Archive for January, 2007

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The Groove

January 31, 2007

It is only Wednesday and I feel like I am in the groove this week. Where everything feels good, smooth, and just good. Like a good warm cup of dark french roast. I have to say how beautiful it is snowshoe running in Mendon Ponds Park this week. Base training is wonderful in that a running workout in zone II can be replaced with a running snowshoe workout. It help build strength, of course adds to endurance, and it requires good running form. If I don’t bring those feet up I face plant due to the toe of my snowshoe getting stuck.

For those not familiar with snowshoeing, it is an art in itself. Specially designed snowshoes for running make it a tremendous amount of fun. Gators over your running shoes and toe warmers keep the feet warm. Through the forest, it is actually quite warm as you are protected from the wind. I love it. Since we are “racing” on Saturday I thought I might want to get out there and get at it!

The park is full of deer, nature, and I come into contact with fellow snowshoers, cross country skiers, and the groomer guy. The groomer guy rides the snowmobile around dragging a specially made grooming thing, which keeps the trials perfect.

I needed the solitude during the morning run, because I knew my bike would be full of great music. Last night I delivered a baby, in a bathroom, by myself with my bare hands, whose mom was fourteen. The insanity and craziness of the situation kept me awake long after I got home at midnight.

The baby was healthy, but the teenager stated her period was last week, and her obesity covered the fact that she was pregnant. Her complaint of abdominal pain was routine (the two highest reasons for coming into the peds ed are for abdominal pain and asthma). She was in an unusual amount of pain and I kept thinking something isn’t right here. Needless to say when I brought her into the bathroom to collect urine for a pregnancy test or look for blood in her urine….. I was not confident she could pee in a cup alone. Hence I accompanied her in and …….
we had a baby.

The implications of this for the baby’s life, the mother’s life, it is an Oprah episode in itself, and I can not solve the world’s problems. As I drove home however I thought about how on Sunday night I watched a 18 year old girl die, and on Tuesday night a baby was born.

Lives crossing. One goes and another comes, just as easily as the wind blows.

As the wind blew through the park this morning I felt grateful for all that I have. Because last week when I was pitying myself for having a tough week of training, what I should have been doing was feeling grateful to be able to have a bad week of training.

The solitude of the snow felt good as it washed through my heart, cleaned out some cobwebs, and allowed me to hold my face up towards the sun.

How lucky I am to feel.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Dust off the Cobwebs!

January 30, 2007
When Luc was four he had open heart surgery and then a broken foot, both of which took up the small winter we did have. When Luc was five there was no winter. Now Luc is six and he has thrown his arms open wide to possibility, and winter wonderland. We have graduated form sledding to a new sport, snowboarding. I have dusted off my old snowboard, got him one of his own, and away we went.
My brother and his family live in Georgia, and my nephews have only seen snow a couple of times. Up here in the Northeast we live in a literal playground. Parks for Cross Country and Snow Boarding. Mountains for Down Hill, and for the Snowboard generation, for which I am part of.

Most days you stand at the top of a slope, closer to the bright sun, it’s rather warm. Looking around the world is bright and hopeful. Then you push off.

You fly down the side of what you consider to be a mountain (let’s not take away anything from Utah or Vermont here), the wind running through the vents in your helmet, the sun kissing your face. By feel you navigate this way and that, you roll with the terrain, bend with the curves, jump with the moguls……

When you come to the bottom you shake off the snow, look to the top and think;

WOW! WHAT A RIDE!

🙂 Mary Eggers

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My Story

January 29, 2007

I recently recieved a few emails asking me to tell the story of my eating disorder. I wrote this after Ironman Lake Placid in 2003 for www.Xtri.com, and I think it says it best……..

Mary Eggers Recovers With Tri
By Mary Eggers9/24/2003

They always say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that would directly apply to me. As of today I am 29 years old, a two time Ironman Lake Placid finisher. In 2002 I struggled through Ironman Lake Placid to finish in 13:43. In 2003 I had the race of my life, finishing in 11:23, 4th in my age group, and qualified for Hawaii (I declined, to spend more time with my family). Since the birth of my son in 2000, I was also blessed to win the 2001 Subaru Triathlon Series, and in 2002 I was a member of Team USA for Duathlon. I can honestly say that this sport has changed my entire life.

