Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Very First Press Conference!

I have been invited to be in the Musselman Press conference on Friday July 13th! Other invitees include Olympian Victor Plata! I was fortunate enough to win the inaugural Musselman 1/2 Ironman in 2004 (and have bombed each one since), which earned me the invitation!

Will it be televised? I don't know. Will inside Triathlon cover it? I have no clue. All I know is that I get to advise an Olympian on how to completely screw up not just one 1/2 Ironman, but seven, yes seven in a row.

And you too, may be able to know those secrets!


:-) Mary Eggers

Monday, May 28, 2007

Weekend at Lake Placid... Part I

Friday morning Pelee, Sarah and I loaded into my car and began our trek to Lake Placid New York. Far ahead of us were Bill and Sharon, and then Kara. I emphasize far ahead because all three were nailed with speeding tickets as they flew through Tupper Lake!

Like I always say.. slow is smooth... smooth is fast.

On the voyage to LP I laughed so hard that my abs hurt!

Most of the twenty athletes we were meeting had arrived at the Alpine Air Motel and were in the process of settling in and preparing for an evening ride. I knew what they were thinking....
What is this course really about?

This course is about patience, and about believing in yourself. This is something I can help nurture only after someone knows what I mean about hills and most importantly what I mean about descents.

So Friday evening in 94 degrees we rode 42 miles of the Ironman Lake Placid Bike course. There is an out and back section of the loop which we reserved for Saturday. I hung back quite a bit to watch how our athletes were climbing, descending, making sure they were shifting gears often. I was watching form, hydration... it was a chance for me to really be a coach. I was proud of what I saw. Lots of spinning, lots of drinking. Bodies remaining relaxed and still. Great big smiles as we descended 6 miles in 10 minutes towards Keane. Awesome.

Friday evening at dinner nerves were calmer. And everyone was early to bed, calculating calories, ounces and milligrams. The luxury of race day is that there are aid stations every 10 miles. Saturday we'd have a gas station on either end of the loops, so not only did we need to carry calories, we had to carry water. But everyone planned well.

Saturday I allowed myself to completely focus on my ride and my training. It was a ride at your own pace ride, and there are lessons to learn on this bike course. If you ride it correctly there are opportunities to recover from the hills, but you must understand where those are and understand yourself. There are lessons that I can not teach, like certain things will go wrong, certain things will hurt and certain things will present themselves. Until you know what those certain things are however, it is nearly impossible for me to teach them.

Experience would be the teacher today.

I settled into a good groove through the first loop with Bill, Mark and Glenn. Kevin who is preparing for Eagleman, would join us on the second loop when we'd need a fresh face.

Through the first 30 minutes of climbing I felt great. Through the 6 mile descent I felt great, gaining confidence. My bike was so darn light that it made it a bit scary... something I knew I'd have to overcome.

The flat section into Keane felt like heaven. Just spinning and looking to the mountains. The out and back felt like a roller coaster! We got to see other athletes on the course, a terrific group from Tri Life in NYC.

Once we hit the turn around we began to see the other Train-This athletes who looked fabulous. We stopped for some water before the infamous last 11 miles.

The last 11 miles of Ironman lake placid are not hillier then the first 11 miles. But the combination of wind, rolling, rolling and rolling, with a little fatigue mixed in can make it a tough place for anyone.

But today I felt amazingly fresh. I dropped my group but I was not pushing. I was simply spinning. No matter what throughout that part of the course I kept my cadence 70-80 and I had zero fatigue. ZERO. It was almost horrifying. Where was the pain? Was I going fast enough?

Yes. I reached the top of Papa Bear in 3:05. Ten minutes ahead of schedule. Gulp.

After picking up Kevin we began loop 2 and I tried to take it much the same as loop one. Nutrition was working. My carbo load the day before was helping things tremendously.

And when it came to the final 11 miles, I kept the same plan. I monitored cadence and I sailed through them. I remembered to look right towards Whiteface and watch the river flowing and the most amazing scenery on earth. Better than Hawaii I promise. Better.

Towards the end of Papa Bear my legs still felt absolutely awesome. Like I hadn't ridden at all. After 112 miles of hills in 6:10 (my 2003 bike time here was 6:07 race day).... I felt nervous. Did I ride too slow? Too fast? Where was the pain? Can I get excited?

Off the bike to a short 30 minute run.... I felt.... bouncy. I felt like I was running easy.

Where was the pain? Where was the agony? Why wasn't it there? Could it be?

Don't get too excited, I told myself. Stay on top of yourself. But this is a good sign.
With a few mishaps, everyone finished the ride. Kitima's cleat came off her shoe, but she borrowed screws from her other shoes and repaired it herself. Pelee and I had a minor bike crash on Friday night (into each other) and he rode with a brake rubbing for 100 miles. You could not even turn the wheel by itself. His nutrition on Friday gave him what I call "Runny Butt". After my run on Saturday I got a text message form him
"I am shitting myself" I laughed "I am 9 miles away".
I hopped into the car for the rescue mission, and found Pelee riding up Mama Bear. He allowed me to rescue him and then still did his run. way to go Pelee!
Saturday night we all celebrated with dinner on Mirror Lake, drinking coffee at Starbucks and laughing more and more and more.
When some mentioned that they hoped they'd be ready to run 3 hours on Sunday I reminded them of one thing...
"At least we aren't Tom". Tom was at the American Desoto Triple T Triathlon Festival in Ohio. Four races in 3 days and at our time, still a half Ironman to go......
Part II tomorrow.
:-) Mary Eggers

Sunday, May 27, 2007

We're Home!

