Archive for January, 2011

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Salivate

January 31, 2011

Thank you to everyone who attended our swim webinar last night! Don’t forget we have another one coming up at the end of the month, they are fun and free! They are also available for purchase for $4.99 afterwards. click here for details.

Block 3 begins today. It’s a bit intense for what I am used to. I am used to cranking out some big hours in my aerobic zones for most of it. But as we are changing things up a bit this season to keep me fresher, The Wizard is adding some early intensity.

Guess what…. I had a run test this weekend. I nailed my numbers like never before. I smashed my Garmin because I fell, but I nailed the numbers.

It’s a tricky thing to talk about training on blogs. Athletes always compare, and judge. Realize that what you read on a  blog is a small snapshot into what an athlete’s training regimen is like. It’s also based on their interpretation, coach, plan, season. It’s all relative. So as you read about athlete’s training, take it with a giant grain of salt. Trust what you are doing, and stick to your plan.

As for my plan and how it relates to me….. this seems to be working. One of the goals the Wizard had was to keep me fresher this season. I tend to love a whole bunch of volume and I tend to fry myself and arrive at the starting line wanting a nap and a race. Instead of a race then a nap.

So far so good. As I review my “data” from the past 8 weeks…. I swam my personal best 800, twice…. on 3 X 30 minute drill swims a week and 1 X 45 minute tabata session. for the first time since my collegiate career, I want to swim more. This week I get more. I never want more pool. I want more pool. Sneaky that Wizard is. Sneaky.

To sum it all up, this block looks challenging. challenging = exciting. Exciting = Mary salivating.

The truth of the matter is….. it is really keeping me fresh. I have to pay attention. I have to be on my toes. Yes it’s only january and this isn’t how it shall be and stay (That I am aware of) but right now, for these next 3 weeks it has my interest.

To me, that’s a sign I have had a solid recovery week.

Once upon a time, the wizard said something like this….. this is a paraphrase…..

Mary Eggers is my favorite athlete.  You never hear athletes bragging about recovery. You hear athletes bragging all the time though about how much they did…. man I nailed those mile repeats…. man I training 85 hours last week….. but you never hear them brag about recovery the same way….. dude I got 8 hours of sleep last night……. man I ate a whole bag of blueberries while I laid on the couch with my feet up after the coldest ice bath ever……. if athletes took their recovery as seriously as everything else….. we’d see bigger gains.

I will tell you this…. last week i took my recovery week damn seriously. I slept 8 hours every night. I ate more fruit and vegetables than are on an entire farm. I also had birthday cake. I also started drinking red wine every night. Chianti to be exact. The antioxidant content of red wine is good!!!!!  I have to say…. since I am no longer on call for Pediatric Emergency I can actually have that glass of wine nightly!!!!!!!

I took it so seriously that I was drooling when the next block was posted. Color me happy. Hand me a lasso and slap me on the ass. Give me something I can sink my teeth into.

Let’s see how I feel about that in eight more days.

On an unrelated note….. The Eggers Christmas tree remains standing. I had to fight for this, it’s making my husband nuts.  Why? Because I leave the tree up from thanksgiving to Feb 1st. I love Christmas. I want that Christmas spirit to last more than just one day. The tree…. remainds me of that. Reminds me to bring it with me all.the.time.

 

 

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Maxie Ford

January 29, 2011

Thanks to everyone who registered for our webinar! We are full with a waiting list! The webinar will be recorded and available for $4.99 next week!

My tap shoes came. They felt awesome. It was like sliding an old friend on…. as they represented so much. for years I have rehearsed the steps in my head, but it’s been twenty since I have shuffle flap ball changed. I didn’t practice, I just set up the camera. I am quite rusty, but it felt great. If you are not fortunate enough to be my Friend on faceBook, then you missed this:

We talk a lot about fear in athletics. Fear of testing, fear of failure.

Honestly………. facing my fears is what excites me. Facing fear is what drives me. Give me something hard. Give me something that might seem impossible. Give me something to sink my teeth into. Give me the chance to succeed and I am not afraid of the possibility of failure.

And I am not afraid of doing that in front of the world.

Because somewhere….. someone…..  will identify with that. And somewhere ….. someone……. will gather the guts to do something they’ve never done. Something they have dreamt of doing. Those are the people I absolutely die to reach.

You know all about those other people….. the ones who only write about success, who only have success, who won’t even put up a post that doesn’t seem perfect. Who are embarrassed if things go wrong and blame the world.

Screw that. Those are the most f*cked up.