It is hard to believe that 9 years ago I watched the Hawaii Ironman from a hospital bed. I had developed very serious heart problems as a result of having Bulimia from age 10, through age 20. I was a collegiate swimmer, and on a downward spiral. For 10 years I binged and vomited, took laxatives, etc. My parents, family, and friends did everything that they could to help me, it was of no use. I was determined to kill myself.I will never forget turning on that television that day. The Hawaii Ironman. I could not believe all of those people, traveling that far, on their own strength. I told my father I wanted to do an Ironman. He laughed, out of frustration. He must have thought “Here we go again.” Little did we both know, I was about to embark on a journey that would save my life. And my family’s sanity.

After I got out of the hospital, I started swimming, biking and running. Small amounts at a time, as I was now a cardiac patient. I joined the Leukemia Team in Training, to run a marathon. A funny thing happened as I got through marathon training. No longer could I engage in my old habits of starving, binging and purging. If I did, I could not run. On the other hand, if I made good food choices, I felt wonderful while I ran. For the first time in 10 years, I felt good! As part of the Team in Training, you are matched up with a patient with Leukemia, to run in honor of. My patient was a 31 year old man, entering his 4th year of remission. His passion for life, his pride in his remission, his outlook on life, taught me the best lessons in the world.

Here I had thrown my health down the toilet (literally) for 10 years. This man is not out of the woods, yet there is no regret, no anger, no sadness in him. I knew that I had to run this marathon for him. On a sunny day in October 1995, I completed the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a victory for me, and for my new friend. For four months I was healthy, my eating disorder felt like it was gone. A goal I had set had been accomplished. It changed my life.

The following year I did it again, and was left feeling happy, healthy, hungry for more. I entered a triathlon and did well. I joined the Buffalo Triathlon Club, and met a whole new family of people who would become just that… family. In the smaller races I was able to win overall titles, and set some course records. I met my future husband on a 50 mile training ride. My future husband introduced me to the Subaru Triathlon Series. It was here that it all came together. I met Graham Frasier, his brother Mitch and sister Sheri . I found great role models in the top women of the series, namely Lisa Bentley. Through Lisa I learned and saw what hard work and a positive attitude can REALLY do for you.After the birth of my son, on a dare I started racing in the series, as an elite. Mind you, I never won a race, but was able to hang onto the points and do enough races to win the series title in 2001. Nine months after my baby.

My husband is a two time Ironman finisher and 5 time national team member, and being able to share this sport with him, is an incredible blessing. He did Hawaii in 99, and Ironman Canada in 2001. Watching him brought me back to that age old question I had asked myself so many years ago: Can I do an Ironman?The morning after Ironman Canada 2001, I stood in line for almost 6 hours to sign up. After we returned to the East Coast, Stept 11th happened. Afraid to fly, I changed to Ironman Lake Placid. With great nervousness I started getting ready. I am a pediatric nurse, and a Mom, so I knew this would be a challenge.

My 2002 Iornman was a lot like my recovery from Bulimia. Long, hard, a lot of obstacles. I finished in 13:43, after dragging myself through 13 miles, finding enough reasons to get to the finish line. My father was waiting there, that was a big reason. I knew that when I saw him, no matter what the time, what my place, it would be a victory for the two of us. Eight years of recovery was complete. I had come full circle from that hospital bed, and the life I used to lead.After 2002, I knew I had a better Ironman in me. So I signed up for 2003.

I trained for 43 weeks, during peak times 25 hours a week. I am a working Mom, determined to never train on her son’s time. That meant 3am rides, and rides until 3am. Sleepless nights of working, then into 6 hr rides. I was determined to make this work.To make a long story short, I had a great race at IMLP ’03. My goal had been to break 13 hrs, and I came in at 11:23.44. 4th in age group, Hawaii Qualifier. All my goals had been met.

I declined the Hawaii slot, in 99 I was there to watch and loved it. Right now I think my family needs me more than Ironman does, and I can’t wait to return to short course racing. It has been nine years since I landed myself in the hospital. When I was in high school I honestly thought I would be dead by the time I was 30. Bulimia was my life, and I saw no escape.

Today I am a whole new person. I am healthy. Somehow I have no permanent damage, I consider that lucky. There are many women and even men out there who live in the same hell that I used to live in. There is hope, there is freedom, there is life beyond an eating disorder. Everyone tried to help me, when I was sick. The only person who really could, was myself. There was no one else who could do it for me. Not my parents, not a boyfriend, just me.

