Archive for June, 2007

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The View

June 30, 2007

Many people have been asking me….. how does one train for two Ironmans in one year? Good question, this is new territory for me. We do have a plan however and after Ironman Lake Placid in a few weeks we will see if anything changes.

I don’t think it is wise to do 2 Ironmans in a year. I think it takes a wicked toll on the body and on the mind. So why am I doing it? Another good question. A year in advance it all seems like a good idea.

The other reason is the possibility of a Hawaii qualification and the possibility of breaking eleven hours. The past few years I a Hawaii slot has eluded me, as I have really hit some stumbling blocks with my long distance performances. Those stumbling blocks are lessons. There are lessons in resistance. The past 3 years of long distance shortcomings are giving way to me being a better coach, and then in turn a better athlete. If I didn’t know that the end of this period was coming, I would not keep at it.

My goals for Ironman Lake PLacid are very simple. The wide ranges for the time goals are based on weather. The same effort that one year brings you 6:00 on the bike, brings you 6:30 the next with a touch of wind.

Swim 1:00 (best time 57)
Bike 6:00-6:20 (best time 6:07)
Run 4:00-4:30 (best time 4:08)

My training for IMLP has consisted mostly of base training. I have not done a ton of speedwork, I have done a fair amount of tempo however. The idea is to build a massive base for Ironman Lake Placid.

Following the race I will likley take a complete week off. I will practice yoga, two days of yoga will cure it all. I promise you it is the fastest road to recovery. But it hurts to do it. A lot.

Week 2 the plan is to add in some swimming and cycling and running. By light I mean light. 30 minute runs. The temptation will be to do more.

The week of August 12th will be week 3 and we will continue to recover much the same as week 2. Week four, the week of August 19th is where we will begin some longer workouts. By longer I mean nothing over 2:00 on the bike yet. Curt will be preparing for the world championships during this time too, so his workouts take all priority.

When we head to Germany I plan do really kick things up. No super long riding in Germany but frequency will increase. From there we will increase the volume but more importantly begin some good intensity work.

The base will have been built and now the finishing touches of speed will be worked on. My goals for Ironman Florida;

swim sub 60
bike 5:30
run 4:00 or less.

So all of my training will gear directly towards that. I will sprinkle a few training races in there to spice it up and get my head back in the game.

So this is all how it looks on paper, and we will have to see how much and what changes after Lake Placid. Hands down IMLP is my favorite race. The beauty. The hills. It’s a second home. And as I approach my final 6 hour ride tomorrow I approach it with a calm feeling of confidence.

The work has been done. The party is almost here.

Thanks for stopping by.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Gimme a C!

June 29, 2007

The boys arrived 2 days ago in Portland Oregon for Age Group Nationals! Curt is traveling with our wonderful friend Tom Dutton and they have reported in from the course.

Hilly, depending on who you talk to. Floridians think it is hilly, our boys believe they are small rollers. Water is cool but feels great. The spoke to a woman who had never swum in water under 72 degrees. Run rolling hills similar to the Guelph Lake Triathlon in the Subaru Triathlon Series.

So this is a course Curt should do well on. His only gripe is that it is about 75 degrees there. He’d prefer 90 degrees. He is ready, resting and prepared to rock and roll on Saturday morning.

Things on the East Coast have been going well. I am married to my Computrainer at 5am for these days that Curt is gone. But then the remainder of the day gives way to water fun in the pool and on the slip and slide.

Come Saturday morning however we will be cheering from here! GO CURTY GO!

Best of luck to everyone competing!

Thanks for stopping by.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Right … Left …. Click

June 27, 2007

I have always had a bike box with three wheels. See my bike box pictured in the right column.

We didn’t always have a bike box, we didn’t do all that much air travel until a few years ago. Anytime we did travel the friendly skies, we borrowed form the huge community of triathletes here. I seemed to always borrow Erik Grimm’s bike case, until 2005 1/2 Ironman Nationals. I had had it!

During the race I sustained a back injury and Erik’s case was a soft case with one wheel missing. Lugging that damn thing through the airport in St. Louis was enough.

“DAMN GRIMM!” I cried. So I put it on my list.

Actually we did have a bike box, but it was more like a coffin. The best use of that box was the nap I took on top of it in Kona Hawaii as I waited 24 years for a rental car. Now that was comfortable.

We got rid of that thing forever ago.

Last summer though as Curt was headed to Switzerland and I had some travel races planned, we decided it was time to grab one. My bike guy Jim Costello from Hanndlebars gave us a great deal on a terrific case.

Curt made it to and from Switzerland without a hitch.

It was smaller, more compact, easy to pack and had four wheels.

That is until the 70.3 World Championship. I unloaded my bike from the luggage belt and whoa! The front wheel was punched in. A quick inspection of the bike revealed no harm done. I teared up to an Air Tran employee and got myself some free tickets.

And I was back to the 3 legged case. Which is fine I can live with that.

My husband however can not. And the poor man can not close it either.

