Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the day of the bean

"Good morning Mary!" my favorite Barista called out to me as I happily, oh so happily walked into Starbucks. Starbucks serves as my office and place of study. I am a regular at several around town. In fact when I go to the Starbucks on Clover and Monroe.... I am called a cheater if I haven't been seen there in a week. When I lived in Buffalo I was such a regular that if they saw my car drive around the corner my drink would be ready by the time I stepped through the door.

Good to be popular. Good to know the right people.

What I like about John the barista is that he doesn't have a seizure if I ask for Green Tea. He respects that I have cut down but here on the National Day of Coffee...... I wasn't about to play light.

I ordered my Grande Verona....... FYI I am not into the fluff drinks. If I want whipped cream I will have a hot cocoa. I take it bold, dark and straight up. I drink it hot even when it's 99 degrees out. Coffee should not involve ice, chocolate or sugar. Those my friends are dilutants! For the record you can give caffeine IV, I once held a vial in my hand as I gave it to a girl with a migraine. I felt insanely jealous .... but that's just wrong so let's not talk about that.

John asked me if I had tried the instant coffee yet, and would I like a free sample? Would I? Free is my favorite four letter word! Free + coffee= HEAVEN! Of course I would. I instantly fell in love and had a flash forward...... there would be no more hotel style pre race coffee ever again! EVER AGAIN!

In NOLA Donna and I bought coffee the night before and vowed to drink it cold. On our way to the race we found an OPEN GAS STATION! It was like seeing the white light of heaven. The coffee was bad but in that moment we'd have drunk gasoline.

Not that we are addicts. Not there is anything wrong with that. There are worse things to be addicted to and as you know I have cut my consumption down significantly.

But today was national coffee day! Christmas for Coffee! A day to celebrate! A day to drink up! A day to experience supra ventricular tachycardia like there is no tomorrow! Anyhow..... I bought a good stash of the instant. Dissolves immediately, is BOLD, is smooth, all I need now is a portable hot water tank and I am golden.

I settled in at my table with my Verona and my instant and my pathophysiology books. Ahhhh, life is good. As I submerged myself in the strangely fascinating world of neurotransmitters and the nervous system I blamed the coffee for my strange fascination with it. At least I was not debating aborting like in all of the other classes I seem to take.

About a half hour later I realized that Starbucks was crowded with Oriental men. All speaking either Chinese or Japanese. I don't' know the difference. They were having a ball! Laughing, shouting, all in their native language. They were really excited!

I found myself irritated. What's so exciting? What's so fun? Why can't I understand this language? Should I ask them what they are so jolly about? I feel left out! (I blame that on having middle child syndrome). Maybe they were just as excited about National Coffee day as I was.

When I finally left they all bid me goodbye like we were old friends.

Things like that happen in coffee shops. Spend a few hours with people you don't know.... no need for conversation but you walk out BFF. Necklace halves and all.

Ahhhh.... and as I sit here this morning I feel sad. It's like the day after Christmas. National coffee day is over. Come and gone. Like those who frequent Irish bars and see the countdown to St Patty's Day.... I have rolled the countdown to National Coffee Day back to 364. I wiped a tear from my eye just now.

I have a wonderful day ahead. An interview for some media thing at Trispot the new training center in Buffalo NY! And then a swim in the Endless Pool, a bike and a run while Will works on my bike. A little shopping to gather all of the important things I will need for Clearwater and a little chat with Kevin Patterson, the brainchild of the whole place. It's a pretty intense week of training from today through Sunday, I need all the mojo I can get.

And of course, a good cup of joe for the ride home. Don't tell my coach.

But guess what? Jen and ELF will each be bringing me a bag of Brach's Pumpkins to Clearwater. To be given to me after the race...... bring me a bag too and I will be your BFF!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yoga for Athletes at Breathe THIS OCTOBER

Begins NEXT WEEK! Tues Oct 6, 13 and 20th!

I did an interview last week.... my first interview where I was being interviewed about yoga. Now...... there is a lot of really good yoga here in Rochester and I often feel like the "Bad Girl" of yoga. I am an athlete, I am not flexible, and I teach Baptiste Power Vinyaysa Yoga. I imagine that some of the more traditional teachers around here would absolutely vomit in my class. I play Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Michael Franti.

It is my belief as I was taught by so many of the amazing teachers I have been able to learn from..... that yoga is for every single person on this earth. So is swimming. So is biking and so is running.

Practicing yoga as an athlete has tremendously helped me in many ways. Because so many people fear the spiritual talk..... let me stick to the physical.

Many of the injuries that athletes encounter are in the tendons and ligaments and even in the cartilage. IT bands, Achilles tendons, rotator cuffs..... things like that. Athletes are told that yoga would be good for them so they hop into a class and try to win it, forcing poses and feeling awkward and then creating more injuries and a dissatisfaction for the practice at all.

Truth be told yoga is great for athletes. Because of the static movement involved it works to strengthen the ligaments and tendons and cartilage. It helps to open the bigger muscles and alleviate some of the stress of the daily pounding we take.

The mental part..... you will just have to be ready for it. It's awesome.

I have always tried to get athletes into the studio. I fail every time. People who spend 10-20 hours a week training and working and being parents just don't have another hour in their day. So they don't try it at all.

Well, what if we brought yoga to you????

Baptise Power Vinyasya Yoga is a heated flow yoga. At Breathe we practice in a 90 degree room. The heat becomes crucial to opening things up, allowing us to sweat and detox (and in Rochester.... it feels so good!). Power Vinyaysa is a very athletic yoga. Vinyaysa means flow, so you move, you flow. Type A athletes are people who survive on tension, this practice gives those types of people that little "tension fix", which is why it's popular among athletes.

Yoga for Athletes is a program I have developed with my friend Lauri Boon, Registered Dietitian, who works with athletes and NFL teams..... with the idea that yoga can in fact be for everyone. Even athletes.

I have developed a 25 minute power vinyaysa flow with the athlete in mind. It will be flowing, to the point and target the areas that we as athletes have trouble with. For example: many of us can not do flying pigeon.... so we won't do it. We will stick to the poses that are realistic for us, help us in our activities and allow us to have the opportunity to explore the benefits beyond the physical.

Beginning Tuesday October 6th and the following 2 Tuesdays after that (total of 3) we will offer Yoga For athletes from 7:30-8:45pm. For 45 minutes we will break down the poses and learn the 25 minute flow. For 45 minutes Lauri will teach us how to incorporate nutrition itno our active lifestyle. She will address fueling for workouts, losing weight while training and she will teach us which supplements are absolute BUNK!

By the end of 3 weeks you will have a 25 minute flow that you can practice at home. Stop into the studio for a tine up every 2-3 weeks or so but don't let something like time keep you away from one of the oldest practices in the world.

