Archive for August, 2008

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YAY!

August 31, 2008

This morning I raced a great 1/2 marathon in Geneseo NY. Whew, a tough course! One of my old acquaintances Boots designed this course. He has a knack for making some thrillingly though courses, but he’s right, they all have a flow to them!!!

Now I will always carry the dram that I will wake up and run a 1:30 and I will say….. wow, how’d I do that! It was EASY!!! HA HA!. Again, just a dream.

I had a great race albeit about 2.5 minutes slower than coach had wanted. I was able to nail my pace and hold on to it pretty well through some very difficult hills and rocky footing. I tripped a few times trying to scoot over these rocks, and I kept reminding myself….. this is how Austin will be.

In my head I felt happy the entire time. In fact I didn’t feel like I was in my head at all.

Saturday wasn’t the ideal race prep day, but life has to be lived…. does it not? A morning of workouts and teaching and nine hours on my feet as the charge nurse in Peds Ed…… every child in Rochester broke their arm yesterday. The arm they write with. I don’t know how school is going to take place on Wed because rooms will be full of colorful casts!

All day at work I hydrated, which becomes a problem when you are in a trauma and you have to pee. You can’t. Ouchie!

I got home at 1am to wake up at 5am. Peeing clear = goodness. After some oatmeal and coffee I was off to Geneseo. A beautiful country town. I love it there.

Lucky for me Alan and Kim were running also. Kim is prepping for Austin and Alan is prepping for the Richmond 1/2. If anyone is going to nail this pace it would be him, so we conferred and we would run together. Whew. I thought.

Right before the start of the race my friend Stephen and I were talking. He handed me a Looney (a $1 in Canadian). He told me at the first turnaround there would be a fountain. I was to throw a coin into it for good luck the rest of the calender year. So I did! Thanks Stephen!

Gun went off and we ran. Alan is particularly good at pace so I sat right on his shoulder. We ran well. By mile 5 we were on pace with wiggle room. As we began to hit some rolling hills I kept losing footing as we were on gravel and dirt. Alan put 12 seconds on me. Very strong in the hills!!!!

As his coach I was thinking…. hold steady Alan….. and for myself I was thinking….. keep him in sight. I was able to do that the rest of the race.

Mile 10 brought us an ugly slow incline that lasted the better part of 2008. Even then my spirits were high, my smile was big.

I was running. I was feeling good, sure tired form a full week of training, a previous long run and a full day on my feet on Saturday. In Austin I will be running tired and I need to be good at running tired. After all this Iornman endurance it was time to run strong.

Once I got up that endless hill I ran the last 2 miles right on pace. I knew I’d be a bit over the goal time, but I was happy. I was running. I was seeing a finish line. I was not leaving this course in an ambulance.

Alan finished about a minute in front of me. Kim had a tough day and persevered.

And I was so proud. Proud of them, proud of me, proud of us. I felt like a kid running through the woods. I felt like a competitor calculating splits, and I felt like a runner. I even thought to myself….. I wonder if I can run Bree Wee’s 1/2 marathon split as she is at IM Kentucky now (and leading.). Then I remembered her times and I laughed out loud at myself.

Nice try!

We’ve done absolutely nothing but E pace since IMLP. Nothing at all faster. You’d better believe the next 5 weeks will be designed to knock my socks off however. I ran well with just base training, I ran happy and I did not hit my head.

I loved this race. It was gorgeous. It was fun. The people were awesome. No chips, just rip tags. Old school. The way it used to be.

As we were running up the monster hill a man said to me….. “I ran this hill as a child….. I will run it as an adult.”. It made me smile. It made me laugh. He laughed too. Again sport unites.

Things are looking up from here!

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hey kathleen!

August 30, 2008

KATHLEEN! (From the airplane and IMLP!!!) I got your post but not the message! Shoot me an email at Maryeggers “at” gmail “dot” com!!!! I cna’t believe you found me!!!!!!!! CONGRATS IRONMAN!!!!!!!!! WOO HOOOOOO!!!!!

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after hours

August 29, 2008

For the record…… I didn’t even try for Ironman Canada. But 2 of my athletes got in!

