Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trainer Tuesdays Tonight at BERTS!

Don't forget that Trainer Tuesdays #4 is tonight at Berts Bikes, Jay Scutti Blvd in Henrietta! FREE! 6:30pm!

Monday, March 30, 2009

heading to the Big Easy

As I always say on race week..... too much time has suddenly become too little time. Despite my taking vacation time this week.... I have 2 classes, but they are fun classes. I don't have to be on my feet all day and I have plenty of time to prepare.

As I am creating my taper I began with a very easy swim today. 45 minutes at Masters, just Kelly, Travis and myself in the lane, no pressure to be hammering. Got in late and got out early. On Wednesday I will take every distance and cut it down to increase the effort, and increase the rest. And bring the camera to do some underwater videotaping.

Ahhhh, taper. I am always amazed at so many athlete's willingness to prepare, willingness to work hard.... yet their lack of willingness to taper for an event, therefore blowing it all to hell.
I am tapering and I am not even in top form yet. I have my B+ game, and still I am going to taper (Clearwater is 6+ months away and to that race ....I will bring my A+ game.).

In taper you decrease your volume and keep just enough intensity to keep the muscles firing. You resist the temptation to win the practice, win the workouts..... you save it for Sunday. Because I can pretty much guarantee that on Sunday it won't matter whether I touched the wall before John in practice on Monday.

Your nutrition becomes paramount. Everything that goes in your body must be quality, and less volume, or else risk the race week race gain. Hydration is the essence of the day, and keeping your head clear and free.

I am ready to go and tune things up. Get some good vitamin D. I can't wait to feel the lunge of the airplane, the sound of the cannon, and the roar of my race wheels. The feel of the brackish water and the sun.

I can't wait to grab a Dixie cup of water and toss it over my head. Smile and laugh and go as hard as I can.

In April.

YEAH..... IN APRIL!!!!

Safe travels to all of my friends who are heading to Oceanside and to New Orleans. May the wind be at your back.............

Saturday, March 28, 2009


My bike is not only in New Orleans... it's built and waiting for me. Now I just need to arrive. Which I will in just 6 days. I love the travel this sport affords me. New places, new faces, old faces, gathering with really good people for a weekend.

It's like going to a family reunion.... except you don't mind the people there :-)

And in this family of triathlon.... since we are a family....... I believe that makes me related to Chris McCormick. Yeah HOOOO!

This year I have been incredibly lucky in terms of health. So lucky. I have not had a cough, runny nose, or form of illness since...... well since well before Ironman Lake Placid last July.


I have had a few days of random not feeling so well. And I realize I am seriously tempting fate by saying this aloud..... but if you know anything about what I have been through during the past year..... you then understand how having stayed healthy is so incredibly....... incredible.

As a Pediatric Emergency Nurse I work in the petri dish of all illnesses. 20 hours a week I am vomited, sneezed, coughed on. I take care of more strep throat cases in a week than you've ever had in your life. (I know.... this is an Emergency Dept..... but it isn't all blood and guts). I don't go one shift without seeing a fever.

Goes to show what exposure will do for you. You build up a naturally ridiculously strong immune system. Now believe me the first four years I worked in Pediatrics I took a ride on the Z Pack on a biweekly basis. I had strep throat so badly I required IV rehydration.

Pediatric Emergency Nurses, the ones who have been doing it for a while, have some of the best immune systems in the world. My unit happens to also be a really fit unit, nearly everyone ran the corporate challenge last year.

Some of my favorite residents from last year......

Working 20 hours a week in the Peds ED gives me a ton of flexibility and the luxury of creative scheduling to hoard vacation hours. I have been able to donate hours to friends who need it (if they are sick and run out of their own), and I have been able to roll it for about 10 years. As I was creating my schedule for the spring and summer I had a genius thought. Why not use some of it..... instead of cramming 20 hours into the beginning of the week this week, and then the end of the week next week so I don't have to use vacation for NO?

Why not...... use it?

My last clinical shift for 2 weeks was last evening. Every kid I took care of was vomiting. Every single one. They are actually my favorite because I will "Line and Lab" them (get an IV into them and get labs)....... "tank them up"...... (rehydrate them)..... and they are a new looking kid with the "3 P's"..... Pink..... Perky and tolerating PO.