We arrived home this afternoon from a beautiful weekend in Lake Placid. I shall recap the entire trip tomorrow, but I am frightened.

I am frightened because 112 miles of hills has never felt so... good and .... I am terrified to say... easy. And I rode it as fast as my 2003 Ironman time, but I wasn't pushing.

Because the run off the 112 miles bike... felt bouncy.

Terrified because my carbo load and nutrition plan made me feel smoking great.

Because I nailed Ironman pace with walking 1 minute per 10.

Because I have no soreness.

Because I feel so freaking good.

When does the other shoe drop? Do I admit my success this weekend, or do I hide it and wait? Do I dare dream of that day in July?

One thing is for sure. I love to climb. I love to climb in Lake Placid. I have spent so much time on flat courses that I forgot the thrill of 10 minute / 6 mile descents. I forgot my strength spinning through the last 11.

I forgot the feeling of looking to the mountains and the stream of the river beside me.

I heard a voice inside my head this weekend say one thing to me....

"Welcome home Mary. It's been a while."

Thanks for stopping by. Full report tomorrow.

:-) Mary Eggers

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lake Placid

Tomorrow morning 20 Train-This athletes will be heading to the mountains of Lake Placid New York for a weekend of training. Memorial Day weekend is a big weekend for training up in the most beautiful place on earth. Last year we ran into a bunch from Tri Life and many other triathlon groups out there training!

If you have never been to Lake Placid, you someday need to go there. The 1980 Olympics were staged in this quaint town, an while it has remained quaint, the development over the years is stunning.

In Lake Placid you can do it all. Canoe on Mirror Lake, climb, hike or if you are crazy enough, bike up White face Mountain. You can ride a bobsled or learn to luge. You can watch the Olympic training squads in skiing, cross country skiing, hockey speed skating, all of them train here.

You can watch the junior development teams train future Olympic hopefuls. Ever see pictures of the ski jumps in lake Placid? Higher than any mountain. Ever see the kids practice in the summer? They fly off the jumps on skis and after twirling through the air they land in a pool.

Hop over to Mt. Hovenburg for some unbelievable mountain biking, with trails for beginner to advanced. You name it, you can find it here.

Lake Placid is all about wellness. You won't find a motorized boat on Mirror Lake. You will find people of all ages genders and from all backgrounds smiling, running free and having the time of their lives.

It's why Ironman Lake placid is such a favorite for me. This place is magical and I can't wait to immerse myself in it.... in just one more day!

Friday night will find us riding 42 miles (one loop of the course minus the out and back), and then we will have a team dinner featuring Italian style entrees!

Saturday morning a 40 minute run at 7am followed by the big ride..... 10am 112 miles. Following that is a 30 minute run. Our traditional evening at the Lake Placid Brew Pub then becomes a necessity. UBU beer... enough said.

Sunday morning will bring a 3 hour run for many of us, with some intensity mixed within. After our team breakfast a few of us will take yet another loop of the bike course.

It's the weekend without a whole lot of structure, no timetables, just get out and ride. Enjoy the beauty and enjoy what we are all so blessed to be able to do!

Thank you for stopping by,

:-) Mary Eggers

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Looking back at my Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman, please keep thinking that it was another debacle because on paper it was. In terms of data however, this was a breakthrough performance. And I am smiling big as we head into the final 6 week push to Ironman Lake Placid. I don't know the end of the story, but none of us do, do we?

What was so critical in my race was my run. It was the walking every mile and nailing a 4:00 and at times a sub 4:00 Ironman pace. Walking, yes walking to a sub four hour marathon. Walking. Deadly in a 5K race but again I say it is critical in an Ironman. After 2.4 miles of swimming and 112 miles of cycling, walking becomes critical.

It is a lesson my athletes are slowly and reluctantly learning. When people are reading their long runs with instruction to walk 1 minute every 10.... you would think I have told them to run a 3 minute mile. Yet they listen, and they fight, but they do it. And what happened last week? Dennis and Sarah ran 18 miles in record time. Kitima told me how much.... better.... she feels with the walking breaks.

Yes, walking.

Because in the land of Iron nutrition is the key to the race. Every mile you come upon an aid station and people will blow through it spilling drinks of all kinds down their faces and bodies. And we will patiently walk through each and every single one. Sipping, sponging, and resuming marathon pace with a bit of kick and a big smile.

The hardest part of walking is the humility It requires. Who wants to be seen walking in an IRonman? Who wants to see the occasional person passing them as they speedwalk like Oprah?

I always think of it this way; there are 2 types of people that you will see in the Ironman. Those who are faster than you, and those whom you'll see again. I believe I was told that either by Rich Strauss or Gordo. It is true, and it is something to remember.

I have had 2 reluctantly low days in preparation for the big week that begins tomorrow at 0400. There are a lot of miles and hours to cover between Wednesday and Sunday and I am ready.

Victory takes many forms and shapes. And Victory comes from within. The undoubted belief in yourself. You can not, can not doubt your abilities and talents and dreams. Doubt them and don't bother getting to the starting line.

You have to believe. Believe in the impossible. Believe in yourself. Believe in what you can do. Believe the pain, and believe the joy. Believe every moment because every moment that passes is one moment closer to the finish line.

And the great big medal they'll hang around your neck.

Thank you for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Final Push

I am feeling excited to wake up tomorrow with my biggest week of training for 2007 ahead of me. It is Lake Placid Training Camp time and I can not wait. On Friday morning 20 of my athletes and I will head to the gorgeous mountains of Lake Placid to train, sleep eat and train for three days.