Cost of the program is $45 and of course we will send you home with goodies!

To register please call 585.248.9070. Shoot me an email with any questions at Maryeggers "At" Gmail "Dot" com.

You will need:

Comfortable clothes you can sweat in. We have changing rooms so bring an extra set, a towel and water. Open mind and spirit a MUST!

PS; You don't need to be a marathoner or elite soccer player to attend! This is for anyone who leads an active lifestyle, and who wants to incorporate a yoga practce into their lives!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

what's to come

In my (other) line of work I get to see some of the craziest things. You just would not believe how people act and what is considered to be normal in certain circles of the world. When I had a patient tell me that Chlamydia runs in her family ..... I shook my head and thought..... this ain't the worst thing I've seen. Nothing beats the baby (of a teenager..... remember I'm a pediatric emergency nurse.....) I delivered in the bathroom a few years ago three minutes after she screamed at me "I had my period last week B****!" Well.... now you're a mother, welcome to the world of motherhood...... your child is so lucky!!!!

Ahhhh..... family values.

As I woke up from my sole night shift per week post call sleep I took a good hard look at the week I have ahead of me. I tend to not look past Sunday although I ave the histogram right in front of me at all times. Believe me that I have learned to not look much further than today. I wiped the sleep from my eyes really good because I know what's on deck.

Speedwork! And a good 18 hours of it. 'Kay then, let's see how this rolls. I have never done this theme of speedwork, I like it. I am a bit intimidated by it of course! Confession: I think I have not run on a track since 1992. And now I am headed back. My legs have recovered from three good solid tempo days and my running is coming along runningly. I am excited. I am jazzed.

This afternoon at Wegmans I picked up a bag of mallow creme pumpkins and put it in my cart. These are my Achilles heel. My kryptonite. I promptly put them back only to circle back for them on the way to checkout.

As I was leaving the store I threw them out and texted Kim to confess.

No.... a mallow creme pumpkin isn't going to ruin anything. But I have the inability to eat ONE. So if one of you doesn't mind please pick me up a bag of these and after I cross that finish line in Clearwater I will be eating them. All of them. And they will taste so good because I have been so good!

It's not about letting myself go and letting myself be loose. For me it's sticking to this goal that I set and if I have the darn pumpkin I see that as a crack in my armor. To you something like that might not mean anything. But to me..... it does. Thank the ten years of Bulimia I put myself through for that.

I think it's okay to take yourself seriously. I think it's okay to set a goal for yourself. As long as you keep things in balance why not? If eating healthy and filling my body with great food rather than sugar is not a good balance...... then I don't know what is.

So here is to a week of compression socks, ice baths, fish oil and...... pop quiz: what's your most important and effective recovery tool????


And PS; Chlamydia is not a disease that runs in your family. Just in case you didn't know that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

last man standing

It's inevitable.... this feeling..... the summer races are over, the nights are dark way too early and then that one morning comes when you realize that you will have to wear gloves on your long run. Those of us who have late fall races as I have chosen to have each year know that feeling. Our teammates are snug in their off-season on their mountain bikes and cross bikes and we are out there riding long.

Funny though.... this year I am so damn grateful for it and to be in good health that the loneliness factor does not bother me at all. Fortunately for me my husband is racing IMAZ, just a week after Clearwater so we both maintain our focus.

We have a terrific balancing act and a beautiful system for getting our workouts in with being working parents. On Saturdays I ride long in the afternoon, he runs long in the morning. On Sunday's I run long in the morning and he rides long in the afternoon. Each day we regroup for family time. We each then get a nice chunk of time with our little guy. And we do some wicked fun stuff together. During the week we do our workouts in the mornings mostly so we can have the evenings free for Luc's activities. Many mornings I get to ride next to Curt on the computrainer, gives me a little camaraderie.

It works for us. My schedule is slightly revolving so I am able to do a lot of training while luc is in school. I am also able to do a lot of working from home (coaching) and studying during those hours as well.

There is a balance to life and you just have to find it.

So this morning I look out the window to the rainy darkness not dreading the gloves or the headlamp I will have to wear. I instead look forward to the opportunity to run and to run long. I am working on some form items during my run as Jesse had the privilege to see me run at Pumpkinman. (HA HA!).

In December I head to Boston for a complete running analysis and a big batch of testing as we prepare for 2010. We have big goals for next season and I have confidence as I look at those performance indicators that we will hit those goals.

First we have Clearwater and I grow more excited each and every day. One of my Friends keeps claiming to be nervous. Aren't' I? No, that's what's neat about the Wizard..... I already know what my time will be. As long as I hit everything I need to hit between now and then I know what my time will be. For once I am not nervous about nutrition as I practice it every single day.

Heading into the month of October I have just gone ahead and pulled out the hat and the winter gear. Beginning the week after next I have a three week overload running focus and I will be needing this gear..... it's damn cold outside in the morning.

But I get to do this, I am healthy, I have come a long long way, and I look forward to the party that Clearwater will be! Drafting or not it will be a party!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

the deeper the root, the taller the tree

Time and time again you hear athletes complaining..... but I want to do speedwork, and lots of it! I want to get faster!!!! Hold on there buckaroo because there is a lot of foundation you need to lay down before you go building a skyscraper. More often than not when I see athletes do seemingly nothing but hard speed work I see either injury or stagnation.

Last night I completed the last hill bounding workout of 2009 (I think). I now run the exact same hill...... exact same distance...... thirteen seconds faster than I did when I began this set in May. I have not done much tempo work and certainly no focused "speed work." I have spent hours and hours and weeks and weeks...... and weeks...... in aerobically focused training. Very boring at times but I know, as we all know that this is the stuff that the later stuff is built on. I begin actual speed work next week.

So what happened? I am more efficient. I am more aerobically fit and in a sport that's..... aerobic that's a great thing.

As I use myself as an example here..... please note that the numbers are not scientific. They are just pulled form the air.... I don't know if the improvements would have been these exact numbers........

Let's say we took that hill repeat that I did in May.... the 1:26 and we began speed work then. The fastest I may have been able to run that hill would have been 1:13....... which is what I did yesterday. That would have been top end speed. Again that number is just random, would it have been that? Who knows. The point I am trying to make is this:

Now we are beginning speedwork at the 1:13 instead of that being my top end speed. We worked in the aerobic, base, endurance phase long enough, and gave it enough time that my bottom end endurance got deeper. If that magic number of improvement was 13 seconds.... then when all was said and done I might be able to break a minute.

The numbers again are not important. The theme is what is important. Without base, without a foundation, you won't have a strong top end. That means..... get out your iPod, tape your favorite movies, there will be a lot of time spent in aerobic heart rates for a long period of time.

