Saturday, October 31, 2009

It seems like the perfect day for Halloween. Chilly, dark, wind bustling through the trees. Curt carved an incredible pumpkin last night... as he always does and Luc is ready for a night of scare. Truthfully his Halloweens the past 3 years have been interrupted. The blast 2 we've been in Panama City Beach, resorting to finding treats where we could (not a bad place to spend Halloween however!).

It will be great.

I have my last long ride today, just 2:45. In over 10 years 2:45 hasn't been considered a long ride, and truthfully it isn't. Little ride on the trainer hitting tempo efforts, see how recovered I am. I am feeling good through this recovery week. I have been feeling good through this whole season! Again I credit the coach, the wizard, the team that made it all happen. I have said it before and I will say it again, we have only just begun!


In 2 short weeks I get to swim in the ocean again. The water temp is 82 degrees, and I just sent my Blue Seventy Point Zero 3 to Kim in Boston. She's kindly sending it back and then when I get back I will overnight it to her. My suit gets around.

Water temp doesn't freak me out, I have the right gear for it, I just need it in the right city.

Friends keep asking me.... am I nervous.... am I ready? I never get nervous and I always feel ready. I don't know why I don't get nervous. This is the World Champs after all ! I just feel so privileged to be able to compete with such an incredible field of people. I feel honored more than anything. This sport is a privilege not a god given right.

So of course I am ready. I am ready to see friends I haven't seen in a while. I am excited to hang out with K.R. and meet my husband's man crush MM. I am excited to swim in the ocean....... the warmer the better baby! I am excited to ride those overly crowded streets and just allow the race to unfold. Drafting is always an issue in Clearwater, it is how it earned the name Cheatwater. Look at the course..... look at the waves, duh! Big genius' put this together! The trick is to roll with it and not give energy away to a situation you can't control.

I am excited to run, I really love this run course. I love the finish line and I love the pre and post race beach parties.

I love to travel and I love to sit on Pier 60 and watch the ocean roll by. I get to see the ocean several times a year and for that I am the most blessed girl on earth.

Forgive me for being the girl with the biggest smile on race day...... because I will never stop smiling. I love my sport, our sport. I love this community, this life, this lifestyle. I feel very very blessed.

It feels like right now so many amazing things are happening, on and off the field. I am trudging through one more month of classes. The hardest thing for me is to stay home while the boys go to the pumpkin patch because I have to study. That's time I can't get back. Dec 5th my book goes into the garbage, not even back to the bookstore. The garbage. But between now and then I have a vacation in Arizona with my guys (of course an Ironman vacation) and I will be hanging with my boys with nothing on schedule. YEAH!

So many of you are already in the off-season. In my opinion it is the most important time of the year. It's a time to look back, to look forward. To decide what you will reach for with new goals, new ideas, a fresh take. It's the time to be hiking with the family, riding the mountain bike instead of the time trial bike. It's an important time to not be racing.

I have a very short off season coming up. Better believe I will be enjoying all 14 days of it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

judge and youth

Two very different topics today and Crapola! My spellchecker is brokenola!!!!!!!!!! And the font is all crazy!

I was placed into a very strange situation this week, and I write about it because I am not entirely sure what to do, if anything about it. My instinct is to let it go, and know that the ship will sink itself, the bomb will self destruct, that karma takes care of things like this. I honestly wondered when and how I became the judge and sentencer, and in all honesty how my opinion even mattered.

I was posed the question..... in my opinion do I think that an athlete poses a safety concern to other athletes on a race course, through sportsmanship and / or reckless behavior. What? I don't know, the last conversation I had with the athlete in question may have been over 10 years ago. I really didn't know. Because I was told my opinion mattered...... I reached out, and asked the athlete directly. I wanted to know if they were in fact someone who did seem to be a danger to other people? Was that even possible? I honestly didn't believe so. Who in our sport would not cherish community as I did, as we all do? Maybe if I was the one to extend the olive branch, a greater understanding.

I know what it is like to be misunderstood. I know what it is like to have people judge who you are based on rumor rather than personal experience and I so desperately hoped maybe it was I who could help.

The answer I got was so disturbingly ambiguous that..... I could not give an opinion. I asked to not be asked. I asked that those who were asking look elsewhere, because I can not be someone whom I don't know.... I can't be their keeper. Especially when they act..... as they do.

What I do in this case is separate myself. Completely. Draw the line, pull back in, and disassociate. I don't need that type of energy and influence on my own life and the community around me.

I left it at that. Did I do the right thing? What is the right thing?????? I suppose my own question is answered. Let it go, let them decide, and let that ship sink itself. That's what always happens.

Onto more exciting news I have some very cool and exciting news about the 2010 Musselman Triathlon Festival coming up this year. We've been in close contact with our great friend Jeff Henderson..... who you might have seen featured in this months USAT Triathlon life magazine.

I have a very special love for the Musselman. It began in 2004 and it has grown ever since. In this world of WTC and 70.3 domination I love homegrown races like this even more. Why? Because a race like the Musselman involves collaboration, teamwork, companies that would normally compete come together and work together for the good of the community.

That's what this sport..... to me is ultimately about. We are working hard behind the scenes for a few extra goodies to add to the Musselman events this year. Check some of them out at for details.

Which truly brings me to the most important point of the day. I have a question. Youth triathlon. We know that there are loads of youth events out there. But for those who are reading......... are your kids at that in between stage between kids race and sprint tri, are they in that "Youth" category? They'd like to begin participating in events and get timed but are not ready to be playing with the adults in adult races???? If so, please shoot me an email at maryeggers "at" gmail "dot" com with your thoughts, ideas and interest. We are in a data collecting position at the moment....... to see what it is that is out there, what's the interest for, and what would you like to see?

That's the beauty of all of this, community, growth, positive expansion. It's the force field around the multisport life that I so fiercely protect. But not by spelling.


Today's that kind of day where I get to be elbow deep in all that I love. Family, people, yoga multisport. More rewarding than my own performances are guiding the performances of others, watching them grow and achieve.

It's a "soak week" (a term we liked to use for recovery.... we are soaking up the efforts of the past build).... I am using the time to tie up loose ends in terms of people and studies and things. They are neat and tidy and once that calendar turns to hit November 1st it will be a whirlwind until I land myself in Boston the first week in December.

With a 45 minute swim on tap this morning I thought it best to hit the tail end of Masters, a little more sleep would do me good. Yeah that wasn't all that bright of a move on my part. It's pull week at RAMS and while normally my favorite, it hurt. In the water it takes me a good 30 min to warm up.

