Archive for July, 2011

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Rochester Kid’s Triathlon Race Report

July 30, 2011

Sometimes I have to write things down immediately in order for me to try to capture the feeling. We arrived home a few minutes ago from the first annual Rochester Kid’s Triathlon and there, of course, are tears in my eyes. It was a wonderful event. And I mean wonderful. The gang  the Rochester Area Triathletes who put it together did an amazing job. It was well-organized, well run, I felt it was safe. I was even announcing and they gave us a personal volunteer to ensure Luc got through his race as well.

That was a big thing for me. It allowed he and I to test the independence. There is so much navigating I need to do for him. Kids with special needs …(as we say, because really we don’t have a title…. nor do we want one).

If you haven’t been around then you haven’t heard about our struggles with cycling and Luc. If you have, you do. It’s not cycling that we care that he does, it’s the skills cycling teaches you. Both social and physical.

I will always remember…. and I will always thank Lose the Training Wheels for bringing so much into our lives. While Luc is no stranger to triathlon….. he’s been doing them since age four….. today celebrated a full year of solo riding. He’s done a million races on adaptive / assistive bikes. The feeling of him independent on two wheels is extraordinary. One I shall never ever lose.

When he first lost his wheels (lost his training wheels) I worried that this nostalgia would fade. 365 days later it’s still as strong.

It’s  true in life that if you struggle and have to work harder for something….. then you absolutely do appreciate it more.

That’s the theme of our lives isn’t it?

When Luc races it’s never about winning, it’s about doing. Moving, breathing.

There were kids of all ages and abilities there today and today was just for them. No being drug out of bed at early o’clock and waiting for mom and dad to race. They had a good flow to registration, it was well-marked. Each kid had an entourage as is expected. Kid, Mom, Dad, siblings, so it got a little crowded but it was fine. A bike check and helmet check were your keys to transition, where someone showed you where to rack. Liked that a lot.

The swim was in our local outdoor 50 meter pool. Long course was 2 lengths, short course was 1 length. They set up the waves beautifully. The funniest part is the kids had to walk through the showers on the way, as it is NYS regulations that every person must shower before entering a pool! They did it!

The kids were incredible. They smiled. They worked hard. My announcer software wasn’t uploading the race lists so I improvised. As each kid came across the finish line I asked their name! No problems!

AND…… no crazy parents either! I have been to kid’s races where parents have screamed at their kids to put their shoes on faster… do this do that…. NONE of that existed here. None. Parents backed off, let their kids do their thing and it was amazing.

The finish line was a big balloon arch and each kid was so proud to finish.

Luc always gets some special shout outs. I blatantly play favorites with no shame at all. In the regular world Luc has been handed the short stick more times than most people are during their entire lives. In triathlon when I am announcing…. he gets to be a rock star. Want special treatment yourself? I’ll adopt you 🙂 No one veer gives me a hard time about it, they know the story. In fact when he sets foot on a course he gets more cheers than anyone. Not because he’s winning, but because …… everyone understands.

I thank you for that. You want your kids to have the best in life. Luc lives in the on the spectrum world and let’s just call it like it is….. the world ain’t set up for our kids. So whenever we can elevate them …. we are going to.

I had an amazing time announcing. One of my favorite races to announce yet.

As we came home I made Luc some pancakes, he relayed the story for Curt who is prepping for Nationals…. and out getting his work done.

Now I am heading out for about four hours…. then it’s on the road to Rome NY and a little race tomorrow. Already a great weekend!

Congrats Luc, we are so proud of you!

Special thanks to the Rochester Area Triathletes, to Cynthia, Joan, Alice, Rob….. to all the volunteers especially Dee, Ken and Tim…… nd to everyone who came out to help, compete and spectate and support! This is what community is all about!

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Schmorgasboard

July 29, 2011

Today will be a bit of a schmorgasboard….. we have a lot of ground to cover!

Xtri

I have a new article up on the Lake Placid Women’s Age group race! Click here to read it!