In the moments you get frustrated about it, remember what you are doing. You are laying a strong bombproof foundation. Think of a tree..... if it is a tall tree without a deep root it will blow over at the first wind. The tree with the deepest root will be the tree that withstands the storm.

The athlete who does endless amounts of intensity is the athlete who might be down to burning their last match. Those are not the athletes that are around for long. They are the athletes with the strange pains, the fractures, the muscle pulls. The athletes who have a rock solid endurance base are healthier..... stronger.

So as the winter months are a'coming, get ready. With your coach or with yourself plan out a good progression of base work, it will be boring. You will work on technique, you will work on efficiency.

Give yourself things to aim for such as.... within four weeks I will naturally run with a cadence of 90 in my aerobic zone. Then every run between now and then you count your cadence several times during each and every single run. Those kind of small goals give beginnings and ends to training blocks and give lights at the end of the tunnel to aim for. It's incredibly helpful when training is done before the sun comes up and after the sun goes down, and your bike and your iPod become your new BFF.

Friday, September 25, 2009

the core diet ain't atkins

I receive a lot of emails asking about my nutrition and nutrition related things. I have a few posts ready to address the questions so stay tuned. The big question I wanted to address is why I follow the Atkins diet.

I don't follow the Atkins diet. I don't even believe that should be permitable to be marketed.

I follow the core diet. Read about it here. Other good references that outline this style of eating can be found here on Chuckie V's blog, and Gordo has also written some good thoughts about it here. Another resource I'd recommend is The Paleo Diet for Athlete's.

But let's be simple, this is not at all a low carbohydrate diet as it is percieved to be. The ratio of carbohydrates / fats / proteins that I follow is 40% / 30% / 30%. That is an improvement for me form a ratio of about 80% / 10% / 10%.

The carbohydrate sources that I utilize to meet this requirement are from fruits and vegetables when not within workout windows. During workout windows I utilize food like Nature Valley bars, Ezekiel 4:9 Bread and Mary's Gone Crackers (the cracker not the writer). Obtaining my carbohydrate sources from these particular sources allow my blood sugar to remain stable and not to spike as I previously allowed it to do during the day. I follow the glycemic index and try to eat foods less than 55 on that index, which is a big guide in keeping those sugars stable. The Ezekiel bread and the crackers fall within that scale.

Obtaining my carbohydrates from these sources gives me a very good dose of the vitamins and minerals that my diet was previously deficient in. That in turns increases my ability to recover workout to workout and has kept me incredibly healthy.

I have been learning that the timing of meals and timing the ingestion of high carbohydrate foods is important in maintaining a stable blood sugar during workouts. When those levels are stable it allows you to reach further during a workout. Replenishing the glycogen stores post workout proves to aid immensely not only in recovery but in terms of hunger.

Growing up a swimmer I fall into that phenomenon where after every swim practice I want to eat a thousand pancakes. Swimming makes me hungry as all hell. Well, it used to.

Here is what I typically eat around a swim practice:

5am: 1 banana, 1 whey protein drink, 1 slice Ezekiel toast, 1 coffee.

During a 90 min practice: 24 ounces PowerBar Endurance.

Post workout: 1 scoop Endurox and 1/4 cup raisins. Raisins have a high alkalinity which aids in recovery. This system essentially eliminates the hunger I have struggled with post swim workout.

By following this diet I have been incredibly healthy. I Love all the new things I get to eat. I love the weight loss it has awarded me. Is this the way we all should eat? Goodness no. You have to follow the plan that's right for you. If you are a coached athlete you need to realize that coaching the physical side of you is only coaching half of you. Knowledge of nutrition and how ti pays into the training realm is absolutely critical. It's what allows us to make gains and recover and maintain our health.

So no...... I don't' follow the Atkins diet. Should you be int he core diet? Only if it works for you. Do your homework, figure out what's best for you and by following the following tips you just can't go wrong in becoming a healthier athlete:

1. Eat four fruits a day.
2. Eat four vegetables a day.
3. Drink 80 ounces of water a day.

Incorporate these three into your eating and you will feel awesome, and that's not Atkins, that's healthy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

a lil quickie today!

Due to a small snafu this am we've had a small shuffling of workouts today, just moving a tempo ride to tomorrow...... and tonight I have my final round of hill bounding. I feel like I have done these forever but tonight I kiss them goodbye.

Because Monday starts the next phase.... the phase you patiently sit in basework forever for....


It's been so stinking long since I have done any focused speedwork.... like over a year. and I mean focused. Specific targets for distance, pace and the T word (track). I can't wait and I can't believe I said that I couldn't wait!!!!

Here is something interesting that one of my friends sent out this am..... K Dub is his name and he's on my blog roll over there. He will be writing a blog about this..... I find it interesting as I am often asked.... when is the best day to train?????

I've spent some time researching the data on how time of day affects athletic perf. I'm planning to put up a blog post, but in summary EVERYONE has a pretty significant variation in perf over the day. In the early AM data indicates that people average about 10% worse in terms of max effort vs afternoon. This is due to an lower ability to raise HR and to generate power. This delta persists in elite athletes and even in folks who consider themselves morning people. Warm-up does not remove the delta.

Among the most interesting stats/studies backing this up is that nearly 100% of world records in endurance events were set between 4-6PM.

I have started to account for this delta when I set my cycling wattage goals. My afternoon targets are higher than early AM ones, but the RPE works out the same.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

back into the swim of things

In an hour I am going to slide into a pool with my Masters team and I am going to swim my heart out in whatever set we have on tap. Likely it will not be torturous as the first week never is. Some of us haven't seen each other since the summer, some of us have never stopped seeing each other. I have been swimming with this team going on nine years and these practices bring so much to my life.

In our lane we are all pretty close. We don't go out to breakfast or talk on the phone but we get each other and we understand each other. Especially my friends Kim and Ken. I know that I can count on these two the next few weeks to get me where I need to be for Clearwater. With these guys there just is no bullshit, it's the kind of friendships that come easy. Maybe it's our age or our life experience or the fact that we share a passion for something..... in the grand scheme of things triathlon is pretty trivial..... but in our grand scheme of things it balances us out and is therefore not so trivial.

As we approach Clearwater I was recently asked what my goal was there. The Wizard and I have a time goal in mind, because time is what I can control. I don't know what placing that will give me and frankly I don't really care. I don't care that the field will be drafting, in fact I won't even care if you draft off of me. I won't be drafting..... well that's what I am hoping..... if you have ever done that race you know that this course is dangerous when you are an age grouper. If you are put into a drafting situation...... moving to your right may mean moving into a highway full of cars who hate you, moving left will mean there are four cyclists next to you, moving forward or behind will be blocked by sixty cyclists either way.

My plan is to just deal with whatever the situation is and not give any energy away. If you want to sit on my wheel that's your decision, my energy will be focused forward, I won't waste energy getting irritated at you..... that act will speak for itself and doesn't need my judgement. If you want to draft me on the swim I won't kick you, and I swim straight so hop the heck on.