Instant gratification for a nurse.

Yes you wash your hands incessantly, before and after contact with all patients. (and use great hand lotion). But you build up your immunity. So do your kids. I was never one of those moms who sanitized the shopping cart before Luc got into it, or use one of those fluffy things to cover it all. I let him get exposed. He's sick very infrequently. He's 8 and tends to have one good sick week per year. first ear infection.... this year.

When I came home last night I scrubbed myself from head to toe, lathered up in the best smelling lotion and crawled into bed to begin a great 8 night streak of great sleep. Vacation time taken.

Now between today and Friday just watch me get wicked sick. It'd serve me right!

One more brick workout today and the waiting begins. Yes, a lot of prep for a tune up. I am excited though. I am grateful. I am so grateful for my health. If you have ever lost it...I am not talkiing about being burned out overtrained sick, I am talking about really losing it...many of you know that I really did lose it last year.....just didn't blog about it......

So this race becomes a celebration of life. Of health. Of community. Mine, yours...... ours.

I can't wait to throw my arms in the air and cheer about it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

defending the fin

This isn't a confession because I am not ashamed. I occasionally wear fins at Masters practice. There are a few reasons I do it, the first and foremost reason being..... I just feel like it.

Most of my life was spent in chlorine. I have spent many hours, years, decades swimming without fins. Swimming set after set of impossibility. Being punished for taking more than one breathe by another 500 fly.... and then another because Becca did it, then another because Kristen cracked and breathed twice during a 25.......

I declare that I just have the damn right.

Secondly I do it because.... sit down for this..... it makes it harder for me. I know.... to the outwards eye it seems to make it easier. But when you swim with a guy who has been to the 96 Olympic Trials and does a 400 when you do a 300.... and is in your lane....... you put on fins and you can hang onto him.

You try a pair and hang onto Mark and tell me you enjoy the taste of vomit in your mouth then the taste of acid when you swallow it back down.

Good thing I am a recovering bulimic.

Putting on a pair of fins during a set like today made everything hurt worse. But seeing Mark over in the lane next to me is like seeing a fish at the end of a fishing pole. I am going to chase him. The mistake my lane mates made however was stopping to let me pass. If I am going to swim like mark, I need to pass like Mark. And he hates when people stop to let him go by.

Stop stopping! I told them I will pass you, I will figure it out.... do not stop!

Truthfully if you grew up on a swim team chances are you learned to never stop to let someone pass. If someone was passing they had to earn it. They had to strategize and make the pass. A true swimmer knows where each person is in their lane at any given moment. It's an awareness not a memorization.

I have made plenty of passes, and have been passed plenty of times in a lane of 12 people with a third swimming up the middle. There is a certain strategery and if you are swimming with swimmers...... then you know it.

And then one of the girls said to me..... but I want to stop. Oh. I never thought of that one.

The third reason I will throw on a pair of fins is the reaction. Some people get really pissed. They get angry, they might even mock me out. So this third reason.... I am doing it for you.

Have you ever spent a whole set in your head pissed about what someone else was doing? I am challenged by this at times. One of my swim buds sat out of the final 1000 (which we were now pulling) until we were 400 in. Then they jumped on my feet, I did let them pass.... because it was just annoying..... then they stopped before the final 200. If you are going to begin a set late and then ride my feet..... I should not allow you to go by. In that case I should have caused my lane mate to earn it. For a moment it got me pissed. Come on! I thought. But then I stepped back. How will worrying about this person help me at all? Swim your swim Mary!

So...... when I throw on my fins it sometimes amazes me if someone gets pissed about it. Don't swim my swim....... swim your own. This morning when I threw on my "rescue" as some might call it, my specific objective was to catch Mark without disrupting my lane. My mistake was not making it clear that no one should stop for me in the beginning.

Am I still working hard? Hell yes. Am I cheating myself? I don't see how. I am working harder with them than without. Most importantly..... if you are not in my body...... how does that affect you at all?

So see..... I am doing it for you. I am trying to pull you out of your head, out of my swim, and back into your own.

That's what I see a lot of times. Do you read a blog and compare what you are doing to another's? Eeeks. Stop reading them then. I read them because I like to connect, I like to follow my friends, I like to see what's going on around the world.

