Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Groove

It is only Wednesday and I feel like I am in the groove this week. Where everything feels good, smooth, and just good. Like a good warm cup of dark french roast. I have to say how beautiful it is snowshoe running in Mendon Ponds Park this week. Base training is wonderful in that a running workout in zone II can be replaced with a running snowshoe workout. It help build strength, of course adds to endurance, and it requires good running form. If I don't bring those feet up I face plant due to the toe of my snowshoe getting stuck.

For those not familiar with snowshoeing, it is an art in itself. Specially designed snowshoes for running make it a tremendous amount of fun. Gators over your running shoes and toe warmers keep the feet warm. Through the forest, it is actually quite warm as you are protected from the wind. I love it. Since we are "racing" on Saturday I thought I might want to get out there and get at it!

The park is full of deer, nature, and I come into contact with fellow snowshoers, cross country skiers, and the groomer guy. The groomer guy rides the snowmobile around dragging a specially made grooming thing, which keeps the trials perfect.

I needed the solitude during the morning run, because I knew my bike would be full of great music. Last night I delivered a baby, in a bathroom, by myself with my bare hands, whose mom was fourteen. The insanity and craziness of the situation kept me awake long after I got home at midnight.

The baby was healthy, but the teenager stated her period was last week, and her obesity covered the fact that she was pregnant. Her complaint of abdominal pain was routine (the two highest reasons for coming into the peds ed are for abdominal pain and asthma). She was in an unusual amount of pain and I kept thinking something isn't right here. Needless to say when I brought her into the bathroom to collect urine for a pregnancy test or look for blood in her urine..... I was not confident she could pee in a cup alone. Hence I accompanied her in and .......
we had a baby.

The implications of this for the baby's life, the mother's life, it is an Oprah episode in itself, and I can not solve the world's problems. As I drove home however I thought about how on Sunday night I watched a 18 year old girl die, and on Tuesday night a baby was born.

Lives crossing. One goes and another comes, just as easily as the wind blows.

As the wind blew through the park this morning I felt grateful for all that I have. Because last week when I was pitying myself for having a tough week of training, what I should have been doing was feeling grateful to be able to have a bad week of training.

The solitude of the snow felt good as it washed through my heart, cleaned out some cobwebs, and allowed me to hold my face up towards the sun.

How lucky I am to feel.

:-) Mary Eggers

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dust off the Cobwebs!

When Luc was four he had open heart surgery and then a broken foot, both of which took up the small winter we did have. When Luc was five there was no winter. Now Luc is six and he has thrown his arms open wide to possibility, and winter wonderland. We have graduated form sledding to a new sport, snowboarding. I have dusted off my old snowboard, got him one of his own, and away we went.
My brother and his family live in Georgia, and my nephews have only seen snow a couple of times. Up here in the Northeast we live in a literal playground. Parks for Cross Country and Snow Boarding. Mountains for Down Hill, and for the Snowboard generation, for which I am part of.

Most days you stand at the top of a slope, closer to the bright sun, it's rather warm. Looking around the world is bright and hopeful. Then you push off.

You fly down the side of what you consider to be a mountain (let's not take away anything from Utah or Vermont here), the wind running through the vents in your helmet, the sun kissing your face. By feel you navigate this way and that, you roll with the terrain, bend with the curves, jump with the moguls......

When you come to the bottom you shake off the snow, look to the top and think;


Mary Eggers

Monday, January 29, 2007

My Story

I recently recieved a few emails asking me to tell the story of my eating disorder. I wrote this after Ironman Lake Placid in 2003 for, and I think it says it best........

Mary Eggers Recovers With Tri
By Mary Eggers9/24/2003

They always say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that would directly apply to me. As of today I am 29 years old, a two time Ironman Lake Placid finisher. In 2002 I struggled through Ironman Lake Placid to finish in 13:43. In 2003 I had the race of my life, finishing in 11:23, 4th in my age group, and qualified for Hawaii (I declined, to spend more time with my family). Since the birth of my son in 2000, I was also blessed to win the 2001 Subaru Triathlon Series, and in 2002 I was a member of Team USA for Duathlon. I can honestly say that this sport has changed my entire life.

It is hard to believe that 9 years ago I watched the Hawaii Ironman from a hospital bed. I had developed very serious heart problems as a result of having Bulimia from age 10, through age 20. I was a collegiate swimmer, and on a downward spiral. For 10 years I binged and vomited, took laxatives, etc. My parents, family, and friends did everything that they could to help me, it was of no use. I was determined to kill myself.I will never forget turning on that television that day. The Hawaii Ironman. I could not believe all of those people, traveling that far, on their own strength. I told my father I wanted to do an Ironman. He laughed, out of frustration. He must have thought “Here we go again.” Little did we both know, I was about to embark on a journey that would save my life. And my family’s sanity.

After I got out of the hospital, I started swimming, biking and running. Small amounts at a time, as I was now a cardiac patient. I joined the Leukemia Team in Training, to run a marathon. A funny thing happened as I got through marathon training. No longer could I engage in my old habits of starving, binging and purging. If I did, I could not run. On the other hand, if I made good food choices, I felt wonderful while I ran. For the first time in 10 years, I felt good! As part of the Team in Training, you are matched up with a patient with Leukemia, to run in honor of. My patient was a 31 year old man, entering his 4th year of remission. His passion for life, his pride in his remission, his outlook on life, taught me the best lessons in the world.

Here I had thrown my health down the toilet (literally) for 10 years. This man is not out of the woods, yet there is no regret, no anger, no sadness in him. I knew that I had to run this marathon for him. On a sunny day in October 1995, I completed the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a victory for me, and for my new friend. For four months I was healthy, my eating disorder felt like it was gone. A goal I had set had been accomplished. It changed my life.

The following year I did it again, and was left feeling happy, healthy, hungry for more. I entered a triathlon and did well. I joined the Buffalo Triathlon Club, and met a whole new family of people who would become just that… family. In the smaller races I was able to win overall titles, and set some course records. I met my future husband on a 50 mile training ride. My future husband introduced me to the Subaru Triathlon Series. It was here that it all came together. I met Graham Frasier, his brother Mitch and sister Sheri . I found great role models in the top women of the series, namely Lisa Bentley. Through Lisa I learned and saw what hard work and a positive attitude can REALLY do for you.After the birth of my son, on a dare I started racing in the series, as an elite. Mind you, I never won a race, but was able to hang onto the points and do enough races to win the series title in 2001. Nine months after my baby.

My husband is a two time Ironman finisher and 5 time national team member, and being able to share this sport with him, is an incredible blessing. He did Hawaii in 99, and Ironman Canada in 2001. Watching him brought me back to that age old question I had asked myself so many years ago: Can I do an Ironman?The morning after Ironman Canada 2001, I stood in line for almost 6 hours to sign up. After we returned to the East Coast, Stept 11th happened. Afraid to fly, I changed to Ironman Lake Placid. With great nervousness I started getting ready. I am a pediatric nurse, and a Mom, so I knew this would be a challenge.