I stood in my garage at 5am Thursday morning and all I could think about was closing my eyes. Then I did something I never do. I went back inside. I got into bed and I slept until 9am.

9am?

9am.

To me that’s like waking up at noon. But I needed it. I also had the luxury of doing something that in my book is dangerous….. I moved a long workout to 5pm.

We all have that time of day that is good for us to train. I am a morning person. Blame it on years of age group and college swimming. 4am practices to be out of the pool by 6 to be home by 6:30 to be to school by 7 to be back in the pool by 4pm…….

That kind of schedule programs you to wake up at 4am without an alarm clock.

Training at night to me is like death. I hate it.

On tap was my traditional 3:30 trans brick with tempo efforts tucked inside. It was cold. I wore a long sleeve jersey! It’s August for crying out loud. For good luck however I wore the Storm Trooper Jersey. My most favorite ever.

As I sometimes do I placed a piece of masking tape over my Ergomo so it would only display elapsed time. I like to see if I can hit the effort without looking. With these little gadgets there is 100% chance they will fail in a race. You must be able to find it within yourself on race day rather than get wrapped up in numbers, data etc.

You will never see me wearing a heart rate monitor in a race for that reason. While I use a Power Meter and Garmin I am not dependant on them. It takes all of the fun out of racing in the first place. If there’s a girl I need to catch then I need to HTFU and go faster. My heart rate won’t even matter. Go faster.

I nailed the wattages I needed to nail and it was great great fun. It got dark by the time I was done and my run was done in dark rain with the company of a headlamp. I didn’t look at the Garmin but nailed the run pace as well. It was neat to run at night. I finished pretty close to 9pm but I was glad I saved the workout. I was hungry for it. This morning my body said sleep and I said OKAY!

Good times. I am feeling good. It feels really good to feel really good. It’s been so long since I have felt good….. healthy, peppy…. that it feels like a Christmas present.

Sunday I get to race for the first time since Lake Placid. Now, it is a 1/2 marathon. Placed at the end of a 17 hour training week. Who wouldn’t love to PR? I would! And maybe I will. I am taking aim and I will run from my heart and let my body do the following.

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bowl-a-roll

August 28, 2008

Yesterday we went bowling. At the end of the school year they issued cards that read “Say no to drugs and yes to bowling”! Now, bowling is a cheap sport if you are recreational beginner bowlers like us. The cards made it even cheaper. Hip hip hooray!

We’ve been bowling a few times a week ever since. Team Eggers …. you could say we aren’t so talented in the lanes. We bowl with bumpers and together it is a feat if we break 200. Together.

Today Luc and I brought Granny.

Big mistake.

Somewhere in my vault of lost childhood memories I forgot that Granny is a great bowler. I have vague recollections of her lugging a bowling bag and shoes around. Us kids being in some sort of play room. I think my Dad bowled as well.

It’s all so foggy.

So when we asked for bumpers Granny let out a huge laugh. What’s that about? I wondered.

Then she stepped up to the plate. My jaw dropped to the floor. Flashback! Memory crystal clear,

My 63 year old bike riding tennis playing mother sent a bowling ball down the lane at at least 63 miles per hour. Ka-BAM!

Strike.

I swallowed. Luc and I looked at each other.

“Granny’s good.” He said.

“Granny’s really good.” I confessed. “we are going to get killed.”

I felt sort of inferior that I used an 8 pound ball. She used a 15. Hey, I have a race coming, I don’t’ want to get hurt bowling with a heavy ball!!!!

She was cool to watch. Even gave me a few tips. A few tips that changes my game. I even broke 100!!!!

It brought back some great childhood memories. It gave me a platform to hang out with my Mom on. Bowling is good stuff. Like I always say, sport can unite family. It was nice to laugh with my Mom. I don’t do that too often.

Last week I was telling he that Austin would likely be a non wetsuit swim. She told me I should get one of those suits like the Olympians wear. Hmmm…. I thought. She might be right.

A Blue Seventy pointzero3 arrived yesterday. There are for a sure a few races I do each year which border too much on the side of whether I wear a wetsuit or not. I have a Blue Seventy Double Helix that I don’t wear much. Hate long sleeves. I have 2 Nineteen sleeveless…. which I alternate between depending on the day.