This week could bring me to 25 hours of training with 300+ miles on the bike and 40_ of running. Not only does the volume kick up but the intensity does too. Contrary to my Gulf Coast run split... my running is spot on in terms of distance. A little intensity there will bring up that end. But now we really hone in on the bike. It's all good and fun to be a great runner, but if you can't come off that 112 mile bike feeling fresh as a daisy, then it doesn't matter who you are.

I have a few definite races built into the end of training weeks for speedwork. The Pittsford tri and Keuka Lake will be at the end of 20 hour weeks. So that will be interesting as I develop a new tolerance to a new level of pain.

So I am ready. I am ready to begin the final push. This is where the going gets real good.

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Spring Classic Formula One Duathlon

The Spring Classic Formula One Duathlon featured a record crowd today for the 2 mile run / 10 mile bike / 1 mile run / 10 mile bike / 2 mile run event! Train-This swept off the cobwebs and we had some breakthrough performances. Official results can be found here

Curt Eggers 2nd overall
Erika Foster 4th overall

And placings from Bill Harris and Mike Foster and John Galbraith! (which I shall post once I see the results). By the way John had 2 bikes stolen from his garage the other night. He was racing on a "new frame"!

Ellen and Boots and their staff did a terrific job, remind me to burn Ellen a new CD... but it was awesome to her my mix from 2004 being played again! I have some good new tunes!

After the race I realized I missed seeing Doug and Brenda Prindle who have made their return to Rochester after a 6 year hiatus!

Congrats to all who competed and here is to a terrific 2007!

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Friday, May 18, 2007

Becoming a Caveman

The nutrition evolution continues this week as I once again give up the sugar. I came off of it for a week after Gulf Coast to see what would happen. And you know what? Enjoying some cookies and ice cream was all well and fun... but I felt like absolute ASS afterwards. It really affected me. It really affected how I felt.

I have been on an evolution towards the Paleo way of eating for a few years now. But a few months ago I decided to make a firm commitment to it. I gave myself the time line of one year to fully commit to this way of eating.

Being an endurance athlete who could essentially live on bagels and cereal and spaghetti this is a difficult thing. So why am I doing this?

First of all for health. I am in terrific health and I want to be in terrific health when I am 95 years old.

Secondly for performance. I know that a healthier athlete is a stronger athlete is an athlete who performs at his or her potential. Now I eat very well now, but like training, nutrition can always improve. I want my fuel to be pure, therefore allowing my nutrients to be utilized and bringing up my level of performance.

I am still entering the peak of my endurance athletic years. I want to come into this peak age knowing that I have done everything I can to be in top fitness for the various goals I will set for myself over the next few years.

I have began this evolution in stages. Obvious sugar went first. Sweets, cookies and yes the beloved ice cream, is gone. Once I am again used to that I will evolve further with refined foods. It's a long list and process for me but I shall keep you updated.

The key for a born swimmer like me is exchanging the carbs I normally eat (bread....) for carbs with a little more bang for their buck.

So easing back into training with new and improved nutrition habits is pretty neat. You see the correlation between good food choices and feeling good. As my son would say Good Food makes you feel good, and Garbage Food makes you feel like garbage.

Amazing how our children have a way of simplifying things when we work so damn hard to complicate them!

Thank you for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Recovery from the Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman is going nicely. A light bike on Monday followed by a day off on Tuesday, and a swim / bike / run today. I am a bit tired, but muscle soreness has escaped me and I am feeling good. Admittedly I am having some issue getting rehydrated. My urine has been a pretty shade of neon yellow for a few days despite a gallon of water with Nuun per day. That'll come.

My head is in a good place. Special thanks to my friend Trevor, for helping me potentially identify the culprit of my 1/2 Ironman woes. I always tell my athletes that you can show up to a race in better shape than Natasha Badmann herself, but blow nutrition and you walk.

This lesson has terrific timing, as all of my lessons do.

But the important part of this lesson.... I still wake up hungry. In one way or another I have screwed up seven, yes seven 1/2 Ironmans in a row. It makes me laugh. I might even screw up seven more before I get it right.

It doesn't deter me. It doesn't depress me. It solidifies my passion for my sport. When I won everything I touched I did wonder if I would love it when I didn't win. Now I know. I love it any way it wants to come at me, through me, over me, or on top of me.

I love the feeling of coming unhinged. Man I come unhinged a lot. Because each time I come unhinged I get put back together a little stronger. No, I didn't quite realize all of the little places I could come unhinged.... but bring them on.

I am not afraid to fail. I am not afraid to lose. And I am not afraid to win. I am not afraid to fall, be laughed at, get stomped on.... I am afraid of nothing.

At the end of the day it is still me and the woman in the mirror. She often asks me if I gave it my all. And I always tell her that I did.

That's what my Dad taught me. He has taught me a lot. Show up 10 min early for everything you do. Finish what you start. If you give 100% it doesn't matter what the result or the score is. Giving 100% is the victory.

So this week it is an ease back into training with about 13 hours. The following 2 weeks will be gigantic as I will take them to 22 hours. Next week is the big "Weekend at Lake Placid Part Four" trip. 20 of my athletes are joining me in Lake Placid for 3 days of cycling and running. I will hit 300+ miles of cycling and 40+ miles of running.

Man does that make me smile.

So doubt me, poke fun at me, support me, or believe in me. Take me a part, run over me, land on top of me.

Because my friends I will get it right. Things will click. Maybe in July, maybe in 2010. And when they do, just look out. It's going to be pretty, at least from my view.

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Panama City Beach Pictures!

Just a few images from the hotel on the beach.....