My 2002 Iornman was a lot like my recovery from Bulimia. Long, hard, a lot of obstacles. I finished in 13:43, after dragging myself through 13 miles, finding enough reasons to get to the finish line. My father was waiting there, that was a big reason. I knew that when I saw him, no matter what the time, what my place, it would be a victory for the two of us. Eight years of recovery was complete. I had come full circle from that hospital bed, and the life I used to lead.After 2002, I knew I had a better Ironman in me. So I signed up for 2003.

I trained for 43 weeks, during peak times 25 hours a week. I am a working Mom, determined to never train on her son’s time. That meant 3am rides, and rides until 3am. Sleepless nights of working, then into 6 hr rides. I was determined to make this work.To make a long story short, I had a great race at IMLP ’03. My goal had been to break 13 hrs, and I came in at 11:23.44. 4th in age group, Hawaii Qualifier. All my goals had been met.

I declined the Hawaii slot, in 99 I was there to watch and loved it. Right now I think my family needs me more than Ironman does, and I can’t wait to return to short course racing. It has been nine years since I landed myself in the hospital. When I was in high school I honestly thought I would be dead by the time I was 30. Bulimia was my life, and I saw no escape.

Today I am a whole new person. I am healthy. Somehow I have no permanent damage, I consider that lucky. There are many women and even men out there who live in the same hell that I used to live in. There is hope, there is freedom, there is life beyond an eating disorder. Everyone tried to help me, when I was sick. The only person who really could, was myself. There was no one else who could do it for me. Not my parents, not a boyfriend, just me.

At the Rochester Athletic Club, I teach cycling classes, as well as step aerobics weight lifting, etc. It is my passion to bring more women into this sport. I distinctly remember what it felt like to cross that finish line for the first time. It was a victory of so many kinds. Over my eating disorder, over all the people who doubted me, but most of all, it was a victory for myself.

I think that women are much stronger athletes that they believe they are. Currently I am assisting to train a group from my gym, for a local triathlon. Daily they ask me questions like “Do you really think I can do this.” Or “What if I finish last”? I love hearing these questions, because I know when they cross finish line, they will be new women. They will be even more self confident, self reliant. They will believe in themselves like never before. Those are things they can carry over into their personal and professional lives. They will walk a little taller. They will be proud of their athletic muscular bodies. To me that is the best part of it all.In so many ways triathlon has saved my life. I have learned the most valuable lessons of all. Sportsmanship. Friendship. Passion. How to be healthy in mind and body. I shudder to think what may have been, had Hawaii not been on TV that day.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our 2007 Ad.... Sneak Peek!

Here is a sneak peek of our 2007 as for the Score-This Multisport Series brochure! Thanks to Rich Clark for the design! During this time of year our advertising gears towards beginners, so we thought that expressing that there is more to multisport than 140.6 miles would be appropriate! Multisport is for everyone, and any distance! Thanks to our Ironman Team (Ironically) for posing for this picture at breakfast this morning!

:-) Mary Eggers

Week in Review

There is just something about the early morning, the hour before 5am, that draws me in. Perhaps it is the quiet, perhaps it is the white fluffy snow quietly resting outside of my home office window. Whatever it is I have always been in tune with the early mornings.

It gives me the chance to set the foundation for the day. Four mornings a week I am up at 4:30 either preparing for yoga classes at 6 or swim practices at 5:45. Weekends I sleep in a bit more, as weekends are light in both workout and life. We used to really jam pack weekends, but I have recently given that up, opting for the slow lane as a family. Yesterday turned into a day long game of hide and seek, and it was wonderful.

I became ill with gastroenteritis this week, on my birthday of all days. The past three days since I am slowly getting better. Vomiting ceased by Saturday. I was able to get in light workouts. This morning I feel I am at 90%. Saturday's run was tough, I felt pretty weak. Amazing how a little GI bug can bring superman down.

Swim: I actually had a terrific swim week. Pull week at Masters and some time alone at the Y for an extra swim.

Bike: Got sick on my long bike, the GI bug came to play. Low bike mileage this week. The new computrainer arrives either Friday or Monday.

Run: Good runs, aside from feeling week on Saturday. I opted out of the long run today, will just do an hour. I need to feel good this week.

Nutrition: Pounds fell during GI illness, but I felt weak, which isn't good. I was unable to eat birthday cake, and have had a hard time in general eating, as my stomach immediately becomes upset. That shall pass though.

Strength / Yoga: all going fine.

As bad as I thought this week would be, it really was not. I did change some things around within my program so that I have my hands on the reigns. It's funny, for me Ironman is such a personal journey that I feel I need to be the sailor of the ship. It's my ship. The wonderful thing is that the week is laid out, I have people (Including Doug) that I am checking in with, and going forward I know the Grand Plan.

Coming up, this week is Epic Week, in terms of the weekend activities. (Didn't I just say weekends are slow?). Normal training through the week, but with an increase of frequency on the bike and the run. I know that to find my run I need to run 5 times a week. That is now happening.

This Saturday I am taking part in 2 interesting distance events. Saturday at 2pm is the Cast A Shadow 6 hour snowshoe race. Train-This is bringing 3 teams of 3 people. You have 6 hours to see who can run the most laps. You can only run one lap at a time, and each lap takes about an hour to complete (it is roughly 6 miles). Depending on the snow the laps could be faster or slower. The terrain at Mendon Ponds Park..... well we can say Mendon makes Lake Placid look flat. I assembled a great A team, with 3 fast runners (including a rare winter appearance by my husband). Our subsequent B and C teams, we are in it for the training.

Special rules apply to this race, depending on whether the Ground Hog sees his shadow or not. Beginning at 2pm much of this race is done in the dark of night. With snow covered trails it is beautiful!

At the end of the race Saturday night I will travel to Buffalo to my parent's house, to sleep for a few hours. At 5am I will join the Buffalo Triathlon Club's 24 hour spin a thon, which will have already been in progress since 12 noon Saturday. I will ride for 5 hours and teach an hour. You can ride spin bikes, bring your bike and trainer, whatever you want. A few years back when I did this we rode Sat and Sunday, and slept at the gym!

This is to benefit the American Cancer Society, and is well organized. The hard part is staying away from the luscious food. I am using it for the long ride and to practice some new nutrition, all while raising money for a good cause.

That shall complete at noon, then it will be to my parents for a birthday celebration with my family. Back home to Rochester in the evening will find me at the Train-This Super Bowl Party, hosted by Kevin & Kitima. I look forward to going in my comfy clothes, camping out on a couch, and being fed water and some dish called "White Trash".