QT2

I wanted to share some really terrific stuff with you, it’s some QT2 stuff and things you will learn from, I promise. I’ve had a lot of questions about the Mission Plans that QT2 offers and yes, I will be involved with those for sure. In all honesty when I take a good look at all of the coaching engines out there, I honestly think the Mission Plan is the best out there…… and of course I have bias. That’s because I am entrenched in the philosophy and the whole system. It’s changed my life. If you had a business that you put your heart and soul into for seven years…… you don’t hand that over to someone else ….. just because. This team has something special, and while they say there is no magic, there is magic in the way it’s all assembled. Just check out some of the recent results they produce right here.

QT2 coaching overview….. here is a really great video by the Wizard. If you are interested in a Mission Plan, skip ahead in the video to 4:41, where he explains everything.

Just a few more great reads and videos I want to share with you …..

QT2 examples of Swim and Run analysis, which are options for both QT2 athletes and those who are not.

Click here for a great deal offered by QT2 if you are an IMLP 2012 registrant.

Want to learn how to master the Ironman run? Read this.

As you can tell I am really excited for this transition in my coaching career. It gives me a real opportunity for educational growth as a coach that I haven’t been able to focus on due to the details of running a small business. In truth….. while I love being a small business owner, I don’t love the details. I don’t love the administrative part. To be able to hand that over to someone I know and trust, and be able to focus my attention on coaching and coaching and coaching is a dream come true.

Rochester Kid’s Triathlon

Tomorrow will be the first annual Rochester Kid’s Triathlon held in Genesse Valley Park. I can’t tell you how excited Luc is to have a race all his own! I am going to be race announcing and I promise in advance to do my best to announce every kid who crosses that line. I use a program called “Race Announcer”, to which we upload the entrant lists. All I have to do is type a number and the name pops up. Normally at a race we have announcer mats and this is my backup system, but we won’t have chip timing this weekend. I always spend the day before in complete worry that the lists won’t upload, so thanks in advance for your patience and I shall do my best!

On the road again

Continuing my eighty billion week travel schedule this week I am heading to the Delta Lake Triathlon over in Rome NY directed by Mihcael Byrch. This the second year for this race and I am excited to again be competing. I am looking forward to racing with little Jennie Hansen who I have gotten to know over the past few weeks. This little chica recently won the Musselman, placed 8th overall at Mosseman and has this amazing little habit of running sub 1:30 off the bike in a half Ironman. She’s headed up to Burlington in a few weeks for USAT age group nationals…. which is a very smart move. Want to see where you stand nationally? This is the race to do it at. Her husband is also competing and has this funny little habit of giving himself a pedicure in T1. Interesting 🙂 I will be featuring Jennie in an upcoming Xtri interview, so stay tuned for that!

One of my athletes Kristin is competing as well, and we will be doing a “cool down run” after the race… about 45 min worth… if anyone wants to join us!

Post Ironman Lake Placid

I have done six Ironmans and I can honestly tell you coaching the Ironman crushes me harder. The largest team I ever took to Placid was 17. It took me weeks to recover! Stay tuned to Train-This for some awesome race reports, or like us on FaceBook!

I knew I was in a bit of trouble on Saturday while long running in Placid. My HR didn’t match my paces but that happens. Tuesday night was a recovery run (meaning HR zone R, for me 130-140) it took me 13 minutes and a HR of 140 to get to that mailbox on that street that normally takes me 9 to get to. Fever in full force Luc noticed right away the swelling in the right side of my face.

Welcome back bone infection? Of course, I was scheduled to begin mouth reconstruction Thursday. This is what happened last time. fortunately this time, no bone involvement. Just another ride on the Clinda, which also means you get to sh*t liquid for days! The good news is….. a day of rest and 2 days of antibiotics and I got to that mailbox in 8:45 last evening with a HR of 148 (My HR zone 1…. HR zones are a little different in QT2 land). So there’s been progress, since there has been progress I will race! Saturday will be a great race prep day with announcing, a four hour ride, a three hour drive and then a good night sleep.