At the Rochester Athletic Club, I teach cycling classes, as well as step aerobics weight lifting, etc. It is my passion to bring more women into this sport. I distinctly remember what it felt like to cross that finish line for the first time. It was a victory of so many kinds. Over my eating disorder, over all the people who doubted me, but most of all, it was a victory for myself.

I think that women are much stronger athletes that they believe they are. Currently I am assisting to train a group from my gym, for a local triathlon. Daily they ask me questions like “Do you really think I can do this.” Or “What if I finish last”? I love hearing these questions, because I know when they cross finish line, they will be new women. They will be even more self confident, self reliant. They will believe in themselves like never before. Those are things they can carry over into their personal and professional lives. They will walk a little taller. They will be proud of their athletic muscular bodies. To me that is the best part of it all.In so many ways triathlon has saved my life. I have learned the most valuable lessons of all. Sportsmanship. Friendship. Passion. How to be healthy in mind and body. I shudder to think what may have been, had Hawaii not been on TV that day.

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Our 2007 Ad…. Sneak Peek!

January 28, 2007

Here is a sneak peek of our 2007 as for the Score-This Multisport Series brochure! Thanks to Rich Clark for the design! During this time of year our advertising gears towards beginners, so we thought that expressing that there is more to multisport than 140.6 miles would be appropriate! Multisport is for everyone, and any distance! Thanks to our Ironman Team (Ironically) for posing for this picture at breakfast this morning!

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Week in Review

January 28, 2007

There is just something about the early morning, the hour before 5am, that draws me in. Perhaps it is the quiet, perhaps it is the white fluffy snow quietly resting outside of my home office window. Whatever it is I have always been in tune with the early mornings.

It gives me the chance to set the foundation for the day. Four mornings a week I am up at 4:30 either preparing for yoga classes at 6 or swim practices at 5:45. Weekends I sleep in a bit more, as weekends are light in both workout and life. We used to really jam pack weekends, but I have recently given that up, opting for the slow lane as a family. Yesterday turned into a day long game of hide and seek, and it was wonderful.

I became ill with gastroenteritis this week, on my birthday of all days. The past three days since I am slowly getting better. Vomiting ceased by Saturday. I was able to get in light workouts. This morning I feel I am at 90%. Saturday’s run was tough, I felt pretty weak. Amazing how a little GI bug can bring superman down.

Swim: I actually had a terrific swim week. Pull week at Masters and some time alone at the Y for an extra swim.

Bike: Got sick on my long bike, the GI bug came to play. Low bike mileage this week. The new computrainer arrives either Friday or Monday.

Run: Good runs, aside from feeling week on Saturday. I opted out of the long run today, will just do an hour. I need to feel good this week.

Nutrition: Pounds fell during GI illness, but I felt weak, which isn’t good. I was unable to eat birthday cake, and have had a hard time in general eating, as my stomach immediately becomes upset. That shall pass though.

Strength / Yoga: all going fine.

As bad as I thought this week would be, it really was not. I did change some things around within my program so that I have my hands on the reigns. It’s funny, for me Ironman is such a personal journey that I feel I need to be the sailor of the ship. It’s my ship. The wonderful thing is that the week is laid out, I have people (Including Doug) that I am checking in with, and going forward I know the Grand Plan.

Coming up, this week is Epic Week, in terms of the weekend activities. (Didn’t I just say weekends are slow?). Normal training through the week, but with an increase of frequency on the bike and the run. I know that to find my run I need to run 5 times a week. That is now happening.

This Saturday I am taking part in 2 interesting distance events. Saturday at 2pm is the Cast A Shadow 6 hour snowshoe race. Train-This is bringing 3 teams of 3 people. You have 6 hours to see who can run the most laps. You can only run one lap at a time, and each lap takes about an hour to complete (it is roughly 6 miles). Depending on the snow the laps could be faster or slower. The terrain at Mendon Ponds Park….. well we can say Mendon makes Lake Placid look flat. I assembled a great A team, with 3 fast runners (including a rare winter appearance by my husband). Our subsequent B and C teams, we are in it for the training.

Special rules apply to this race, depending on whether the Ground Hog sees his shadow or not. Beginning at 2pm much of this race is done in the dark of night. With snow covered trails it is beautiful!