This will be the busiest weekend I have had in ages, but filled with endurance fun, Birthday Cake, and the Superbowl, how can one resist?

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, January 27, 2007

This Amazing Team

I feel very lucky to boast that I coach 30 athletes on the Train-This Multisport Team. We have athletes training for marathons, 5k's, 1/2 Ironmans and the Ironman. Sometimes I look around at this incredible group of people and I think where did they come from?

I use Training Peaks as my coaching software, and I have had great success with it. each athlete's program is checked over 5 times a week, as changes may need to be made to their program depending on how a previous workout went. It makes for a busy day, but I have a good system developed. It is important to me to give each person the best value for their dollar.

As we evolve through our training and this arctic blast we are in, I have come up with some interesting statistics with this team.

Train-This Team Statistics:

  • 0% Major injuries injuries (knock on wood)
  • 5% Minor injuries (tight muscles is the high issue.)
  • 32% of my Team trains with a computrainer or a powermeter
  • 51% of the team is doing the Ironamn in 2007
  • 25% of the team is doing a 1/2 Ironman
  • 30% of this team never wants to do an Ironman (good choice)
  • 10% of this team is training for a 1/2 Ironman
  • 20% of this team has a background in swimming
  • 70% of this team has a background in running
  • 10% of this teams claims to have no background
  • 0% of this team has a cycling background.
  • 40% of this team has lost 10+ pounds since Sept. (of those whose goal it was)
  • 98% of this team has been sick in the past 4 weeks
  • Of this 98%; 56% had a respiratory illness and 42% had a GI Illness
  • 52% of this team are men / 48% of this team are women

Maybe this is admitting nerdity on my part, but I am really, really proud of this group. They came here as strangers and they have developed friendships, two are even getting engaged. Actually, we have 2 married couples, an engaged couple and a dating couple! Perhaps this could be called "Pimp-This!".

Whatever it is called, I consider it to be a family, and I am so very blessed that these people came to us for training. It really is so much more about being a client, which is why you will never hear me refer to anyone as my client. They are athlete, they are family.

:-) Mary Eggers

Friday, January 26, 2007

Not as bad as it seems

When you are sick and miss training, it can feel like the sky is falling. You think you feel better, you do something and straggle home feeling worse. So lying in bed thinking about the training I am not getting in this week, I decided to use the neato graphing feature of Training Peaks, and it isn't as bad as it seems. I breathed a sigh of relief and closed my eyes. Time to let myself sleep and get better. January is early and the best is yet to come.

I had a series of phone meetings today between Doug, and some of the people I like to use for training advisement. And my buddies at Racermate. Seven more days till the new CT arrives. All meetings went well, and I am feeling good about this new direction. I can't really say it is a new direction, nothing has changed. Except that I make the big decisions.

We will increase frequency and decrease the volume for the time being. (Aside from the Spin A Thon next week where I will get those hours I crave). The lack of testing is now gone, as dates have been set for specific testing.

Specific running goals and nutrition goals have been refined, as these two are my weakest links. Another major part of my training is the mental drills and such that I love to do. Honestly I have been working so much on the business that I have allowed those to slide. Funny, when I was working out of the home I kept a tight schedule. Now that I have the control over the time, it is a little more difficult. When you work for yourself, you could work all day every day. Now there is a schedule. I crave that kind of stability.

With it totalling -3 degrees outside, it is a good time to not feel so well. We raise to the teens tomorrow and I have been awarded bike and run time depending on how I feel.

I exhaled and depressed the panic button.

The sky is not falling.

I am not on this journey alone.

There is direction.

There will be moments of doubt.

And there will be good moments. Those moments I am hoping to find in the form of a finish line.

A few of them

:-) Mary Eggers


Even I have my limits. This morning it isn't quite zero degrees. But we are in for a high of 10 degrees. That's extremely cold, especially when they add in "But it will feel like -10 degrees......" Ouch!

Today will become a light run on the dreadmill, but hey, maybe I am making that prediction too early. We are in for a high of sixteen , a snow shoe then becomes a possibility.
The stomach feels pretty bad today, after a trip through Gastroenteritis though what can I expect? The shakes, a little dizziness. Swim practice this morning will be tough but we will get through.
It's a day off for our school district as it is grading day! It'll be a fantastic day, a birthday redo of sorts. I at least feel good enough now to go out for lunch, which I promised my little man we would certainly do today.
So the day after I am a bit weak, a lot shaky, and very cold. But I guarantee if you can make it through this kind of winter, you can make it through the Ironman.
:-) Mary Eggers

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Birthday

If there is one lesson I will continue to learn though Ironman training, it is the lesson of patience. The Ironman has no room for ego, no room for doubt, and it has no room for impatience. If you can learn to be patient, the best will come. Try and rush through, try to race on ego, and your day will be long and miserable.

It's been a while since I have been at the starting line of the Ironman, and it has been a while since I was walked through the training. Through the training there will be really great days, and during the training there will be really hard days. There will be days of enlightenment, and sometimes those days of enlightenment come via moments of defeat.

Today I had an epiphany, and it came during a difficult moment on my thirty third birthday. I feel excellent about this and I feel very positive as I move forward.

I didn't feel too good this morning as I awoke to teach my 6am Yoga class, but the GI distress I was feeling was no match for my spirit today. Upon returning home I sent the boys off and took a 60 minute nap to refresh. There were some hours I felt very excited about logging today and this was my day!

The temperature was not even reaching zero, so I decided to bring the old Computrainer inside and set up in the living room. Heck, it isn't like I am doing a COLD race this year!!!!! Before I hopped on the bike one of my darling athletes Sharon stopped by to wish a Happy Birthday and bring me some hot cocoa. MMMMMM.

So on the bike I got and I dutifullly listened to Coach Troy call out the sets. As I completed the sets I dreamt of the new computrainer that is arriving any day now and how excited I am to be truly working with wattage and on courses, etc.

I experienced nausea from the start of the ride. I giggled to myself as this is my pattern in races...... but 2 hrs and 30 minutes into my ride I was off the bike and hugging the porcelain, hurling my guts up. The room was spinning, I was feeling absolutely horrible. Turns out my morning GI distress moved into full fledged gastroenteritis. I tried to hold off, I even got on the bike for a moment..... but once again I had to concede. Another long ride fallen short, another training day that has fallen so short of expectations.

As I laid on the couch, feeling defeated from my efforts, I spoke with my husband on the phone. We began to talk about training and my plan, and he began to point out how high my volume is right now, and is it too high? What's the plan as I move forward? How am I getting to the starting line of Lake Placid in one mental and physical piece?