I will not be there for you I will be there for me. This race will be between me, myself and I.

One year ago I was recovering from a miscarriage, a grade 3 concussion and a bike crash. Throw in a few other health issues and you understand how difficult last year was. My sport helped me to recover, my life and my health were the forefront. When I raced Clearwater in 2006, I found out my grandfather had died the night before and I spent the run course throwing up.

I didn't think his death impacted my race so much....... but when someone who has been in your life for 30+ years is suddenly taken from you..... it affects you.

When I get to Clearwater I am partly racing as a redo for my Grandfather and I.

I am racing to celebrate the long recovery I made from 2008 in terms of my health.

I am cherishing the opportunity to be there.

I am culminating the weeks and weeks that I have been fortunate to work with The Wizard and QT2, who have brought me back and are bringing me to a place I have only dreamt of. I have been working hard...... and the beautiful thing about hard work is the results it awards you.

There is a female in upstate NY who has been rumored to have been taking performance enhancing drugs as she prepares for a long distance event. The sad thing is that people expected it out of her. It might explain her behavior but..... how do you stand on top of a podium if that's the way you got there? I'd rather bust my ass off and not be on the podium at all. To me winning at all costs, like Nina Kraft said when she cheated her way to Hawaii..... it's an empty victory. When I hear of stuff like this I shake my head. Is that the way to set an example? It just shows that you are hollow inside and the only way to fill that space is to win at all costs. What kind of filler is that?

I will be in Clearwater to execute the plan I have been working towards. I will be in Clearwater with some of the most beautiful people that I know. There will be friends and laughter and I might be the most lighthearted girl out there that day.

It's the World Chhampionship .... but I don't' get intimidated by that. Sure it's the best of the best (who choose to and can afford to go)...... but it's a race. It's a race with a start and a finish and a journey between those two points.

For me that journey has been bumpy and long and it's just like life. We roll with the punches, we ride the waves and we keep moving forward with a smile.

Ahhhh.... it's about time to get my suit on and go swim with my friends. I will get about a thousand snarky emails if I miss a day..... thank goodness!

So here's to life, here's to making it through.... here's to good friends and a beach party in November...... I'll meet you at Pier 60!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

study break!

Study break this am. I have an exam this afternoon and am up and hitting the books when I,d rather be training. My head is just more clear in the am. So when weighing training versus studying, training gets pushed back to the evening. It's more challenging for me to train in the evening .... but it's BST day and that means I get a shot at breaking 265 watts.

After a stressful day of work + exam BSTs will be just what I need.

We've got just over 8 weeks to Clearwater and that will feel like too little time before you know it. I just scheduled a weekend of testing with The Wizard up in Boston. The first weekend of December will grant me a round of testing and running analysis as we get to work on 2010.

I will likely take a 2 week off-season. Yes it,s short but I have big goals and I have a lot of work to do. When I am in a program such as my masters I need the training to balance the hard work. I need to have as equally a hard goal to achieve. And that's all the things we have in store for 2010.

I will be racing 3 half Ironman races in 2010 that will lead me up to Ironman Florida. My first 70.3 will take me to California .... with Elizabeth and Marit and we will have a little beach party. I chose Oceanside because it's the ocean, because Marit is there.... and it comes at a good time of the academic year.

Musselman will be in July and then either Syracuse 70.3 or Pumpkinman. I have not decided on that yet. I loved Maine.

So even though 2009 has not finished yet because of the nature of the sport we must look ahead to where we are going. I can't tell you how much I have learned this season, and I can't wait to begin working on next. QT2 and The Wizard have awakened me, brought me out of slump and we are headed in a good direction.

I am excited.

But first, today. Back to studying, work, exam and then those BST's. I will let you know how they GO!

Monday, September 21, 2009

in memory......

There was someone whose presence was sorely missed at the Finger Lakes Triathlon this weekend. A man named Dave who so unexpectedly passed away earlier this year, years before he was supposed to.
When we lose people ..... the times that make it the hardest are the times you visit the places that they always are. Dave was the Finger Lakes Triathlon Transition KING. And I mean KING. He was a giant of a man in size and in heart. His wavy black hair and beard always made me smile. A regular at the medical conference in Hawaii each year he shared his passion for triathlon with his beautiful wife and those of us who were fortunate enough to know him. I didn't know him well but he was the kind of guy who made you feel like you knew him form high school..... offering a giant bear hug to all he met.
His absence was so unbelievably noticed in transition. Kim, Travis Luc and I did our best but we didn't hold the fort down as the athletes entered and exited for the bike in and bike out..... nearly as well as he did. He might have understood a little bit better why spectators feel the need to try to cross in front of every cyclist coming in and out of transition and not when there were no cyclists around.
He had an unmistakable laugh. He had a presence you could not ignore. Athletes kept asking..... where's that transition guy that's here every year?
He was there..... I thought....... he was there. I looked for but didn't see his wife, I am not sure I expected to. I don't know if I would have been able to be there.
Dave....... we missed you....... we will continue to miss you. You are one of those guys that you don't forget, because of the good that you gave to the world.......

Friday, September 18, 2009

letting the body do its thing

I have a fascination with the human body. I think it's amazing. When you really begin to study and look at the physiology of what our bodies can do.... one has to wonder why it is we put so much absolute crap into the most amazing machines on earth. We fuel our bodies with crap gas quite often.

As you know I am an RN currently pursuing my Master's degree. I also love to read and I love to read research. I love research. I don't love to research..... you won't find me developing any new studies soon..... but I love to read research. So my medical background is pretty solid however as with anything.... consult the advice of your own doctor and more importantly use your common sense as you read on.

You think people just have common sense. I once took care of an 18 year old girl who was pregnant. Her doctor told her to take a bumpy ride to induce labor. Her Mom suggested she go out and ride the family ATV. That didn't end well. Never assume people have common sense.

Have you ever been that person who gets sick.... and then runs to the drugstore to buy everything under the sun to combat this illness that you have? Maybe you live your day by dayquil and then your night by nyquil??? Your legs are sore so you pop 800+ mg of Motrin. You have a fever so you take Tylenol???

Did you know that in many,.... not all.... again consult your doctor ...... many of life's little illnesses and viruses .... your body has the ability to deal with at present moment. It isn't always good to panic at the first sign of a fever. You have a fever for a reason. Now..... before you let yours or your kid's fever get to 103 for 6 days straight call your freaking doctor rather than listen to a blog!!! Common sense please. Please please.

