Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

From a snowy Rochester New York, I wish all of you the most wonderful New Year's Celebration tonight, and the happiest new year ever!

It's my tradition to work New Year's Eve.... I get Thanksgiving and Christmas off, so I make that trade. I have done it for so long that it is something I look forward to. As a pediatric emergency nurse I get to see a lot of ..... interesting.... things. Today I shall work 2pm to midnight and will have the opportunity to spend the ringing in of 2008 drinking Sparkling Grape Juice with my Peds Ed family and the families and children that are with us. It's a strangely special event.

Once the clock strikes 12 we begin the countdown. When will the trauma bells ring and who will be the first to shoot his neighbor of the new year? New Year's Eve is a big "shoot your neighbor" night.

To all of my fellow blogging buddies, to all of my wonderful athletes, to all of my wonderful friends, to the world for crying out loud.... from my family to yours, have a HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

:-) Mary Eggers

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Its been over a week, the workouts have been light, the coughing has subsided and this morning I feel like 100% again. So I took a day off.


Yes, a day off. I spent the early morning sitting by the window sipping coffee, making myself a great farm fresh egg breakfast. Curt was already out training and Luc was still asleep. And I just needed to take a moment.

Its as if I am on a roller coaster that is pausing at the top of the hill, waiting to take the big plunge. I know these next 6 months and going to fly by. A lot of work in all fronts, and lot of focus in all fronts is what is coming. I have spent the past 8 weeks recovering and planning the delicate balance that I am prepared to hold from now until the end if July.

Oops... that's 7 months.

Athletically I have set my goals, studied, broken them down. Determined what I need to do to hit those goals. With Coach T as the guide I have no worries that I will come up short.

Academically I begin Grad School in January 2009, and I have another degree to complete in the meantime. This means I have to adjust to sitting in class for 4 hours Monday evenings. If I could only bring my trainer.....

And there's more but I will spare you the details. Bottom line is I have prioritized, balanced, organized, and I have prepared for a smooth flow.

I have gotten a lot of rest and now I feel 100% recovered from the year of Iron. I am ready to begin the real work in preparation for our Carolina Training Camp in just 9 weeks. I am so glad we are doing this because it gives me a big mid winter focus. The thought of riding through mountains with some sunshine and good company is enough to almost take me out of a day off.

It will be good times for sure.

So on this Saturday morning when the Christmas snow has melted but new snow is on the way. I took a few moments to reflect, to refocus, and to sip my Jittery Joe's coffee. I took the time to sit back and watch the sunrise and wait for the little feet to come down the stairs.

Pausing, looking around, taking it all in before the roller coaster lurches forward and begins its descent.... has been the very best medicine of all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Avoiding Illness

It was a beautiful Christmas here in Western New York. The entire family was together, we did a lot of sledding.... and guess what? The greatest sled on earth happens to be a an air mattress. Trust me on that one. I will be posting some pictures tomorrow.

One thing to remember is that we all get sick. Training happens or it doesn't when we are sick. My old rule was if the illness was above the chest... go easy. Below the chest.... rest. I was almost able to stick to that rule, when I was diagnosed with pneumonia last week. After having it for over a week and forcing through easy workouts... I finally surrendered and had a chest x-ray.

The next day my 30 minute run lasted 4 minutes and 54 seconds before I spent the next 6 hours, and the entire next day in bed.

That happens when you are stupid.

This week has been focused on light workouts and getting better. My runs are feeling good, my bikes are fine, swimming is fine. All are slow, but this time of year they should be.

