Welcome Donna Marlor, Sports Nutritionist

For those of you that have followed this for a while, you know that sometime last year I started changing what I ate and trying to shed those extra pounds I don't need to carry around with me during a marathon (every pound = a minute!).  See blog post here

That led to my first trip to Just Food Co-op where I was completely overwhelmed by vegetables I didn't even recognize, a few meals that looked like this, and a whole lot of learning.  There's still only a few snacks and main dishes I know how to make and I still struggle to know what to eat, when, how much, etc.  But, for how hard it's been, it's been a lot of fun!  I've been introduced to new vegetables and healthy foods I love (Brussel sprouts! Greek yogurt for protein! Baked sweet potatoes!).  And who knew how GOOD these healthy foods could taste?  I never enjoyed food before!  I'm telling you, I still gasp at the price of organic/local foods sometimes... but I honestly think it's worth it.  They taste so different and I honestly feel like the food is either more satisfying or stays with you longer.

I know I over-think the whole nutrition/racing weight thing - the reason I know is because when I try to "care" about it, I only drop about 3-4 pounds to get to race weight vs. if I don't care at all.  So - I'm definitely not doing something right. I think what I'll find with nutrition is the same thing I found when I started with a coach - for all I knew about running/training/etc, I really sucked at putting together a plan.  I'd be motivated some days, very unmotivated others.  Mileage was all over the board, which led to multiple injuries.  I over-thought "the plan", constantly changing things, worrying about what was "right".  Once Jerry came along and laid everything out and I just trusted his plan, it came so EASY.  Within 6 months, I had my Olympic Trials Qualifier.  I just had to DO it, which is the easy part.  I really think it'll be the same with nutrition.  I know the basics (broccoli = good, fried mozzarella balls = bad), but am obviously over-thinking the whole thing & cycling through being motivated/not caring (YUMM, those brownies look good today... let's have one... ah, what the heck, two...)

So, I wanted to reach out to someone professional.  Enter into my training team Donna, a registered dietitian and competitive athlete who specializes in athletic nutrition.  I can not tell you how excited I am to see what she has to say!  And, if nothing else (maybe I won't ever, and shouldn't try to, look more like the elites I race against), this will be one of those many "little things" that I have learned a lot about throughout this journey (and can pass along to others - coaching?).

I thought about posting the picture I sent Donna and posting my weight every so often... might keep me more honest/accountable to post here... but I was too scared to :).

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!


  1. I will be very interested to hear how this works out for you. I am wanting to drop a few pounds as well and just haven't been able to.

  2. This week I took an unplanned day off because I could tell my quads weren't recovering like they should be (Typical for me when I'm coming back to training after a marathon, I've become familiar with the feeling). Typically I take a complete day off after14-21 days of training - but I've worked myself up to that over the last two years (when I first started I took a day off per week, and did all through college). I really feel like the key to fast marathons is high mileage consistently, so one needs to find the balance between high weekly mileage and days off... to few = not enough recovery and slow/sluggish hard days or fatigue and too frequent rest days = not enough consistent mileage/pounding on the legs. It's a slow process though... I wouldn't recommend stretching recovery/off days for 3 weeks for a relative newbie! But... it's really hard to put in a 100+ mile week with an off day (do the math) - and I feel like 100+/weeks is what it takes to be a really competitive marathoner (if not 120+). Although I still measure myself in mileage per week, I try to instead look at the average mileage/day over a 7 or 10 day period. Am I averaging 10-11? Or 14-15?

  3. I am so glad for you, and to have found your blog via my favorite friendI'm not a winning runner but I'm a devoted one -- through the same life altering post partum opinion, the ins and outs of learning to thrive on medicine and honesty, and I am in that moment of need positive examples for Sports nutritionist. So, thank you. So much. keep on!