The body's immune system is well equipped to handle many things. Very simplistically imagine your body contracts a virus. Your body's reaction.... again simplistically..... is to fight against it through the process of inflammation. You might get a fever. Your body is reving up to kill this thing off. You might get a runny nose..... your body's way of getting rid of this thing. You might throw up.... again your body's way of getting rid. You get achey.... that has to do with a more "pathophys" explanation but think of this..... if you ache you might stop moving. You become tired. Your body shuts you down so through rest it can heal itself.

I can't say enough that this is a very simplistic overview...... consult your doctor if I have not mentioned that yet.

So imagine this..... you have a cold, your body reacts through the process of inflammation. You take your thermaflu. You take your meds, you drink your coffee. You refuse to scale down or take a few days off of training. Refusing rest is the number one way to prolong illness. Then because you are sore you load on the mortin.

You are essentially blocking the process... or slowing down the process of inflammation.... the body's natural reaction to an invasion. What will that do? It will cause you to get better more slowly.

Is it bad to take nyquil, dayqul, thermaflu? I don't think so at all. These help to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of a cold or minor illness. But if you are waking up to dayquil, sleeping with nyquil, then you need to really think about what you are doing. Would it be better to take a few days of rest? ever get to the point where you just sleep for 24 hours?

Rest is your body's way of healing itself.

Now, before you get this cold let's say you are training. Your long run leaves you sore. You pop motrin. You take it in fact a few times a week to help alleviate soreness. Because of your training hours your body is already in a somewhat compromised state. Then you contract a virus and start to get sick. Your body's natural defense is already lower, now you have already delayed the natural response somewhat.

Is medication bad? Goodness no. But use it with.... guess what.... common sense. Instead of avoiding all meds while sick...... what if you avoided them while NOT SICK?

Rather than popping the antiinflammatories after a hard effort..... get into the habit of supporting the body naturally. Fish oil. Ice baths. Elevation (legs up the wall!). Rest, that nasty four letter word. Your best defense is ..... NUTRITION. It's one thing hammered into you at QT2. Give your body the best in terms of macro and micronutrients and it will heal itself! Rather than relying on pills and shakes and all that stuff, rely on what is naturally around you to help give your body what it needs.

What about compression socks? Here is a great article questioning their effectiveness..... and incidentally a study published in 2008 stated they were effective, only to be debunked by another study in 2009.

My opnion on compression socks? I like them for recovering. for being on my feet at work. I wear purple for the record. I wear them because they feel good. However I will never ever ever wear them in a race. EVER. (Sorry white hot. , but then again I ain't Kona bound :-)

So just some food for thought. When you run to the medicine cabinet for every single little ache and pain, or stuffy nose begin to think about whether you need that medication, or maybe save it for when you really get sick. But again...... consult your doctor first!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finger Lakes Triathlon Swim Clinics

This weekend is the billionth annual Finger Lakes Triathlon, and sadly I am not competing! BOO HOO! I am back on full swing training after a better-than-expected-recovery from the Pumpkinman 1/2 Ironman on Sunday. I do hope you will join all of us who love this race, but it is SOLD OUT!

Before we begin .... please visit for complete race weekend details!

We will be having our annual open water swim clinic at 1pm right at the race site. This is a USAT clinic and it is FREE to all competing athletes with race number in hand.... and just $10 for those who are not competing. At this clinic you can expect the following:

  • tips on how to make your open water swim a good one
  • wetsuit tips: which suit, getting it on and getting it off.
  • where to position yourself in the water, how to sight
  • swim stroke analysis for everyone who wants it
  • goggles .... caps...... and more

I will also be running 20 minute clinics throughout the day that detail the details of the Finger Lakes Triathlon. These clinics will be free to all, I should have a blue tent set up....... just stop on by. I am available all day to answer all questions that you may have about the race, transitions, etc.

I am going to be coming from a yoga class that I teach that ends about 11:45...... so let's plan on the first 20 min clinic beginning at about 12:40. I will at least have the tent with me, and I will be wearing a QT2 Jacket!

Please come on down!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

moving on

The post race analysis is complete. We achieved exactly what we needed to achieve on Sunday. We are back to work and so surprisingly I feel very good. Minimal soreness. Which I attribute to good nutrition..... and if you don't think so then you need to really understand how nutrition plays a part in training. I'm also not too sore because we didn't hit it full on. Post Clearwater, I won't be able to walk.

I have to say that Pumpkinman was one of the best races I have ever done. I may forgo Syracuse 70.3 to go back. It is just that good. I also need to profusely thank my QT2 Teammates for all qualifying for Kona and racing the sprint on Saturday :)

Many questions have come to me about my coach Jesse. I can only say that he's worth his price in GOLD. He is interested in every single one of his athletes. I would have to say that he takes each one very personally. His vision for my future performances has me very excited but I also know he does not pull it out of his ass. If there's anything about the Wizard...... he pulls nothing from his ass. There's no magic. It's all right there. Three times in a row he has proven that in my program. I have no doubt what Clearwater will bring for me.

It,s awesome to be believed in. It's awesome to believe in yourself again. It's even more awesome to have just about lost faith and then to have it rebuilt again. Maybe during my last successes I didn't appreciate it enough. Right now as I am making progress I am soaking every single moment in. I am soaking every step of the learning process in.

The video I referred to in my race report is below. Let me know if it shows correctly......Every single morning I watch it. I recited it to myself during the race about 100 times. Whatever it takes.

If I can do this..... why can't you? Let's do this...... together.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pumpinman 1/2 Ironman Race Report

I broke the curse. The 5 hour curse. It might have been a long run course and a shorter swim course (although I was told that swim course was GPS'd perfectly) they balance each other out. The last time I went under five hours was then I won the Musselman in 2004. For so many weird reasons the times that once came so easily to be (sub five) suddenly became impossible.

I began coaching my self last fall and that proved to be futile as I earned a horrific 5:25 in April at New Orleans 70.3 on a flat course. Sure I was sick with the flu but I was beginning to really really really lose faith.

When I arrived home from New Orleans I knew I needed a big change. A very big change. Here I sat with a World Championship 70.3 spot and there I was with another disaster race under my belt. It was decision time. Do I continue to waste the ability I knew I had or was it time to finally see what I have?

I wrote four emails to four different coaches. All whom in my opinion were the leaders in our sport. One was $1,000 per month for a cookie cutter program. Two were booked. The last one was from Jesse Korpelnicki of QT2 Systems and he wrote me this:

"I can help you."


I came to Pumpkinman for several reasons. I wanted to race with my team in a late season half ironman, and I wanted a course that wasn't hellacious. I raced Musselman in 5:08 in July as my first race under Coach Jesse who is aptly nicknamed The Wizard. We did well, hitting all pacing and nutrition targets.

The craziest thing about The Wizard is that he's never more than 2% off predicting your finish time. There are four reasons why he would be wrong, or how you screw it up. Pacing, nutrition, preparation ...... and at the moment I forget the fourth one.