It's funny as I have gotten older in the pool I don't pay attention to my times. I pay attention to where I am in relatuion to my lanemates. I think our team is unique in the amazing relationzhips that we all have with each other. Seriously.

I know how I am swimming based on who I am swimming next to or where the guys are at.

If I can stay on M's feet I am having a good day. If Ken does not lap me in a 400 yard set I am having a good day. I should be able to stay ahead of Les in Lane 1, if not, not a good day. It might take me a length or 2 but getting past R is where I should be.
Today Grimm was unruly Billy again in the water. Kind of like King Kong as he was kicking ass and flailing arms. It's a pretty normal day for us to lock shoulders once a 25. Grimm today was on a different planet, catching me on a freaking 200.

Good Lord I wanted to vote him out of the lane and into the tank.

Soak week has been pretty good. I rested. And rested some more. Took an exam. Sent my Blue Seventy PointZero 3 to Boston only to realize I may need it for Clearwater (eighty two in the water?), so Monday it will be back to me and then overnighted to Boston when I get home.

I reflected on my 2009 season and I smiled so big as I am so absolutley thrilled with where it has taken me. I dreamt about 2010 and where I will be headed.

To where I never thought possible.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

now more than ever

If I have not mentioned it I am really excited to close my book on December 5th. I actually enjoy what I am learning. I am not enjoying the directions it is headed. I am not enjoying the fact that I will be missing pumpkin carving at my house tonight because I will be taking an exam. I am not enjoying the fact that I will not be seeing mister hugger pie get off the bus today.

I told him the news this morning. I told him that starting December 5th I would be there off the bus every single day. Because if you have ever been around when he gets off the bus he runs and I mean runs down the driveway full speed and gives you a knock over hug.

Soon I get to have that every day.

This morning I am at Starbucks studying. For some reason I am wearing grown up clothes. A sweater. I don't know what possessed me to dress this way, but as comfortable as I am I don't fit in with these real job type of people.

I love to be out and about. I love to be dressed in my Lululemon and Mizuno. I love meeting athletes at coffee shops and talking dream talk.

My father always told me that no matter what I do I have to be happy first in what I do.

So I am doing some exploring over the next year in my nursing career. I love being a pediatric emergency nurse. I love knowing what to do when a child rolls in who is very sick...... I love working as a team to save them. I love that excitement. On the other side I hate the feeling of failing when we fail. That devastation to my team is unexplainable. we feel it deep and for a very long time.

I could not do it full time.

There is so much opportunity out there. So many things I can do and create and continue to build on. More than anything I am so excited to discover.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

exciting times

I have been using study breaks for meetings. Meeting with new athletes, some new sponsors, and about camps. (December 5th please come quick.... last day of semester). Each time I shake hands with someone I am left with the feeling of enthusiasm. My visions for growing this multisport community are coming to fruition. More than a business Train-This is about building community.

This summer we will be running not one but three camps, at the beginning, middle and end of the summer. I get to work with some really great people in organizing these, they'll be about different things and they are in gorgeous locations.

In the next few months we will revise, refresh and update the website also!

In addition to the
Train-This affiliate that we've got in Washington DC, I am excited to be bringing on an assistant coach, and subsequently expanding what we have to offer in the community. It's such an amazing feeling to see and know how we have grown in this economy and in this area. To be closing the books and fully concentrate on what I love to do is an opportunity I am excited to have.

I will still be a pediatric emergency nurse, less hours but that's something I am passionate about as well. So much of my nursing experience carries over to what we do here, more than you could think or imagine!

I am looking forward to traveling to some educational events, conventions..... I feel like a sponge and there are so many people I want to learn from.

So that's where we are headed in the business sense.

In the personal athletic endeavor I am so excited that Clearwater is just 2 weeks away. I look forward more than anything to the sun, the salt water, traveling with my bike. Adventure. Seeing what I've got on race day, knowing what I am capable.

After 2 overload weeks I am currently enduring a recovery week. My instructions are very simple and I need to read them every single day:

Rest like its your job. This week is more important than the previous whatever it takes to finish it 100 percent recovered. If that means taking workouts easier than prescribed or even missing a it.

Yesterday that meant cutting a bike workout short. Today in Masters my shoulders ached so I cut a few yards off the 500's..... even though I wanted to fight through it .... but that's for next week. Harder than shitting myself is stopping. Harder than barfing in my mouth is slowing down when my natural reaction is "pain is good!"..... because this week I have to absorb the efforts of the last 2 weeks.

As I work in flu central 2 days a week I also have to take extra precautions to stay healthy. I have had the flu, and I am just being reasonable about wearing a mask at work and of course washing my hands eight trillion times a minute.

This weekend I glue on the race tires. Next week a paper is due. The following week an exam and then finally I get to board that plane and fly away.

The most exciting things however is a birthday party between now and then. Somewhere very exciting. My little baby boy will be 9 years old on November 9, 2009. (of course that was planned upon conception.)

I stood back last evening as we went to Wegmans and he so very carefully paged through the cake book. He's had such a great year since we began at his school back in May. His specialist has been nothing short of amazing. He's got friends. He talks on the phone. He's got a BEST friend. He gets himself up, on the bus, independently. He can't wait to go to school. He's on the bowling team. Almost ready for the swim team. He's in cub scouts. He's reading, he's happy. He even joined the school chorus. Nothing on earth can be more amazing than a happy child. Especially one who has been through such frustration because he is different.

As he walked into Wegmans in his pajamas last evening a few people turned and looked like what is that kid doing? I felt full of admiration because for a while now, he's been comfortable being Luc. The kid with the strangely spelled common name, with the blond surfer hair, with the glasses that help him see the world, with the scar down the middle of his chest..... the kid who dances to the beat of his own drum and sees things in this world that I forget to see. The kid who will walk up to you, introduce himself and invite you to the party. The kid who .... even though he does not know you.... will walk up to you if you seem sad and just give you a random hug.

May he always have these qualities.

As I close the book on my semester December 1st I can't wait to be around to see even more of it.

More good things to come.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

things to come

It's been hard focusing on my semester and closing the books for a while. I've been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the USAT 2010 continuing education clinics, checking out where the fitness conventions are that I used to attend when I was teaching, this is the stuff that I absolutely love. I am so excited to be focusing on the business and growing it. Just yesterday several opportunities landed on my desk almost as I was literally reading pathophysiology. I want to close the books .... now.

December 5th. December 5th. December 5th. Until then I have much to do. Finish the semester. Clearwater. Ironman Arizona. I feel like once I step on that plane for Clearwater there is no looking back.