Picture this for some entertainment. It’s 94 degrees out, and Curt Eggers is essentially jumping up and down on the bike box trying to close it. There is an art to closing these things, of which I have carefully mastered. To close the bike box you must line up the “catchers” lay on top of it, and with your body move right, then left and you will hear a click.

It works every time.

When poor Curt became even more frustrated with the box, I reminded him….. “Security is just going to open it up again.” to which I thought his head would explode.

Now understand this is Mr. National Champion, tapered and a little on edge from upcoming travel and such. So I can understand a bit of frustration.

But leave the bike box to me. This is my domain.

In the end the bike box got closed, and Curt is headed to Oregon. Let’s just hope that security has learned the right left click move too!

Thanks for stopping by.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Those Days

June 26, 2007

You will rarely hear me complain abut Ironman training. Mostly because I love it. Mostly because I know and understand what an absolute privilege it is to be able to do this. And did I mention how much I love it?

However there are those days, the ones close to race day…. where things seem to fall apart…. and you panic. Today I had one of those days.

If things are going to feel like they are falling apart… this is the week that they will. Every single one of my athletes has faced some sort of mini-disaster in the past 2 weeks and today I had mine.

6:15 I set out on my final 20 miler. I was ready, pumped. Last week I had nailed 21 miles in 3:08 so today must mean I’d nail 22 in less time. Naturally.

At mile 3 I felt tired. At mile 4 the pain in my left leg began. deep, deep within my quad. Deep. I mean so deep that I self diagnosed with a stress fracture and catastrophosized so deeply that I began to cry and then began to walk.

Yes, I actually cried. A pity party. Boo Hoo poor Mary.

I walked 1/2 mile.

And then the pain began to ease. I stopped, stretched, shook things out. I looked at the sky.

And at that point, after all of that I then decided that I had do do the unthinkable. I had to stop at mile 9. Weighing in on the fine line between too much and just enough….. the point of no return….. I knew that rest at this point was the better choice. And it was the harder choice.

At what point in my life did “just 9 miles” become only 9 miles?

I started to run again, I can’t be seen walking! So I ran and the pain eased to an ache. I picked up the pace, if this is going blow let it blow. Pain remained at a 1/10 when previously it was a 6/10. I finished strong. So my thoughts veered away from a stress fracture and turned to a deep muscle ache.

I came home and jumped on training peaks. And I went back to January 1st 2007, and I reviewed all of my long bikes and my long runs. I wrote it down on a piece of paper.

I handed it to Curt.

“Am I ready?” I asked him.

“You are the worst rester.” He said “But hell I think you are ready.”

And what does Curt know about the Ironman anyways? Hell he’s done just 2 🙂 But he’s right. I am ready.

From here on the more we push through the more it will adversely affect our time. The more we rest and listen to our bodies the better July 22nd will be. Right now I feel like a truck ran over me. Sunday after our ride I felt like Natasha Badmann. But that’s how it goes here in the land of Iron. There are ups and there are downs. Being on a down means that an up is coming.

So the rest of the day it’s rest. I have been so good about clearing my schedule, I have the opportunity to rest and sit back. And resting and sitting back has taken the form of long days at Kershaw park with Luc. I stand thigh deep in the water and if I am lucky I run into Tom’s awesome wife Jen or Nathalie.

The panic has ended. The worst is over. I had mine too, and keep calling and keep emailing because we are all going through it together.

But know, know, know…… it happened to me also.

Thanks for stopping by.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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108 Miles of smiles.

June 25, 2007

Yesterday three of my athletes joined me for a 108 mile ride. We began at 5:30am and it was incredibly strange to be bundled up in the middle of June, however there has been a bit of a “cool wave” in Upstate New York this week, and today we begin to heat things up.

So Glenn, Dennis, Bill and I set out at this early hour with a destination in mind. Napes and the Grainery. The Grainery is a terrific little coffee shop nestled in the heat of the small village of Naples, NY. The coffee is outstanding, and they are used to cyclists dropping in. The Grainery was about 50 miles from my house, down winding roads that slid along the east side of the Gorgeous Canindaigua Lake. My most amazing husband made an exception this morning. Typically my long workouts are done mid week, but this weekend treat was exactly that… a treat. Thank you Curt!

So much of my distance training this season has been done alone that I welcomed the opportunity to spend it with my athletes, who are now my friends. Dennis and I are preparing for Ironman Lake Placid. Glenn and Bill are preparing for Ironman Kentucky. We all needed to get this ride done as early as possible.

Less than an hour into the ride Bill began to complain that his legs were tired. The three of them did a 2+ hour run the previous day.

“That’s to be expected” I told him, he did IMLP in 06 so he knows that. Then I remembered how cranky he gets with little calories. “EAT.”

A few minutes later I noticed his rear tire was flat. “Maybe that’s why.” I laughed. So we had our first and luckily only flats of the day. I called ahead to Dennis and Glenn.

“Flat!” I cried.

“We know!” they answered. I began to laugh, knowing they thought I had called out Left!! As our next turn was approaching.

Nonetheless Bill was so cranky that I changed the damn tire for him and told him to eat.