That’s not what we are here for. We have talked about perfect. Many times. And we know all too well that life just isn’t. Life is risk. Life is success, life is also failure. It’s what you do with it, that  makes the difference.

My son’s annual CSE/ISP meeting is coming up. essentially this meeting is where it is decided what will happen next year. I have never had a child before Luc. I have never had a child with special needs. I have never been given an instruction book. I have consulted everyone under the sun about what to do, what path to take, where the hell do I go? Being his Mom is the most important job I will ever have. I have no guarantee I will do it right. I have no guarantees of anything at all.

I am preparing my statements on his progress. They gave me three lines. I typed out three pages each. His teacher knows….. she knows that I am so unafraid of taking on these people she looks forward to my meeting every single year.

Had I listened to them…… Luc would be medicated so heavily he’d be a zombie. He would be closed in a room four times a day alone, he would be labeled as Learning Handicapped. And that’s not an exaggeration.

Instead, after years and years of talking to people, reading, researching…. I threw all of that the hell out.

These people don’t scare me. Bring them on.

When I pulled him out of regular school they told me they could take me to court for not sending him to school. I told them please do, my attorney is ready. They quickly allowed me to change schools.

Last year the old school district went in and observed him in his new school without notifying me. When I called they swore up and down they sent me a letter. I don’t accept that excuse I told them. I have email and a phone and what comes through my mailbox is handles each and every day by me myself.

That’s just scratching the surface.

We have major educational decisions coming up this year. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know what the right route is.

But I do know this……. it’s frightening because this is his life we are dealing with. Mistakes on my part are big deals. So i close my eyes, I get quiet and I follow my heart. I hope, I have faith, and we do this together. I can’t guarantee we will make the right choice, but I can guarantee this: we do this together. And we deal with this together.

So put on the tap shoes……. look fear in the eye. Accept that I might miss a few shuffles, my steps might not be crystal clear….. or maybe, they just might be.

What the hell is a maxie ford? One of the combinations I did above. consider yourself enlightened.

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Recovery week

January 28, 2011

My tap shoes have not arrived yet, this has delayed my start until next week. I was heartbroken about this. Stay tuned, I am positive they will be here today.

Anyone who owns a computrainer knows the pain I feel. They can put a man on the moon, but getting this things to work is sometimes beyond the Phd in rocket science that I have  me. For the past four weeks I have been wrestling with it. If you are in need of a USB / serial port I have about 6. They are free. Tell me where to send them.

In all fairness the support at Racermate has been terrific. It all came down to one small piece of equipment, the new invention that rids me of all the USB / serial ports in the world…..

Yes, yes that’s it. The USB-stereo port.

I just want to ride my freaking bike here. And I have, don’t get me wrong. The stand alone version of the Computrainer works beautifully, but my rides are nearing the long side and I need a little bit more to sustain me next to the furnace.

Yes, I chose that outfit myself. There are several signs along the way that cheer me on, personally! But more important i have a bird’s eye view of the data I like so much. While I compare my rides week to week I am going to put them on some courses. disclaimer: courses on the CT are not that similar to outdoor riding. Case in point: Lake Placid. Notsomuch.

One of the features I like to use is this, the spinscan feature. Helps me work on my pedal stroke.

The computrainer is a great tool for keeping me focused when four hours on the trainer. It helps me not ride blindly. I can create and download courses from all over the world.

I chose my long ride to be on the Ironman New Zealand course, which looks like this:

I like this course on the CT, it gives a good long climb and a good section where I can hold steady watts / paces.

Riding can be complicated. I am lucky to have been able to get a great deal on this thing as a USAT coach. I use it quite a but when testing my athletes, I use a RAMP test for some who need that little extra push.

We’ve talked about this before though, riding needn’t be complicated. Just get on the bike and ride. It’s not the gadgets, it’s how you use them. I havent used this thing all that much since I have had it…. but people believe I ride it all of the time. I will now that I have it all upgraded and communicating.

I don’t have a lot of patience for technology. If it doesn’t work today, game over, I move on. If satellites don’t synch up I guess. It comutrainers don’t communicate I move on. It’s one of the reasons I am a swimmer. They have not technologized swimming yet (and yes, that’s a new word!). It’s simple. Cap, goggles, water.

But as long as this thing will work, I have selected five courses to ride weekly. I will ride the same rides so that I can really watch and compare, track my progress, the whole nine yards. We’ve completed eight weeks of base, and we’ve seen significant improvements where we need to. Recovery week is about donw, testing tomorrow on the run, I got to celebrate with wine and cake, and I am ready for the next block!

