Archive for March, 2007

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Why

March 31, 2007

Each of us has a reason for why we are in this sport. In fact, each of us have a few “why” reasons. Tonight I swam with my heart and I swam with a vengeance. I swam for our son. I swam for his future, I swam for his chance and I swam because I am hurting. I can not allow him to see anything but strength, I will never allow him to see me weak.

Inside of my goggles I cried for 4,000 yards. I cried because I know what it is like to have no one believe in you. I know what it is like to be condemned. I know what it is like to be told you are stupid. I know what it is like to be told I will never make it in the world.

Our son has what has become the buzz phrase “special needs”. Essentially he is a square peg that the school district wants to stuff into a round hole. He is a very bright beautiful sunshine that they want to turn off. He is a child with exquisite wonder, fascination and abundant love within him.

And they try to squeeze all of that out of him so that he becomes molded into the round peg…. just like everyone else.

At my CSE meeting on Thursday I was surrounded by 12 people who told me negative things about my son. Who highlighted his limitations. Only his speech therapist and his occupational therapist spoke of his strengths.

Well I shall raise my middle finger to all of them. Because this is not a child who will be kicked around. This is not a child who will be condemned because he does not fit the mold.

This is a child who will have 110% support from his family. This is a child who will grow up believing in himself, believing that he can, and learning that anything is possible.

I will never allow his brain chemistry to be changed in any way, shape or form. It was one of the greatest things my own parents protected me from. For my son I shall do the same.

I am his tower of strength. I am his advocate. I am armed and ready for the meeting on Tuesday when again the ratio will be 12:1. 12 against him, but one for him.

And he will never know about the 12 against him. He will only know that we are in his corner, and that we love him.

Give a man a fish and he will again be hungry. Teach a man to fish and he will never know hunger again.

So tonight I cried….. I allowed the pain to move through me. I allowed myself to feel the pain and agony of what they are trying to do to him. And when I was finished, 4,000 yards later…… I felt peace. I felt my strength renewed. I stood tall as I left the pool and I walked confidently with him in my thoughts.

Perseverance. I invented it.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Spirit

March 26, 2007

Some in the triathlon circles around here are hearing that I have become a gadget nut, and that makes me smile. A few have even written to me in horror, as a girl of spirit how could I have gone to the dark side? Mary you are not having fun……… I am told quite angrily……

I appreciate the worry, because it means they care. That’s heartwarming, I am luckily to be surrounded by people who do care.

But fear not, my spirit has done nothing but strengthened. All the gadgets in the world can not take from me the joy, happiness and the feeling of being connected to life’s energy like my spirit does.

Part of taking on the gadgets….. is taking on the gadget stress. But you eliminate that stress by taking it all one step at a time. One week the goal might be to hook it up. The next the goal might be to successfully download it. And maybe on race day it all fails….. that’s when the true test is told. So if it all fails and I am left with me, myself and I… well that’s just darn fine.

I had to make a decision last week regarding Eagleman. In the end it was an easy decision.

Yoga and triathlon are the yin and the yang of my life. As you know I am currently deep within the training of Baptiste Power Vinyaysa. We practice in 90 degree heat, do more push ups than anyone, and we flow…… it is an amazing physical practice not meant to punish but to free the body and in turn the mind.

There are two levels to the Baptiste Vinyasa Teacher Training program, level I and level II. These must be done together within 2 years. I attended my Level I in 2006 in Hawaii. I had planned on attended my level II in Sept in Montana.

However my husband has set his sights on the world championship in Germany, which runs from Aug 28- Sept 4th. My training begins on Sept 1st. I checked into the training schedule and there is one other level II in 2007. June 9-16th in Montana. Eagleman is June 10th.

It was an easy decision. Of course I would pull out of Eagleman, and go to the training in Montana. When again will I have the opportunity to bike in Germany with my husband and cheer him on?

My chance to shine will be at Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Florida. I get to go to Panama City in May to test the waters. While Eagleman is one of my favorite races, it will be there again.

In Montana I will practice yoga four hours a day. But for a week, deep in the mountains the days will be so long and full that I will not swim, nor bike nor run. Not for 7 days.

Does that worry me?

Not in the least. I view it as a vital part of the Ironman training. I will come back from Montana focused, cleared out, and renewed. And very tied. If you’ve ever thought yoga was easy and light, then you practice hatha, not power vinyaysa. (there is something out there for everyone).

Yoga has an unbelievable way of pulling me together, and that in turn makes me stronger.

So Germany wins. A European vacation, a chance to cheer on Curt, to get away, to ride my bike, to visit with my Parisian sister, Amos. It is a gift and the chance of a lifetime.

So see guys, I am not all about wattage and cadence and heart rate.