If you get all hot and bothered because I throw fins on...... stop looking. Put your goggles on and don't wipe the fog. If you are not even in my pool and pissed about it...... go away.

My team is incredible. We know how to work together. We know how to push one another. When I saw Kim faltering this morning I reminded her how much she has done... and it's only Wednesday... and I am fresh from two days off..... plus I am beginning to taper and I woke up with this set in my teeth. I sent her vibes like.... stay on my feet..... and those turned into...... get some rest here sister!

We don't try to take one another down, we take care of each other. Mark knew full well what I was doing. Sometimes he's nice and he doesn't completely shatter me. Maybe even lets me pull ahead before that moment. But he knows that all I am doing is reaching beyond myself.

And to reach beyond him..... I need fins.

Don't always think of swim toys as rescue. Know they are props. Maybe you have spent as much time as I have without using the fun things of swimming to feel you have earned the right.

I retired my butterfly some years ago. I swim one armed fly. That can bug people. But they haven't swam a 2500 straight fly X 3. I have. I have the shoulder span to prove it and the muscle memory to have a flashback about it.

But why worry about what I swim and what I don't swim? Why worry about my use of fins and paddles and even a motorboat? Why not keep looking at the bottom of your own lane.

Because I thought of wearing my Blue Seventy Skinsuit when I saw what the practice was. Wonder how that'd go over!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Believe it or not, it's about taper time 'round here. As much as I love to see the word taper, at this early time of the year I keep thinking.... taper from what???? My volume hasn't been incessantly high, I am feeling very good. Heading into a race possibly a bit under trained than over trained and injured leaves me feeling already satisfied.

Taper can be a double edged sword. Especially if you are tapering for an Ironman. In the past several years we have graduated from a 3 week drop own X % by each week taper to a 10 day rest it up taper. Everyone is different in terms of tapering, and this is where a coach can come in extremely handy.

We know how fitness is built. It's actually very simple. We gradually become stronger through the process of progressive overload. We soak all of that training up through optimal recovery. That enables our muscles to repair and build themselves stronger.

Then there is taper. The week to 10 days before a distance event where we walk the line of doing too much, too little and freaking out.

We want the muscles to keep firing yet we wane ample time to recover. So you drop a bit from your personal volume over that period of 7-10 days. You keep the intensity in there ( not as long, while keeping the easy days easy and the hard days hard), and the duration shortens. You practice the best possible nutrition that you can in the hopes of "topping off" your glycogen stores.

And then you really, truly prepare your mind.

Working with a lot of athletes gives me the wonderful opportunity to learn how athletic minds tick. I know how to get Sarah ready for race day. I know how to crack Dennis. And ultimately I do know how to crack myself.

I have a small journal that I use, and truthfully I have only used it for yoga since July. I needed to step back a bit because of the events that surrounded July in itself. I had to not get into myself in order to heal. For me stepping back is what allows the scars to heal over. I have to think less and then move more.

So I have brought out my little journal of notes and quotes and all things positive to feed my soul with. The words that ignite the feelings that cause me to want to fly when that gun goes off.

Proper nutrition is the other essential element of the taper. As volume drops nutrition becomes even more and more paramount. Calories need to be adjusted. Supreme quality needs to be ingested. Urine needs to be clear.

The number one sabotage to an athlete's race day is their failure to follow the taper plan. This means the workouts + sleep + nutrition / hydration + the mental game. Think of these as spokes in your wheel. Each of these spokes create your day. As we step to the starting line all of us have a 90% chance of a personal best day.

90% if we are trained and rested and ready to go. The other 10% are the things you can't control: weather, illness, flat tires....... circumstances of the race. If you are racing and you fall into that 10%, which seems to be where I have been existing, you have to make lemonade out of the lemons and make the best of what you can.

But part of that 90% chance is assuming that you have done the homework. The months of training and preparation. Taking the taper one step at a time and making sure all of the spokes in the wheel of you are strong and screwed in tight. One weak spoke and you run the chance of crashing.

As taper falls upon me I have created the plan for all of the spokes in my wheel. The physical, the emotional, the spiritual, the rest, the nutrition, the homework I need to do for the big day.