As we have just progressed through an overload block, this is a big recovery block for me. I am to rest like it is my job, essential that I exit this week 100% recovered. Smile. Smile. Smile. It's almost time to hit that course in Clearwater.

I am ready to go out and grab my race. I am ready to execute my plan, swim my swim, ride my bike and run my run.

But first I have to study.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

fertlize this

Don't look in there. Don't open it. Don't take anything out.

Those were the instructions to my husband as I pointed to the washer.

There is one item in there and don't touch it.

He looked a little afraid and he should be afraid. The item was my QT2 shorts. My beloved race shorts. They were dirty. Not with dirt. White Hot might have been proud of me but you shouldn't shart yourself during training.

Unless you are finishing a 2 hour tempo run, everyone and their mother is out on the trail, mowing their lawns, you don't' want to break pace and well, it just happens.

Please no one stop me for anything. Directions, hello's, CPR.......

As I ran into the house I made a beeline for the bathroom realizing I should have made that beeline to the power hose. Let me just say it was the grossest thing I have ever done.

But I never broke pace. My legs ached and my head was against it. Apparently my GI system was as well.

This has never happened to me but I am not worried. I have had a giant 2 weeks of training. With school it's been incredibly stressful and I know all too well that stress will affect the GI system first. I also know that should this issue happen in Clearwater I can run through it, just don't come too close to me after the race.

Maybe it was karma. Yesterday I sent the wizard an email and told him that I hated him. Today I sent him an email that said as my run was complete I didn't hate him anymore. It's good to send hate mail to your coach when things get tough. Have a good scapegoat, the one whom you pay to write the workouts.

Makes perfect sense.

Big weeks done. Recovery week, race prep week and taper.

My friend K.O. sent me an email this morning reminding me that three weeks from today we will be on the beach nursing hangovers. From the 1/2 beer we will have had on Saturday night. That's right, we will be wild on the beach as we split an entire bottle of beer. We've decided it won't be ultra lite. It will be a beer's beer.

Why 1/2? Because every triathlete knows that we can't handle our liquor.

We'll be on the beach, with 2 weeks off (3 for her, lucky dawg) and nothing to do but lounge by the pool. I am staying till Monday to spend 2 days in the sun studying. After the weekend I had elbow deep in swine flu and panic stricken parents..... I need it.

I might need a depends too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

things to come

I will admit to "feeling it" this week. For the first time in a long time I look forward to crossing that finish line three weeks from today and putting a cap on a very very happy season. I have been training since Dec / Jan of 2008 and while that first race in NOLA was nothing great I was still training. I am ready for a break, and although it will be only 2 weeks I will use those 2 weeks wisely.

2009 has been good to me. It really has. I joined an amazing team in April / May and I have seen nothing but improvements across the board. We tackled nutrition like I never have before, and none of the workouts have been devastating. Instead we spend hours and hours and hours building a strong foundation, or should I say rebuilding it. Running more frequently, changing how I view nutrition during training and solving my many "during race" GI issues.

The amount of gratitude that I feel towards Coach Jesse (The Wizard) and the entire crew at QT2 is overwhelming. The Wizard keeps saying that this is just the beginning. I don't know if any of them realize what they have done for me and how excited I am to be back in the game.

As I look over the horizon at 2010 I am excited. I am going to have the time to focus on this, which is the best part.

In terms of my own business I again can't be happier. I have had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of athletes this season. 2010 is lining up to perhaps be our biggest year yet.

And yes, it is true..... from now until January we are opening a limited amount of spots for athletes who want to be part of the team. Email me at maryeggers "at" gmail "dot" com. On the homepage the contact box doesn't seem to be working very well ...... but we are working on a new edition of the site anyways so shoot me an email!

After a disastrous 2008, 2009 came together drama free and smooth. Even Christmas this year is shaping up to be good. I will have to say that my father and I will miss hanging out and mocking my sister-in-law. Oh the good old days! But we'll be together nonetheless.

Three weeks from today I get to swim in the ocean. Now if my legs would show up for today's activities, it would be grand!

Friday, October 23, 2009

it's complicated

Actually, it's not. Training is not complicated, but we are really really good at making it so. I know many people are opinionated when it comes to Chuckie V, kind of like the way they are with Rush Limbaugh, but I like the guy. I like his real world approach to the sport. I admire his passion for it the most. I think he's funny. My opinion, remember that.

In today's post called
No Secrets he reminds us that all of the gadgetry on earth isn't going to make it easier. All the powermeters and Garmins in the world are not going to make the progression from point A to point B easy. If it were easy everyone would be there wouldn't they?

My favorite paragraph of the blog was this:

Here's how it works...
One, you apply a stimulus (i.e., a training stress).
Two, you back off (and allow for adaptation).
Three, you note your response to that stimulus (good, bad or ugly?).
Four, you apply the next stimulus (ideally a greater one, at least over time).

Done. Basic.

I can't argue with that. As the president of the powermeter / garmin / computrainer club I can attest that we as coaches and athletes make the above simple system ridiculously complicated. To the point that some feel they need their Doctorate or their Coaching Level 19 to even begin to understand.

The rules of training don't have to be so thick and confusing. Look at all of the people around you who have succeeded this season. They might belong to the fancy coach or team (I do....... aren't I freaking special........ secret answer no) but if you take a good look they have one thing in common. Application of training stress....... recovery.....building that again and again and again.

So keep it simple. SILLY!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


It will be 66 degrees here in Rochester today. That means my bike, my nutrition, myself and five hours. When I first saw 5 hours with a 40 min run afterwards I thought...... coach knows I am training for Clearwater right? That quickly turned into who the hell cares because convincing me to ride for five hours is actually easy. It's like eating a mallowcreme pumpkin (here we go again!) when I am not eating in the core.


I had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday. One workout that I do every few weeks is a 1:40 tempo ride followed by a 40 minute run, and the first mile of that run is tempo. Yesterday I ran that mile 15 seconds faster than I did a few weeks ago. FIFTEEN SECONDS? Geesh. If only my Clearwater run comes together so easily! It felt good however to have that small breakthrough after having been sick. You worry about what you have lost yet forget about all of the work you have put in.

I am excited to see how I can run in Clearwater. Now mind you I am not going to be running some 1:30 1/2 marathon. I am targeting a 1:40, which for me is a really good run. Like I said, I don't consider myself to be one of those girls who "hasn't run in weeks" and throws down a 1:30 off the bike. My run progress has been slow and steady. Which is the way we want it actually.

By nature I am a strong cyclist, I love my wheels. Millions of races have gone by with me owning the fastest bike split and falling apart on the run. This season we've worked to control the bike. Should I run anything slower than a 1:40 in Clearwater then it will tell you that I rode the bike too hard. With that being said we continue to strengthen all three.