You can't fight illness. And you can't always prevent it. I know many who double dose on vitamins to attempt to prevent illness, or to try to get past it quicker. Here are my illness tips:

  • Your body can only absorb so much of any given nutrient. Mega dosing is useless because the body will simply excrete what it does not absorb.
  • Illness, colds, etc ..... the very best prevention is hand washing. Those antibacterial soaps are wonderful but remember it is actually the friction of rubbing your hands together that eliminates the germs better than the alcohol. Have nothing but water available? Then rub your wet hands together for 2 round of "Happy Birthday" and you will be set.
  • Avoid antibiotics as much as possible. Colds caused by a virus will not be at all affected by an antibiotic. Many pediatricians prescribe them (not mine) to appease parents. You build up a resistance to antibiotics every time you take them. Have bacterial pneumonia? Yes, take them. Have a viral cold? You might as well drink water. You just have to ride a virus out.
  • Do what you can, do it lightly, and rest. The lungs were designed to breathe in cold air. They are lined with tiny hairs that warm the air up upon entry to the lungs. Now, with a chest cold breathing in ultra cold air can cause bronchospasam and make you cough, so playing it safe and wearing something over your mouth is never a bad idea.

In summary.... you just have to accept being sick. There is not a whole lot you can do to prevent it aside form washing your hands and wearing a mask around town. Take care of your body, eat the best food you can, and give your body the chance it needs to heal.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To All!

Merry Christmas everyone! Don't forget to track Santa starting at 4am EST at! From my Family to yours..... peace love and a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Santa Tracker

I can't think of anything I want for Christmas. I honestly have everything I could ever need. What I do know however is that my little boy Luc has instilled that feeling within me. Perhaps it's his amazing sunshine personality. Perhaps it's his absolute love for Christmas.... perhaps it is because he is the bravest little boy I have ever known in my life.

Have I ever told you that I named him after Luc Van Lierde? Have I ever told you that in the NBC video of the 1999 Hawaii Ironman, I am in the finish scene with LVL? (In the crowd). And in Triathlete and Inside Tri.... I just happen to be in the background there?????

Make your own conclusion......

He's just 7 years old and truthfully he's been through his fair share of stuff. Whatever he faces however he comes out the other side with a great big smile.

The day after his very first triathlon this summer, Luc broke his leg. He spent eight weeks in that cast, and you know what? It was just a broken leg. Bones heal. How did he handle it? He just did. He learned how to scoot on his butt, he learned how to use a wheelchair and he learned how to use a walker. When kids would stare and people would look at him with wonder, he would simply tell them "I broke my leg.". I might have snarled and said "What are you looking at????"

On October 11, 2004 Luc had open heart surgery to repair an atrial septal defect, a hole between the two top chambers of his heart. We had known about it since shortly after he was born. On the spectrum of heart defects this was the best one to have. It was almost considered a sew and go. Except that they cracked his chest open and his heart was stopped while he was on bypass for 30 minutes.

During that 30 minutes my heart was stopped too.

When he arrived to the PICU later that day he was still intubated (had a breathing tube). He didn't look scared. When they asked him to look at his toes, testing to see if he had regained control of his neck yet.... instead of looking at his toes he pulled up his feet.

When they extubated him he sat upright. With a fresh incision on his chest. I was told that in 10 years of PICU nursing, my friend Bill had never seen a kid do that.

I marvel at Luc's attitude, his brightness, his lack of fear about anything. He is a kid who speaks his mind and if he has a question, he will ask you it.

I don't know how this little guy became so amazing but I am learning so much from him.

This year for Christmas he wants nothing more than a Polar Express Train. Nothing else. Just a small train please. He's been wearing a Santa hat for the better part of a month now. They even allow him to wear it all day at school.

This morning he woke me up.....

"Mommy!" He whispered..... "Look out the window!" I came to the window wondering what he had seen. "Look" He pointed to the sky. "Very small Mom." I squinted. "If you look very closely Mom, you can see his sleigh." He touched my shoulder. "But only if you believe."

I believe little buddy, I smiled and hugged him. I want that magic forever.

Do you believe? Well just click right here to track Santa for yourself on Christmas Eve. Call the phone number and speak to one of the Santa Trackers and I promise, you will believe too!

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) mary

Friday, December 21, 2007

In the News

I am very proud to be coaching Amy Moritz, one of the sports reporters from the Buffalo News. She's new to triathlon, and cycled through Europe this summer. Problem is, she didn't know how to swim. As she's been taking swimming lessons she has made great progress.