Tank of Gas

As much as I didn't want to analyze my 1/2 Iornman from the weekend. I did. And I could not find the problem. Training is spot on. Weight is spot on. Pacing was spot on. It was not the jellyfish. I thought nutrition was spot on. how did I bonk. Again?

What is the mistake that I keep making? Power? no. Heart rate? No. It was not obvious.

My husband asked me what I did to carbo load and top off my glycogen stores before the race. In my attitude of not wantint to alanyze I tuned out of the conversation. Sorry Curt!

But then my friend Trevor sent me an email asking what I had for breakfast.

500 calories of Carbo Pro. I told him. I imagine his eyes popped out of his head because what took place after clarified one thing to me..... I am an idiot.

Carbo loading is highly important for distance racing. Think of carbo loading like filling your gas tank. You want to start 2-3 days in advance, and there is a lot of great information out there to fiugure out how much and what to take in to top off your stores.

Arrive to the starting line with a full gas tank. Here is the formula that Trevor suggested to me.....

Engery Balance: 3000 cals to burn


Swim ( 100 cals per 400 metres) so say around: 500-600 cals

Bike ( 600 cals per hour, check your Power Meter for better accuracy) = 1650 ( 2:45 bike split)

Run ( 100 cals per mile) = 1300 cals

Total: approx. 3550 cals total

So you're in the hole only 550 cals. So really you don't need to pig out during a HIM.

Now the 1/2 Ironmans where I went sub 5 hours have had a common theme. 1500-2000 calorie breakfast and a 3 day carbo load.

The 1/2 Ironmans that I have gone over 5 hours also have a common theme. 500 calorie breakfast and.... I can't believe I am admitting this.... no, yes I said NO carbo load.

Is this the magic bullet? I don't know. I do know that everything else is where it should be. My swim, bike and run training and predictor tests show I should be racing at a 4:40 for a flat 1/2 Ironman.

Here is my typical plan, and compare it to the above.....

Breakfast 500 calories. No carbo loading. So according to Trevor's forumla I have 500 calories in my tank of gas.

Bike 900 calories per hour
Run 200 calories per hour.

Okay 1100 calories. 2000 in the hole. That'll make you feel dizzy!

If this plan were one of my athletes I would freak out. Funny how we can coach someone else but then no rules apply to ourselves.

This is an important lesson coming into Ironman. I am going to remain with the plan of not racing Eagleman and sticking closer to home. I am training through the races, and through those races I will practice nutrtion, and even carbo loading.

If this had not been realized, I might not have properly planned for my own Ironman Lake Placid. But now I have a chance. Could it all be this simple? Could this all come down to my own tank of gas?

The only thing I do know..... this girl ain't done yet.

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Monday, May 14, 2007

2007 Race Schedule

I will have it on the mainpage soon, but here's my revised race schedule for 2007...

June 2nd Pittsford Triathlon
June 10th Keuka Lake Triathlon
July 1st A Tri in the Buff
July 8th AARGH 20K tt (Tentative)
July 15th Mini Mussel
July 22nd Ironman Lake Placid
August 5th Cayuga Lake Tri
August 11th Summer Sizzler
Sept 4th, Citizens Race Hamburg Germany
Sept 9th Finger Lakes Triathlon
Hospice 10 miler in Oct
*** To be decided ..... Ironman Florida Nov 4th*****

It feels good to come home again!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Dragon Slayer

"So... did you slay your dragon?" Elsa asked me, lighting her cigarette. In any other circumstance smoking a cigarette would annoy me, but not this time. Elsa had probably been smoking longer than I have been alive. Plus she sat downwind from me, as she pulled up a plastic chair on my beach front porch at the Quality Inn. We had met 2 days earlier, Elsa was a housekeeper there, and her name wasn't Elsa. She spoke with such a thick accent from the Dominican Republic, that I couldn't understand and was too embarrassed to ask her real name (again) So I named her Elsa. She had dark skin and dark hair sprinkled with grey. The lines on her forehead and around her eyes seemed to tell stories of harder days, yet happy ones too. I felt like she had a lot of history within her. A lot of experiences and a lot of wisdom.

I had been checking in and she recognized the bike box, asking me if I was here in Panama City for the big race. A woman likely in her forties, Elsa looked older and wiser than her supposed age.

"Yes," I replied to that first greeting, "I came down from upstate New York."

"Hoooo.... Hoooo." She waved her hands in front of her face. "What would bring you all the way here?"

"I came to slay a dragon" I smiled at her.

And so began a three day friendship with the only person I would really come to know in Panama City, yet one I knew I would never forget. She nicknamed me "Baby", likely because she forgot my name as well. She cleaned my room for me every day and left me extra coffee. At the end of her shift on that first day she came to stand on the porch, as the rooms on that side of the hotel were a literal 20 feet from the ocean.

"Would you like to sit down? In the shade?" I asked her, I knew she worked hard.

"Mind if I smoke?" she asked, "I sit downwind, I know you are an athlete." I complied and she sat downwind puffing on her Marlboro Red.

We began to talk about life, mine and hers. I learned about her youth and her travels to America. Her family, her one child who had died. I was fascinated to hear her stories, and she seemed equally fascinated by mine. I did however, feel like I had led the frivolous life of a princess compared to hers.

Elsa told me she had much experience with Ironman athletes. She left me cleaning rags for my bike, asked me if I needed anything additional, as she saw I was traveling alone.

So that first day in Panama City Beach matched the rest of the four days. Filled with warmth of people and sunshine. Filled with sand between my toes and relaxing happy moments.