For the second week in a row I fell apart trying to ride a pretty high volume ride indoors. Is this too much? Is it a coincidence that I am now sick? Or was this coming all along? Is this my edge? Physically I am feeling great, emotionally I am struggling with longer trainer rides. Likely this is temporary, and I have been through it before. Times like this however signal that something isn't working just right. I just feel like right now I should not be getting sick.

I laid on the couch in the afternoon feasting on Saltines and drinking flat soda, only vomiting about every 30 minutes now, my afternoon of sledding had turned into an afternoon of my 6 year old rubbing my tummy and us watching movies. At 5 below zero it was just as well, no one belongs on the slopes when it is this cold!!!!! I thought long and hard about my program, scrolled through the training I have done and gotten through, and realized that I needed to take hold of the reigns again.

I need to have a sense of the macrocycle, I need to know myself as an athlete again. I have learned the art of reading my athlete's voices and faces, but have I lost the ability to read my own? It seems I need to get to know me again, and through this Ironman I shall do just that.

Coach Doug Bush has been amazing for me, and I will keep him there as an advisor. This seems to be a journey I am meant to guide myself on, just like last time. I believe I can be my own coach, as I have the spectacular ability to know each and every day how I am feeling.

So as the vomiting began to subside....... I pulled out the old binder and began to map. And I smiled as I mapped out the mesocycles and thought about how to fit them in with my B priority races (Gulf Coast and Eagleman 1/2 Ironmans), how to get the most out of Epic weekend in Lake Placid, and how to get myself to the starting line of Lake Placid Ironman, ready to be the best I can be.

I mapped out the workouts I will do on the new computrainer, the testing sessions, and most importantly the recovery time :-) Now I know where I am going and I feel really, really good about that.

By the evening I was feeling better, knowing the course of this 24 hour bug that I had seen in my Pediatric Emergency Dept this past week. as volume increases illness will come, so having roll time in the schedule was also a must. Curt brought home the meal I had been dreaming of:

Cheese and Pepperoni pizza from Pontillos
One Guinness Beer
and a Birthday Cake.

It was the only "real" food I was able to eat all day long, and I wasn't able to eat much. But it tasted carefully good. And I smiled.

So it was not the birthday I was hoping for. But it was much better than I could have ever imagined. What I lacked in training time that I dreamt of, I made up for in personal growth. In a way I feel like I have come back home.

And my tummy doesn't hurt, and the runny butt has ceased, and tomorrow is another day. While I might forget about the previous training debacle day, I know that I will not forget this one. It is the pinnacle of my training, and the day I stepped onto the right track.

That's a feeling that I won't trade!

Thank you for reading, and for all of the incredibly kind emails and phone calls with Happy Birthday wishes!

:-) mary eggers

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Spin Cycle

I am honored and proud to announce that I am now considered to be an adjunct faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology here in Rochester, I am now a Spinning instructor there. I have taught Spinning for over 10 years primarily at the Buffalo and Rochester Athletic Clubs, until I decided to take a spinning break last march.

My new Associate Coach Erika Foster pointed me to this opportunity in this University's new and developing Spinning Program. I taught an audition class this morning and twenty students came to help me audition, many of whom were complete beginners.

I will admit that I really loved the University Population. Both younger students and some professors took part, and we all had great fun. It is really something to watch students, over the course of an hour grow so much.

I get to add Spinning back into my program also, which gives me the opportunity to do what I love, teach. Whether it is spinning, yoga, anything, I have a pasison for teaching and I am very grateful for this new opportunity!

Plus RIT has an absolutely amazing new pool, to which I am now a member of! Hooray!

Stay tuned for more triathletes in training.......

:-) Mary Eggers

Monday, January 22, 2007

Week in Review, Recovery Week

It's always a strange sign when you leap out of bed on a cold Monday morning, and feel ready to take on the week. I fell into an unwanted recovery week last week and dare I say.... I think Coach Doug was right. It seems I needed that recovery week, and I really let myself recover. No testing, no high intensity, nothing. Which has left me strangely awake at this early hour, looking forward to the morning plans. A yoga class, a bike workout on the CT (Today is a criss cross ride, which are fun), an easy run and then an hour in the pool.

The next two weeks will precede a round of testing as I cycle through a couple of 2/1 week build and recovery cycles. The volume is good and now we are beginning to add some intensity to the bike and a small amount to the run. Hard to believe the Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman is roughly 14 weeks away.

The weekend was lovely and restful, I am getting used to the slower pace, and relaxing weekends. My high volume is done during the week, so come the weekend I just have an hour or so each day as family becomes the priority. I can kick back and watch a movie or spend the day sledding. No more worries. It's good stuff.

I turn 33 this week and I tried to make it a day of pampering. I scheduled the facial, the hair cut, the pedicure, and then I cancelled those appts. Because what I really want to do is spend four hours on my bike, a combination of a redo from last week and a step up on the ladder of endurance for this week. I want to see the clock read 4:00.00 as it is 20 degrees in the garage. I want to see that I can hold 200 watts for 3 hours of it. I want to feel strong as I ring in my new year.

When my little boy comes bouncing off the bus we will transfer the party to Mendon ponds Park and the giant snow covered hills. As we hurl ourselves down on our sleds I will throw age into the wind. Getting older is a choice.

In the evening I will spend 1:15 in an eighty five degree room, flowing through Vinyaysas with 40 of my closest sweaty yoga friends.... what is interesting is how similar the yin and yang of my life are. Triathlon and yoga are so incredibly similar as they are different. They go hand in hand.

Beyond that I will return home for my dream dinner; Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza from Pontillos, a Guinness, and some Ben and Jerry's Ice cream. Chunky Monkey. The guys and I shall hang out and we will laugh about something.

It will be the perfect Birthday, and I can't wait.

Until then, there is work to be done. Volume to knock off, underwater visions to be had. It's so funny when my coach is right, when he knows what I need even though he is an hour away. It's a great thing, actually. I am blessed.

Everything feels wonderful, every muscle in my body feels happy, my mind is ready, my desire is present, so this was a week that I thought was bad..... but it was actually just what I needed.

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Erasing the memory of the big bad workout this week which forced me into recovery, was learning of the plan ahead. Learning of the next few mesocycles and how they fit into this giant macrocycle I have set up. Is this challenge to big for me to face? Do I have the emotional strength to do it and the physical strength to do it well? I have no idea but I am giving it a shot. I have a wonderful coach, and I have a great deal of trust in him, so when he stated we would switch to a 2/1 build and recover cycle I initially was horrified. But when I took a look and thought about what it entailed, I understood why. I get it.

I gave myself the gift of a nine hour sleep last evening and awoke to the bright snow that is covering our earth this morning. Everything is covered in a blanket of white (and the roads.... clear). There is snowshoeing to be had this week coming up, and there are more miles to happily be logged.