I have a little over three months until Gulf Coast. Then the race season follows with a pretty hardy bang. Suddenly too much time seems too little time. And here we go!

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Too hard

January 27, 2011

One of the reasons I cycle my athletes through tests… is to see how they react. Are they willing to go toe to toe with themselves, what do they do when the going gets tough, and the really important one…… in the discipline they are least comfortable in…… will they find a reason to quit when it gets too hard?

The reaction and results of these tests is not always for a time or HR data….. it’s to see how they react. for the third I time I cycled one of my athletes through a swim test. For the third time, this athlete has found a reason to quit. The first time he lost count. The second time… he didn’t feel right. The third time he went to yoga first and his body shut down. Yet after he quit the swim test he was able to do a nice easy 30 min run and felt great. Running is his natural forte. (And he knows who he is 🙂 He tries to convince himself that is he was in better shape, had a better stroke, Insert excuse here….. the swim test would go ok.

The truth of the matter is, I don’t give a damn right now what his T time is. When the going gets tough for him in the pool, he finds a reason to quit. As his coach, this is pivotal. I have a pattern here of which to work with. I don’t criticize this because I think he’s a loser in the pool, I criticize it because I care. I am his coach. Now we have something to work with here. It has nothing to do with his stroke, it has everything to do with the space between his ears.

I have another athlete who I threw into an impromptu swim test last week. He forgot his watch. Thought it was about XX time, but he probably skipped a 50.

If I ever showed up to a swim test without a watch for the Wizard….. I had better make one out of freaking stone, steal one, or go home and get it. If I ever told him that I didn’t bring my watch, he would ask me this: when are you going to get serious with the program here? This particular athlete has pretty lofty dreams, and they are legit dreams, I can throw down a mile repeat of 5:25 and he will rise to that challenge with his Garmin attached to him. But again, the swim issue. No…. in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal to him. It’s a big deal to me. I want him to take all of it as seriously as he does his bike / run. I don’t give a damn about his T time. I wanted to see what happened. And again, I criticize because I care. Because I want him to attain those dreams.

I had an athlete last season freak out on me because I asked him this question: have I taught you to ride a powermeter or have I taught you to ride a bike? He didn’t freak out on Mary Eggers, he didn’t like the truth that represented.

I have a girl who told me she hated the wood chopper TRX  move, could she do another one? I told her no, and that her new name is wood chopper. She will become the best anyone ever has been at the wood chopper then.

I have a girl who never remembers her t time. So I reformatted the swim workouts so that she has no choice. Then I texted her with a pop quiz. What’s your t time? Now she knows.

One of my guys has done four bike tests. This is his report every time: I will get the data to you. Guess what? Haven’t seen it yet. Guess what, he’s about to do his fifth bike test (not this week). We will just keep on doing it until that data finds its way to me. I accept skywriting, balloons, and just simple emails.

It’s okay to take yourself seriously, and it’s okay for me to push you.

I have another athlete who claims to be a really horrible swimmer. He’s not. In fact his swim has done nothing but improve over the past X months. He is not as fast some of my other swimmers….. but dude this guy would have to have his intestines hanging through his nose to quit a test. If he forgot his watch he would find one. If he mis counted he would either start the damn thing over or give me the time and how many laps he thought he did and he knows I would figure it out.

He’s the guy I need the others  to aim for.

What I do is hard. I am their coach. I point out these patterns. It might piss them off. It might make them angry. But they won’t be angry at me….. they will become angry with themselves. In turn…. it’s my goal….. that they take themselves seriously.

That’s exactly what the Wizard does for me. Don’t think I dont’ have my moments. Don’t think he’s never told me to have a cup of coffee and go out and try it again.

We all have those tests where we just miss it. It doesn’t mean we have to test test test. Ask yourself … or your coach….. why you test. Why do I have some athletes test ona  rest week? Sometimes for their data, sometimes to see what they do. But when we create patterns….. like this….. it’s something to take notice of.

When the going gets hard, what do you do? Get out? Stop? Quit? Micromanage? Or keep reaching, keep trying your best.

None of this is easy, but that’s not why you signed on. If you wanted a support group where we held hands and sang the kids are all right…. then you came to the wrong girl. As your coach I will challenge you. I will push you at the right times. I will hold you back when I need to. I will sometimes say no, no we won’t be doing that. I often will say no…. no I will not make this easier for you.

Life is not easy.

In fact my father used to say this to me: Life is hard. Then it gets worse. Be ready.