One of the reasons I became very excited to work with Amy.... she didn't sign up for the Ironman as her first race.

Amy is chronicling her journey to become a triathlete both in print and online. She'll have a monthly article about how things are going in the Buffalo News, and she is keeping an online blog.

Click here for the first article in the series, and click here for her blog.

Amy was contacted by a man named Paul who used to live in the area, but now lives in Georgia. He has a really nice site called A Ticket to Kona. Take a look at this guy's results section by clicking here. Notice his progress. Notice how consistent training has significantly improved his Ironman times. Notice he moves past the bad days and embraces the good ones.

And notice this..... his 5K time has not improved significantly in comparison to his Ironman time. I just had an applicant for my Ironman team who believed he was going to qualify for Kona in 5 years. He almost didn't make the 17 hour cut off this year. He refused to swim more than once a week because the water was too cold, and in December he was doing 400 repeats on the track to get his 5K time down, as he believed it would help his Ironman.

You make the conclusion.

Specificity. Goals. Dedication and commitment.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Goaltending Part II

Thanks for the amazing comments, support and friendship. I can't believe how lucky we all are to have this community out here. This Christmas I am feeling more grateful than ever to have such great friends, however, whenever and wherever we have met.
I did forget my number one goal.... survive training camp in February. Gulp!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The season is being planned and my goals have been set. Through the past 2-3 seasons things have not gone exactly as planned, but I attribute that to a lack of dedicating myself 200% to my goals. Yes there were injuries and nutrition issues, but in reality those were within my control. Blaming other things besides me, didn't get me very far.

2007 was a great year for me. My 70.3 performances, lackluster as they had become, catapulted me into a renewed focus.

Ironman Lake Placid was the day things turned, the day I laid the demons to rest. I was flirting with 11 hours and found myself walking in a hyponatremic state. I remember making the decision, I could walk 13 miles or I could put this all to bed. I literally drank almost an entire can of table salt, but more importantly I made the decision to end the disappointments now. I was only 20 minutes off my previous best Ironman Lake Placid time after that.

As we headed into Ironman Florida Coach T gave me the kick I needed. The data proved that I could. The question was if I would. I raced Ironman Florida in completely in control of the world, knowing I could give more, go faster, but stayed within my box and myself and proved to myself that I could.

I just needed to believe it.

And so I sit here on the eve of the 2008 racing season. I want this to be my fifth and final Ironman for a little while. I love to walk away from and come back to it. So I want this fifth Iornman to be everything I can make it be. (And I can return my focus to 70.3 for a while!)

And the 2 1/2 Ironmans along the way I am bringing Mary back. The only reason I have not gone under 5 hours since my 4:48..... is because of the space between my ears.

So I am laying it down now. Here are my goals......

1. Sub 4:50 at Gulf Coast

2. Sub 4:50 at Mooseman

3. Ironman Lake Placid..... sub eleven.

My smaller goals that will help me achieve the big 3

1. Optimize my nutrition. Eat Clean.

2. Focus on the plan that Coach T creates with me

3. Run.... run...... run

I am dedicating myself 200% to this plan, to this agenda, to these goals. On July 20th I want to know I did everything I could do to get to where I want to go. I might fail, but I might not. In fact I will not.

Because as my friend E.L.F. has taught me, the race is won in my head, and as my friend Jen has taught me, I need to believe, and as my amazing coach has taught me.... I need to HTFU.

So E paced runs and sweet spot rides.... here I come. So mountains of North... or South... or whatever Carolina I am going to... here I come. So 100's on intervals that I will not allow Grimm to lap me on.... here I come.

Because if I want something I have never had, then I've got to do something I have never done. And believe me, I am ready.

:-) Mary

Monday, December 17, 2007

Running Again

I had to warn every single person I knew in Rochester. Look out… I warned…. we are going to be in for something new, something terrible and I promise they said that the sky is going to fall. Literally.

Sit down, I said. Take a breath. It's going…. it's going….. TO SNOW!!!!!