The bike in Clearwater can be a difficult thing.... drafting or not that course is flat and smooth and over parts of the ocean and begs you to just ride!

Just a few more weeks and I will be by the ocean. In my small family owned hotel with a pool right next to the ocean and feet from race site. I will have my gear and my books and I will spend more time on a lunge chair than anything. Studying is actually a terrific time occupant before a race. Where I am staying doesn't have fancy, I don't need fancy. I just need a place to sleep.

Okay sun....... as soon as you rise we go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

why do you run?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

back to good

I have a giant training week on hand, and I am finally feeling back to normal. Don't discount the strength that the flu can sap from you. It took a good 2 weeks out of me. You can get pissed about that or you can move on. You can't spend time wishing that time back but instead you have to trust the work you have done. I know the next 3 weeks are pretty critical and to be honest I am very excited to get my butt to Clearwater and ride around in my skivvies.

Things are coming along. I am setting up for a PR in the 70.3 distance. I feel pretty confident about it, and in the grand scheme of things I have no clue where that will land me in terms of placing. I don't really care. One year ago I was having a hard time walking. So this is the celebration of a year and once Clearwater is over..... I have a lot of work ahead of me.

It's hard to be looking at the end of one season as the beginning of the next. As you know we will have an Eggers vs Eggers showdown scheduled for November 2010. My husband does not believe I fully respect the amount of work it will take for me to go sub ten hours in the Ironman, but believe you me..... I do. It will require a hell of amount of work. Sign me up. Because I love my training, my coaching and my team.

It's why I am traveling to Boston in December for run analysis, testing, poking, prodding. I have a lot more body composition to change. We did what we could with this season, I have a lot more to go once November 14th comes and goes.

Between now and then I still have a semester to finish. Four exams to go. A trip to Clearwater and a vacation at Ironman Arizona. I have to be present to where I am right here and right now, stay healthy, keep my head in the game (which for me is so easy!).

Three weeks to go! Sunshine awaits!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Since about 5am I have been in my office, coffee at side, planning. Planning weeks, seasons. Looking at goals, configuring workouts, and smiling the entire time. I love coaching. I love what I do. I am so excited about a team meeting that's we are having this morning. I am currently working with an absolutely amazing group of people.

While the hardest thing about this time of year is taming the mojo..... I happen to be working with possibly the hardest working team I have ever worked with. I am used to people being jacked up in October. I worked with most of these folks last season and the season before and the problem is that they maintain their mojo the entire season. In order to protect them from themselves I have to work extra hard at simmering them down.

It's pretty fun.

What I love about coaching is that this is not just science. Many, including my coach might argue that it is. It's an art and a science. When you coach you are dealing with someones life. They are a parent, a spouse, a sister, a friend. Not just an athlete. As a coach you embrace all of that.

I am disappointed in an athlete when they start out an email with an apology for missing a workout...... I think people feel they fail a coach when that happens. But when you are sick, when your kid needs homework help..... truthfully that trumps triathlon. You can't train with a fever. You can not neglect your child.

Now if you are skipping for the sake of skipping..... then look in the mirror and apologize to that person, not to me.

The art of coaching comes in the form of creating a training program that fits into an athlete's life...... and doesn't overtake it. We deal with school, work, family..... we work it into that lifestyle rather than on top of it.

We make small progressive steps towards the goals that we set. We set nothing in stone. If we have to change something, we change it. I look at the big picture and figure it out. The art of that is what I love so much.

As a yoga teacher I always say that I can make any pose fit any one's body. As a triathlon coach I can fit any program into your life for any goal that you set. While some preach that to attain XX time you have to train XX hours.... I think it's highly more individualized than that.

It takes experience to become an effective coach. In all honesty I have learned more from the people and the coaches that I have personally worked with, than any coaching certification I have ever been to. I think it's real world real life experience that teaches us the most. Anyone can sit in a class and take an exam and generate a training program. Personally I love what I do and realize that I am still learning. I will always be learning. I know enough to stay away from know it all coaches, those who attack one another, those who think their way is right. I know to align with coaches who are interested in growth, sharing, and having fun.

There are a few of us coaches who bounce ideas back and forth. Who email each other for some insight, who refer athletes to one another or to a specialist. I love the networking. I love the discussions. I am lucky to be in a good peer group.

My father...... he's the one who has always been my greatest teacher and most effective coach. I am not sure if my father even knows how to swim but he was my best swim coach. He had an eye for observing. And eye for watching, comparing, analyzing. He taught me how to sit back and see the full picture. To realize that bodies are individual, that individuals are individual, that no one fits the same mold.

When I first became a swim coach it was my father who taught me to look at the bigger picture as well as the fine pieces and he taught me how the small pieces add up to the big painting at the end. In other words start with the big picture, narrow in and then pan out again.

Through the years I have learned to work with all kinds of individuals. I can sense who is going to be able to reach their goals and who is not. While it has a lot to do with me, I am a small piece of the equation. So much of it comes from within them.

2010 will be a big year for our team. We will be meeting in a half hour to discuss the upcoming season, take a team picture, talk about the uniforms, the training, camp, testing.

This season I am working with 28 individuals who are absolutely fantastic. Big goals and big achievements lie ahead of us. I am so very excited to soon make this my full time gig. I have stated that our team is currently full, if you are interested in beginning with us In December / January, shoot me an email or fill out the info on the info page. We'd be so lucky to have you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

change of plan

It's been a busy week, but that's the theme of my life lately. December 4th it will stop. Halt, and slow the heck down for a very long time. Perhaps it's my workaholic personality that causes me to pile my plate sky high. This week I was presented with yet another business opportunity that.... because of my schedule..... I almost turned down. I have been turning down a lot of things and a lot of athletes lately. Seems like my business wants to boom and because of time..... I can't pursue what I love.

I love working with athletes. I love working with people. I love working together towards something.

Instead of saying no to that opportunity...... I said yes. But can you wait until December? Because in December we are making changes.

The bigger incident was with my son and his specialist. I am so lucky to have an amazing husband who goes above and beyond so that I can be in grad school. And I mean above and beyond. When Luc and I were at his specialist this week, he was guiding Luc through some mental imagery. He asked Luc where he was imagining himself to be at the moment.

"I'm with my Mom, and she does not have to study. I miss her."

Stop. Halt. Whoa. Brakes on.