You know you’ve been at the Ironman game too long when a four-hour ride doesn’t affect performance the next day. Those rides…. I can do in my sleep! SAD!

Clinics

We have two clinics coming up….

August 10th 7-8pm, we will walk you through the Summer Sizzler race day essentials. It’ll be free! Stay tuned for registration details.

September 10th 12:45: Finger Lakes Triathlon Swim clinic. for just $10 (to cover insurance) join me at the lake for open water swimming tips and tricks! Click here for more info!

Ironman #7.

Aren’t you Ironman retired? Hell yes. But I chose #7. It’s the race I have dreamt of my entire life. The one I dream of the way others dream of Kona. I will tell you about it next week.

That’s all for today folks, have a beautiful weekend!

 

 

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Ironman Lake Placid Day Two: The swim off

July 28, 2011

I’ve been hyping the 2011 swim off, I won’t lie about that. The last time I hyped a head to head race (me versus Curt at Mini Mussel) I lost. My intention however….. was to put the f back in fun. Many people think my coach is not fun. Maybe because I give that impression of him. He’s the Wizard for god’s sake, you know the man behind the screen that everyone is terrified of? When people meet him they most often think ….. hey he’s not like I thought.

I should be given points for that.

But let’s begin at the beginning. The planning phases. Swimming is all about tactic and being smart, my intention was to be smart. The plan was very simple…. outsmart the Wizard.

Preview: I failed at doing that.

Pat Wheeler would be the key to my victory, you know Pat… my illegitimate son I had when I was 11, but not really, the kid looks like he’s about 12. Here we are at camp. You can tell by his facial expression how much he adores me.

His sole job this day was to lead me. He is a faster swimmer than I, but his job was to lead me. He was to kick…. never mind that he never kicks….. I secretly changed all his previous swim workouts to ONLY kicking….. 41K of kicking a week…. for this very race.

White Hot was another piece of the plan. His job would be to lead me out to the first buoy (he used the lame excuse that he had an Ironman the next day and couldn’t swim the whole thing. Whatever, he already qualified for Kona).

At 210 pounds, he does a 9:3X Ironman kids!

The night before the swim off I was in bed by 8:30. I was hydrated, well nourished, slept with my legs elevated and my goggles around my neck. 4:45 am came quickly but I felt good. Then I checked my phone. Seems that I had a text from … the Wizard!

“Sleep well tonight, you’ll need it.”

Sent…… 10:30pm

** I also got an email from Sister Rosemary… so God was on my side during this as well***

I smiled. HA. Too bad I was in bed at 8:30, two hours before this was sent. Advantage…… Eggers. Later on I found out that the poor Wizard was worried that night. On paper I was faster and he knew it. Excellent. I got inside his head (and after beginning my QT2 coaching training….. seeing what comes out of that head….. it’s an intricate place to invade).

Pre race breakfast and cup of coffee in. I was at Mirror Lake at 5:30am waiting.

Then at 6am I was waiting. Wheeler and White hot showed up as did a small contingency of fans.

6:05 cam around, no Wizard. This is the first of several places I should have won by default.

Finally he showed. 6:15. Because we had the team breakfast at 7:30 we decided to make it one loop, winner buys two beers. White Hot, Wheeler, The Wizard and I were finally ready to go.

As swam out to the first buoy as a warm up and looked around for our finish line. Lisa Bentley and her husband were standing on the beach (definitely there to watch the event I am sure). I declared that the first to throw Lisa Bentley over their shoulder would win. In case she wasn’t there however, whoever touched the sign on the beach first would be the victor.

Go. We were off.

It was White Hot in front, then The Wizard, me and Wheeler. I made an error right then and there which I would spend the rest f the race making up for, I backed off and let them lead. A good idea in theory but it cost me, I got dumped off the back. Damnit. White Hot peeled off and started screaming at me. It was okay, I still had time.