But if my coffee mug had a USB port……. it truly would be heaven.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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The Power of Positive Thinking

March 25, 2007

This morning on the final mile of my 18 mile run, I had a victory mile. I always give myself a victory mile. This morning’s workout began at 0430 and it began on the bike. 90 min on the bike then over to our group run at Mendon Ponds Park. I was fortunate enough to run with my team for the first 13 miles, and was on my own for the final 5.

But the solo final 5 is where girls become women, where boys become men. Sometimes when I feel weak I say it’s time to giddy up, put your balls on, or sometimes I just count. Even with 500 calories on board I felt a bit spaced out, so I took in 2 more gels during those final 5…. and you know what….. I had no stomach issues. I think we’ve gotten through that.

At mile 18 I of course cried. And of course I smiled. I smiled and cried because a year ago I was in a very different place. And while I am letting that go, I don’t want to let go of the gratitude I feel right now for where I am at today. Not just in sport but in life. I don’t want to forget where I came from, what I came from, what I came through. The high moments, the low moments… it all ties together. It all blends. We are where we are for a reason.

Lisa Bentley…. 10 time Ironman Champion… recommended a book to Simply Stu listeners called the Power of Positive Thinking. I have been reading it and I have been using it in workouts, in business, as a Mom, as a wife, in every arena of my life. The principles taught in this book however….. are to a T identical to my yoga practice. Identical in terms of the message, the phisosophy, the material. I can not help wonder if the author of this book is a yogi in disguise.

It talks about emptying your head daily. It talks about throwing anxiety over a waterfall. Throwing self doubt or any negative thought into a river. Watch those all roll away.

In the land of Ironman there is a lot of anxiety. With a race of 140.6 miles so much can go wrong that you can not control, and that is what people focus the most on. Flats, crashes, mishaps……. anything can happen on race day.

Step up to the starting line of the Ironman in fear, with any ounce of self doubt…. and why bother even starting.

Walk up to the starting line with patience, humility and a quiet confidence/…. those are tools that we need.

And the Ironman is really a metaphor for life. When presented with a challenge of any kind, positive or negative…. how do you react? That in turn almost can determine the outcome.

So as I sit here in Curt’s man chair with my feet up, twenty hours and twenty minutes of training, 6300 yards swum, 150 miles ridden and 46.62 miles run……. there is no room for self doubt. But there is this quiet feeling of readiness. I am doing the work and come race day, I shall be ready.

And I will throw every anxiety or self doubt that creeps up, off the back of my bike. And whoever is behind me better watch out! And they’d better not draft because….. well….. there are bodily functions that need to be relieved during a race of this distance…. and shall we say beware of the golden shower.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Get Ready for the New Site!

March 23, 2007

I had a meeting with Twin Advertising this afternoon, and saw the incredible face lift they are about to give the Train-This! website. Our blog will look a little different as well! I definitely want to thank Jeff Henderson for the initial clean up work that he did for our website!

And I want to extend a very warm welcome to John Galbraith and the amazingly talented staff at TWIN Advertising for believing in a little company like me, offering to help me attain an incredibly professional look, and head towards growth in our sport.

I can’t wait for you all to see it, stay tuned!

🙂 Mary Eggers

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I’ve Got the Power

March 22, 2007

The Ergamo has arrived and is currently being installed on my bike….. hooray! Now all of this power training I have been doing on the computrainer can be brought over to the roads. It’s interesting because my friend, whom I affectionately refer to as Paddie (his Irish nickname) is raring to race me on my bike.

Now I love Paddie, please don’t get me wrong. He’s a tremendous athlete who handidly kicks my butt to the finish line. He’s damn hung up over the bike however. I pretty regularly outsplit him on wheels (but he’s out run me by 20 minutes, so who really cares…..) Hey, anything can happen on race day and what really matters is the race you have within yourself. Bring it over and race someone else’s race … that’s where trouble lies.

I am very excited about now racing and pacing by using wattage. The Cycling Peaks software allows you to analyze your ride, determine the wattage zones for you much like you do with zones and heart rate.

Will all this analyzation work? Who knows. One of my friends Joey went from being a 12:46 Ironman finisher to a 10:23 Ironman finisher. That was over the course of five Ironmans and I don’t think he even once took his resting heart rate, much less checked it during training.

What I love about the computrainer and the Garmin, is that there is no hiding. There is no question. There is no…… was that really a half mile? It’s there, black and white. Honest as honest can be. From there as I continue to evolve I can see the progress of lack thereof.

So heading towars race season, I feel sorry for people who target that one person. That one person who they want to destroy. It brings up hatred, it brings up negativity, and who wants to race like that. I have raced that way and it sucks.