But there are days when I just need to be free of neoprene. Maybe this thing will do me some good.

Over at Bowl-a-roll I noticed that even people there have their special stuff. For our powermeters and heart rate monitors they have their special balls, shoes, outfits. This is their turf and I am the kid without a clue.

I was especially impressed with the teenagers I saw. Bowling together, laughing, polishing their balls (bowling balls!) It was really nice to see that.

So Granny killed us on the lanes. And later that day on my three hour long ride (just three hours!!!) I again was grateful and thankful that in this world we have so much to unite us. Sport is an amazing platform for all of us to come together. We laugh, we cry, we take it as seriously as we feel like.

But it’s fun. And fun is what it is all about!

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i said no

August 27, 2008

Let me get this onto the record right away….. I am not signing up for the 2009 edition of Ironman Canada. But thank you for the 84 (yes, eighty FOUR) emails that contained this message Wednesday……


Limited online entry slots available for 2009 Subaru Ironman Canada August 27, 2008
Penticton, BC – A limited number of general entry slots for the 2009 Subaru Ironman Canada will be available on-line. These slots will be available through the
www.ironman.ca website beginning at 9 AM PT Friday August 29th. Demand for these slots is expected to be high and therefore athletes are encouraged to go to the website as soon as possible.


I mean, so what if it is my dream race? So what if it isn’t completely sold out? So what if it will have crossed the year mark since I have done an Ironman? Uh…. for the record I technically have not done an Ironman since Nov 4th 2007.


I still, WILL NOT BE ONLINE FOR THIS SIGN UP. I freaking hope.


Not to say that this race is not on my radar. This race is the highest on my radar of any race in the world. Trumps Hawaii like tenfold. Smashes Hawaii tenfold. (sorry Hawaii buds…..)

My aim is to use this race as my reward for finishing grad school. Therefore I will be doing…. or should I say attempting to sign up for this race in the year 2011. I put four years between my second and third Ironmans and I will put three between my fourth and fifth.


There is more than one way to get into this race and believe me, I know what I will need to do to be standing next to a giant peach in August of 2011.


While I am dropping bombshells I might as well drop this one.


Take a deep breath, a drink of java and please sit down.


I am going to cut my coffee consumption.


I know, please don’t worry because I have found an alternative. Teccino. Have I tried it yet? No. But I have been thinking about it since May. Three months to think about trying something might be a signal that I could use a step down program.


Now coffee and I have not had an argument. Unlike the Ironman we have not broken up. When I can drink a pot and go to bed without an issue….. it might be time to cut it down. I just love coffee and this possibly will serve as a good alternative. Apparently you can mix it with coffee and wean yourself.


I don’t know how this will go. I don’t know I will last even one day. I do know I shall give myself an out. I will say that I will not pass up Starbucks. Ever.


But anything is worth a try!

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Today

August 27, 2008
Our sport means so many different things to each of us. Even within ourselves it means different things. Some days…. many days it is my therapy. There are just things I experience on a 100 minute run that I can’t experience, work through, or cope with in any other venue. The sound of my feet hitting the gravel as I run through a canopy of trees. The cool feeling of the morning air washing over my skin.

Today my long run was my therapy. Tomorrow my bike ride will be about something else. Tonight’s swim was about hanging out with friends.

I think back to that very first duathlon…. geez….. maybe 12 years ago? The one I did with great anticipation and on a mountain bike.

I think about all the Masters practices over the years, the traveling to races, the races, the bikes…. the runs….. I think of all of the amazing people I have had the fortune of experiencing. Some are still around and some have moved on.

Amy Kloner wrote something that really sat well with me the other day…… she wrote “I don’t want things….. I want experiences….” And I thought, yes, that’s exactly what I have gotten over the years. Sure there have been awards, medals, wins, losses…… but the experiences are what I treasure the most.

I met my husband on a 50 mile ride. The first one I ever did. Now over 10 years later the platform of this sport has enriched and at the same time focused our lives.

Sometimes people will ask me when I am going to settle down a bit and become one of those normal moms. You mean the ones who so completely lose themselves in the lives of others that they don’t know who they are anymore????? The ones who are afraid and the ones who can’t stand up for themselves? The ones who wonder what if….. all the time?