Race day began for me at 0630 with a non eventful beach start. I was feeling good. My back pain had subsided and I was feeling happy. I found a good rhythm but as usual I found myself swimming alone in unpredictable waters. My new Blue Seventy Wetsuit felt warm, as the water was 76 degrees. But I was comfortable until I hit the turnaround and proceeded to get stung by about 14 jelly fish. Not at the same time.

Each time I reached my left hand out.... ZAP! Then my face, then my right hand. I lost count at 8 and in the process gained a new appreciation for one of my athletes. She has worked hard to overcome her fear of fish and open water and now here swimming in the land of jelly fish.... I can say ... I get it!

With a decent swim time I hopped out of the water and onto my bike. I was using the Ergomo to pace myself and after not too long found myself riding alone on long stretches of flat roads. The bike felt good, my cadence and wattage goals were being met. The 900 calories bottle of carbo pro was going down easy. Salt tablets were right on cue. I did have to stop for a moment to unscrew the lose C02 cartridges and stuff them into my suit, as one had fallen off. A woman passed me and I allowed it. I was ready for a powerful run today.

The past 2 weeks i have struggled with my back, but today everything felt lose and easy. I did feel a little lacking in speed. But I did not taper for this and have not done much speedwork, so I was expecting this.

My bike computer read 93 degrees at the end of the ride, and I felt I was prepared to run in the heat. I grabbed my Garmin in transition, and was off.

My first 2 miles felt wonderful, 7:30 pace. My form felt good, I felt relaxed and my back did not hurt. I was leading the age group.

Slowly the air began to thicken and I felt myself becoming very dizzy. Calculating my calories from the bike, 900. That should be plenty. I had taken a gel at the beginning of the run, that should be plenty. By the second mile things got foggy and I knew I was bonking. The first 2 aid stations were serving warm water and no ice. I didn't panic or become upset. After my second helping of warm water, I walked a bit. I knew I had to cool down and get out of this bonk. Today we were not going to the well. I promised myself that. This was an Ironman pacing test and while we were watching the clock, we were going to roll with the punches. It took me 10 minutes of walking and running to refuel myself. At that time I realized and accepted this would not be a PR day. I was okay with that. A woman I was running with suddenly fell to the ground. I helped her to the next aid station. It seemed people were dropping like flies.

By mile 5 I was out of the bonk, and I did switch my plan. I had the Garmin, I could map this pace. My question to myself then became...... can I run marathon pace and walk the aid stations? That would be about 45 seconds of walking per aid station which would then require me to run 8:15-8:30 miles. That would leave me enough room for a 4 hour Ironman marathon time.

Do I go to the well or do I test this out? I was already off my pace so I went for the test. I allowed myself to walk 45 seconds through each aid station loading up on the ice (finally) and the now cold beverages. I tried my water, and coke system. Ice in the hat, and ice in the suit. It took me no longer than 5 seconds to resume marathon pace again.

Damn! I thought, if today was Ironman Florida I would have NAILED it!

So I finished well, feeling too good. Good enough that I added 3 miles to the run to cool down. Way off 1/2 Ironman pace, 6th age group, but the Ironman pacing test had worked. I pulled out of a bonk and I felt really good despite this heat.

After my cool down run I walked down to the beach where I cooled off. A good day. I reveled in that. Not on paper, but the plan had worked. This was good news.

"Dude!" A guy gasped as he sat down next to me in the sand.... "What happened to your face and your freaking hand?"

I looked down. My left hand was fat. I could not even remove my wedding ring! I felt my face, it felt swollen. I panicked.

"I got stung by some jellyfish!" I told him, "But that was HOURS ago!"

"Girl we need to get you to the medical tent!!!" He grabbed my arm and led me to a tent overcrowded with people. I was taken in, an IV placed and given IV Benadryl. I was lectured on the dangers of being bitten by so many jellyfish. I argued that it was HOURS ago, but was scolded anyways.

And I had just texted my friends to tell them I managed to stay out of the medical tent. RATS!

I relayed my story to Elsa back at the hotel. By that time part of me was disappointed that I reverted to the Ironman pacing plan. But part of me felt like I did slay that dragon. I didn't get upset, puke, panic, and almost didn't end up in the medical tent.

"I think that you did slay the dragon." She told me. "But I think you placed the value of the dragon in the wrong place." I looked at her confused. "2 days ago you told me about your crippling fear of flying. You told me you turned down a trip to Hawaii because you were afraid to fly." Then she put down her cigarette and took both of my hands. "Sometimes the dragons we think we need to slay, are hiding behind one thing, but meaning something else. Now you are flying all over the country, and you came here alone. That is not a woman who is afraid to fly in an airplane. That is a woman who is finding herself and looking to see the world. You did it baby, you DID it."

Could she be right? Was the dragon not the race but a fear that I had conquered? I had to think about that one.

As always with these races however, I walk away learning so much about myself and what I love and who I am. I know now that victory does not always mean winning. There are lessons for me to learn and I am learning them. Slowly but I am.

One thing I did feel during this race was loneliness. I missed home. I missed racing at home.

And that's when it hit me. Why am I not racing at home? Why am I traveling all over the place? I have conquered this fear of flying.... maybe now it is time to come home for a while.

So I called my coach and we talked about it. I miss racing in my Score-This series. I miss seeing Rich, Bob, Bill and Jeff at the finish line. I miss the party that it is. I am..... I am homesick.

A plan revision was then in order. So I made some decisions. I need to continue to rehab my back. With the help of Dr. Les, and continuing my functional strength program, I will do that.

I need to work on my speed. So I am signing up for the Score-This series. A series I won for three years in a row. Racing more gives me great brick speed work.