When you become a parent.... your heart lives on the outside of you. You think you know what love, fear and pain are. Then you have your child. In that instant, the instant their first breath is taken you realize that what you thought you knew what a fraction of what was about to hit you. Every emotion about love, pain, fear....... multiply that by about a billion and then have it punch you in the stomach. It takes your breath away and gives you depth to your soul you never knew you had.

What am I doing??? What am I doing????? I thought that to myself over and over and over as I sat in class the next day. At that moment I should have been outside with Luc. He's only 8 years old. These are the critical years. EVERY year is a critical year. I don't want to send him to college wishing I had these 3 years back. I only get to do this once. My graduate school advisor told me that his daughter said to her friends one day "I haven't seen my Dad since I was 11 because he is in school so much.". He thought that was hilarious. I thought it was frightening. That won't be me.

In December I will close the book on Pathophysiology and I will postpone my Masters degree. Maybe for 10 more years. I can't think of anything right now.... anything that is more important than being a Mom. I have a child with special needs and I need to do my job. My first job is MOM. Not being a grad student. Not right now.

Life is too short to be living on this schedule. So in December I put my studies on hold. I bring my most important job as Mom to the front and center. Train-This gets to continue to grow..... I am getting back to all of those people I said no to over the past 8 weeks and I am telling them.... let's do it. From camps to athletes to writing. WHY AM I NOT DOING MORE OF WHAT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO DO????????????????????????????????????????????????

Thank God this came right here and right now. What was I thinking? Sometimes we get so caught up in programs and goals and where we think we need to be that we overlook what's right in front of us.

I hope Luc is ready..... because come December he will be getting really really sick of me. And when he is that freshman in college feeling homesick, these are the days he will look back on and smile.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

mary + computrainer = love

Without complaining I have realized that the next time I ride outside will be in Clearwater. You'd better believe I will appreciate it even more then. I love racing in November, I love pushing the season out like this, I have done it the past 3 years and it's the main reason I am choosing a fall Ironman for 2010.

I love that today I will be completing 1 mile repeats under a canopy of orange and red leaves while I breathe in the crisp fall air. I don't mind that I will ride tempo in the garage. My bike and I could be anywhere together. I will ride four hours inside this weekend which is fine. It gives me the chance to dial in.

The Wizard has me dialing in nutrition even further this week. I can see from an outsider's point of view how it would appear that we restrict carbohydrates. We just get most of them from training fuel and the rest from really good sources. If I were restricting carbohydrates..... how would I get through a 20 hour training week + an exam + motherhood + coaching + teaching + working.

I wouldn't.

I am working with a really neat spreadsheet designed by the Wizard which gives me nutritional goals for the day and week in terms of macro nutrients. It's fascinating to me to really break down my nutrition. A few more pounds to go and I love how healthy I have been able to do this.
Again I reiterate how much I love that my coach bridges the gap between nutrition and performance and training. QT2 is very unique in that approach.

Speaking of healthy I am recovered from the flu, each day I am seeing my training paces and power averages return to normal. As busy as I am I am sleeping 7-8 hours a night. Sleep as we know is the #1 reason we get stronger and faster.

It's a good time for me right now. I am getting stronger and fitter by the day. I know what Clearwater is going to bring for me and as I have said before I am especially excited about what comes afterwards.

Today I am excited to ride my computrainer next to my husband, run under a canopy of trees. Study for my exam under a warm blanket for a good four hours sipping herbal tea (did I just say T.E.A.). Remember that what we get to do is a privilege, not a rite of passage. There are millions of people in this world who would do anything to have the ability to ride a bike, let alone indoors next to the sub ten hour man (or his super cool wife).

I continuously get mocked for that attitude..... but go ahead and mock me. Know I take none of this for granted. Every step I get to take is a giant opportunity, a chance, and an ability to chase a dream.

I dream of swimming in the ocean, I dream of riding along the roads as I look at the clear blue water in Florida..... and I dream of having a very solid run through one of the most beautiful run courses there are.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

kale chips

I walked into Breathe, (Check out the new site!) the yoga studio where I teach and Josh (the incredible chef) was standing there with a handful of green. He held his hand out to me...... TRY THIS he said. I don't even have to ask him what it is. Josh knows I am eating in the core and he knows my fruit and veg table palate is very narrow so when there are new items on the menu he brings them to my attention. Through him I am now an eater of kale, butternut squash, red beet hummus, spaghetti squash..... his specialty is vegetarian cooking. YUM!
So I took a piece of green something from his hand and ate it. OHMYGAWD!!!!!
KALE CHIPS.... he told me. I at first was afraid, chips? Chips aren't on the core!!! No No No, I was assured, kale chips are made with just olive oil and seasoning. Here is the recipe:
Kale, Olive Oil, and seasonings of your choice.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop the kale into bite sized pieces. In a bowl toss kale with olive oil, you want the olive oil to be LIGHT, and add the seasonings. Place the kale on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and cook int he oven for about 15 minutes.
You will have light crispy chips made of kale!!! Who knew!!!!
It so happens that Kale fits so perfectly into the core diet! Hooray!
Speaking of Core diet I had a terrific meeting with the Wizard yesterday, who always seems to have the neatest bag of tricks up his sleeve. As we approach race day he liked to dial in the nutrition and get right down to race weight. This means for the next four weeks every morsel that goes into my mouth, The Wizard knows about.
Many people come to coaches and nutritionists to be told exactly what to eat. I don't know many, if any that will do that for you. The Wizard does not do that for me. What they do is educate you on your food choices. It is still in the end our ultimate responsibility to develop our own menu. Now the exception is race day and week. Other than that it is still up to you.
So as we tighten it up and I get down to race weight (I actually have a bit more to lose next season, but we agreed that this would be a safe good weight to get to for Clearwater), I was sent the QT2 Food log. It tracks everything, adds it all up automatically and gives me goals and breakdown goals to follow.
I dont' find the core diet to be restrictive. I find it to have opened doors for me nutritionally that I didn't know were closed. I'd never thought I would be such a kale fan! I am learning to cook, I bought a cook book and I even just spent an hour at the grocery store looking at fruits and veggies, grabbing some new things!
So exciting!
Four weeks to go, try the kale chips!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I love 4am. I love the solitude and the serenity of this hour. I love that there is not much to do except get on my bike at 5am. It's dark, it's cold. Where I ride in my house I have to bundle the heck up. But today I have the opportunity to ride my bike, I have the opportunity to make the pedals turn and I have the opportunity to immerse myself in my biggest training weeks of the season.

Somehow The Wizard made it from Boston to Kona to Boston between last Thursday and Monday. Seeing as how he is the Wizard maybe he didn't have to take a plane. Just blink and you are there. Upon his return he's stated I am his number one priority. Yikes. We have a phone meeting this morning. We will assess how I am recovering from the flu. I feel good, I don't lie about that, I don't push harder through recovery because I know it will just end up digging me a hole. I have a residual mild cough that's bringing up less and less each time I cough.