I know, I hear you gasp. I know how strange it is to live in Western New York and hear this very strange word call snow. I know the weather forecasters are trying to frighten you; we might get 6 inches… a foot… maybe even 2! Stock up on your emergency kits and hunker down people!!!! The sky is falling.

But let's not let the weather channel in on our little secret. We'd steal their fun. Listen close everyone….. we are not new to snow! Holy Cow you cry! I know, I know. We don't want them to know because what would they have to say to us?

Truth of the matter is, we don't get frightened until power lines hit our houses. We don't blink an eye until the feet total over 5. This is snow for heaven's sake and we've been dealing with it all our lives. In fact… we even like it.

See, this is the United States of America and being that it is the good old USA, we can live wherever we want to! So those who live here, choose to live here. Those who don't …. take a breath…. DON'T!

Case in point, my brother. He moved to Georgia years ago. Funny thing is though, he is immersed in air conditioning. Doesn't go outside much.

My sister…. moved to Paris 8 years ago. I don't know if it was the snow or the bad croissants that drove her away. Doesn’t matter she's a full fledged Frenchie now.

So when Sunday morning arrived and there was a mere foot of snow on the ground I didn't think much of it. Except that it was ass cold out. Ever been in ass cold? It's just like it sounds. Ass cold.

But we HTFU 'round here.

And I was ever so grateful for my recent treadmill purchase. Because today was my first land run in 3 weeks and I was not about to go ice skating. But wait…. our mill of dread is not in the comfort of the house. Our home gym is in the garage. We bike, vasa train, and now run in there. And yes, today it was ass cold in the garage.

It helps us HTFU to train in there.
So I followed instructions and I ran slower than E pace and I focused on cadence as I ran a gingerly 30 minutes. It felt incredible, I felt like I had been given new legs. Could this rehab plan have actually worked?

So far so good. Pain? What pain? None, nada. Zip, silch. I smiled form ear to ear, hell my smile might have even been wrapped around the back of my head I was so delighted. Amazing this thing called rest and rehab. Amazing what happens when you listen to your body and to your coach. Amazing when you know when it is not the time to HTFU because to do that through a niggle only ends in disaster.

Happily running I will be, on the treadmill until the streets are ice free and don't present a danger of re injuring a tendon. I feel great, hopeful, and ready. As we are slowly beginning to ramp up training I am holding a nice and steady low 10 hours a week right now.

Did I mention that I did 2 Ironmans in 3.5 months? My husband told me that I reminded him… enough. When I reminded him that an Iron Girl needs to take the time to heal… he reminded me of one thing….

I need to HTFU and shut the hell up!

When I am ninety and crocheting transition bags in the nursing home with my titanium walker, sitting next to the senile and over caffeinated Jen Harrison…..

"Jen in 2007 I did 2 Ironmans…." I will tell her, she will have Alzheimer's by then and won't mind the story telling….

"Really?" she will say as she sips an empty coffee mug. "That's nice. Did they put soy milk in my coffee? I really need soy in here…."

"Yes," I will tell her, "And you did Hawaii a few times."

"Who's Hawaii?" She will ask… "Was he cute?"

Sunday, December 16, 2007


While training for Ironman Florida my coach told me I needed to HTFU. To learn what that means and how you can too.... I suggest clicking here.
:-) Mary

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Nod For Performance of the Year

Thanks to my good old friend Kevin McKinnon for including my performance of the year nod for Lisa Bentley over on!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The End of the Streak

The insanely great swimming streak has finally ended. At least temporarily. The streak where I was seeing times I hadn't seen in years came to a crashing halt this morning.

Our 90 minute swim turned into a 30 minute swim as Coach was held up due to a car accident on the 590 blocking traffic. When we did finally enter the water I should have known something was up when Grimm was in first.

"Hell has frozen over." my teammate Bill said to me as Grimm rips off a 25 fly. Not only is Grimm typically last in the water, a 25 fly for warm up?