So what's your taper plan, if you look at the spokes in your wheel, where are you weak? Emotional? Nutritional? Now is the time to strengthen them up.

Because we know all too well that we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trainer Tuesdays #2!

Here's our video from Trainer Tuesdays at Berts Bikes....... join us this week for round 3!

6:30pm Berts Bikes in Henrietta. Jay Scutti Blvd!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


On Monday I ship my bike.

The thought of that made me giddy, put butterflies in my stomach. I'm not in peak shape but my goal big smashing A race is not till November. This race.... it's to celebrate.

What am I celebrating?

Health. My health. It's the first race since May that I have arrived at the starting line 100% healthy (knock on wood I still have 15 days to get there). I am not injured, not sore. I am not overtrained.

And the best part? I am going somewhere warm, somewhere I have never been to, and I get to swim with sharks again.

Honestly this is the earliest I have ever raced. April? April. But I need it. I have been doing my work, I have been listening to my body, and I am ready. Not vomit in my mouth ready, but ready for a practice session. A practice race.

I am ready to feel the sun on my back. I am ready to smell and taste the brackish water of the Lake. I am ready to stand in a crowd of people and look around as we await the gun. I am ready to feel my heart leap as I dive into the water. I am ready to feel the fatigue as I pedal and the feeling of wobble as I run off the bike. To taste powergels and dump water over my head. I am ready to make my way to a finish line.

I can't wait to sit on a plane next to Mister Businessman on that early flight. He in his suit and me wrapped in a dream. The dream of what can I accomplish this season?

There is so much to do and this time around rather than it feeling like a chore it feels like I am heading for vacation. Race belt, Splish Suit, Wetsuit, don't forget the goggles. And the run shoes, don't forget to put on the lace locks!!!!!

And my USAT card, don't forget that!

And helmet.

The list making has begun because on Monday I will be bringing the bike to the UPS store. The next time I will see her is at Bike Check in. Over a week away. Until then I will be riding an old friend, my little blue. Little blue and I have been around the block. We've had some really great times. All of my big wins have been on little blue and it's big 54 red front chain ring. Just because it was fun.

So we are almost there. One more week to go until I can shut it down and put up my feet. The aim for New Orleans is a healthy, smooth and steady race.

Because we are saving the best for last.

Friday, March 20, 2009

shmorgasboard (however you spell it)

Check back on Saturday for some great video from this week's Trainer Tuesday! Next week we will focus on some hills. On the trainer? On the trainer kids. Join us at 6:30 pm, free workout, free food, free fun.

The temptation was great. Ironman Utah was announced the other day and there were a few things that saved me. Timing: unless i want to go even more out of my mind...... an Ironman in May means 100 mile computrainer rides + Grad School Year one = admission to the "R Wing" (which if you are from Rochester means the psych ward.)

Yet my heart still tugs. It knows I love the Ironman, but I have to be logistical on this decision. I will be sticking to the 70.3 distance for a few years.... unless I want to repeat a semester of grad school. If I don't do an Ironman and graduate on time, that means moving somewhere south sooner is a massive possibility. Moving to an island..... oh somewhere in the Pacific..... remains an even greater possibility.

I won't give opportunity up for an Ironman. But when Marit and Ryan signed up I had to walk away.

The Ironman is like CRACK to me.

In other news my little guy has been home for a week and thriving. Next week he will receive a home tutor while I take a look at other schools. Yes, it's been a little overwhelming but I have taken advantage of help being offered to me in the form of family and friends.

That was the hard part, accepting help. But I can't do everything. Between working as Pediatric ER Nurse, yoga teacher, triathlon coach I put in a good 40 hour work week. I am also a student, which means paper writing. Now I am a home schooling Mom and oh yes, a triathlete. With all that on my plate I am managing a good 15 hour training week. And I am getting enough sleep.

As I look at how my son had recovered from a terrible situation he was in at his school.... I know it was all worth it. Nothing in the world trumps the health of your child whether it is physical or emotional.

The further away we get from that day where everything went really bad, I have spoken to many parents..... and it is becoming very evident that this was a dangerous emotional place for my son from the beginning. How he must have felt walking into a situation where he was destined to fail..... what does that do to you as a child?