I need just a little more time to prepare for Ironman. SO I have made the decision to not race Eagleman. That saves me a 2 week taper and 1 week recovery. That gives me 3 extra weeks to get ready.

That all felt great. That all sat well. Because you see I did slay the dragon. The crippling dragon of fear, that held me back from so many things. So many adventures and possibilities.

I am coming back to the basics. Coming back home. coming back to my roots. Because the stronger the base, the deeper the roots, the higher you can soar. And that made me smile.

I thanked Elsa as I left this morning. I told her I would be back. I left it open on whether I would do Ironman Florida or not. I will see how I feel after Lake Placid. But one way or another I am coming back here in November. With the boys this time. And regardless if it involves an Ironman we will be Beach bums for four days and not worry or care about anything but having a great time. And they shall meet Elsa. My new but old friend. The wisest woman in the world besides my Mom.

So I come home feeling excited. Excited about my day in Panama City. Excited to begin the final 8 week preparation for Lake Placid. And that preparation will involve teh Pittsford Triathlon, Keuka Lake, A Tri In the Buff and the Mini Mussel.

Because guess what friends...... what I realized most of all this weekend is that famous old saying.....

There is no place like home.

Thank you for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Happy Mother's Day

I made it and I made it home, another tough 1/2 Ironman under my belt. Now on paper this looks like I died on the run but stay tuned for the whole report, I actually had a great run. I excecuted my Ironman plan to a T, got stung by 14 jellyfish, and learned a boatload in the process!

Race report comign tonight!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

:-) Mary

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Hickory Nuts

Tonight I did something I never, ever do. I went.... sit down my friends, you won't believe your eyes.... I went out!. Take a deep breath, I know, I know. Don't worry I have not lost my mind here in taper land. This does have something to do with my last post.

I spend just one night a week with some amazing people in the Pediatric ED. They are the other reason I keep my stint there. We have been in the most amazing, horrifying, exhilarating scenarios together.

I have been on the helipad (where we take the kids off a Mercy Flight) during a hot landing, in which I wasn't sure we'd make it. A hot landing is when they don't stop the propellers on the helicopter, because another one is hanging above waiting to unload.

Ever see that episode of ER where Romano's arm gets cut off..... exactly.

But during these moments when we are running down the runway, someone is bagging an intubated child, in those moments of oh my god the shit is hitting the fan
..... we've got each other's back. I work with an amazing group of people.

So tonight for the first tme ever, I joined them for a drink at the local "Hospital Bar" the Distillery. I worked a little 8-midnight shift and thought, you know it is about time I sit down with my work friends and just spend time.

So I did!

So there we were, pediatric emergency nurses, residents, fellows, and the attending.... just gathered around a table and spending time with one another.

I used to swim on a swim team as a kid, at a place called Hickory Hill. Our swim team was called the Hickory Nuts. Throughout my life when I find a group of people who mean something to me, I nickname them the Hickory Nuts. Just to myself. Just a reminder of their importance in my circle of life.

So tonight I salute you, the Hickory Nuts. For all you do, all that you are, and especially for always having my back!

:-) Mary Eggers

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Alter Ego

Surprisingly, many people don't realize that one night a week, for 8 hours I am a Pediatric Emergency Room Nurse, and yes, that's an RN. I have been a nurse for 10 years and I have worked the past 6 in pediatrics. While I love my teaching, business, etc, I stay at the University of Rochester Medical Center (Strong Memorial Hospital) because I love my work with children. And I think it is an important way to give back.

There is a lot of misconception about nurses, doctors and the Emergency Dept in general, so as I am unable to sleep on Tuesdays from 9-1 as I usually do.... since the entire neighborhood is out mowing their lawn... I thought I would smash a few myths for you.

First, it is important for you to know that it is my job to remain the calmest person in the room. It's why you will never see me panic when you rush to our front desk screaming in a panic yourself, about the broken nail that your child has.

It is not that we don't care. Trust me when I say that we have seen it all.

I have met the arms of children before I have met them. Meaning, arm is not attached to the body.

I have delivered babies in bathrooms.

I will assure you that in most cases, puking is not am emergency. Here is a little parental lesson...... every single child in this world will puke. Yes, there is an issue of dehydration. Those children we need to see. But when your little Johnny shows up at our door snacking on Doritos after a night of "vomiting"..... my heart rate is never going to elevate.

You may not specify one of our attending doctors as your primary care physician.

When you tell me you "want the doctor to start your child's IV"... know that I am laughing. Know that the doctor's job is to think, and my job is to get the most impossible IV in the most impossible vein..... and I am good at it. So do yourself a favor, always let a nurse start your IV. (Disclaimer.... sometimes you can get lucky.)

The reason we hold down your flailing child for an IV is so we don't hurt them or us. We are happy they are flailing..... it is the 2 year olds who allow us to poke them that we worry about. Fighting is a good sign.

Our doctors and nurses, as awesome as they are... can not magically cure a virus.

When you see nurses sitting down and charting, we are not being lazy. It is from idiot people in the community who sure the medical profession for stupid things. Those stupid lawsuits cause New York State to mandate every pee, drink and breath be documented. Do that is not my fault and not my rule.

When I walk into your room and you begin to complain to me that you and Johnny have been waiting for "X hours" please understand that I might have just come from a room where a child has died.

When your child is in an accident and in our trauma bay, know how hard we are working.

I can juggle 10 patients, I can get the difficult IV, I can function in the trauma bay with calm and ease. I have held the hand of a dying frightened child more times than I ever care to share. Know that when a child dies, I cry. We take it very personally. Not for our "stats" but because to us the lives of children are our highest priority. Know that when a child dies it never, ever leaves us. EVER.