At the end of the race Saturday night I will travel to Buffalo to my parent’s house, to sleep for a few hours. At 5am I will join the Buffalo Triathlon Club’s 24 hour spin a thon, which will have already been in progress since 12 noon Saturday. I will ride for 5 hours and teach an hour. You can ride spin bikes, bring your bike and trainer, whatever you want. A few years back when I did this we rode Sat and Sunday, and slept at the gym!

This is to benefit the American Cancer Society, and is well organized. The hard part is staying away from the luscious food. I am using it for the long ride and to practice some new nutrition, all while raising money for a good cause.

That shall complete at noon, then it will be to my parents for a birthday celebration with my family. Back home to Rochester in the evening will find me at the Train-This Super Bowl Party, hosted by Kevin & Kitima. I look forward to going in my comfy clothes, camping out on a couch, and being fed water and some dish called “White Trash”.

This will be the busiest weekend I have had in ages, but filled with endurance fun, Birthday Cake, and the Superbowl, how can one resist?

🙂 Mary Eggers

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This Amazing Team

January 27, 2007

I feel very lucky to boast that I coach 30 athletes on the Train-This Multisport Team. We have athletes training for marathons, 5k’s, 1/2 Ironmans and the Ironman. Sometimes I look around at this incredible group of people and I think where did they come from?

I use Training Peaks as my coaching software, and I have had great success with it. each athlete’s program is checked over 5 times a week, as changes may need to be made to their program depending on how a previous workout went. It makes for a busy day, but I have a good system developed. It is important to me to give each person the best value for their dollar.

As we evolve through our training and this arctic blast we are in, I have come up with some interesting statistics with this team.

Train-This Team Statistics:

  • 0% Major injuries injuries (knock on wood)
  • 5% Minor injuries (tight muscles is the high issue.)
  • 32% of my Team trains with a computrainer or a powermeter
  • 51% of the team is doing the Ironamn in 2007
  • 25% of the team is doing a 1/2 Ironman
  • 30% of this team never wants to do an Ironman (good choice)
  • 10% of this team is training for a 1/2 Ironman
  • 20% of this team has a background in swimming
  • 70% of this team has a background in running
  • 10% of this teams claims to have no background
  • 0% of this team has a cycling background.
  • 40% of this team has lost 10+ pounds since Sept. (of those whose goal it was)
  • 98% of this team has been sick in the past 4 weeks
  • Of this 98%; 56% had a respiratory illness and 42% had a GI Illness
  • 52% of this team are men / 48% of this team are women

Maybe this is admitting nerdity on my part, but I am really, really proud of this group. They came here as strangers and they have developed friendships, two are even getting engaged. Actually, we have 2 married couples, an engaged couple and a dating couple! Perhaps this could be called “Pimp-This!”.

Whatever it is called, I consider it to be a family, and I am so very blessed that these people came to us for training. It really is so much more about being a client, which is why you will never hear me refer to anyone as my client. They are athlete, they are family.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Not as bad as it seems

January 27, 2007

When you are sick and miss training, it can feel like the sky is falling. You think you feel better, you do something and straggle home feeling worse. So lying in bed thinking about the training I am not getting in this week, I decided to use the neato graphing feature of Training Peaks, and it isn’t as bad as it seems. I breathed a sigh of relief and closed my eyes. Time to let myself sleep and get better. January is early and the best is yet to come.

I had a series of phone meetings today between Doug, and some of the people I like to use for training advisement. And my buddies at Racermate. Seven more days till the new CT arrives. All meetings went well, and I am feeling good about this new direction. I can’t really say it is a new direction, nothing has changed. Except that I make the big decisions.

We will increase frequency and decrease the volume for the time being. (Aside from the Spin A Thon next week where I will get those hours I crave). The lack of testing is now gone, as dates have been set for specific testing.

Specific running goals and nutrition goals have been refined, as these two are my weakest links. Another major part of my training is the mental drills and such that I love to do. Honestly I have been working so much on the business that I have allowed those to slide. Funny, when I was working out of the home I kept a tight schedule. Now that I have the control over the time, it is a little more difficult. When you work for yourself, you could work all day every day. Now there is a schedule. I crave that kind of stability.

With it totalling -3 degrees outside, it is a good time to not feel so well. We raise to the teens tomorrow and I have been awarded bike and run time depending on how I feel.

I exhaled and depressed the panic button.

The sky is not falling.

I am not on this journey alone.

There is direction.

There will be moments of doubt.

And there will be good moments. Those moments I am hoping to find in the form of a finish line.

A few of them

🙂 Mary Eggers