"The loser is even wearing his Ironman Hawaii swim cap still." I said, and as soon as I said it, I realized it. Everyone was looking at my damn head with my Ironman Lake Placid cap on. "At least his is Hawaii..." I smiled.

Into the pool things didn't get much better for me. During a kick set I set myself up by putting on fins when we weren't supposed to. Not only that I put on one of mine and one of Bill M's. Which would have been fine except mine are red and his are blue. Which Grimm and gang spent a good chunk of time helping me determine. I learned that blue and red are not the same color, even when wiggling in front of your face.

Pulling a 500 might be my favorite thing on earth, but not when my trusty paddles have a loose strap. After missing a 100 trying to embroider it back in I threw the paddles on, minus the strap and swam anyways.

Grimm hasn't lapped me in a 500 in a while, yet today he did. When they lap me I don't hang at the wall. I flip turn then wrap my legs around the lane line.... so I am under it hugging it, and then I miss the wall completely. Which is awesome when you are pulling and your lane is kicking your ass.

To make things worse our final set was 10 X 50 on :40. I make this set all the time. I thought I was making it today.... but apparently not as Ken caught me. Ken was leading and I was caboose-ing, and apparently too well.

Who gets caught on a 50?

When 7am finally arrived I was glad. Hell was I glad. But I was smiling. My flapping toenails and crappy swim and all... I was still smiling.

You have days like these. Sometimes you have weeks like these. Power Meters fail, times get missed, you even forget your towel at the pool.

That's part of the journey. Dealing with the stupids, the brainlessness, and still enjoying the experience.

Now on Friday I will be first in the water. But I am not ripping out a 25 fly. Not for the first lap!

And I might have my Ironman Florida cap on this time.

:-) Mary

Monday, December 10, 2007


I want my son to remember the neat things that we did together. On his 35th birthday I hope he can look back and reflect and laugh about our silly adventures. Silly songs. Silly meals.

Tonight Luc and I went night sledding. Here in Rochester we are blessed to have parks everywhere, suitable for sledding. We have lots of hills around here and I really believe when the designs of all these amazing parks were created, sledding was a priority.

So at 5:30pm we headed over to Mendon Ponds Park with our snowsuits and our sleds. If there was any way I could capture Luc's face as we screamed down hills on our sleds, headlamps on, arms in the air….. I would have. Actually I have it captured, in memory. I hope it is an image that I can pull up when I am an old woman in the nursing home.

The light in his eyes. The thrill in his voice and not a care in the world. That's what he's teaching me.

I missed so many years when I was sick. Years that I spent battling the inner demons of Bulimia, a hell I didn't have the ability to escape. I could have been living those years.

But if I had lived those years would I be battling those demons now? As a mother? In some ways that experience…. I am glad it happened then. It didn't affect my child. And yet it did affect my child. Would I have the ability to live as I do right now? Or would I be fighting a battle that would eventually take my life?

Things happen for a reason. And if this is the second coming of my childhood…. then I am glad it is happening this way.

I have a child who thanks me every single day…. for so many things. For getting him a glass of juice. For taking him sledding. For being a mom. Did I ever thank my mom for being my mom??? And where did he learn that?

I have a child who is full of gratitude. And I don't know how he learned that.

I have a child who sat on Santa's lap yesterday and asked for a train, and said that was all he needed. Then he turned to Santa and asked Santa… what he wanted for Christmas. Santa didn't know what to say.

Neither did I. Has anyone ever asked Santa that?

Later on Luc told me he would like to leave Santa a box of twisty straws on Christmas Eve…. so that when Santa drinks milk at everyone's houses … he has nice straws to drink from. I thought that was a great idea... the truest meaning of Christmas. Free form political correctness, free of judgement, free of everything and preserving one important thing.

Love of the world.

Thanks for stopping by.
:-) Mary

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Deep End

Good luck to Bree and Brooke in the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday!!!!!

After you have done the Ironman, you tend to have a few niggles. Do 2 in one year... in 3.5 months.... (Have I mentioned that I did 2 Ironmans this year yet? :-) , and niggles become a part of every day existence.