That’s not me. That never was me. That will never be me.

I am an athlete. It’s who I am and it’s in my soul. It’s how I express myself. It’s how I have been able to experience the most incredible experiences and the most incredible people.

This morning my run was about therapy. Therapy as I cope with a recent tragedy….(and I know I keep referring to this …. I will write about it….. I just need some time…. and with all the buildup I am giving it you will read it and think….. that’s IT???????), therapy as I allow a piece of me that broke to heal.

When I came home I know my husband knew what this run was about. He knows this is how I need to heal. Thank God I have him as my husband. I honestly don’t think I could experience what I have experienced throughout my life without him by my side.

Tonight we went back to the pool…… this afternoon Luc spent 90 minutes jumping off the 3 meter board and tonight while I swam he jumped another 90. Kim swam with me and she jumped too. Curt watched and smiled and I knew that he knew.

For me this sport is a venue for so much. Therapy, family, friends, love, loss, all wrapped into one. I can’t imagine my life without it. I can’t imagine my family without it. And as I look around I can’t imagine my life without these guys!

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the jump

August 26, 2008

How amazing are the girls at Splish? How amazing? Here it is the official “Hook ’em Horns” suit. 6 weeks until Austin. Austin or BUST!!!!

I don’t know what it is, but the more I observe my son the more I learn. This is really turning into one hell of a “my kid is the best” blog, but the things he teaches me can transcend computer screens.

RIT’s pool opened back up and the other night we went for a swim. On the way Luc told me he’d be going off the 3 meter diving board. To which I replied, “awesome!” like I always do. He always says that. He always chickens out. But he’s 7 so no big deal. He will spend an hour jumping off the one meter dive and be just as happy.

When we arrived there the local age group diving team was finishing. So we hopped into the other pool for a bit. I saw him eyeing that board and I wondered if he’d actually do it tonight.

30 minutes later it was quite a scene. Luc standing on the 3 meter board terrified. The RIT men’s diving coach standing on the second 3 meter diving board next to him. The other kids waiting were cheering. The entire life guarding staff came out and was on the side of the deck. The women’s volleyball team was swimming laps in the third pool cheering him.

In total about 50 people were cheering this kid on. You can do it, jump, you name it they screamed it. He was smiling. All eyes were on him. I wanted to cry.

The he did it. He freaking JUMPED! And the cheers were bigger than the cheers for Phelps last week.

Two days in a row he did something major. The day before he took his YMCA swimming test for the 12th time this summer….. and this time he passed.

Kid’s got tenacity.

Is he learning that from me, or am I learning that from him?

Sunday I get to race. It’s a running race, I never run a road race in the summer. It’s a half marathon and any hopes I had of resting were quickly silenced. A half marathon and a long run this week. And a lot of intensity on the bike.

Back to the HTFU days girl….. I thought to myself.

My husband is even thinking of hopping on board for this 1/2 marathon. Let me say this right now…… I am savoring these last 2 months of holding the Eggers Family Ironman Record. For the record….. it is a record I should not own. Curt just hasn’t had the interest to find out his Ironman potential.

Until now. And I will say this….. I am so so so so so so dead. That picture to the right of Curt’s head in the shark’s arm? It will be me on November 5th.

So on Sunday as the starting gun goes off I plan on taking a big piece of Luc with me. As he’s standing on that 3 meter board. In so many races I have fallen short. And in so many races I have reached beyond.

But typically the shortcomings are a higher number than the victories in the end. I look at Luc and how many times he failed that swim test. He kept coming back and now he’s earned his right to the deep end and the slides.

He’s earned his right to fly off the 3 meter board and have the world cheer for me.

I keep thinking of Michael Phelps (I know…….wipe drool from chin Mary!!!!) and I keep thinking how he was told he couldn’t and wouldn’t. Then how for a week he showed the world what he could do.

I shall take that with me on Sunday. The victory isn’t always in the time or placing. This is a piece of the puzzle that will be finished in Austin. I have a beautiful suit on the way (THANK YOU SPLISH)…. I have a great team to travel with. I have a boatload of mojo.

6 weeks to go. I am the girl with the biggest smile!