I believe that his teachers believed they were intervening in the right way..... with all they had to deal with in terms of the student population I don't know how they kept their own heads on straight. When you spend 3/4 of a day putting out fires instead of learning..... then when does learning take place?

The good news is we will be provided with a home tutor beginning next week. The good news is that Luc has accomplished more in the week I have been home schooling him than he has in months. He's smiling, he's laughing, his outbursts so well documented at school?


His interaction with his buddies at Cub Scouts and his friends?

No problems whatsoever.

It makes me understand how we become a product of our environment. Put someone into chaos and they become chaos.

Again nothing on earth trumps the health of your child. The horror is when you in retrospect realize what your child has actually gone through without your knowledge. No one was hurting him, no one was abusing him..... but the situation he is in in the system that exists...... makes me cry.

He's safe now. He's home. He's learning again. I am visiting four new schools next week in a search to find better placement. Our school district has people who even help you do that.

We continue to roll along here on the east coast. The trees are wiggling their toes, I got to ride outside with Kelly B the other day and was so delighted with where my fitness is at. There is a dusting of snow on the ground today but Sunday for big huge brick day, the sun has promised to come out and shine.

I can't freaking wait.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tempo tuesday

The beauty of being my own coach is the flexibility I can afford myself within my workouts. Take this morning for example.... it's Tempo Tuesday which consisted of a 60 minute ride / 40 minute run, done as a brick workout. I like to make my hard days hard and my easy days easy. That way I have a chance to fully recover on Wednesday. Wednesday's volume is almost triple Tempo Tuesday's but the pace will be easy.

I hopped on my bike at 6am next to my husband. I knew today was going to be a tough day and not in terms of workouts. Luc is beginning a series of evaluations this morning that determine whether he can attend a school better suited for his needs.

Knowing it would be a long day I did what I always do, I began the workout and during my warm up I decided what the intervals would be.

Some days I choose longer intervals such as 20 minute tempo efforts. Other days I am better suited for some shorties. This morning I was feeling the need for short and several. So I chose 5 minutes tempo / 3 minutes endurance for the 60 minute ride and it worked. I felt good, I felt strong. The sense of fatigue and apprehension I have for this entire day began to melt.

Transitioning to the run I am very proud to say that while I was wearing 2 layers plus gloves.... I have been running in shorts. I love the feeling of running with bare legs. It's the only way I seem to be able to nail intervals.

As I began the run I decided to hang with the same theme as my bike, short tempo efforts of 4 minutes on / 2 min easy. My tempo pace is a 7:40. Which is RR's freaking easy pace but hey, we all have our strengths. I not only nailed my 7:40's I was seeing 6:50 at times. I backed those off because you know me.... something horrid like a torn hammie would make it's way through if I went off the plan.

There are times when we are training and racing that we get stuck in our heads. Maybe we play through events or the occurrences of the day like a movie reel. And sometimes that movie reel gets stuck on repeat.

This morning there was none of that. Just the feeling of owning my intervals, occupying my paces, occupying every breath I took. It was that feeling of running free that so many of us crave and attach to once we find it. It felt good, it felt strong, I felt like I was meeting myself right here.

This morning's session gave me a good feeling that things are where they should be in this frontier of self coaching. My long run on Sunday was much the same, I was able to hold my paces despite the hangover from the entire 8 ounces of pink wine I drank with dinner before (and I didn't even funnel it or anything!).

The plan for New Orleans is unfolding. My goal time are as follows: swim 30 minutes. Bike 2:30-2:40. Run sub 1:50. That run might seem oddly out of balance with the other 2, but with the mishaps and such of the past few years I havent' run much faster than that in a 70.3 in a while. I will unfold the run as it comes aiming for a faster finish.

I will take the data form New Orleans and spend a real week recovering, rather than my usual rush and prep for the next race. The week after N.O. I will evaluate my data, take some good rest and plan my assault on the Musselman in July. Throw a few running races and short distance triathlons in there for help on speedwork and I am going to be one happy girl.

As I finished this morning's tempo brick I smiled. The workout was short but it was sure sweet. The doors got blown open for whatever happens this morning and afternoon. I smiled because listening to my body and allowing the weeks to unfold as I allowed my body to dictate what it needed...... seem to be working.