I love the week ahead. It's so busy but busy is good. It's a good kind of busy. Things to accomplish. Exam, paper, Julia Butterfly Hill is coming to Breathe..... and we have our first Train-This Team meeting. We've got such an amazing group of athletes right now. I have always been able to work with really great people.

This season, the 2010 team seems closer than ever before. And we are in the fall OFF-SEASON. This is a group of people with big dreams and big goals. Already they watch out for one another. Many of them have not met..... they will on Sunday. It's a tight knit family like we've never had before. By winter we will be sporting our new logo and new colors and we'll show you just who we are!!!!

Such good things on the horizon. If the horizon didn't have to come after 7am I'd be even happier.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the inspiration station

Nothing is more inspiring than being parked on Ironman dot com all day long. Carrying around your laptops, studying with Roch Frey, PNB and Welchie in the background. I give myself the opportunity to follow along all day long. The online coverage is so much better than the NBC coverage.

I watched Marit and Ryan , Bree, Kerrie, and Ange. I loved how Kerrie's daughter was updating her FB status all day long (best daughter ever). I watched my QT2 teammates completely rock the house. I sat and waited holding my breath while one of my teammates had to make a very tough but very smart decision about her day.

I found myself screaming at Chrissie to go go go when we realized it was not a matter of whether she would break the record but...... by how much?

I found myself screaming at Chris Lieto as Crowie passed him..... I told Lieto to hang onto him and do not give up that podium.

I just get into the race. I love it. But..... sit down for this one..... I don't' aspire to compete in Kona. I have qualified and turned down 3 spots. The year I felt like going 3 spots slipped through my hands. I have been to Kona. I have been to the big island twice. I know the winds. I know the heat. I know the looks. I know the ocean.

I am okay without that race being on my calendar. It doesn't mean I don't love the race. I know it would be terribly difficult for me to have a good race there. No matter how many layers of clothing or biking in the bathroom, I can't train to race in the jungle.

If I qualify at my next qualifier will I go? I have no clue. It's not so easy to drag a family across the world for an Ironman. We'd cross that bridge when we came to it.

I have goals that I want to accomplish right here. I am a northeasterner and I race will in northeast weather. Which means fall Ironmans and I love one another. So that's my aim for 2010. Either Ironman Florida or Ironman Arizona, and with coach Jesse leading the way in so many ways I really get that what I am doing right now is paying the foundation for the work that will begin in December. In some ways Clearwater is a test. For me it's the completion of a journey that I began last year.

A journey back to health. An opportunity to best myself, to continue to build on the athlete I am today. an opportunity to race against the best in the world without depleting my 401K account or disrupting my family.

A chance to swim in the ocean and see some faces I have not seen in a while.

I get to race with a new friend...... who is soon to be a QT2 Teammate of mine.

I get to have some serious ass kicking fun. The ass kicking will be my own and if I am lucky a few of my competitors.

Here I sit at the beginning of 2 twenty hour run focused training weeks. I also have 2 weeks of intense exams, so this work comes at the prefect time. The balance of hard work is destressing. What takes away the panic of academic on the day of an exam is a good tempo bike and mile repeat run. Ahhhh..... I am so lucky to be able to be in this sport.

My coach will hate it but I will be the girl smiling in Clearwater. answering the question 'are you Mary?" from those I am hoping to meet. I will be easier to recognize to you, than you to me. I am in QT2 gear and I might be the only QT2'er in Clearwater.

And when I get to meet you please know how much gratitude I have in my heart for you and the words we have exchanged.

Believe me many people mock me out for this attitude of gratitude that I have. I am told to have more fight and be meaner. But that's not me. When I have my big victory next season I will be the same way. Nothing will ever stop me from cheering you on in your race whether you are ahead or behind me.

Yesterday I watched Chrissie Wellington do the very same thing. I saw her smile. I saw her commend, congratulate and I saw her cheer. That's the example I will follow. records, victories or not..... that's what a true champion does.

Friday, October 9, 2009

full circle

Ahhhh, it's a beautifully grey fall day here in Upstate NY. As things are heating up over in Hawaii (GOOD LUCK FRIENDS!) I am surprisingly content.... to be right here. I've been there a few times, it's beautiful..... but I am glad to be at home with my guys. Healthy and happy. I have my own competitions coming up, the ones that become my own Hawaii.

As I have aged I have taken complete focus off of others, who to beat, who is faster.... who's this person, where are they racing...... I have brought it to myself. As far as I am aware I might be the only one racing in Clearwater. There would have been a day when I would have looked and researched, but frankly I just don't care. That day is between me, myself and I. My energy will be focused on executing the race I have been preparing for. And the work that I have put in.

You've got to find what motivates you do go forward, to get out of bed at early o'clock. It might be the person in your lane, it might be getting on a podium, or it might be your very own internal performance.

What does it mean ...... to you?

To me it means accomplishing what I personally can accomplish. I know my performance indicators. I have a coach and a team that believes in me. The most important key factor and person in all of that however is the girl in the mirror.

The girl who knows that she is in fact capable. Who knows there are people who doubt her. Who actually get a little bit miffed when she does well. She smiles because that fuels her fire. She thought abut that when she broke 5 again. She did think about that as she stood atop the podium again. What she thought about more however is the power of the positivity in her life, the people who understand her competitive drive, who allow her to be herself..... who she can be herself with.

The ones who she shares silly text messages and crazy emails with. The ones who don't take it personally when she hits the wall first or smashes your time. Who celebrate with and who never ever ever laugh or take pride in her defeat.

A year ago I sat and had coffee with a girl who lives down the road from me. It was the day I understood true evil was masked behind the face of a friend. I had just been through a grade 3 concussion and a miscarriage and she laughed about it to me and said she was sorry, and laughed again. Her husband attempted to apologize for her...... "Sometimes she says things..... and all I can say to her is..... I want to throw you in a garbage can....." It's those times that nothing speaks louder than words do. I had actually met pure evil. (And a year later...... karma is presently taking care of her).

That moment changed everything for me. Everything.

I looked around and saw who what and where and I made big changes that day. One year later I am thrilled with where I am. Surrounded by goodness. Good supportive positive people and athletes. My husband and my son continue to be my armor. I have grown into my own warrior.

I am healthy. Happy, strong. Chasing the dreams that I believe in and not giving time or energy to those who don't believe.