In 2005 I partially tore my left Achilles Tendon and it was a long road back. While in a walking boot I biked with one leg, I swam with my feet tied together, it was awful.

My right AT began to feel sore before Ironman lake Placid, but luckily I did no damage to it. I was easily able to run through it, and I was able to have good solid training and a good Ironman Florida. The soreness would vanish after 15 minutes. Whew.

The off-season is about healing those niggles so they don't become problems. Coach T and I decided to take a full 3 weeks off road running and put me into the pool. Our goal is 100% pain free Achilles tendon on Monday December 17th. Now, granted my pain was a 2/10. But a 2/10 can stay a 2 or can become an 8.... and we don't want that to happen in March.

So I have been taking to the pool, and strangely I am loving my pool running sessions.

I am a believer in specificity. If you want to run well on the roads you have to run on the roads. No amount of pool running will replace road running, but it does make the transition back to the roads a bit easier. It is excellent for a day of no pounding. It absolutely has its place.

Because I teach spinning as a college course at the Rochester Institute of Technology, I have access to the most amazing facilities. A 10 lane pool, a diving well, a kids pool with a lazy river built in, and a giant hot tub. My husband and son come as well.

So I am blessed I am not stuck running during water walking time at the YMCA with the blue hairs.... who claim we runners splash too much....

I get to run.... get this.... in a pool with other runners. Kids from the indoor track team, cross country team.... at noon there are about 10 of us running in the giant diving tank. It takes me about 10 minutes to complete a rectangle around the pool, so a 30 minute run is a breeze.

I do wear a heart rate monitor so I have something to gauge intensity. And I pay very close attention to form. I wear an aqua belt and as I am getting stronger I take it off at the end, I allow myself to run without it as long as I don't lose form! To emulate running form as best I can I concentrate on running form (genius... I know) and keeping a cadence around 90.

When fatiguing it is easy to revert to a cycling form, so pay attention, keep the focus!

So I am healing nicely, and it is all I can do to prevent myself from running. But I will be back to the roads soon enough. In the meantime I am back to the pool and back on the bike. And man, it feels good!

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) Mary

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Guess what I learned today...... Charlotte is in South Carolina, not North Carolina. Did I ever mention I failed 10th grade Global Studies?

Grimm and I are having a contest to see who loses their toenails first. I have 3 blackies and he has 2. He did Hawaii and I did Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Florida (will I milk that forever.... oh yes.) I have one popped off and he has none.

Wednesday was a day of testing beginning at 0545 in a wonderfully cool pool. And by the way, those of you Masters swimmers who think this water is cold? You should have gone to high school with me. 0430 practices.... colder than this ;-)

It was sprint week. I hit the wall after a 200 free and when I heard 2:15 from Coach Lorie, I asked Grimm if we did 150 yards instead of 200. He shook his head. And we did it three more times.

I was ready for the bike test. I was psyched. If there is a place I can hurt it is on the bike. This would be my reward from holding back at IMFL and not biking hard. I calibrated the Ergomo and I hopped on with one thing in mind.

To Hammer. And Hammer I did.

An hour and five minutes later I got off the bike happy. It felt awesome to push so hard.

I hopped up to my office to download the data. Did I raise my FTP after a 3 week break after an Ironman (after a previous one.... ha ha)? I sat and waited and waited while it downloaded. 3 minutes later after 19000 files were downloaded..... the error message came.


This is sometimes a problem with Mr. Ergomo. This mystery disappearance of files. I worked so hard. I retrieved what I could manually but it wasn't enough. I should have hooked up the computrainer and had a back up recording of the data there as well. My mistake.

I am begging to retest next Wednesday. I know my results were good. And nothing to show for all that data!

:-) Mary

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I have something I need to tell you. I have a problem and it is a very embarrassing problem. Those whom I am joining for training camp in North Carolina, might want to take note. I do not snore, I can sleep anywhere, I just need coffee and I have this very strange.... weird.... issue.


Now there is something to be said for being someone who is concerned about general safety and there is another thing... when you are ridiculously anal about it.