As the Wizard would say it..... there is no magic.

The swim was a 2 loop course and my wave went off about 1 minute behind the pro men and women. As I watched them swim away I wondered it I could catch them. I did catch them and was able to pull ahead of the group of pro women. As we ran onto the beach and back into the water for loop two..... I called over to one.... jump on my FEET! I never care if people draft me on the swim. Draft away. As we hit lap two they swam to the right.

As I excited the water it was announced that the first female (ME!) was an age grouper who had bridged the gap. We had a G.I.A.N.T.... and I mean GIANT hill to run up so I ripped off my wetsuit and started the trek up that bastard hill.

Into and out of transition with the QT2 Team cheering! That was such an incredible treat! The team.... they are the best group of people. I felt so honored to be wearing the uniform!

Onto the bike I felt good. This course was similar to the Musselman, possibly a bit hillier. I had pace + heart rate + nutrition goals to follow and I was able to do that. I felt very in control, in fact I was able to maintain my speed while riding a bit under wattage and HR, so to be conservative I did just that. Rolling into T2 I felt great. I could have rode harder and that was exactly where we wanted me to be. The top three professional women had passed me on the ride, and I kept #3 in my sights.

Through T2 I got cheered by the QT2 girls again (the guys and I were racing......), as I ran out Cait Snow was on her trainer (she's one of the QT2 coaches and my running H.E.R.O.) and gave me a great big cheer. Curt and Luc were handing out water..... and that was an amazing BOOST!

Again I could not get my Garmin to locate. Later I found out that no one else could either. It was our location. The miles were not marked until about mile 8 that I noticed. So I was truly running naked. Okay, I thought, I need to become less dependent on the Garmin and find that run feeling like I can find on the bike. I felt good, I was running too fast, I knew that from my breathing, so I tried to reign myself in as much as I could without it being too much.

Last year this run was actually 12.4. Halfway through the run I realized they had corrected it...... and later found out it was 13.3.

I will not be denied today from a sub five performance, I told myself. I knew I had maintained my position as first amateur woman and I was not about to give that up.

The run was friggin hilly. You were either up or down, I don't remember any FLAT section. There were four water stations on the course so I wore my fuel belt with 2 flasks. Nutrition was not at all an issue.

I ran what I hoped was my goal pace and when I finally saw the mile markers I began to time. I was a little slow on the pace, but better..... so I picked it up. It was a 2 loop course and I saw a QT2 uniform coming at me..... it was pro (and QT2 coach) Tim Snow and he was screaming something at me. It took me two screams to realize he was screaming EGGERS! Which made me begin to laugh. Coach Jesse ran by looking strong and later on told me I would be coming to Boston for a run analysis right after Clearwater (YES! and what, my run form sucks????? HA HA!). The QT2 guys all looked wicked strong.

The hills kept coming and I stayed on plan. As I finally came down that run chute I saw it. 4:54!!!!! OMG! OMG!!!! I was the first amateur female, 4th female in the whole mix, and I was over the moon.

I got to meet TriGirlPink! (ELAINE) who I was so proud of. When we hugged after the race I felt like we were old friends. I was proud of her for getting out there on limited running volume and looking so good (even though she didn't think so).

I hugged Curt really tight and I cried out THE FIVE HOUR CURSE IS OVER!!!!

Because it is.

After the race I got to hang out with the QT2 gang, and get to know them. The Wizard was happy with my performance. I have only been working with him 13 weeks and we've already had some big improvements. From N'Orleans to Musselman we earned a 17 minute improvement. From Musselman to Pumpkinman we earned a 14 minute improvement. He announced my Clearwater finishing time and I about fell over. He reiterated my 2010 goals and said..... this is serious Mary! And I can't be more excited.

For having the fastest swim time among females I won a wetsuit! For earning the amateur title I won gift certificates and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, that Elaine's sister designed. I got to meet her too!

About the race.... it was amazing. Absolutely amazing. The course was damn challenging.

About my race..... we are right on target. I am very happy. My run..... has yet to be displayed. We have more work to do and we are getting there. I have only about 6 more pounds to lose and we will be right where we need to be for Clearwater.

I am very very honored to be part of this team, to have the opportunity to work with Jesse and his amazing staff. I often wonder if he realizes the magnitude of gratitude that many of his athletes feel for his coaching. It was so apparent at the post race feast. I am delighted with my progress in 13 short weeks and I can't wait to begin focusing on Clearwater.

Which is tomorrow. No rest for the wicked.

Congrats also to Curt, my awesome husband who took home honors for first amateur male at the sprint yesterday! Team Egg cleaned up.

Pictures to come, but please please accept my heartfelt thanks for the many texts and emails and voice mails. They mean so very much.

You know that versus commercial...... that I posed a while back...... there is a line in there that starts as..... "Every come from behind under dog KNOWS......." I replayed that speech over and over in my head as I raced. At the start I told myself I would not be denied a sub five hour finish. It was time to break the curse.

Now, my coach.... he already knew that it would be broken.

We have much work to do, we have another time drop to make between now and November.

Thank you to Coach Jesse, for taking me on.... and over the past 13 weeks helping me find my way again. Thanks also to Chrissie (Jesse's wife) Cait, Tim, Michelle, Mikalea, Jay, Mark, and to all my other absolutely amazing teammates on QT2.

Thanks also to my awesome teammates on train-This. Mike C. was also at Pumpkinman and earned a 4:47 in his first ever half! We had a group at various races all over the place today and I have to say that you guys are my R.O.C.K.S. Especially you guys Ken and Kim. Especially you guys!!!!

Thanks so much for reading, I will post pictures when we get home tomorrow night.

The curse is BROKEN!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

pumpkinman part I

Curt was overall amateur at Pumpkinman sprint today! Just seconds behind Cait Snow, the female champ and QT2 coach! The venue here is simply magnificent. Race director Kat Donatello certainly knows how to stage an event! It makes me look even more forward to tomorrow and the half Ironman.

It was great to see Curt have a great race, his running form is back on, and I think it was awesome for him to have a strong performance on the heels of a not so great one in Alabama as he heads to IMAZ!

While some raindrops fall outside I have my feet up. Carbo loading is going well. My head is clear, and I am without a doubt ready to race tomorrow. So very ready.

The journeys we go through, the ups and the downs, the wins and the losses.... they are for a reason. It leads us through the paths we are meant to travel to learn what we need to learn. I have been really fortunate to have gone through some bug ups and some big downs. As I think about where I need to be...... I am right there right now.

I am in a beautiful place. I am near the ocean. I am with my two favorite guys in the world. I am with the dream team, and I am being coached by the right coach. Who told me today.....who asked me if I had seen our 2010 goals yet. When I acknowledged that I had he told me..... "This is serious now.".