We can carry that or we can move on. People will do many strange and sick things to try to prevent you from reaching a dream, because they are unhappy in their own lives.

So on this grey fall day I feel sunshine. I feel happiness. I feel love. I feel like I have come full circle in the past year. Trust me I know what it is like to struggle, to not believe to wonder if it will ever get better...... and trust me that does not even involve triathlon...... I know what it feels like.

I know that time and love and patience heals. I know that encircling yourself with good ..... works.

I am a far cry from where I was a year ago. I wouldn't be here right now had it not been for then. I would have not realized pre evil lured so close to me if she hadn't laughed that way...... I would have never realized that everything I needed...... was actually right here the whole time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

back to good

I am feeling like myself again, that feeling of not being able to wait till 8am when my workout starts...... I want to hop on the bike on the trainer like...... um...... N.O.W. That makes me smile. That's when you know you are feeling better. Plus..... you feel better! I know, I should be a darn scientist.

Curt's annual Ironman epic day was yesterday. On a vacation day he will do the following when prepping for an Ironman:

1 hour swim. Take a break. 5 hour bike. Take a break. 90 minute run. Ice bath and dinner.
I got to ride a bit with him..... I will admit it being strange that my ride was so short and easy and his..... L.O.N.G. He even did it Peter Reid Style. No music or TV. "There's no music or tv on the course, is there?" he pointed out. The man who hates the Ironman certainly has come a long way.

The weather has turned sour here in upstate NY. Rainy day after rainy day but you know me, I will always find the sunshine in it. While running on the trail the other day I noticed the absolute brilliant shade or orange and yellow the leaves were on the trees that made the canopy overhead. The smell of autumn was radiant. I love the fall.

As I am returning to normal and cycling through a recovery week I am gearing up for a giant week next week. Giant in so many ways. Running focus. 20 hours. Physiology exam. 2 papers due. Much of this week will be prepping for what I need for next week. Bags of ice, Nutrition. New running shoes. Ordering those last minute items that I need for Clearwater. Because if I thought October was going to be busy I haven't' even touched November. I might be the only girl in Clearwater poolside studying. I am actually staying an entire extra day so I can study. (Which will be at the beach by the way). But I will admit, it's a great problem to have.

But for now, time to get back to the books.......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

looking ahead and cooking kale

I forgot to post the Kale recipe that went with my Spaghetti Squash! It's at the bottom!

I am slowly getting better. I had the flu..... possibly H1N1...... but really who the hell cares. The flu is the flu. H1N1.... swine flu..... whatever you want to call it is not that big of a deal for those of us who are healthy. Are you immunocompromised? Okay that's a bigger deal for you.

What we don't always realize when sick is the energy it saps from you. Yesterday's workout went far from target, my zone 1 HR was zone 2 at my zone R pace. Which meant Zone 2 was Zone 3 at 20 seconds slower than normal tempo pace. I know that made sense.

The short version: all paces and HR's were completely messed up. But that's OK, that's what happens when sick. I am on a recovery week and will do the short workouts while fueling my body with the nutrients I fuel with to replace what I have lost.

Tomorrow will come, my big weeks of running are up next and Clearwater will be coming!

In case I haven't mentioned it, I can't wait. I feel like this is where things are truly beginning.

I am doubly excited because my Train-This Triathlon 2010 is assembled. We've gotten things underway..... acquired a slew of new athletes who absolutely dominated the Autumn Classic F1 Duathlon here in town this weekend. I am entering into my fifth year of triathlon coaching and each year I have been able to bring new things to the table...... and this year might be the best year yet.

We've got a group headed to NOLA, and a bigger group headed to LoneStar. We've got a brand bright team uniform that we will have by then...... you won't miss them. I say them...... because I will be wearing QT2..... I wish I could be wearing both. Maybe I can make a deal where I wear QT@ top and TT bottoms. It won't match but I am incredibly proud to be a part of both.

You will see us over at TriSpot in Buffalo every month cycling through testing and swim analysis. You will see a GIANT Train-This team in Lake Placid this year. And at Ironman Florida. And IM Kentucky. Syracuse 70.3 Again..... you won't be able to miss the Train-This Team. Trust me on that one. We will be so bright you will definitely need shades.

This year I will be racing as a 36 year old. One year ago I was beginning to think the end of my triathlon career was upon me. The Wizard.... keeps assuring me that what we are doing now is only the beginning. My best years are still in front of me and I have put 200% faith in Jesse and my team!

So....... there's a whole lotta great things going on..... as the fall descends upon us and we begin to look towards 2010....... it looks damn bright!

Sauteed Garlic Greens from: Clean Food by Terry Walters

This can be used with Kale, collards, mustard greens, or chard (whatever that is)

2 bunches of Kale (or any of the above)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsb mirin
sea salt

1. Remove dry stalk ends from greens and cop into bite sized pieces
2. In skillet (I use a wok) over medium heat saute garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft.
3. Add greens and mirin and saute for about a minute.
4. Increase heat to medium and add water as needed to prevent sticking, cover and cook until greens break down. (To me this meant until the Kale became soft and chewy).
5. remove from heat and toss with remaining TBSP olive oil.
6. Season to taste with salt! ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

almost time to run

Click here to read a very well written article by my coach on the topic of flexibility and strength training. I think the most important statement of the entire article is this:

Based on my experiences as an athlete, and in working with others, this post represents my opinion on the topic of stretching. It IS NOT based on the most recent research paper available in the journals which was crafted to achieve a specific objective. On this topic in particular, you can find just as many papers for stretching as you can against. In these situations you have to rely on your own experiences. In general I think too many people site papers for things rather than making their own decisions….get your own ideas people! Use the papers as input to your decisions……that’s a post topic in of itself.

In this world of coaching I often get tired of coaches who attack one another, their methods, their beliefs. Coaches against coaches could be an industry itself. There are so many fabulous coaches out there...... I take great pride on doing my own reading, forming my own opinion, drawing my own conclusions.

I have spent years working with people. When I was a teenager I taught dance. I coached swimming for 15 years, I have taught in the fitness industry for 20. You learn a lot about people, athletes, fitness enthusiasts from just..... working in the field. I use a lot of that experience.

I think coaches attack each other because they feel threatened. In my opinion..... each coach is their own proof of success. I don't measure success in how many athletes does this coach have going to Kona? Look at their stable of athletes..... has each athlete made gains within their own realm? For the athlete it might mean completing a 5K, running a marathon, anything. The end all be all is not Kona.

I advise...... to be careful when coaches attack one another. Don't look to the coach they are attacking...... look to the coach who creates the attack. That speaks volumes and volume about who you are working with.