My 33rd birthday is coming on Thursday, and I thought about what I'd like to do. What would encompass the perfect day? I thought about a hair cut, a massage, a pedicure and a facial. At the end of the day I'd feel pretty, but I want to bring in 33 with a good solid bang. What, if I could do anything there was to do in the world, what would I do?

A redo.

My perfect birthday will begin with teaching yoga, as I so love to do. It will continue with the redo of the ride from this week. The long ride. 3 hours. Maybe by then my new Computrainer will arrive. After than will be afternoon sledding when Luc comes home from school. I will take my regular 6pm yoga class from Cyndi and 40 of my closest friends. I normally practice next to Angelo, which is a blast in itself. Nowhere else will someone smack me upside the head as I fall from http:// Ardha Chandrasana (because I do it with my hands behind my back), or giggle with me as we hit arms during Garandasana Pose. The class is filled with beautiful people and I will be honored to ring my day in with them.

Then it will be home to my birthday request: Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza from Pontillos, and Ben & Jerry's Banana Split for dessert. Could a day be any better than to end it with my guys????

So onward, onward and upward in training hours this week. I will give this two week build thing a try. I want to fall into bed on Sunday February 4th, dead tired and exhiliratingly exhausted, embracing the recovery week rather than being forced into the recovery week. Let me find it this time.

:-) Mary Eggers

Friday, January 19, 2007

I Have Those Days Too......

For some reason it is a surprise to people when I have bad days, miss workouts, get upset over training. So I write this to let you know that I have those bad days too.

It started off at 0430 as I awoke to teach yoga. I realized that my next sleep in day would be on Saturday January 27th, and with that thought I should have known right then and there that this would be one of those days. No No No I had told Doug at the beginning of the week, as this was supposed to be a recovery week for me let me build one more week, I want a three week build. Isn't it funny how we hire coaches and then rule against them?

I stepped on the scale this morning to see that I am up a pound since last week. How could this be???? I stepped off, then on again. My mood swirled down the toilet. A 15 hour training week, and perfect nutrition, and I GAINED a pound?????? Now if this was any of my athletes were writing to me about this here is what I'd say:

1. There will be fluctuations in weight, when we are losing and when we are gaining.
2. This could be just fluid
3. My clothes are fitting better, I am feeling lighter, wait till next week and then see.

It then frightened me that my mood was dictated by a number on the scale. For those of you who don't know I am 13 years a recovered Bulimic, but times like this I fear I might slip back into those deathly habits.

So I taught my class and returned home, sad that I missed Luc getting on the bus.

Then I set myself up for my four hour ride. Notice it is 10am and I am not on the bike. Today I lasted an hour. And I got off. I hate when my coach is right. Thoughts about regular life kept creeping into my mind..... the messy house, the four baskets of laundry to fold (and it is 100% MINE), the programs I want to get done before tonight, the workshop on Sunday, the house is a mess, I am really tired, the furniture being delivered at noon...... Luc's being transferred to a different school next year....... when will the computrainer arrive.... why is Coach Troy continually reminding me on this damn Spinerval tape that there are three hours to go?

I stopped pedaling.

Get off the bike Mary.

But I had a whole day off on Tuesday.

Get off the bike Mary, it's not meant to be today. You just rode an hour and will do strength, it isn't a day off.

But.... But.....

Get off the bike mary.

But Curt wouldn't get off the bike.

Curt's not doing an Ironman. He's not doing 2 Ironmans. He's not doing 2 half Ironmans and THEN 2 Ironmans. Get off the damn bike! And by the way this was YOUR idea Mary!

I got off the bike. It's a busy place this mind of mine.

And then I began to laugh. This all started over one pound. It isn't like I just learned I have cancer, it isn't like something actually worth anything just happened to me. It reminded me I need to lighten up. It's one day, one pound, one workout. I can pretty much guarantee that on July 22nd, this day will be a long ago memory, this workout forgotten. Big deal.

So I contact my coach and tell him I hate when he is right. I freaking hate it. I want to be that girl who is 10 feet tall and bulletproof. I want to be stronger than anything in the world. But to be stronger I need to know when to be weaker. And this is a sport, this isn't rocket science. This is a privilege not a right of passage.

It is just one small day.

So I will concede to use this time for the things that occupied my mind instead of my ride. And I will re plan the remainder of the week to include that damn rest thing. It would be what I would plan for all of my athletes.

So it is off to create programs, surprise my husband by folding my laundry, await the recliner ... and get some rest. It just feels so darn strange, physically I feel amazing. The space between my ears however, feels tired.

Because at 2pm I need to be ready, my darling little man will come bounding off of the bus by himself, ready for hours of sledding at Mendon Ponds Park. You know when you are old when you buy one of those humongous inflatable sleds because the plastic is hard on your back as you fly down those hills.

Update: The funniest thing about this whole episode, is that today, the day after I was four pounds lighter!

:-) Mary Eggers


It's deep! It's fluffy! It's white! SNOW SNOW SNOW!

This is that great time of year when it is legal and encouraged to substitute snow shoeing for running, and even cross country skiing! I am excited for 11am when I can strap on my snow buds and spend an hour lost in the woods, in the snow, in the big bright winter!

Each day this week I have spent the better part of 2 hours (a day!!!!) flying down the hills in Mendon with Luc! Need a sled? Get the big inflatable circle kind. It's easy on the back! Please wear a helmet. A cool skiing helmet makes you look like you mean sledding business. And the hills are great for strength!


:-) mary eggers

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter..... it is all about perspective.

I was born and raised in the Northeast, and I love it here. I tried my hand in the south, on the West Coast, and even down on Long Island New York. I always ended up dreaming of this. I did not grow up in Rochester, I grew up in Buffalo, which is 60 miles form here. I am fortunate to have my parents still there, close enough... yet far enough.

My brother traded the winter for the sunshine years ago when he moved to Georgia. My sister traded snow for culture long ago when she moved to Paris, but not me. Call me a homebody but I love the four seasons that the Northeast provides for us. I love the snow, I shall admit.

Often times my fair weather triathlon friends inquire about how we train up here, much like we are animals in the circus. "My friend Mary from Rochester trains in the snow", someone once said. Both gasped and looked at me with wide eyes. "Touch me." I said holding out my hand, "I am a rare circus animal."

Contrary to popular belief it really isn't necessary to spend the winter on a treadmill in these parts. The roads are actually clear. Western New York has the best batch of snow plowers and salters on earth, we need more than eight feet of the fluff to keep us home! So running is no problem, as long as your dress right. A Pair of subzero tights from Sugoi, a Fila running jacket, and then anything Pearl Iszumi or Craft to keep the parts cozy will do. They even make these terrific little things to slide over your running shoes to give you traction, but they aren't needed more than once every few weeks.