Now my bike was making a rather interesting noise. Bike noises don’t bother me so I tend to neglect them. Since Eagleman however each time I hit the rear brakes this horrible screeching noise begins. I see Jim from Handlebars this Friday so I don’t worry about it. But the looks I get from my athletes….. priceless!

“I am new!” I told them. So during the ride I would occasionally hit the rear brakes to amuse the guys. It doesn’t take much!

Depending on your theory of training, many say that you should never stop during a long ride. Or stop minimally. I am not one to have breakfast halfway through a ride but I am one to stop at the Grainery. 20 minutes for a cup of coffee with friends is a treasure.

“We won’t be able to do this at the Ironman.” I reminded them, as I pulled a massive bag of white powder out of my back pocket. We all began to laugh, as we knew how suspicious we appeared, or rather I appeared!

Today I was trying Infinit nutrition, and it was working well. My custom designed formula was great. I was feeling really good and it was going down easy.

We continued on after our coffee and things were going well for everyone. It was one of those rides where there is more silence than conversation, we rode our own paces but we kept an eye out for one another, and we only stopped one more time for refueling.

The effort was moderate, at time hard, and the day was perfect. These are the rides you remember. These are the days you reflect on during the bike leg of the Ironman. At least I will.

Four weeks to go, and these four weeks are emotion filled ones. Highs and lows, anticipation, fear, confidence. These four weeks have it all ending with one magical day.

The day we all toe the line together. The day we slap hands with one another a billion times on this course. The day when we are not just there for ourselves, we are there for one another.

That’s what makes our Train-This team so special, and yes I am incredibly biased. We have done the miles together. We have done the hours together. We are truly a team and when we get to July 22nd…… we know that we got there together.

Thanks for stopping by.

🙂 Mary Eggers

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Just Maybe

June 23, 2007

Possibility, possibilities… came surging through my mind today during a 7 mile tempo run. Why on earth did I feel so good? 3 days after 21 miles I feel fatigue but it was if my legs could suddenly handle a new level of pain.

Just maybe, I thought, just maybe all of this running focus…. all of this non resting….. all of this run 6 miles before a race and then 8 miles afterwards….. just maybe it was all beginning to actually absorb. To take hold. To begin to shine through.

The runs in the cold. The bike sessions in the garage…. all of those lonely hours and lonely miles. Just maybe this is the beginning of the pinnacle.

Today I believed. Today I believed that if the weather holds and I hit my pacing goals…. and all of my previous nutrition debacles have given birth to the right day at the right time….. just maybe.

The line between too much and just enough has been a fine one. The mistakes are more numerous than the victories. The pain greater than the pleasure. But then again there is pleasure within the pain.

Because doing the work is only half the battle. Balancing the work is another small fraction. Looking at yourself in the mirror every single day, the good parts as well as the bad parts of you… that’s what it truly takes.

The Ironman takes no prisoners. It’s like a giant mirror that will reflect every bit and piece of you. So you’d better be comfortable with what you see. You don’t have to love it, you don’t have to hate it, you just have to be comfortable with it. All gets revealed on Ironman day.

You will walk through the fire, you will get burned (in a positive way) and you will walk through that finish line a different person than you were at the starting line. You won’t be a brand new person. You’ll be a deeper person. A more patient person.

And you’ll be someone with a massive threshold for pain.

Thanks for stopping by,

🙂 mary eggers

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Summertime

June 22, 2007

On the run course in Lake Placid

Welcome to day one of summertime, where the days are long, sunny and are planned to be nothing but fun at the Eggers’ home.
Luc bounded off the bus at 2:10pm yesterday afternoon arms open wide throwing his backpack, ready to play. We made a family decision to forgo the traditional summer camp, and to instead hang at home, at the beach, ride our bikes and take the opportunity… to be home.

Thank you to Curt for allowing that opportunity to exist.
Sure the training now gets done at an early hour, but through those early hours there is serenity in silence. Thrill of spotting the thousands of deer cross my path, and the smell of summertime looming.
My third Ironman is just 5 weeks away. Through this second to last build week I am feeling very good. I executed a 21 mile run on Wednesday in 3 hours and 8 minutes, walking one minute every ten. My new nutrition plan of Gatorade Endurance is working. The details of how to get it on the course so it calculates correctly are all that is left.
As I approach this third Ironman I am feeling very positive. So much of what happens on this course is weather dependant. And Lake Placid is one of the toughest courses out there. However it is the only Ironman I have ever done so I don’t know any better. Maybe this will allow any other Ironman course to feel easy 🙂 My plan is to take the day as it comes and stick to my pacing goals. Roll with the punches, and stay on an even keel. It will be a special day for many reasons. Win, lose or draw it will be a blast, and that’s what really matters.
So as summertime officially unrolls, I opened it with a fantastic swim in Canindaigua Lake, some coffee with a friend….. making pancakes at home. It’s time to kick back, lather on the suntan lotion, and put our feet up!

Thanks for stopping by.

🙂 Mary Eggers