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers

Monday, May 7, 2007

The World Tour Kicks Off!

My little tour of the East Coast the the world begins this week in Panama City Beach for the Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman. Two weeks later the tour takes me to the Train-This Ironman Lake Placid Training Camp, and then two weeks after that I head to Eagleman 70.3! Whew!

Yes folks it is that time of year again. Time to kick start triathlon season! It has been a long winter but we are all ready.

And I am ready. I am ready to put some demons behind me. I am eager to tap the well, push the envelope, come unhinged and apart at the seams. Find that new level of pain, the performance elevating gutsy great race that I know is here within me somewhere.

Thank you for coming along for the ride! I shall update when I return!

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, May 5, 2007

To Eagleman I Go!

Well the Eagleman versus Montana saga has finally come to an end. I was offered a spot in the Level II training but with some logistics of family... I had to decline. Rumor has it that they are going to extend to certification time frame. Let's hope so.

So I will join fellow Train-This'ers Kevin, Kitima, Bill, Sharon and Jay as we all head to Maryland for the June 10th race. These guys will love this race. It has a hometown backyard feel with the quality of the Ironman. And Vigo..... he's a freaking legend.

One week from today is the Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman. Taper starts this morning with a 2:00 brick and tomorrow with a 9 mile run. We decided on a shorter taper for this race for a few reasons. TO understand that, understand the goals of this race.

1. Heat. I wanted to race somewhere hot before Eagleman, as Eagleman has the tendency to be hot. I have always struggled in the heat so I consider this to be a limiter of mine. Train your weakness I always say, so here it is. I am stepping into the fire. So it was Gulf Coast or St. Croix to choose from. Gulf Coast is on the Ironman Florida Course, so that made it a natural choice.

2. Nutrition practice. I believe we have nailed my nutrition down and I want to test it in the heat.

3. Data. Armed with the Ergomo and the Garmin, I will use both of these during the race to record data, heart rate, etc. This data is what we will use to plan training for Ironman Florida.

4. Have fun. What better place to go in spring than on Spring Break in Panama City Beach?

I feel quite good in preparation for this race. Typically I will go sub 5 hours for a 1/2 Iornman, however I haven't done that in 2 years for a bouquet of reasons. Some physical, nutritional, but I believe they were mostly mental.

I have worked very hard on my mental training this year. And I am excited to see how that goes as well.

My swimming feels good, my cycling feels good.... but it does feel like I have not done a lot of speedwork. Hills, yes, speed, not so much. Running feels like it is coming along. I have been averaging 40 miles a week for the last 2 blocks of build. We have touched on speedwork but again not a lot.

Essentially I want to see sub 5. I want to hold back on the bike. I want to feel strong on the run. I want my nutrition to work. I want my mental game to be on. I want to see the edge of myself but hold back from crossing it.

There are 2 days I am hoping to shine this year. July 22nd and November 4th. (Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Florida). So I will not "go to the well" as they say, at Gulf Coast. I want to finish with money in the bank.

I feel like something special can happen this season, and timing is the key. I am ready, I am focused and I am ready for the tan!

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) mary eggers

Friday, May 4, 2007

Mouse Update

Well...... after 120 emails asking about the status of Montramer the car inhibiting, taunting, haunting terrorist mouse..... here is an update.

For three days there is no sign of Montramer the... we will call him Montramer the Mouse for short. No poop, no chewed up anything. So he is either dead or has escaped. My car is still sterile and I am essentially driving in a panic attack waiting for him to come out and taunt me.

So we continue to wait. I know, I know you are all unable to sleep. Keep the faith my friends ... we will win this war.

Thanks for stopping by friends.....

:-) mary eggers

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mouse Capers

For days now we have been trying to catch a mouse. A mouse in my house? No. Worse. a mouse in my car. This four legged creature is believed to have jumped aboard my swimming bag in the garage, and was transported to my SUV. And ever since it has been a tour of madness and frustration for the ever growing "Team Mouse", who have tried to rid my vehicle of this small terrorist we have come to call Montramer.

It began on Saturday morning when we discovered mouse poop on my dashboard. That gave way to the entire stripping, bleaching, shampooing and sterilization of the car. Think an operating room is clean? You have seen nothing yet! My car…. cleaner!

Saturday night we placed a trap, bait and hold em trap in attempt to relocate the mouse to better places. Sunday morning there was no sign of a mouse which led us to believe that we were home free. Montramer had left the Rav 4!!!!

Curt headed to Kansas City on Monday morning and I awaken to a car full of mouse poop. ARGH! ^%$#%%%%!!!! The war had begun. I was confident enough in my freak out control to drive to the store and buy some snap trap mouse traps. I was confident Montramer would not show his snarly little teeth to me behind the wheel.

A snap trap isn't so easy to assemble. I had to even watch a video on the internet. So I laced it up, set it up, got it ready. I would kill Montramer and Curt would be so proud!!!!!!

Tuesday morning I bribed Luc to look in the car. We found the bait gone and an empty trap!!!!

Have you ever seen the movie MOUSE TRAP with Nathan Lane? It suddenly became my entire existence. Catching a mouse is addictive! Especially when faced with the threat of it chewing your bike tires or cables!

"I will get you mouse!' I cried throwing my fists in the air!

That's when the formation of "Team Mouse CSI" began to take shape. first inductee was Bill. Bill brought over some mouse poison, not really believing the mouse was in the car. Upon his arrival he was convinced….. we set three traps…… 2 snap traps, one block of poison, a catch and release trap…. and then the CSI idea. Bill surrounded the entire set up with baby powder. From this we could see the mouse's footprints, leading us like Hanzel and Gretel to his underground lair!!!!!