Wheeler didn’t play by the rules. This was not about how fast HE would swim, this was supposed to be about helping ME. He was off the front and I stayed pretty close to the Wizard’s feet, a little further behind than I’d have liked, he got a good start on WH’s feet. Damnit.

I was swimming well and feeling strong. As we came upon the turn I made move that some would view as controversial. I turned inside the buoy as opposed to outside the buoy. This was actually critical error number two.

There is a difference between confidence and outright EGO. I let EGO take over and I was right next to The Wizard. This is not the smart place to be. Anyone who knows him knows he will sit back and slingshot the last 400. But no…. I got excited as I pulled ahead. I am in front, I am a swimmer, I can hold this lead!!!

Halfway down the line I picked up my head and looked behind me. He was TWO BODY LENGTHS BACK! I had him! I had him!

Wheeler….. he was way out in front. Not following directions.

Ass.

As we headed towards shore I saw the sign. THEN….. crap, The Wizard touched my feet. Damnit, this was not how I had planned this race. I knew better. Swim harder Eggers. I swam towards the sign hoping to distract him because I swam off the line. If he was smart he’d pass me on my left as I only breathe to my right.

Then it happened. The classic Wizard move…. he applied a huge surge and came right upon my right side. I then made critical error number three. I grabbed his ankle with both hands and pulled him back as hard as I could. Great in theory…. these guys are known for pushing and shoving during a swim off.

But it was an error because I began to laugh. Like I can’t breathe laugh. Serious fail on my part because I lost ground and I lost it quick.

The Wizard made it onto the beach first.

Lucky for me I had people on my side. This was about who touched the sign first. One of my athletes Tim, helped me out with that! I touched the sign first.

But he WAS on the beach first. Thanks to my chain of errors and listening to my ego.

Bottom line….. it was fun. Even if it got Wheeler grounded for a week with no allowance.

We had fun, and we laughed a lot. After all, this is all about having fun. One thing about the Wizard…. he has an uncanny ability to pull performances out of his ass. Seriously. He also will wait till the last 200 yards to make a move, I knew that and I didn’t allow that to work to my advantage. Next time. And yes there will be a next time. Maybe by then Wheeler will be let out of his room.

See …… the Wizard can he fun. He’s even smiling in that picture!

Special thanks to White Hot……  you would have been 6th age grouper  instead of 7th overall without the swim off!

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Ironman Lake Placid Day Three

July 26, 2011

“Going to Ironman Lake Placid is like going to Mary Eggers’ family reunion!” Yes, I suppose that may be true. Everywhere I turned it seemed there was another old friend. That’s why I love Lake Placid. That’s why I love Ironman Lake Placid. This year was incredibly special for reasons I am about to tell.

But first….. where is Ironman Lake Placid day two? That comes next. It’s the much-anticipated swim off report. Complete with pictures. Stay tuned.

The 2011 Ironman Lake Placid did not disappoint. I had the honor…. and trust me when I say honor I mean honor….. of coaching 9 athletes through this race. Four were repeat offenders, five were first timers. Four PR’s and five new Ironman athletes later I was reduced to tears. I always am. I always say when they and I begin this journey that I already know the end of the story. The Ironman isn’t built on a Sunday in July from 7am until midnight. The Ironman is built throughout the 364 days before. From the moment you hit submit until the moment you cross the line. An entire year’s worth of dedication and committment to yourself concludes with a short day of 9-17 hours. It all comes down to that.

Then….. just like that…. it’s over. Ironman packs up it’s moving road show and moves along. Two days after midnight, it’s as if it was never there.

But you know. You know it was.

This year Rich Clark hill, became Rich Clark Hill again, this time equipped with microphone and speakers.

Me and my brother from another mother

It was a beautiful day, that’s for sure. Whenever I have done this race it’s been “the craziest weather ever”. That can happen four times you know!