And I am ready.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the home of the brave

Today we are headed to the ocean. To Lobster and to a new place. It's an excellent day for an adventure.

Admittedly as we drive towards NYC and Boston my heart remains heavy on this anniversary, as may yours. It's one of those anniversaries that you tell your kids..... "I remember exactly what we were doing."

I remember Luc was 11 months old and I put my arms around him thinking..... what kind of world did I just bring you into? Then as the stories began to surface, the stories of good, of heroism, survival, compassion and love...... I thought.... I brought you into a good world.

I will never forget. I will never forget. I will never forget what that day has meant and represented. The absolute worst face of evil contrasted by the strength of humanity. The day when we all reached out to our neighbors, cried together, fought together and became a country again.

As we head to the ocean today I will keep that feeling with me. The American flag waves high and mighty here. Our spirit of patriotism has never been stronger. I will cry when they sing the star spangled banner..... just like I always do.

I will continue to be grateful for the opportunities I have here. The freedom I get to enjoy and the passion for this great land that we all share.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Before we begin! The Annual Finger Lakes Triathlon Train-This Swim Clinic has been rescheduled! Originally slotted for this Saturday 9/12, we have moved it to next Saturday 9/19 at 1pm. It is a USAT sanctioned clinic and is $15. We will review the FLT swim course, take a look at swim strokes, and give you valuable tips on how to get out of the water quick!

Also next Saturday 9/19, I will be giving free 20 minute clinics at FLT packet pickup (with the exception during the swim clinic) to review the course and the race! Beginning at 12:30, look for the blue Train-This tent! See you all there! For more information please visit or !!!!!

Here is a picture of the QT2 Team kit, and no Sully is not included!
The first day of school for Luc of course didn't come without something going wrong. With everything that has gone wrong in the past I had hoped beyond hope everything would go right. In the end it did. His bus didn't come. We got that straightened out. At first he was upset, feeling like he got left behind. But as we walked into school he promptly announced to the principal:
"Screw the bus! I'm coming to school anyways!" As she looked at me I just moved the conversation right along rather than pretend I was hard of hearing and switching to sign language.
When school was over he ran off the bus and into my arms..... he's still and always will be my little boy. The first day of third grade was wonderful. His best friend was in his class. The mission of the week is to track the paw prints of Marley (the dog!). Apparently Marley has snuck into school and they must find her! Luc believes she is hiding in the theatre!
During the day it was as if my life had gone from 60 to zero. Here I was, workouts done before 7am. Nothing to do for 7 hours except hop to school and take an exam. So I studied and took a nap. Stayed off my feet. Reviewed everything I need for our trip this weekend.
I get to see the ocean! Who knew that Pumpkinman was just a few minutes away from the ocean. Nestled in where New Hampshire and Maine connect, or is it intersect? Maine = lobster which I haven't had..... I am not sure if I have ever eaten lobster! You can bet I will be trying some!!!!
I have my team kit, I have my clean bike, I have my guys with me. I get to race with my QT2 teammates..... The Wizard is racing too! I am very excited to race alongside and as part of such an incredible team. The plan for my race is set, and this morning I will pack it all up.
Another Eggers' adventure awaits!
More to come from the shore!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Often times I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. When I opened Train-This I had no idea what it would bring. Throughout the past 4 + years it has brought the most amazing people into my life and into this multisport family we've got here. I don't often write about my athletes..... if they wanted to be written about they'd have blogs :-) ....... but they are an incredible group of people.

I am often asked how we came up with the name Train-This. It was a summertime phone call between my friend Rich and I in the summer of 2004. His company is the local timing and race putter onner company Score-This. He was joking around that I should start coaching and y company should be called Train-This. If I were a dentist I could have a business called Yank-This....... a nutritionist could be Eat-This....... after that phone call ended..... I think I called him back. That was not a bad idea. So yes, Train-This and Score-This..... not an accident. Once one of my fancy business friends tried to convince me to change the name to my name. Heck no. It was born out of a joke but the name stays!

It's that time of the year when seasons are coming to a close for some, and we are bringing on a bunch of new athletes for the 2010 season. Each year I keep thinking to myself..... where do these people come from? I fall in love with the excitement they bring to this sport and this team.

Because I have been asked a lot about our team lately...... I thought I'd give a little overview. As I said I don't write about my athletes. Not everyone wants their name strewn across someones blog. I think that many people in this world deserve a little privacy. You will see their accomplishments on our home page (which will be updated this afternoon!!!!).

In a nutshell we are a team. Maybe even some kind of dysfunctional family without the dysfunction, or the dysfunction being that we all love our sport. We have a google group on which we all communicate. I send out a little something (or two) each day and our athletes share their lives, experiences, race reports as well. On this group .... rides are crated, trips are planned, and the absolute insanest of insane conversations happen.

We train together when we can. In the winter it's group runs in the park. Towards spring there are rides, open water swims. Camp. It's such a fun group of people. We ordered team uniforms a few years ago and it's time for an update. We've got a new logo and a new design for our team kits, so look for those this coming spring...... hint: they are BRIGHT. :-)

Here is that new logo, thanks El Magnifico:

Every day when I scroll through the logs of my athletes I feel lucky. I am very honored that our athletes come to us, that they believe in what we believe in, that they have the passion that we do. I love what I get to learn as a coach. I love watching the journey an athlete takes and the transformation they make from season to season. I love to try new things, I love to incorporate their ideas...... I love to watch them improve.

Their finish lines are more exciting than my own. Their victories I feel very deeply. Their setbacks I take very personally. We get pretty darn close around here. It's a community, almost like a cult and we get involved in each other's lives.

I am really really proud of this team. I am proud of what they have done. There are times I am proud of what they don't do. I am proud of how they balance their lives and love their families.

This weekend we've got 5 athletes competing in Muskoka 70.3, one athlete at Quakerman, and three of us are headed to Pumpkinman. Next Monday our Google Group will be bust with stories and adventure. It's better than any blog I could ever write, it's better than anything in the world!

So to our past, present and future athletes, I say thank you. For trusting us, for staying with us, and for being family.

Monday, September 7, 2009

4th breakthrough of the week

Breakthroughs don't always come in the form of sunflowers and fast times, cheers from crowds and the popping of champagne bottles. In fact, they rarely do. The breakthroughs happen most often when you are alone with your own thoughts, your own demons, where the only one who really cares is you.

Sunday was a very different breakthrough kind of day.

Because I am wife of the year, perhaps the greatest wife on the face of this earth, I pushed my workout back until 2pm so Curt could get his long ride done. I might be one of the few spouses in the world who will clip their husbands into their pedals and then send them off. Not because I want to get rid of him, because I want him to be prepared for IMAZ. It will be a long plane ride home if he does not show up to that starting line prepared. Plus I really like the guy and I want him to do well (don't tell him that.....).