I love to race with me, for me, and against me. What can I handle? What can I sustain? What can I do? If my bike split is faster or slower does it make me a better person? At my funeral will anyone care?

The person who looks to me, as being the one person they want to beat, so that they can feel good about themselves, what does that say? In a world where we are amateur triathletes with families and careers and friends…… what does that say?

The only person I ever need to answer that to, is the woman in the mirror.

And Paddie…… Curt told me to do it. He liekd to push your big red button, with love!

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Happy Spring Everyone!

March 21, 2007

Spring is about blooming, rebirth, new life, new hope. It’s where the earth is uncovered and all has a chance to grow again. Blossom, reach, breathe. New air seems to encircle the earth, and new wind seems to blow freshness into everything. It’s why I throw open the windows on a day like today, at 40 degrees it cleans out the air in the house and allows us to have a fresh start.

At 0530 this morning as I left for swim practice, I noticed the clear night sky. Every star was visible. A medium training day was on hand, and with four hours of sleep I was feeling tired, but at the same time full of life.

Wednesday is cruise interval day, and I seem to approach it with conservatism. After last week’s pile driver event, I decided to stay conservative and rather than increase to 4 minutes, run the same 3 minute CI as I did last week. This time increasing to five. So only 15 minutes of quality running, which for Ironman training is a drop in the ocean. But a year ago I was injured, so I feel happy.

My original goal was to stay below 7:30. During CI #1 when the watch read 6:49, I almost passed out! Was this right? I waited another 30 seconds and looked again, 6:50! I felt good, I felt….light…..and I felt strangely strong.

Through the varying terrain (I tried to pick a flat route, however here in Rochester NY all we have is long sloping hills, unless you run on the Erie Canal….. but that is covered in snow…) I was able to very comfortably maintain a pace between 6:50-7:10. Before I go predicting my marathon time, I realize this is only for 3 minutes. This is a great first step in the direction of building these to 10 X 6 minutes at “X” pace. That comes in June though… baby steps for me now!

Needless to say I was delighted. I was grateful. To see a 6 again was a gift. It allows me to begin gaining my running confidence back, which I lost in 2005.

I thought ahead to Spring Forward on April 1st and reminded myself I need to run 5 miles before the race and 4 afterwards….. so to aim for it is off the table.

Patience. Ironman is all about patience (and a whole lotta other things too! 🙂

So as I build through this 42 mile week, I am happy. Happy for sunshine, happy for warm weather, happy to be feeling good. Happy that four hours will be spent on the road tomorrow. Happy that my bike is having the Ergomo installed today. Happy that the Train-This gear is in production.

Just happy.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Happy Spring Everyone!

March 21, 2007

Spring is about blooming, rebirth, new life, new hope. It’s where the earth is uncovered and all has a chance to grow again. Blossom, reach, breathe. New air seems to encircle the earth, and new wind seems to blow freshness into everything. It’s why I throw open the windoes on a day like today, at 40 degrees it cleans out the air in the house and allows us to have a fresh start.

At 0530 this morning as I left for swim practice, I noticed the clear night sky. Every star was visible. A medium training day was on hand, and with four hours of sleep I was feeling tired, but at the same time full of life.

Wednesday is cruise interval day, and I seem to appraoch it with conservatism. After last week’s pile driver event, I decided to stay conservative and rather than increase to 4 minutes, run the same 3 minute CI as I did last week. This time increasing to five. So only 15 minutes of quality running, which for Ironman training is a drop in the ocean. But a year ago I was injured, so I feel happy.

My origional goal was to stay below 7:30. During CI #1 when the watch read 6:49, I almost passed out! Was this right? I waitied another 30 seconds and looked again, 6:50! I felt good, I felt….light…..and I felt stranglely strong.

Through the varying terrain (I tried to pick a flat route, however here in Rochester NY all we have is long sloping hills, unless you run on the Erie Canal….. but that is covered in snow…) I was able to very comfortably maintain a pace between 6:50-7:10. Before I go predicting my marathon time, I realize this is only for 3 minutes. This is a great first step in the direction of building these to 10 X 6 minutes at “X” pace. That comes in June though… baby steps for me now!

Needless to say I was delighted. I was grateful. To see a 6 again was a gift. It allows me to begin gaining my running confidence back, which I lost in 2005.

I thought ahead to Spring Forward on April 1st and reminded myself I need to run 5 miles before the race and 4 afterwards….. so to aim for it is off the table.

Patience. Ironman is all about patience (and a whole lotta other things too! 🙂

So as I build through this 42 mile week, I am happy. Happy for sunshine, happy for warm weather, happy to be feeling good. Happy that four hours will be spent on the road tomorrow. Happy that my bike is having the Ergomo installed today. Happy that the Train-This gear is in production.

Just happy.

🙂 Mary Eggers