Somewhere out there in a race things are going to get hard. You will get swam over, you will get kicked, your garmin will get knocked off and your powermeter will die.

What will you do?

You will get tired in the Ironman. You may see your goal slipping through your fingers.

What will you do?

At Ironman Florida the whole damn day slipped through mine…… and I got my period during the race….. and you know what I did……. I put my goddamn head down and finished that f-ing race.  I had every opportunity to quit. Still, it’s one of my proudest finishes EVER.

You will reflect on times where it was hard in the pool, when you were on your fifth woodchopper and you hated it. You will think back to those swim tests that I made you do over and over and over. These bike tests in your basement in January and you will realize what those were really about.

Sure they are about data. But to me that’s secondary. To me they are more about observing. What will they do. How will they handle hard. Will they rise to the occasion or for some reason will they back down and back off. Then….. what can I do as a coach to use that to help us.

That’s the data I am looking for. I want to see what you will do.

Sometimes they don’t like when I call them on the carpet. But again, it’s not being upset with me…. I do it because I care, I want them to be better, I want them to be successful….. it’s about them versus them. It’s hard. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

If this were easy though….. we wouldn’t be reaching for it.

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My AWESOME birthday

January 26, 2011

The tap shoes are not here yet. We still have two mailing days. 

Meanwhile……I had an awesome birthday.

If you are not fortunate enough to be my friend on FaceBook….. how do you LIVE? here is how I spent my day.

 Not pictured: 5am swim. 10 X 300. Not on the schedule. Not on the plan. Not hard. I did not report it. I am dead for that. It’s the most yardage I have swam yet. I did it because I felt like it…. and when it’s your birthday you can do things you feel like. When I checked into the YMCA it notified the guy it was my birthday (Birthday awesome #1)

I came home and was greeted with birthday awesome #2.

Up next, Birthday awesome #3, a tempo run on the treadmill in my skivvies. Because I can do things like that on my own treadmill!

Birthday awesome #4 was the first trip of two to Starbucks….

Birthday awesome #5: lunch at Luc’s school. In case this is not clear, it’s an egg and cheese omelet and turkey sausage.

Then Birthday awesome #6: Midtown called me to say Happy Birthday!

Birthday Awesome #7 &8….. back to Starbucks with the ever so lovely Karin K, and I got to see fellow Lululemon ambassador Sherry Hecker!

Birthday Awesome #9: Back to the YMCA, where they wished me happy birthday AGAIN (lucky me) and I got to watch my hugger pie swim!!!

Birthday awesome #10……. I did get to kiss the Moose! I understand…. jealousy is a natural emotion. Please don’t be embarrassed by it…..

Thanks to all of you amazing folks who dropped a line here and / or on facebook / email….. every time I turned around there were kind words awaiting. In my 37th trip around the sun I am overly blessed to call you people friends. Thank you so much.

Now I challange you…… can you find the awesome?

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37 Awesome things

January 25, 2011

Can I tell you something? Yesterday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Good thing 3:30am is early enough to have your crab on and turn around your day by 9.

3:30 felt too early. (yes, I know…. it is.) My bike and swim and life went fine. However I got into the car and it read -5 degrees. I felt the need to phone up the weatherman and let him know….. you can stop at zero. If it’s zero just say zero and we can leave it at that. No negative five but feels like negative 10. And what is with the “futurecast”…. I thought that was what a “forecast” was.

Then I learned Luc’s school was closed. Awesome. Normally he can come to work with me. But this was the one day I had meetings all day long. With patients. I spent my swim and lift trying to figure out what to do.

I came home and awesome happened. My husband told me not to worry. He knew I had an unusually busy day. He would work from home. Ahhhh. The weight of the world lifted off my shoulders.

Every day I read a post from this guy. I have a few sites that I hit every morning for some daily mojo. I like this guy because he finds something awesome in each and every day. Most mornings I focus on what he finds awesome. It struck me this morning….. with this crab on I had….. could I find awesome?

So I started looking around throughout my day, awesome is everywhere. All over the place! So in honor of my 37th birthday….. I shall share with you my own personal list of awesome. 37…. for my 37th.

Awesome is:

1. When your husband works from home on a school snow day.

2. Grocery shopping alone.

3. Getting to lap swim at 5am and having an entire lane to yourself.

4. The elderly man in the gold cap whom I have a terrific conversation with every time I swim.

5. Downward facing dog.

6. My son setting his alarm for 12 midnight last night, then sneaking into our room to give me a kiss and wish me happy birthday. Then him telling me he wanted to be the first to say it to me.