Now this morning I am itching, absolutely itching to begin my workout. 1:05 tempo run / 2 hour bike / 1:05 run. One more hour to go. One of my friends just sent me an email that read:

"Where do you want to be a year from today?" It made me smile. I know exactly where I want to be, about to have the race of my life at Ironman Florida. I know this entire season of working with Jesse is just the beginning of preparations for the year I have ahead.

In December I will be traveling to Boston to (visit Kim) undergo a comprehensive evaluation at the hands of Jesse. Run analysis, bike testing, body composition testing, the whole shebang. I am so incredibly honored that he sees the potential within me to achieve something I didn't even conceive I could. He has done the spread with performance indicators. Those are achievable numbers. Damn they are achievable numbers.

Sometimes when you break down the dream into attainable parts it's not only achievable, it's realistic. The year has pretty much already been set in motion. I know where I have to be and by when.

My race schedule has changed a bit. I so stupidly procrastinated signing up for Oceanside and got closed out. Such a stupid move. So I will instead be headed to Texas for Lonestar 70.3. I have a love for Texas. The best new is....... about 8 of my athletes will be joining me. Now how fun is that?

Likely the 2010 schedule will look something like this:

April: Lonestar 70.3

June: running 2 Ironman camps!

July: Musselman 1/2 Ironman

September: Either Pumpkinman 1/2 Ironman or Syracuse 70.3

November: Ironman Florida or Ironman Arizona.

A few scattered sprint and running races in there as well. But my focus is on distance. It seems like I am racing fewer races each year...... but it's really the fact that I am not throwing eggs against the wall anymore. There is a lot of purpose to each race. A good amount of GOAL.

Ahhhh, almost time to run.

Monday, October 5, 2009

give me the bike

I about lept out of bed this morning. Okay this afternoon.... I worked last night. For one work was light and I got to relax. That never, if ever happens. At 1pm my eyes popped open and I thought.....


Inside, in the cold, not for very long...... but bring me my bike, I have work to do. That's when and how I can declare illness over.

As I predicted The Wizard saved the day, I was never worried. That's why I hired him. This is exactly among a million other things what he is for. While the week is longer than a recovery week it's still short to allow recovery, a 5K and then to ramp up into 3 running focused high volume weeks that I am planning on nailing. And excited to nail.

I have some loose ends to tie up before clearwater. Intensity and a couple more pounds. No problem at all.

Clearwater here I come!

And then I get to start training for Ironman again. After a little short break.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Ah the thread snapped and full blown sickness has moved in! Didn't we know that? Saturday and Sunday lost in a sea of sleep, but still no meds. I am "allowing the body to do it's thing". I got my orders from coach that include a full blown "How to get better" Plan. Hmmm...... as I look at it I am wondering.......

I am not worried, this stuff happens. The Wizard will either continue me on into a recovery week or move me forward. Either way I trust the plan and I am letting Mary be sick!

I have 2 recipes to share, both are from the cookbook "Clean Food" by Terry Waters. Terry is a clean food, fair trade, organic whole food chef who wrote this amazing cookbook, and we sell it at Breathe. We also hold cooking classes several times per week. Next week Terry Waters is coming to Breathe for a workshop!

I was made this meal yesterday and LOVED it. It was my first time having spaghetti squash and I loved it! It's chock full of nutrients, helping me on the road to recovery!

"Simply Delicious Spaghetti Squash"

1 spaghetti squash
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

1. preheat oven to 400.
2. place spaghetti squash in the oven and bake 1 hour until soft.
3. on lower heat saute garlic in olive oil until soft, slice squash in half, remove and discard seeds.
4. hold half of the squash over a serving bowl and using a fork scrape out flesh from top to bottom to separate strands of squash (repeat with other half)
5. toss with other half, garlic oil, salt, parley and serve.

Serves four!

I liked this with sauteed Kale! MMMMMM MMMMMM GOOD!

Friday, October 2, 2009

by a thread

A few hours ago I showed up at work at the wrong time. Then I came home. Struggled through a workout, then took a shower. Chicken soup is cooking. I am not sure where my brain is. I have an absolute boatload of things to do between now and Tuesday at 4pm. Most importantly I need to ace a Physiology exam at 4pm on Tuesday. Like a big race I am preparing for I am preparing for this exam.

Yesterday I set out do execute my first 1/2 mile repeat workout (running). I selected the flat trail near home that happens to have a perfectly marked 1/2 mile. The diamond sign to the grey post..... perfect 1/2 mile. My high expectations perhaps were a bit too high. Because I did not execute the times I had wanted to execute.

True I have been sick this week. I am fending off some sort of flue quite handily. I am listening to my body. Day one a sore throat. Day two sore throat gone stuffy nose present. No medicine on board.... sleep a plenty. Nutrition spot on. Hydration up to snuff. Resting heart rate normal and feeling relatively good through workouts.

Until the 1/2 mile repeats in which my legs and in turn my brain felt like complete ass.

I felt defeated, disappointed. But between number three and number four I had a 150 second enlightenment. I have never done 1/2 mile repeats. Like all of you I have had the classic "Training Peaks" stock workout: 3:30 at zone 3 repeats...... but never true best sustainable effort 1/2 mile repeats.

So we set the benchmark. I remembered when I ran that first hill and how it felt like death. And how just a few months later I ran that hill 13 seconds faster.

Same thing. We have now set the benchmark. I now have something to shoot for. When I told my husband he looked at me sideways.... "That's not bad!" he said. He was right, they weren't that bad. In fact..... a day later they weren't bad at all.

Next time I will run them better and stronger. The time after that I will improve on that.

Here we go.

It's a fine line we walk when we begin to feel an illness coming on. I am finishing up a very big week, I have a very kind recovery week coming up and I'd like to stay on that track rather than shuffle the whole darn histogram. So I have these parameters to work with:

I may train if and only if:

1. I have no fever
2. My legs feel good.
3. My heart rate is normal in the morning and where it should be during workout.
4. I want to train, and I don't feel pressured to train.
5. My nutrition is stellar.

So every morning this week I ask myself those very questions. And thus Far I have had no fever, my legs have felt good (before my repeats :-), I want to train, I do not feel pressured to train, and my nutrition is spot on.

Tomorrow morning I have four hours on the trainer. I will ask myself the same questions. I will not lie to myself. Pushing this too far will set me back rather than allow me to pull ahead. I will be smart.

It's a very fine line between being smart and being stupid. I have a very good coach, I have a very incredible husband (and not necessarily in that order) and above anything else in this world I have an ability to listen to my body. Plain and simple.

We'll see where that gets me!