At the sunshine filled hour of 2pm I began the workout. On tap: 56 minutes of running with tempo / 30 minutes of cycling / 56 minutes of endurance running. Seemed pretty simple. Except for one thing. My legs. They didn't work.

As I began the run a car full of teenagers drove past, and I knew what was coming. The driver leaned out the window and shouted something snarky.... I couldn't quite hear but it had something to do with the size of my boobs..... which in case you wonder ..... are not small. But I am used to this, I dress scantily so what do I expect. It would have been funny except for the very cool teenage boy, who was obviously driving his parents shiny Escalade then veers into the lane and the path of an oncoming car. There must have been 6 boys in this car. The oncoming car swerves into a yard and the Escalade jerks back, luckily righting itself.

Really kid..... it was worth snarking at me to almost kill your friends and whoever else? It rocked me a lot. I have seen several children die this week due to car accidents. I view every single car as a weapon. Unless you have ever been the one performing chest compressions on a child, unless you have ever had to be present when parents are told that the child they made breakfast for this morning will never be coming home...... I'm sorry to be harsh but you do not understand. It's the hardest part of my job.

No one realizes how I carry that with me, how we carry it with us..... because we are Peds ED nurses. It's what we do. We do it well. The pain we carry with us is sometimes unbearable. Even my husband does not get it. You can hear a story about it, you can listen but unless you have ever been there wrapping your head around it is impossible.

So watching that near accident was the final straw on a very difficult week. The way I handle it other than using the Employee Assistance Program and talking with colleagues..... is through my sport.

Yeah..... it gets heavy. But that's what I choose.

I could not get into my zone 1 much less my zone 2 (tempo) when it came time. My legs were filled with lead. Barely turning over. After 5 minutes of tempo I had to back off. While my body and my heart rate were failing.... my Garmin claimed I was running 5:30's. I laughed out loud. No wonder I felt so bad..... I was running 5:30's ...... uh yeah....... two minutes later it said I was running 25:00 miles. Okay then, into the pocket that thing went!

Nothing specifically hurt. So when I got back I got on the bike for my 30 minute spin. I had gone from bad to worse. I hated every second of it. I just felt so Sh**ty. 20 minutes into the next run and I was laying in the grass.

Game over.



I showered and laid on my bed for 30 minutes until the guys dragged me off to Wegman's for dinner. I was so tired that I didn't care who looked at my purple compression socks weird.

I wanted a slice of pizza. But I knew that my body was craving nutrition, I know that the way out of this wasn't through grease and sugar but through the nutrition that I had learned. A plate full of lettuce, onions, mushrooms and grilled chicken was the answer. This would put back into my body what it was missing.

An hour later it was getting dark out. I stared at my training log. I was not happy with that hole. I was not happy to not get that tempo in. Yes, I had trained upwards of 18 hours this week, four tempo sessions, breakthroughs all the way. I have a race in 7 days.

So I put my running clothes back on, and I redid the run. My legs showed up. It was dark. Holiday traffic was roaring. I ran my 34 minute loop + 2 loops around my neighborhood. The backyard parties were roaring and I was getting noticed.... the heavy breathing girl who keeps running by.

I was breathing heavy because I was nailing it. This is what it takes.... I told myself. I hate the word
sacrifice, but I like The Wizard's definition of it. To me sacrifice is donating a kidney. To me sacrifice is donating your child's organs. To me sacrifice is doing anything you have to do to save your child's life. When it relates to sport I call it commitment. This is what it takes. I told myself. Commitment.

As I finished the run I smiled. That hurt. That hurt pretty bad. But I am not
here for a tea party. I am not here for a back rub. I am not here for an ego massage. I am here to become a better athlete. I am here to achieve big goals. I have a really good coach, I mean a really good coach. I went to the top. In the beginning he told me he'd give me detail and it was my responsibility for me to give it back. I know he is not hurting for athletes. I know he has coaches that work underneath him who I could have been given to (who are just as fabulous by the way). But The Wizard took me on, because he sees something in me. I do not want to blow this opportunity.

As I was done the response I had was this:

You HAVE TO PUSH those runs like today. Bite your teeth down, have some caffeine, and do what it takes to get your HR up......this is really important.

Well done soldier.....I can now sleep tonight.

I actually believed that this might affect sleep. This guy takes his athletes very seriously. That's one thing you notice in working with Jesse and this team. He takes it personal. He's not afraid to push your buttons. He knows how to extract your best.

This morning as I wait for the sunrise..... I feel very good about my week last week. Great performances are built on more than one breakthrough week however. Great performances are built on getting the job done when you don't want to. Great performances are built with patience. Great performances are built on pushing through your limits. Not always in front of the crowd but in the dark of night when you can't quite see your watch. When you are not afraid to try it again, when you are not afraid to step out of the comfort zone.

After Pumpkinman we launch right into..... and I mean right into the push to Clearwater. Soon I will know what Pumpkinman will bring. I have a feeling it will be a controlled paced race. The good thing about those is that they don't leave me trashed. They leave me able to complete the next big week.

Because I didn't come here to win Pumpkinman. I came here for Clearwater. There is a time I am after and I am on the path to hit it. I am seeing the change within me. I am feeling the hunger pangs, like last night when quitting was just not good enough. When it was time for a redo.

Something is happening here. And I am excited.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Although I must have looked like an absolute poser.... I suited up for yesterday's long ride in my team kit and set out for 4+ hours. I love my team kit, I love the way it feels. I love what it says. I am really proud to be a QT2 team member. The workout was straightforward.......... 3 hours of endurance, 67 minutes of tempo, transition run.

It's been a difficult week at work. I have seen an insurmountable amount of people die in car accidents this week. When I get on the roads for a long bike ride it's what I think about. I view cars as weapons. I get irritated when I see people on cell phones or texting. How many times when I am running do I see a car come straight at me and then jerk to the left as they have suddenly looked up.

Every time I get on my bike I pray for the gift of returning home.

I would prefer to do my long rides during week days, not on Saturday afternoons when the traffic population is different. However I don't get a choice in the day of the week I ride long. That's how the plan has to roll.

For the first time ever in my life I rode my two hour loop (twice) backwards. It gives me a straightaway and a giant shoulder to ride my tempo effort on.

Everything went fine, the paces the nutrition....... and the new gear. I transitioned to my run and held a pace at zone 1 that was my fastest zone 1 pace ever in the world.

This morning holds a great tempo workout again, embedded in a 56 min run / 30 min bike / 56 minute run. I am excited about it. There's been lots of running this week. There's been tempo and hills and breakthroughs. I know this is the beginning. I have a moderate week up next with a half ironman to finish it off with, then a few more 17 hour weeks that are full of tempo. I even heard the word TRACK in there. I have not run on a track since 2007 and that was for a run test.

I am so excited