The potential of ice almost forces you to run with a good quick cadence, and notice those who run outside will get sick less. Even if you run with wet hair. Remember bring outside and being wet doesn't make you sick, bring outside, being susceptible to the latest virus, being in the presence of that virus (maybe a bit run down?) etc., makes you sick. There just is no substitute for fresh air, cold or not. Your lungs are designed to breathe freezing cold air.

Biking isn't horrible here either. Yes, most of my riding is on the trainer or spinning bike. But I do my best to whip out the mountain bike once a week and hit the roads. If you are a hardy mountain biker there are chain like things you can put over the tire, or you can hang with me on the roads. Again, fresh air.

And then, there are all of the activities that translate perfectly to multisport training. Cross Country Skiing and snowshoeing. Ever try snowshoeing? Slide on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails for a great run, or maybe enter the weekend snowshoe race! Yes, your mile splits are slower, but it is incredible fun, incredibly strength training for your legs and again.... fresh air. It translates to running quite nicely. Throw on a pair of cross country skis and double your run time, while doubling the pleasure and the fresh air.

While I concede that Thursday morning I will spend four hours on the trainer, I won't concede that it will in any way suck. I don't use the television (It is there in case I change my mind) but I use music. I can feel lost in a beautiful world of heart rate, cadence, wattage and drumbeats. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Krishna Das, REM, anything goes. Give it a try without the tube sometime. Choose a spot to look at, and see how long you can focus on that one place. Wandering eyes, wandering mind. In your next Ironman notice the difference.

All the while I have white snowy glory to my right via the window. The earth is brighter, the day is lighter. Even at 9pm when the world would otherwise be pitch black, step into a snow covered forest and it is bright.

It's winter my friends, it did not come last year, but it is here now, and I hope it is here to stay.

:-) Mary Eggers

I have snow!

I would just like to SHOUT:

We have snow, and a lot, lot lot lot of it!

Think trees encapsulated in white, everything is bright, everything is fluffy.....

It's snowshoe and X country skiing, snowman making and sledding time!

:-) Mary

Monday, January 15, 2007

Weekly Check in, January 14th

Some days, most days lately I feel so blessed to be in good physical and emotional health. It is truly a gift and it is one not to be taken for granted. I am so blessed to have had an issue last season that I have been able to recover from, because I know full well there are people who wish they could be in my shoes. There are people who not only have career ending injuries but life ending illnesses. So as bad as I ever thought my injury was it was nothing compared to what many people really go through.

That being said I am thrilled and blessed and lucky to have had another good training week.

Review of Systems:

Swimming: Swimming continues to improve, as I am enjoying swimming "up" this year. This means that many of my rest intervals are an open turn, but now sometimes I get two breaths during those open turns. I have terrific lane mates in Ken, Bill M., Other Bill, Maureen, and sometimes Julie and always Dr. Les. Sometimes in swimming circles when you swim "up" you can become the annoyance of the lane. But my lanemates have been crucial, supportive and ultra encouraging to me. THANK YOU!

Biking: I was pleased to hit a four hour ride this week, the long base miles are wonderful. I feel strong, I feel good. I am delighted to say the new Computrainer is on the way, should be here within a few weeks. I set a target date for February to begin using all of the neat features on it, saving time trials and such.

Running: I once again ran out of Zone II on my long run for 13 miles, but in the sleet and hail this weekend I just wanted to get back to the car. Running in Mendon Ponds Park will never be easy, but again the long miles are feeling very good. Achilles tendon feels great.

Strength: My flexibility is directly helping me experience no muscle tightness after running or even long runs. My muscles have never felt so good. I think I have finally found the right balance of strength and flexibility training for me. The Functional strength training is also of course a benefit.

Nutrition: I know when I am beginning to see my abs again that things are coming around. Weight in day is tomorrow. I have been working hard on eating foods than contain no ingredient list, whole and organic foods. I get mocked by many for the organic foods, but if you know how to look for them, what to look for, you get such incredible quality. Around here we are lucky to have good places to buy from. Yes, they cost more, but it is a quality investment. I always find it so sad that a pound of applies (organic or not) costs more than eight bags of Cheetos.

As I have said before I like 90% of my nutrition to benefit my health and 10% is the bonus card (Thanks Cyndi!!!!). For the 10% I have been also finding that quality is the key. This means real French chocolate from Arya Tea. If you know what to look for in terms of chocolate, real chocolate, it is an experience. 70%, 60% ....... these contain less sugar and are the real deal. There is a special way to eat real chocolate too. You take a square and rest it on your tongue. Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth and allow it to melt. I guarantee that it WILL beat the Milky Way any day. These days it is all about quality.

Things are coming along, and I am delighted. Thanks for checking in, and thanks for your amazing support.

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Today I Cried

If the Ironman were a person, I would be his groupie. The Ironman has created change, exhilaration, belief, doubt, disappointment, fear, happiness, satisfaction and hunger within me. Almost one year ago I arrived home from the office of Dr. DiGiovanni, my left shoe in my hand, and a Hi Tide Boot on my left leg. I remember walking into the house and sitting down in chair as my Ironman dreams collapsed around me. Then feeling guilty because I felt sad. This was only an injury, this would get better.

Slowly as I have sunk deeper and deeper into the ocean of Ironman training I have tried, best I could to not get my heart involved. Kind of like the relationship you desperately want but you are afraid to feel because you are afraid to hurt again. And slowly the Ironman is prying me open again. And then today something happened that has not happened in a year. Those of you who have been there know what I am talking about.

It started out innocently enough, my one hour run in Zone II. "Walk the hills if you have to stay out of zone III Mary" I could hear coach Doug' voice. Then he added "Be good."

Sometimes I run with my iPod Nano. I find music to be very inspirational. I hit SHUFFLE and started out. Heart rate 149. Good times.

So I was running along 15A, and I would like to almost send out an apology for anyone who might have been driving down that road today, because I honestly have no idea where I was running. I might have been in the middle of the road, because I wasn't in Henrietta at all.

I was running in Lake Placid and as clearly as anything I could see it, I could hear it, I could smell the sweat. I shook my head trying to dismiss this day dream, but I couldn't. I would swear to you that I was honestly there and it was Ironman Day. July 22, 2007.

"I can feel it coming back again....." Sang the voice in my iPod. "Like a roll of thunder chasing the wind...."

Uh-oh..... my heart felt like it was soaring and I felt like I was flying. Tears were streaming down my face in happiness and there I was.

I was at the bottom of hill 239.9, and I could see Rich and his Bullhorn, and Curt and Luc and all of the lime green Train-This shirts. (we call it hill 239.9 because it was the price of gas at the gas station there in 2005...... it is where Rich Clark and crew sit all day long with the megaphones.)