Three hours passed….. I peered into the car. NO NO NO! The traps had been fumbled with but I could look no more! I called Bill who brought over his girlfriend Sharon, who rumor has it would grab hold of the damn mouse herself!!!!!!

Hence another member of "Team Mouse CSI" was inducted. They show up with our next member, Hanna, Bill's daughter. So now we had Me, Luc, Bill, Sharon and now Hannah. Together over pizza we would get Montramer and rid the IRNCHICK mouse mobile of the mouse terror!!! No one would beat us!

Curt would be so proud!!!

So they (note I said THEY) looked for the mouse. They prodded, poked, and could not find the mouse.

Not in the seat.

Not in the dashboard.

Not in the engine.

And not in a box with a fox wearing red striped socks, with chicken pox, a handful of rocks, and not even…… unbelievably…… not even on a block.

We set the traps, and we ate our pizza. Upon return to the car, the mouse had licked the traps clean. No mouse caught, we had been outsmarted again!


The last member to join was Ken, who suggested heating out the mouse. By this point we determined the mouse was taking residence in the heating ducts underneath the passenger seat… as evidenced by the baby powder footprints. So we turned on the car and blasted the heat! Surely this would work!

He still, I admit….. did not come out.

So at last we set the traps a fourth time, loaded on the peanut butter, shut the doors and called it a night. Curt would be home at midnight and I would be hailed as a brave woman, conquering, defeating this terrorizing little mouse! I could see the pedestal he'd place me upon now!

Fast forward to 7am, upon my return from swim practice (and of course I was driving his car….). He stood in the driveway weary and worn from travels to the Midwest, and 2 days of meetings that likely filled his head with too much thought.

"Amateurs." He sneered, shaking his head and holding out the failed clean traps. "Amateurs."

I stood there in disbelief! What, how, how could it be????????

"No mouse?" I felt defeated once again.

"You guys didn't even set the traps correctly!" He cried in disgust, "They need to be hair triggered! HAIR TRIGGERED!" He was in obvious disappointment. "Look what you guys DID to these things, how can you not set a trap!!!"

"But I watched the internet video instructions from the website." I stupidly admitted. Curt looked at me. I could see the bubble over his head with his obvious thoughts. …… did she just say she watched the video instructions on the website????????...... what kind of idiot goes to a mousetrap website………….

He stood there and sighed, knowing I was not driving the IRNCHICK Mouse Mobile.

"I will take your car…" He sighed, which by the way promoted him to instant superhero and CEO of Team Mouse CSI….. a title of which I am very certain he cares very much about and is very proud! "You are to go get 2 new mouse traps, and do not touch them."

One might assume the look on his face was pure annoyance, but I knew better. The man was just tired from traveling and now coming home to clean up the mouse mess of myself and my mouse posse. I knew he was secretly proud to be the knight in shining armor, to be secretly lacing up his superhero cape and sliding the black mask over his eyes.

I mean, what else could he possibly have on his mind?

Off he drove in the IRNCHICK Mouse Mobile, stickered to the bone with signs of Iron and various items. And I was free again to get back behind the wheel. I could travel again.

I got those mouse traps. If 2 traps were in order then certainly four would work better. So King Poombah National Champion Curt Eggers shall set the traps, and when he catches Montramer the horrible, antagonizing taunting mouse he will be once again hailed as the king that he is!

I quickly texted Bill to inform him of our failure, defeat not just by the mouse but by the King himself. I could almost feel the air let out of Bill, Sharon and Hannah's sails……. it slid out of mine as well.

I have faith. I have faith that my amazing husband will risk life and limb for me. He will catch that mouse, he will show me it's dead mouse body and then I will know that I am free from this terror. I will show the other mousse what will happen should they try to mouse ….. er….. mess with an Egg.

So mouses all around… listen up…… you stay on your side of the line, and I shall stay on mine. Don't bother me, I won't bother you. But dare, just dare to inhabit the vehicle of said Iron Girl Egg once again……

And you will have to face your kryptonite, the King, the Knight, the terror of all mousse. And trust me it ain't gonna be pretty.

Stay tuned for the update.

 mary Eggers

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


It's these quiet moments at 6:30am that I love. Sitting here by the bay window in our kitchen, sipping coffee and pouring random thoughts over paper, which is a computer screen and a key board. The sun has risen and the lilac tree just outside the window is about ready to bloom. Stop by some time for a vase of lilacs, I am very certain we have the prettiest ones in Rochester. My only regret for them is that they don't stay in bloom for the entire summer.

And they shouldn't. The lilacs give way to the trees blooming, Then when it is all said and done, come fall the apple trees are ready. The progression of life is fascinating, beautiful and often leaves me wonder struck.

Those are the things I notice from a bicycle, or from running. View it as one thing if you would like, but I see it as another. It goes beyond winning, and competing. It runs deeper than times and intervals. It is much simpler than that actually. Feeling the sun, feeling the air, smelling the roses you could say. The quietness of nature becomes more inspiring than what is on my iPod, more exhilarating then a cruise interval, when you pull it all aback and see it for what it really is..... that is where true beauty lies.

For this reason I will never understand why people actually can feel hatred for one another over bike splits, podium finishes, finishing times, accomplishments. I just don't get that anymore.

For that reason I don't understand why people cheat whether it be through drugs or course cutting. I just don't get that.

After all, we are all in this together. Whether you are a triathlete, gardener, a bowler, whoever you are. This is one world. we are one people coming together just living the best life that we can.

And that's a beautiful thing.

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary Eggers