead, welcomed change, hard work and commitment to reach goals that you never once thought were possible.

Like many athletes, the body doesn't always respond when you want it to.  The mind is overloaded, the body feels tired and the goal that has driven you to wake up every morning wanting to work hard for your dreams, is now second-guessed based on life happenings. 

Karel decided last minute (about a week ago), to race in the HOT - Hammerhead Olympic. Karel was itching to race before Miami 70.3 at the end of October and with the race being local (about 45 minutes away at Camp Blanding), Karel was looking forward to changing up his weekend routine. 

As for his race day goals, he told me early last week that he wanted to win it. Of course, not knowing the competition that would be at the race, I still supported his goal 100%. As a coach, I never stop my athletes from dreaming big and as you know from my previous blogs, I am very open with my goals and I am not afraid to work hard for them. I always say - dream big and work hard for what you want and then on race day, race with your current level of fitness with a race strategy that allows you to execute for a strong performance. 

For Karel and myself, we don't chase PR's. Sure, they are great when they come but we don't worry about a time on paper but instead, what happens within the race. The harder the race and more challenging of conditions, bring it! We love training our bodies to prepare for race day and then being able to execute with our current level of fitness with a smart race day strategy. 

As age group triathletes, we have a lot on our plates with life and training is our lifestyle. Like many age group athletes, Karel was feeling off the day before the race with a lot on his mind and a body that was not feeling race ready on Saturday. 

Rather than scratching the race or forgetting about his race day goals, I did my best to continue to support Karel's goal of "go big or go home". 

I'm a firm believer that you have no idea what you are capable of until you try. Don't ever give up before you give things a try. 

I can't tell you how many times I have prepped myself for a workout and doubted myself until the workout happened. So much negativity in my mind that I didn't have "it" for the day but there's no way to know if "it" can happen unless I try. Thankfully, I never once let my fear of failure over-ride my ability to succeed with my Kona training and I felt in my heart that Karel was going to have a great race. 

With a 4am wake-up call, we were out the door at 4:45am and Campy was sad he couldn't come to the pet-unfriendly Camp Blanding. But with a long early morning walk, I told Campy we wouldn't be gone long. 

After picking up Karel's packet and doing the normal pre-race routine (set up transition, bathroom stops, putting on the wetsuit for the first-time wet-suit legal swim at this race, swim warm-up), Karel was standing knee high in the water waiting for the first wave of the race to start at 7:30am. 

When it comes to working on athletic weaknesses, Karel knows that doing more doesn't make you a better, stronger or faster athlete. For Karel, he has been working with Coach Mel at UNF on his swimming and instead of swimming more, he is working really hard with his swim drills and form in the water. With less than 1500 yards for a main set each practice three days per week, Karel has found himself swimming faster thanks to working on the little things. A reminder for us all that to be better,you can not rush the journey. 

I couldn't believe that the first swimmer in the 40 and under male age group exited the water in less than 20 minutes! With not a single other swimmer in sight, the first male was out on the bike before any other swimmer even exited the water. Karel finished the swim in 4th place, nearly 8 minutes behind the leader but I was confident that Karel swam strong so that he could also bike strong. 

Karel didn't lose anytime wearing a wetsuit and made a quick transition before getting on his bike. 

Although I know that Karel's legs can bike around 56-57 min for a 40K bike, today's conditions were on the windy side and this two loop course would present obstacles for the athletes who were not racing smart. 

Karel didn't focus on his power on the bike but instead, he only focused on his cadence and went by RPE. He had one opportunity to see the other athletes on the course and by the time he was nearing the end of the first loop, Karel was within 4 minutes of the leader and sitting in 2nd place. 

Guessing the time of the first place male in his wave, I tried to communicate with Karel the best I could to give him the heads up on his competition at the moment. 

Karel was calm and in his zone and I could tell he was really enjoying is day. 

I walked about 1/2 mile or so down the road to catch Karel and before I knew it, Karel was sitting just about a minute behind the leader as they entered transition. 

I wasn't sure if Karel was first or second because I missed the first place male but Karel quickly told me that he was second....although less than 1 minute behind the leader as they started the run. 

Karel made up mega time on the bike which is a good reminder that if you are an athlete in a race - never ever count yourself out. Even if you are not shooting for a podium spot, every athlete is going to have  a low or an off moment in the race. Sometimes it happens at the beginning of a race, sometimes in the middle. But the great part about  racing is knowing that if you keep going, a high will happen. You just have to keep moving forward to experience the highs for if you count yourself out at a low, you will find yourself stuck in a low place. Move forward and you never know what will happen. 

I really had the best time at this race because not only did I receive a major boost of endorphins from watching Karel race but I also got to cheer for a bunch of local triathletes who are inspiring in their own special way. Mom's and dad's, kids, newbies and the experienced....I just love watching people put hard work to the test. I know there were a lot of dreamers out there and I was inspired by so many people and I can't wait to take that positive energy with me to Kona in 7 days. 

Nearing 35 minutes, I guesstimated that Karel would be coming soon. Despite the wind on this semi-comfortable weather day (relative to Florida weather in the summer), this run course had it's challenges with a few hills. Turns out, Karel's Garmin 910XT got turned off in the swim  so he was just running off RPE, not even knowing his time.

Getting close to 36 minutes for the run, I spotted the awesome-looking Trimarni Tri kit on Karel and with no other male in his race in sight, I knew this would be a first for Karel.....

I can't tell you how incredibly happy and proud I am for Karel. He said he felt great the entire race and never red-lined it.

 Just learning how to swim last May (2012) and doing his first triathlon last summer, don't you love it when hard work pays off? No excuses but instead, enjoyment for what the body is capable of doing and not being afraid to test the limits. The desire was always there to be fast, strong and good at triathlons but Karel new it would take a lot of hard work to get to where he wanted to be. Still with dreams on the horizon (like racing in Kona together), I can't wait to share this journey of life together and enjoying it with so many amazing people who also love using their bodies and crossing finishing lines. 

(Karel and our friend, 2nd place finisher Eric)

1st overall
2:09:15 finishing time
1.5K Swim: 27:57 (12th place male)
T1: 53 seconds
40K Bike: 1:02:13 (23.9 mph average, 1st place male)
T2: 38 seconds
10K Run: 38:10 (6:09 min/mile average, 1st place male)