Archive for September, 2007

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OOPS!!!!! He Did It AGAIN!

September 30, 2007

And the king does it again! He’s the Long Cousre Duathlon National Champ for the old guys…. 50-54…… not that I could even be in their top 10…..

Way to go Curty!

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There’s Something About Curty

September 29, 2007

This weekend my several time age group National Champion husband is in Ohio, competing in his third National Championships of the season. This time he goes long at Powerman Ohio. He’s hoping to qualify for Long Course Duathlon World’s in Richmond Virginia next month, And if you know Curt, you know he won’t have any problem doing just that.

I love to tell Curt’s story because it is a good one. He sidestroked his first triathlon at age 33 and came out of the water last. 5 years later he came back and won that race… 5 years in a row.

What happened in those years?

He studied triathlon. He committed to improvement. He trained consistently (notice I did not say HARD) and he learned to listen to his body.

Over the years he has achieved so many age group and overall wins that the plaques are no longer displayed. They are in piles in the back room. He’s been to Nationals and Worlds a billion times. He qualified for Hawaii 4 times before he took the spot in 99, when it was his first Ironman.

2 years later he did his second at Ironman Canada, and never truly loved the Iron distance like he loves the fire of going fast.

I don’t know the last time he was not a USAT All American.

We met on a 50 mile ride one day and the rest is history.

He owns no heart rate monitor, no power meter, nothing fancy. He does have a Computrainer that he uses the stand alone version of. He writes his training in a log book.

I guarantee if you asked him to find an effort that felt like tempo….. if you could measure his wattage and heart rate he’d be where he needed to be. Curt knows his body like no one else could.
He has desire. He has commitment. He defines his goals and then goes after them.

He’s on his bike at 4:30 am most days. His work gets done off family time. We’ve strived to create out lives in that fashion. We don’t want to be one of these families that falls apart because one spouse is out training all the time. There is no single parenting here.

Take a look at the local race results, If Curt does not win, then he’s second or third by seconds. And those who beat him? Half his age. I was once standing at a results page when a young man cried out “WHO IS THIS GUY? HE’S LIKE 50!!!!!”
“That’s Curt Eggers.” I proudly say.
So here’s to Curty. Round here we say he’s the man. Here’s to reaching for the dream, reaching for the goal and proving to all of us that anything really is possible.
πŸ™‚ mary
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Run Towards The Light!

September 28, 2007

The end of Big Balance is almost here, and I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. I can feel it taking shape, and as the fatigue is still mounting, but I am recovered from Wednesday.

As I began my tempo run this morning I was positive I wouldn’t be able to hit the intervals. But I did. I put away those negative thoughts. I opened the door to possibility. During interval #4 my right hamstring began to pull and then throb. I kept my pace. I wanted to push through. I decided to abort the interval, stop a moment, and stretch. I ran easy the next 5 minutes and all was fine. A moment to slow resulted in a fifth and strong interval. If I had pushed, would I have run at all?

Who knows. Of all the running I have done in the past 6 weeks this would be the first run I deviated from. And that makes me smile.

At Masters this morning the gang was swimming strong, and I did my best to. Quite honestly unless it is an Ironman week I rarely swim four times in one week. I swam four hours a day in college. As Coach T has it set up, easy day… hard day….. is perfect for me.

Four workouts to go, and 2 days. On Monday I have an optional day off. I have a feeling I will hit the road anyways.

Thanks for stopping by.

πŸ™‚ mary

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The Breaking Point

September 27, 2007

Last night I sat down on a bench in Wegmans. It was late, it was dark, it was raining and I wanted to take a nap. With my cart full of groceries I wanted to take a nap. For the first time since this Ironman Florida block began, I felt spent.

But I also knew I was feeling spent because of the two hours of sleep I had gotten the previous night. Pile a long bike and a swim on top of that, a day full of stuff and the world will crash down on you at some point.

I was so tired. I have not been this tired in so very long. I wanted to skip the next round of training. And again I reminded myself I felt this way from sleep. Lack of it.

And then a thought came to mind.

How far are you willing to go? It made me smile.

As far as I have to. I stood up. I took a deep breath. This is what it is going to take Mary. It’s going to take this level of pain, this level of fatigue, this level of wanting it so damn bad. And no one can forge through it but me. Not Curt, not Coach T. So I do not whine to them. This is me myself and I.

Rest is coming next week. It’ll be a moderate week cuz coach T don’t dare say the word recover. Big Balance is almost done and I am in the home stretch.

Tomorrow I know I will feel so different. But today I know this much…..

We have to get weaker before we get stronger,

We have to become unhinged before we get put back together

We have to fall down in order to learn balance.

This is just the breaking point.

The deeper I dig now, the deeper I will know I can dig when I need to.

The more fatigue I handle now, the more I can handle on race day.

The more hits I take now, the more I will be able to take.

And at the bottom of it all, I am still aware that this is a privilege not a right. A blessing not a demand. Know that at the bottom of this all, I am so grateful to have this chance.

Thank you for stopping by.

πŸ™‚ Mary Eggers

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Now With 100% Less Ralph

September 26, 2007

For the past few seasons I have had some strange issues with leaving my stomach content all over race courses. That and bonking here there, and everywhere. In 03 and 04 my nutrition was so rock solid? What had gone wrong?

Since then it’s been a year plus long study in tonicity, hypertonic, hypotonic, grams of CHO versus ounces of H20. Lucky for me I coach some very bright people. And I have a very bright coach.