Imagine that.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug

One of the hardest things about being an athlete is understanding what to do with that space between your ears. The past few seasons I have learned a lot about what makes me tick as an athlete. As I add gadgetry to my training I find it became more of a struggle to race from that place inside of me that knows how to soar, as I got hung up on numbers, rates, zones and paces.

This season it feels like I have finally arrived at a more balanced place. I can wear my Garmin without judging myself on the pace I am or am not keeping. When I wore it trail running last season I'd be worried that my pace was slower. Last weekend was really.... who cares..... I feel great running in the woods.

As Kelly B and I were running last week together I was able to feel the harder pace rather than look at it.

Here is a great set of sentences from Angela Naeth, who is a definite ONE TO WATCH in 08 and now in 09.......

And my lesson so far this week: Don't think. When I ride my bike and the workout calls for some hard pedaling I just go for it. I'm not afraid to push myself. I'm confident in my skills and if I blow up I know I'll have another day to try again. In running though, I tend to worry and over-think what I'm doing rather than to just run. I feel a lot more aches and pains when I run and always seem to worry that they'll turn into a full-blown injury. And in swimming I think more than I swim! Injury isn't the worry but I think about how my hand enters the water, how I catch it then pull, push, and prod – which gets me nowhere fast! I need to swim and run more like the way I ride, without much thought. When your focus is not to have focus you actually get the work done….and FAST!

Truth be told I had a rough week of training. Family, specifically Luc's issues took precedence. I took three entire days off (Oh MY!), and I could look at in in panic as I have New Orleans just a few weeks away..... or I could just shrug my shoulders, work it in as part of the plan and move along.I think a year ago I would have panicked.

Whew. It's better to be here. Life happens.

Still, this weekend I am able to put in 9 or so hours. And those hours will be quality today. I will be on the bike for a tempo 2 and then transition to a 10 mile tempo run. These are the kind of workouts that 70.3 races are made of. And I will do another one on Tuesday.

Next weekend will be a race simulation day to see how I am holding my paces, and where I can predict my time will be for this 70.3 I have stated my goals before and I have to remind myself as much as anyone..... I want that PR to happen in Clearwater in November, not in New Orleans on April 5th. New Orleans is a reward to myself, for being and staying healthy, for training healthy, for working hard at work and at school and everything else I do. It's my gift to me. I wanted to go somewhere new, somewhere warm and begin a new career stalking Chris McCormick. I want to know if I have the guts to ask him to sign my arm for the race.

Wish me luck.

So we deal with the adversity one day at a time. In the scope of life, I don't have adversity. I have small challenges. If I was blown off course by each adn every challenge thrown my way I'd be still anchoring my boat.

It's how we handle these bumps in the road that make the difference.

This week will itself be a challenge. I am homeschooling Luc for a week or two while we undergo some evaluations and attempt to find a better placement for him.

It means creative scheduling for our family. I have a lot of support around me and one of my friends Lyndsey...... made me promise that I would utilize the help offered to me.

I am not superwoman no matter how hard I try.

So I wont' try to be.

Here is the suit I will be wearing in New Orleans...... no writing, no names, no nothing. Just raw........

Friday, March 13, 2009

trainer tuesdays, the video

My video taping skills stink and my editing skills stink worse. But we have some video from Trainer Tuesdays at Bert's Bikes.... click here for the video.

During the first two scenes we have Lyndsey, who is a new triathlete getting a bike fit and Kim who is a veteran getting a bike fit. And yes the youngest man on there is the one and only Luc Eggers. (He borrowed the National Champ jersey from Dad.)

If you are around next Tuesday:

6:30 PM at Berts Bikes on Jay Scutti Blvd in Henrietta

Free workout

Free pals to bike with

Free food to eat afterwards.

Strings? Gosh no. We just want to ahve some fun!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

thanks for trainer tuesdays!

Thanks to all who came out for Trainer Tuesdays at Berts Bikes in Henrietta! I will have some video posted tomorrow. Thanks to Dennis and Jim and gang at Berts who provided us with fruit, juice and bagels!!!! Oh I didn't mention that did I..... free food at the end!