And I heard Rich scream through the megaphone "You can break eleven hours Mary! GO! GO! GO!"

And suddenly my legs were like feathers and the cheering lifted me up both hills, I could see Mirror Lake to my side as I made my way along the final out and back. I knew what was coming and I felt incredible........

And for the first time in so long I felt myself come down the hill before the Olympic oval. And this time I turned right into the oval where the most magical 30 seconds of your life takes place. Regardless of time for me it always happens the same way.......

The crowds are so damn loud, but all I hear is silence. Even though your finisher video shows you were traveling in real time, at that moment you are in slow motion. You round the corner of the oval and all you can see is people screaming........ and there is the finish line waiting for you. That thin banner stretched across the arch, representing so much.

Months of training, hours and hours and hours in each discipline. Pain, joy, sweat, tears, months and years of work comes down to this final 30 seconds.

And just like in previous years Curt and Luc are there, and we all take hands and they begin to run with me, still moving in slow motion.

And I know that Curt knows how grateful I am to him for enabling me to live this and reach for this dream, and Luc runs right along side me, in the two previous finishes I have carried him.

And as Mike Riley shouts it out my skin is filled with Goosebumps........

Some girls dream about their prom, or their wedding, and I dream about this moment right here.....

"Mary Eggers you are an Ironman!" He screams like only he can.

And as I break the tape with the guys, I look at the clock and see the time I have dreamt of, and I hear nothing but silence amongst the screaming........... and as the tape falls around my waist I fall into the arms of the Ironman Catchers as they drape the foil blanket around my shoulders and place the medal around my neck. I put the medal against my cheek and in the exhaustion, exhilaration and madness of this finish I feel the cold metal on my face, reality that I was there.

And then it all comes through in the form of tears of absolute happiness.

And all I can do is cry, and sob into my husband's shoulder "THANK YOU."

Suddenly I hear "Mar.... you okay?" I look up to see my neighbor standing in front of me, getting her mail from the mailbox "You look like you have been crying." I am back in Henrietta realizing I got caught in a daydream. I smile at her.

"Just out for a run."

I walked down the driveway wiping my eyes, wondering where on earth I just was, and realize the well is full to tap again. Ironman is waiting for me. I scroll through my heart rate monitor and realize I was never in zone II just in zone III, and I had run further than I have during an hour than I have in almost 2 years. 7.5 miles for a training day. Not too bad. How am I going to explain this one to Doug? He will never buy my daydream story, but it is true. I got pried open and exposed to my dreams. It might hurt, it might be risky, but today I cried, and I cried because of a dream that I dream.

I dreamt of my time, I know it is within me. Mybe in July or maybe in November. Today I saw it, I felt it, I grabbed hold of it. The layers are peeling back, and I am beginning to see the shine.

:-) Mary

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Smile for the Camera!

I am honored to announce I am part of my Yoga Studio's 2007 Ad Campaign.

To see one of my posters please visit

Click on "Sample Work" ,Then Click on "Print" . You will be able to scroll through some pictures, mine is on Page 15. And then to further laugh, check out my commercial. Under "sample work" click on the 11th commercial "Frontier's Man on the street" , for my big TV debut. I had 30 seconds to prepare for this one, John caught me on the canal as I was finishing my run! Enjoy!

:-) Mary Eggers


The first real long ride of the season, four hours was scheduled for me today, and I had been waiting all week for it. I have been hanging around 3-3 1/2 hours, but four hours is typically the stopping point for my half Ironman training. And here it is in January and I am at four hours. The injury memories are beginning to fade.

I stood in the garage and I looked at my options. Mountain bike, road bike, spinning bike, and 2 Time trial bikes. What is a girl to do. The only guidance form my coach was to ride for four hours, preferably outside so he is not responsible for the institutionalization of me. He knows if he says "four hours on the trainer." , even if it is 90 and sunny I will be on the trainer.

I took a deep breath and weighed my options. Then I made the decision to spend 2 hrs on the mountain bike and 2 hrs on the trainer. It was a good chance for me to get out and enjoy the sunshine, it was brisk and we are losing our precious snow. I remained primarily in Zone II as I got those good base miles in.

Switching over to the spinning bike for a little more fun, I completed a Chris Carmichael Audio workout, which involved progressive hill repeats. Since I had been given such freedom in the ride today, I was taking it and ... biking with it! Keeping it on the easy side I enjoyed 2 hours of climbing in various positions, and especially enjoyed the banter of Chris Carmichael and Bob Babbit, that you are entitled to hear if you have these pod casts.

I would rate today's ride as absolutely awesome. Not because i maintained some amazing speed or heart rate or wattage, but because it was fun. Not once did I even begin to think that I did not want to be riding today, because there was nowhere I would rather be during this time than right where I was. I feel physically terrific, emotionally well, and I felt happy about today's ride.

Now it's time to head to the bus stop to hear about the day of a kindergartner as only he can truly tell it. :-)

:-) Mary Eggers

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

White fluffy snowflakes are falling from big grey clouds this morning. On one hand it seems dreary out, yet on the other with snow falling there is always this feeling of possibility. With the sun peeking out through the slight breaks in the clouds I continue to be filled with the feeling that anything in the world is posisble right now.

I will admit to feeling tired this morning, from lack of sleep. Part of me wants to crawl back into bed and take a nap, yet the other part of me is smiling as I know that in thirty minutes I will be lost in a sea of snowflakes, endorphins, the sound of my breathe and the familiar and inspiring music played through my iPod Nano.

I used to criticize people who used their walkmans, or iPods on a run. Yet during my spinning classes I took great time and care to choreograph each set to music.

Part of my evolution is to let go of the rules I used to set before myself. "Never wear music running Mary becasue you shall concentrate, keep your mind in the game, monitor the heart rate....."

But I love music. Why would I deny myself something I completey love? It would be like a world of no coffee. I so carefully select my music and so carefully create the playlists, that my music inspires me.

I don't run with my Nano all of the time, but there are mornings like this where it will be just me, my Nano and my run. I have 14 new songs downloaded and I am looking forwrad to hearing it loudly between my ears. Inspiring me, holding me at the right pace, bringing me to the edge of my dreams........

Letting go of the rules has been like opening the gates and allowing myself to run free. I have removed the word never from all rules applied to me. Keeping the rules is protective. Letting them go is exposing, risky, yet full of possibility.

Possibility. Yes, possibility.

:-) Mary Eggers

Monday, January 8, 2007

Fifteen Forty

I will be the first to admit I become numbers obsessed when it comes to training. Set the hours and I want to top it. When I trained by miles I had to top it. Thinking like this has brought me both success and failure. It is a double edged sword.

I salivated when I saw a four hour ride on Thursday morning. "Already." I thought to myself as I smiled. "Already."