At Ironman this year I tried Infinit, and didn’t have good results. I have always had good results with Carbo Pro… when I could use it a certain way. But I didn’t know that way. A few times I stumbled into it with luck.

Last week I needed simplicity. I can’t deal with grabbing X bottles at this station, drinking Y oz by this station and then Z bottles lasting me here. Confusing. I reverted back to the simple way. The Carbo Pro way that I had found luck with before.

I enlisted The Boon, and Coach T. The Boon is unbelievably bright. Want to see her get excited? Ask her to calculate your race day nutrition. Or show her a disc wheel and give her wind tunnel results.

And Coach T…… we know he’s a smart egg.

My question to them was…..

I need to make my solution hypertonic when it hits my gut. I need to know;

Take ______ oz of H20 with ______ oz of Carbo Pro every ______ minutes.

And together they figured it out.

Saturday it worked. Today it worked. I felt stellar. 2 X 5 hour rides at Ironman wattage pace. Bingo. A few more to go and I believe we have nailed it.

I am so damn lucky to be surrounded by good brains and good people. I always say that we are the sum of all our parts. And just like it takes a village to raise a child…..

It takes an army to get Mary through an Ironman.

πŸ™‚ Mary

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To Infiniti And Beyond

September 25, 2007

I know you are really beginning to crave these posts right now. When the word triathlon or especially Ironman makes you feel the same way you did when you drank too much tequila back in the day. That instant feeling of queasiness. Almost enough for you to run to the toilet and give it all away.

Or maybe that’s just how I feel today. Silly me. I signed up for 2 Ironmans in one year!

Because as of today we only have a handful of athletes who are not in their off-season. Next week many of the clan begins their 2008 programs…. and here I am stuck in the middle. And the next 30 hours are going to be busy and I will be doing 7 hours of training tomorrow on exactly four hours of sleep, if I am lucky. If no pediatric trauma rolls in at midnight. It’s 90 here in Rochester which translates into “Shoot your neighbor night” around here. Could be a late one.

The only person who I know will ride 5 hours with me tomorrow is Erik Grimm. And I don’t dare ask him to. Been there, done that. Everyone else is post Ironman or post something. Or they are smart. No takers.

But then again which is worse, being exhausted and alone? Or being exhausted with a friend who has to stop and have a pancake breakfast while he waits for you every 5 miles?

I actually prepared for this, as I do this pattern every week. Monday into Tuesday I get about 12 hours of sleep. Rob Peter on Monday night so I can pay Paul on Tuesday night, when the hours of ZZZZ are skimpy. And I won’t even feel it until 4pm on Wednesday when I am sitting at a table outside of the Sylvan Learning Center, drooling on my Laptop while Luc is inside.

Tomorrow is an important day. Another nutrition testing day. Swim 1:15 with Masters (translation…. hang on Ken’s feet for 90 minutes and pray Grimm doesn’t take off my arm again….) and then get up to the parkway. Only a Powerbar to fuel between workouts. 1 hour below 150 watts (this is the hardest hour by far) and then 3:50 at 155-169 watts (for me is Ironman pace) with a build towards 170 at the end, and a 10 minute cool down.

Exact Ironman Nutrition tomorrow;

2 X 24 oz bottles with 900 calories each.

Q 15 minutes my Kitima and Coach T prescribed amount of gulps of water to gulps of mix, and a gel at the top of the hour. With water.

1 X 250 mg salt tablet every 30 minutes.

No more, no less.

I believe, I know, I am certain this is the plan that will work.

Ironman is really about managing fatigue and pain. You spend months managing fatigue and pain so that on one day when you have to go to the brink of yourself, to the very edge, to the furthest point you thought, and then 10 steps beyond that…….. you know that you can, and you know that you will come back from it.

And damn…. knowing that….. it’s exciting.

πŸ™‚ mary

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Mary’s Ironman Must Have’s

September 24, 2007

Everyone has their favorite things to bring in an Ironman. I find that the simpler I keep things, the better my day goes! For most races I wear a two piece racing suit, and I swap the bottoms each discipline. In the swim I wear trunks, on the bike cycling shorts and on the run, likely a skirt! Not a skort, A skirt! I also swim with my race number on a belt, tucked into the swim trunks.

Swim to Bike Bag;
Sunglasses
Bike Helmet
Bike Shorts
Bike Shoes

Bike;

Aero System in the front
2 Bottles in the back of nutrition.
1 spare Tubular with a Allen Wrench Tool
Salt tablets in a Salt Stick mounted
I tape gels to my bar or throw them in a flask.
(I do not wear cycling gloves, never have. I don’t use a Bento Box either)

Bike to Run Bag

Skirt
Run Shoes
Socks
Hat
And never forget the DRY CLOTHES BAG

My favorite sweatshirt and sweatpants, and a sportsbra. After an Ironman, it’s commando. Nothing needs to be near the cooch.

I remember watching Lori Bowden on TV fly through transition. She and Karen Smyers stressed once in a pre race chat the importance of keeping it simple. Less to grab. Less to carry. learn to fix things and learn to live off the course. From the course on the bike I refill with water. I do that because I like to drink water. I like to have the chance to clean myself off and I don’t have fuzzy teeth. I concentrate my nutrition, and calibrate my gulps to dilute my solution to a 10% solution.
Advice; have a good coach and smart friends who can tell you that you need X gulps of water to dilute X gulps of nutrition X times per hour. It works like a charm.

While you develop your own system, try to mainstream and simplify. Unwrap the PowerBars, stick them to the top tube. Reduce waste. And reduce the amount of stress you place on YOU!

πŸ™‚ Mary