Join us next week: Tuesday at 6:30pm for a bike test week. Details to follow! We will have music and more sweat and more food, for FREE!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Trainer Tuesdays at Berts Bikes in Henrietta!

Train-This and Berts Bikes would like to announce TRAINER TUESDAYS!!!!!!
To help celebrate the Rochester opening of BERTS BIKES, we would like to invite you for a 6 week series, beginning Tuesday March 10th!
Here are the details:
Who: Anyone who wants to come. Must be able to ride for an hour. Must have a bike and a trainer.
What: Trainer Tuesdays! A 6 week one hour trainer ride coached by myself. Each week we will have a theme, or you can just show up and do your own workout with a fun group of people.
When. Tuesday evenings 6:30pm beginning March 10th.
Where: Berts Bikes in Henrietta. Jay Scutti Blvd. Click here for directions!
How much? F.R.E.E.
You will need to bring: your bike, your trainer, a water bottle, a towel, a change of clothes to ride home in. If you train with a heart rate monitor bring it, train with power? Ride with it!
We will post a weekly schedule of ride themes.
Tuesday March 10th: general endurance ride!
Questions? Email me at mary "dot" eggers "at" gmail "dot" com
All experiences and levels WELCOME!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ride the wave

In between the third and fourth 500 yard repeats I turned to Grimm and declared a challenge. Now normally Grimm will be able to pull ahead of me on a set like this, but not today. He will touch my feet; I will flip turn, hang on the lane line and let him pass. Not today.

"The only way you are going to pass me." I told him, "Is if you grab onto me and pull me back. I am not barnacle-ing. You must physically take me down."

I had come too far in this set. Yes I was wearing his fins as opposed to the rest of the lane not wearing fins, but don't mistake the wearing of fins any easier. Because it is harder. Not only do I hold myself to a higher and faster standard, so do my lane mates.

"Sometimes you have to reach high to be risen."

Just by saying that I understood that I elicited the spark in Grimm and as I left the wall I realized I was swimming for my life. I had done it to myself. I declared I was maintaining the lead in a daring fashion. I did it for him and I did it for me. I wanted to keep the lead I worked hard for, I didn't want to surrender, and he wanted to see if he could take me down.

He did get close. He definitely got close. I threw up in the dam pool but I didn't let it happen.

It was that feeling of my heart in my throat and my stomach on shutdown and the most lactic acid burning feeling in my legs. I was on the edge of pulling it off and blowing it completely and what got me there was the space between my ears.

I can't say I thought about anything. I went on feeling. I swam from my heart and I would have allowed blood to pour from my nose rather than be grabbed around the ankles and pulled down.

They say it's nice to win in training but it's the race that really counts. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Small victories like this are stepping stones. They can only happen so often but they are paramount for me.

Kelly B is home for 2 months and that means training camp. Silly fun. Crazy sets and too much laughing. Tuesday we did a three hour trainer ride with tempo efforts and then transitioned right into a Tempo run with 8 X 30 second efforts to Tempo pace, which was 7:30 miles. (Remember we are distance athletes…. not sprinters). So when the pace got down to 6:30 I got a little giddy. The interval wasn't long enough to do damage yet long enough to tickle me Elmo. Today was a great day. We were outside. The sun was shining. Still ass cold but the sun was shining.

It's absolutely amazing to realize how richer life is these days. I take none of this for granted. The opportunity, the ability, just being able to have the lifestyle that affords me to have time spent on a bike, in a pool and in my running shoes. To have a family that supports this, friends who live it, a business that thrives on it, former coaches who still keep an eye on you, because they care........ I will never again take for granted that my entire life is a privilege. Not a right. Not an expectation. Not an entitlement.

A privilege.

This all seems frivolous to those from the outside, and in part it is. I just beg to point out that my bike is to me, what another's spa is to them. Extra, yes,. Necessary? No.

Something that I am so lucky to do that makes me feel alive more than ever. Every day is a new wave and not a mountain. I used to have a friend who talked about climbing the mountain. I hate that analogy. At the top of the mountain it is cold, lonely and there is nowhere to go. I like to see it as climbing down the mountain. Towards community, towards something. Towards people.