My husband has a good fix for it and y'all might want to take note. When I start to get a little... we could say.... weird about safety... all you need to do is look at me and shout "SAFETY" and I will instantly snap out of it.

I blame this on the fact that I am a Pediatric Emergency Nurse. I am a product of my environment and I know that all of my colleagues are the same way. We even have developed a little game ...... One person names a situation.... and we all come up the injuries.


Sledding....... Skull fractures, closed head injuries, broken arms, broken legs, etc.

Picnic.... food poisoning, eating bugs, poison ivy, cutting oneself with a plastic knife.

Sleeping...... the shelf over your bed falling onto your head. (This actually has happened)

You get the idea.

But please understand that I am this way because of what I see. I see what people look like after they crash their car into a tree. I see what people look like when they ride motorcycles without helmets. Brains oozing out, limbs missing, it's all ingrained in my mind.

Did you know that most of the time when someone hits a deer.... they die from the deer kicking them to death? The deer many times comes up onto the hood and gets stuck in the windshield. Then they kick you to death. I learned that when I took care of a young mother with hoof prints on her face and fur stuck in her broken head. She didn't make it.

Or what about the kid who was riding his bike 3 fourth of July's ago and his arm arrived before he did?

What about the woman who was scalped from a fan?

What about the guy who partially amputated his arm in a snow blower?

Now can you blame me?

These images are so darn fresh in my mind that I get really, really anal when it comes to safety. I drive very slow in the snow (as my teammates poked me for on Sunday). I do not drive the car if you are not buckled in.

When I travel I travel with a roll of duct tape. What if I have to duct tape some airborne nut to his seat mid air? What if someone cuts themselves mid flight? There are lots of uses for duct tape.

When I walk into a room or a new situation, without even realizing it I have located the nearest exit and figured out what things I can use if someone has a heart attack, their head falls off, anything.

Convenience store.... I can use anything there to even give you a chest tube if you have a pneumothorax!

I figured out how to perform a blood transfusion if my husband slices an artery at home.

Ironman Florida..... I had shark bites taken care of before we even hit shore.

I even make my son sled with a helmet.

So I apologize in advance. I know how strange it makes me, but think of it this way my friends.... if you are out riding with me I can easily handle dehydration, lacerations, head injuries, road rash, broken bones, and yes, even amputations.

But if I refuse to drive before you have clicked your seat belt.... again just scream SAFTEY!

I have already thought of the items I need to take care of any issue that arises on our North Carolina trip. It will all be in my back pocket and it won't take up any space.

Now this issue of mine, you are not likely to notice. But just in case, I think you should all be warned. Because when we walk into a new and strange Starbucks.... know that by the time you order your drink I have figured out how to escape... give CPR using a coffee fliter.... and yes, I have figured out how to admister coffee directly into your veins. I will being a 14 G IV cather just in case.

:-) Mary

Monday, December 3, 2007


Luc had just crawled into bed next to me, as I was sleeping in preparation for a night shift in pediatric emergency that night. I was half asleep and I peeked my eyes open at him. He was wearing his pajamas and a Santa hat. He stared out the window for a moment. Eyes wide as could be. He was looking at the blanket of snow that covered the ground this morning. It lit up the forest, it made everything look so bright.

Before he layed down he looked up into the sky. He smiled and then he put his head down. I never mind when he comes crawling into bed. Sometimes it is 10pm, sometimes it is 2am but by the morning there is usually a third in bed with us. These days won't last forever, when he's 16 I will be embarrassing him with I love you's. I will take what I can get.

Luc pulled the covers up over him. Kissed me on the cheek and rested his head on the pillow. Very lightly and very quietly he began to sing.

"Jingle Bells.... Jingle Bells..... Jingle all the way....." and he sang it about ten times as he fell asleep. The song got quieter and quieter as he drifted into dreamland and I couldn't help but smile. It was beautiful.