7. Taking the day off on your birthday.

8. Looking forward to being sung happy birthday by a moose at Bugaboo Creek.

9. The pillow Luc made me in Home and Careers.

10. My husband fixing my computrainer handlebar mount.

11. Beginning the day at -5 degrees,  ending it at 26 degrees, and considering it a heatwave!

12. The smell of the fire in the fireplace that only my husband does right.

13. making homemade pizza for the boys and learning they fed it to th dog.

14. New Swedish goggles arriving for my birthday.

15. The LOST box set. Thanks Mom and Dad!

16. Loving all the jobs that I have.

17. That my dog is a loyal, obedient dog, although I didn’t train her.

18. The bag of undies I bought at breathe last night.

19.Ally at breathe making me a buccaneer tea with soymilk. The Ally special.

20. My treadmill!

21. The mattress heater I have on our bed, and how you can heat one side or both sides.

22. My tap shoes should arrive today.

23. I have qualified for Kona 3 times and had to balls to turn it down. Being content with that decision.

24. When people ask me if I know Rich Clark.

25. My new job.

26. Running in the winter, with clear roads and blue skies and a world blanketed in white.

27. That I have been hit by a car 5 times and walked away unscathed.

28. The fact that on Wednesday night my father and I will discuss the details of the latest local murder case.

29. I have not seen anyone die in 3 months.

30. Reading a chapter of the Magic Tree House book every night on the stairs with Luc.

31. My husband and our marriage.

32. Starbucks.

33. 10 years ago I became a Mom. It was the first day of the rest of my life.

34. When i said I do…… I meant it.

35. The amazing people I get to call friend.

36. Going to Luc’s school so he can buy me lunch today. With a prepaid lunch card that I paid for, as I am bringing him hotcakes and I will eat a cafeteria omelet.

37. I get to take another trip around the sun!

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Tap it out

January 23, 2011

This week i am going to do something I have not done in almost 20 years. Something that has stayed with me for a very long time.

See, until age 14-15 I was a dancer. Believe it or not. I also had a bad eating disorder. I stopped dancing, which was like ripping my own heart out with a knife. ever stop something you lived and breathed, not because you wanted to, but because you thought it was the cause of something awful?

Being so young I didn’t have the foresight to see that stepping out of the dance studio was probably the worst thing I could have done for myself. I convinced my parents it was the right thing to do. My plan was this: stop dancing for a year, get better, come back and everything would be all right again.

The better plan would have been, go to my dance teachers, allow them to help me. I know it’s what my parents probably thought would have been a better plan. But at 14 I of course, knew what I was doing. (not).

I never went back, and I got sicker. The loss of that aspect of my life was more devastating than I could imagine. I still danced, I had a studio in my basement. In fact I performed once more as a Senior in High school. I danced a beautiful Lyrical while one of my friends sang. I missed it so much. I was good at it. I loved it. It has been a hole in my heart for years. I studied tap, jazz, and classical ballet. I started at age 3.

One of my yoga students opened a dance studio last year. She’s amazing. She’s been prodding me forever to come back and give it a try. This week I decided I would come back to tap. At the same time my dance teacher and I became friends on facebook…. in fact I am going to see her this week. It feels like it’s the last piece in this recovery process that I need to face.

Tap dancing is like being a musician. You can jam out to any music piece or you can create your own rhythm. That’s what I love about it. I can’t tell you how many times I have performed time steps in my head. Treble rhythms in my mind. A  guitarist will jam out, but he does so with all the notes as his (or her)  background. A tap dancer can jam out too, with all the steps as his (or her) background.

I ordered a new pair of tap shoes. They still make teletone taps for them. at age 10 I remember learning the difference between the different types of taps and which ones made the best sounds. I remember being taught how to loosen and tighten the screws to manipulate the sound of the tap.

I can’t wait to screw those in.

I think this will be really good for me. completely unrelated to anything I do. I really hemmed and hawed about it, but when I gave that presentation to the business guys the other day, one of them asked me an important question:

“Do you ever feel like your committment to this sport forces you to give up something you otherwise would like to do?”

Truthfully my answer was yes. I walked out of there knowing that one night of tap dancing would not ruin anything. In fact it will help me in more ways than I will imagine. I am scared to death. I am so nervous right now. I can stand in front of 1000 people and give a presentation, I teach yoga to 40 students at a time, but stepping back into what I left so long ago….. is scary.

So 25 North Dance, here I come this Thursday. It’s a birthday present to myself.

I will post some video of my tapping abilities this week, as soon as the shoes arrive!