Better yet I like to see it as waves. When I learned to surf I learned to feel the waves and I learned to take them as they come. They bring me into shore to people who are laughing, smiling, applauding or empathizing. I learned that every rise has a fall, and every fall has a rise. I learned that I could not analyze when the best time was to try to stand up, I could only feel it. No heart rate monitor, no Garmin or Power Meter can teach me that.

There will be no talk of mountains in my life ever again. Life is not all or none it is a circle and it all comes back eventually. The good bad, the misfortune and the achievement.

The achievement….. it's about to come back.

Monday, March 2, 2009

70.3 is not half of 140.6

(statements like that make it easy to see why I make the big bucks)

That's why they try to stop calling it a Half Ironman. It might be half the distance but it is its own entity..... entirely. As I evolve through the journey of coaching myself I am understanding that, and actually beginning to practice that.

A Half Ironman / 70.3 race in my opinion can be used as one of the building blocks to an Ironman. I use it as such, you use it as such. More often than not in my schedule I have used 70.3 races on my way to Ironman races.

Now here is a great big secret......... get close and quiet down....... The Ironman is not very healthy for Mary Eggers. I know..... this is a shocker.

I am good for 2 consecutive Ironmans. 2002. 2003. 2007. 2008...... I likely didn't even belong on that starting line. I get obsessive and I get compulsive. Distance is crack to me and I don't know when to stop. I want more, longer, I want to push that edge. I want to live in the oblivion of "I just put in a 8 hour training day" glory / bonk / feeling wasted.I love to feel wasted.

There I confessed it. It means i worked hard and I worked long. 2009 hold no Ironman for Mary Eggers. Neither will 2010 and most likely 2011.

I embarked on a 2 hour long run this morning and I had a few themes to run with today. In our preparation for Austin Coach T had me run nothing over 90 minutes. "I know you can run long" he said. "I want to see you run fast." (this was pre bike crash).

It may have taken a few months but this morning I got the meaning of that statement. Sometimes I am slow. Did I mention that head injury? So why was i out here running 2 hours at E pace with a few t pace intervals thrown in? What is that going to do for me? Really?

So mid run I made a change. 10 miles. the last 3 miles at M pace. That's the pace I am looking to hold in N'Orleans so why the heck am I not running it?

But my hours will be cut down..... I'm not going to make 15 hours!!!!!!! But! I replied to myself..... you've done 3 quality runs, and on the bike a sweet spot and an embedded long ride......


That is very hard for me to let go as an athlete...... but not as a coach. Moving into the coaching corner...... there is some debate on whether the 70.3 races are beneficial to an Ironman build. Some say yes, some say no..... I always find that middle ground.

It depends. What is your motivation for competing in a 70.3 race prior to an Ironman? If your motivation is a giant PR...... then I am going to say forget it and let's get in training. If your goal is to use a 70.3 race as a building block to Ironman, a chance to practice some nutrition (nutrition is less than a full too, but that's another day)...... and most importantly to enjoy the experience...... I say let's do it.

Let's use 2 of my athletes as examples. Kim, and Sarah. Kim is prepping for her first IM. Sharah has done 3 (recently PR'd at IMAZ with an 11:12.)

Kim and Sarah are heading to Florida 70.3 in May. Sarah is not doing an Ironman. Kim is doing Lake Placid. These 2 will have trained very differently for the same race. Their goals will be very different.

Sarah will have put in a boatload of quality work.. Kim will have put in more distance and less intervals.

For Kim I am looking at how she felt, held together, how her nutrition played a factor.

For Sarah I am looking to see if she sees her maker out there. finds her edge.

I don't want Kim to vomit at the finish line. She's got work to do and 2 camps after that to get through.

Sarah ..... I want her lungs to be on the ground. She has time to recover before a Musselman build.

See what I am getting at? Funny how I am coaching these 2 very differently..... but when it comes to me.... I have to keep stepping back to step forward. It's hard to be objective but I have been at this so long it's almost hard not to be.

New Orleans doesn't give a Rats A** that I can run X hours at E pace. Been there and done that a whole bunch of times. If I am going to take aim..... if I am aiming for my 4:45 in Clearwater in November..... I had better stop acting like I am getting ready for the Ironman and start getting ready to see that wizard. NOW.