Earlier in the day we went to the park and took a hike. The snow was perfect for snowball making and the three of us engaged in a wonderful snowball fight. In the lodge at the park Santa was waiting. He was there to make ornaments for the kids as well as serve hot cocoa and cookies. And again Luc's eyes lit up.

He was full of wonder as he sat across from Santa.

Upon leaving Luc told me.... "Mom... this is the best day ever!"

To Luc the world is so very big and right now in his life, the world is very innocent. He doesn't know that halfway around the world children like him.... they don't get to see the world the same way. Hell in our own country children don't get to see the world the same way.

As much as I want that innocence to remain within him forever, I know it will slowly disappear in time.

Right now he believes in Santa Claus, and I remember what it was like when I was a child. I used to look into the sky and wonder how Santa got cold as he flew through the night. I wondered if he carried hot chocolate.

I wondered why he always asked us to leave him beer and cookies. Why not something warm to drink? :-)

Luc believes that this world is bigger than him. And it is. He believes that there is a power greater than himself out there. And there is. Right now he may call it Santa Claus. One thing is for sure.... I hope he always believes in something. I hope he always sees the magic of the snow. I hope he always sings himself to sleep with a Christmas song.

I hope he always sees the good in this world.... like he does right now.

He's teaching me so much about the power of believing. The faith of believing without having concrete evidence or proof that what we believe in even exists. He is showing me how to just put blind faith into something and know it will be wonderful.

Does it get any better than this?

:-) Mary

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Have you ever believed in someone so much that you beg them to take a risk? Have you ever seen something in someone more than they see themselves? Have you ever loved someone so much that you are willing to help drive them to see what they truly have deep inside.

For the past 10 years that's what my husband has done for me. And tonight.... it's what I did for him.

The athletic resume of Curt Eggers needs no introduction. At 51 years old he's a four time national champion. He's earned a silver medal at worlds. He's done Hawaii, Ironman Canada. We have a stack of plaques so immense they are stacked in the basement.

Trouble is.... while he's done Hawaii and done Ironman Canada.... he has not reached his full potential. Not at the Ironman distance. This is a guy who should be in the low 10 hours if not 9 hour range. But his passion for distance is not strong... and he's smart for that. Why go ultra long when at 51 you can still kick around the 20 year old boys? Why go long when you can say you've been in this sport 20 years?

I want him to take one more shot. Just one more.

One of my secret goals at Ironman Florida was to inspire him. Beating his quote Ironman Time was for sure a goal. (disclaimer..... it's ridiculous to say I beat his Ironman time, even though I do. Different course, different conditions, I do realize that to truly "beat" his time it would have to be the same day, same course, etc. So while I say I beat his time I do understand that I am FOS... full of shit....).

I knew if I came in under an 11:05 (which was Curt's bad day) he would be motivated. I knew if I came in under 11 hours and still looked good.... he'd be inspired.

The morning after Ironman Florida we sat at the Waffle House. He questioned me about how I physically felt. There was no explanation needed about how I mentally felt :-) And I didn't feel too bad at all.

I asked him if he was thinking about getting a voucher. He said he was. I dropped him off in line. And I smiled.

Registration began on Nov 15th for the voucher holders, and it ended today. Just so happened that Ironman Hawaii was on TV. We watched it and while we did I filled out the online form on

Two stories caught Curt's eye. The story about the car accident victim and the story about the double leg amputee. He watched with fascination as the true meaning of the Ironman unfolded in front of our eyes.

"That inspired me." He admitted. And then I hit submit.

And my heart jumped. And I smiled again. Because this November I get to stand on the sidelines (after Ironman Lake Placid... not an issue) and I get to cheer him on again. I get to be his Iron Sherpa... and it will be my honor.

I will cater his long runs and long rides if he needs me to. I am willing to set everything aside after Ironman Lake Placid to help him attain what he has helped me attain.

One moment of glory. One day of awesome. One day of taking the chance on himself. One day of letting go, and throwing up his arms as he crosses the line.

One more shot... I begged him. Take one more shot.

I think for Curt Eggers, the third time will be a charm.

Thanks for stopping by.

:-) mary