There is something exhilarating about finishing your first block of big weeks. I keep referring back to last year and the injury, and maybe that is the motivation behind this all. Or maybe it is that I love it. I loved to be pushed, I love to be challenged, I love to be dared. This is my prize and my pain.

I have an acquaintance, a male friend who constantly worries about what other people are doing in their training. He once told me it was impossible for him to nap because he worried about it so much. I think if I lived like that I'd jump off of a high bridge. This isn't about what other people are doing, this is about what I am doing. Give me a pillow and I am asleep! I feel pity for him, it is sad actually. What a way to live your life, so worried about a sport and who could beat you.

Everyone can beat you on any given day. And two days later who cares? The framed magazine articles, the medals, they collect dust. What really matters is what happens within you.

On Thursday at some point there will be a voice within me that says "Four hours on the trainer, forget that. It's been two, two is good enough."

My own resistance becomes my own opportunity. It's a rung on the ladder. Do I step off or do I climb up higher. Do I take the chance on myself, or do I give in? I will let you know how it goes on Thursday. Point being, there is so much going on within me, if I worried about anyone else, I'd explode.

Within those walls of my garage I find serenity and I learn so much. I learn how to disconnect from the thoughts in my mind and just be on the bike, in this moment of time, breathing and moving. Aiming for wattage and heart rates, it is an interesting world to step into.

We each have our own reasons for having this lifestyle, for being in this sport. There will be wins and losses, but shoot for your own 100% best race each time, and you will see the improvements. Focus on others and their training and racing, and you are setting themselves up to fail. Think about what Jo Lawn said during the IM Hawaii coverage. She said (as I paraphrase) that the women are always looking around, seeing where Natasha is. And Natasha, she races within herself. And the results speak for themselves.

:-) Mary Eggers

The Dog Days

Now that life has slowed down I am taking the time to enjoy the quiet moments in my life. For years there were so few. So on this gloomy Monday morning here I am in my office, large cup of coffee, just allowing myself some quiet time before my morning bike ride and subsequent task filled day. Tasks is a harsh word, privileges would be a better choice. When you are doing what you love every minute feels like a privilege.

We are in the process of finding a dog. I have been the roommate of people with a dog, but I have never owned a dog. It is interesting the requirements you have as you go out and seek, will that perfect one jump up and say hello? We are adopting a dog form the Humans Society at Lollipop Farm. Typically the dogs they have will be older, houstrained, may have experience with children, etc. Among those requirements I would love a dog I could run with. There are wonderful trail systems around me and I would feel so comfortable running on them with man's best friend. So I need a dog that can be active, but not hyperactive. This pooch needs to be good with children, as this will be "my son's dog". I think it will be good for Luc. I think Mom gets boring after a while and the neighborhood kids aren't always available to play.

This dog needs to be a medium sized dog, as a dog bigger than me is too big, and a dog smaller than a rat, well I call those rat dogs. If you can kick it, it isn't a dog in my brain.

So we've gone dog shopping and the dog I spotted was already adopted. More will come and this weekend we shall look again. We have gone leash shopping, collar shopping, food shopping. I have to confess I am not a shopper but Luc has delighted in picking out just the right things for his potential dog.

This weekend we shall go back to Lollipop Farms and perhaps the perfect black lab will jump into my arms, lick my face and cry out "Take me for a run Iron Mom!". Or perhaps he will see Luc, his tail will wag, and they will play with a Frisbee. After all there is nothing quite as sweet as a boy and his dog.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Weekly Check in, Jan 7th

The first week of this build phase has been rock solid. During the holidays I settled with a 90% workout completion rate, and now that we are past those, 100% is always the goal. This week we had 15:05 planned and I got in 15:20. Damn overachiever!

Quick review of systems:

Swim: Life in the stud lane continues to be great, and I continue to hang on at the end. Some long sets this week and holding 100's on my personal best time. :-)

Bike: I love to ride my trainer, I am wattage obsessed. I did however do my long ride on my mtn bike. I ride 1:15 to the park, 60 min of trails and 1:15 home. The trails are incredible for technique, balance, death defying feats, and for over unders :-)

Run: Long run was 2:00 this week, and we switched our group runs from the canal to Mendon Ponds Park, where there are long sloping hills, short steep hills, very few flat areas, and terrific scenery. I ran with super runner Glenn, Dennis and Bill. They are a bit faster than me, and I carefully allowed myself to be pulled along with them. Gulp! This is the course I will be running my two distance races on in April, and this is where I will stay till the Ironman. It brings back memories from 2003 when Kelly B and I lived on this course.

Strength: I feel great with this functional strength stuff. I do miss the pumping Iron in front of the mirror at the gym feeling. But I know I am not getting so bulky. In yoga I was able to do my forearm balance in the middle of the room and hold it for 15 seconds. I am also working on side bakasana (crow), and flying pigeon. My flying pigeon has a long way to go. If interested see to see what the heck I am talking about. Side bakasana and flying pigeon are variations of their two derivative names. Both are balancing on your hands.

Wrapping up this week, this afternoon is the Train-This swim clinic at RIT. It will feel good to hang out with the gang, review their technique and no doubt have an afternoon full of fun!

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Let it Snow!

They promised me snow by Wednesday of next week, and I will hold them to that promise. It has been two long dreadful years since I have sat on a sled. It has been two long years since I have donned a pair of skis or snowshoes. I could say that the snow angels were kind to me last year, because as I spent the winter in "Das Boot" and on crutches, winter festivities would have been impossible. I would have sat at the window with a frown.

Not this year. We are armed and we are ready. Snowshoes for all, skiing lessons for Luc and I, and we have the sled. We have the best sled, one of those mighty inflatable sleds that flies down hills at warp speeds. And of course we have sledding helmets (Emergency nurse, don't forget).

There is just something about the earth covered in a blanket of white powder. It turns the seasonally dark evenings bright. It gives the earth a sense of calm, a sense of truth, a sense of serenity that we only get to have a few months of the year.

During this time of the year we train in the garage. That's our "training room". It is cool, it is quiet, the bikes are always set up, the garage doors have windows so we can see the light of the early morning shine through. It's one of those places I love to be, just for some quiet time.

A lot of work gets done in that garage, a lot of miles are logged. While we have cable TV and a DVD player and all that stuff, I rarely use anything for visual effect, except for a mirror in front of me. I like to watch my feet turn around. Maybe for the same reason a hamster runs around its wheel.

I do listen to my iPod Nano, I love music and I am very inspired by what I hear.

But my eyes have learned to be still. I used to have everything under the sun on while I rode inside, but these days I enjoy the music and the visual solitude as I pour through the dreams withing my head.

So this morning I am seeing rain out the garage window. And in a few more days, they have promised me snow!

:-) Mary Eggers