The swim looked uneventful aside from a group that seemed to stop near the docks. Reports were varying regarding the crowd. Some had good water, some did not. Lake Placid is infamous for being a mosh pit.

I watched and smiled as each of our athletes made their way through their day. They smiled, they worked their plans, they brought their preparation to the table. As I set atop the hill waiting for them to finish I was extra emotional this season. This would be the last big group that I brought to Ironman Lake Placid as the owner of Train-This. It’s mostly public knowledge now, but I am handing over the reigns of Train-This to some very amazing women who share the same vision, ethics, morals and love for this sport as I do.

Throughout my seven years of coaching and grown this business from the ground up I have been through a lot. I have been fortunate to work with amazing people. They will never understand that all of them taught me….. much more than I could have ever taught them. They are the ones who really made Train-This what it is today…… an amazing team of amazing people. I was just the ringleader.

Throughout the past seven years I have worked hard, and I have loved every second of it. I have experienced amazing highs and I have weathered some pretty big storms, we have made it pretty far.  No matter what I always came back to the advice of my father:

Treat people as you want to be treated.

Do what you do with passion.

Be fair.

Those were his words way back in 2004 and he’s been my main business advisor ever since. When I was young he taught me that it will never matter if I live in a cardboard box…. I have to do what I love and what makes me happy. At a young age I learned what makes me happy.

People make me happy. Working with people in the capacities I get to…. makes me really happy.

It’s been an honor beyond words that athletes came to us for guidance, coaching, anything. That anyone would choose to make us part of their journey was always overwhelming. Be it our first or an athlete seven years later.

It’s always been said that I take this all too personally, and that’s not an accusation I will deny or be ashamed of. When you are taking on something as big as the Ironman…… don’t you want someone who takes it personally? It’s your LIFE we are working with. You are never just numbers and figures…. you become family to us. So if someone wants to criticize me for taking this all personally….. I am damn proud. When you pay someone your hard-earned money and you come to them with dreams……. you want them to take it this way.

A few weeks ago I was approached by my coach, and invited to become a part of his coaching team. My jaw dropped to the floor, my heart began to race. That such an incredible group of coaches would come to me…. think enough of my abilities as a coach…. and invite me to become a part of their team….. was beyond flattering. Beyond an honor. It is one of the greatest compliments I have ever received.

As I accepted with incredible excitement my emotions turned to my current company and athletes and fellow coaches. We figured out a plan for all of them. Some of my athletes are coming, some are changing coaches, but before I ever said anything I needed to give them time to adjust, accept, and decide what they needed to do.

I am so excited and at the same time so very sad. It was the hardest decision I have ever made regarding business. I’d be a fool not to accept. More on all of this later…… but this is why the gravity of the day held me so tightly.

I watched them all cross that line and I watched a year’s worth of emotion spill into the finishing chute.

Here are some pictures…….

This is White Hot, one of my friends…. I got to see him and the Commander and their daughter………

This is Deb….. one of the emotional stories of Ironman, she and I know why…..

Did I mention I had a media pass?

As I was publishing this post, we lost the bottom of it……. so hop on over to facebook for some more great pictures.

As I did watch each of my athletes cross the line it was really emotional.

This really is my family reunion. I have been coming up here since 1999 to share in this experience as an athlete, spectator and as a coach. It holds something all it’s own to be honest.

As Rich and I ran through the rain Saturday night he laughed out loud….. Another Rich and mary adventure…… it so was. Our families allowed us both to dream, to go for it, and we are at really good places after so many years of hard work and love from those around us.

I am excited…. terrified….. emotions beyond words for what’s to come.

One thing is for certain….. it will be an adventure.

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Ironman Lake Placid, Day One

July 23, 2011

(actually, it’s more like day 1 and a half. I arrived Thursday night)

Life here in Lake Placid is as it should be in Lake Placid. Unconnected (as we can be), beautiful, sunny and warm. The big talk ’round town is the water temperature. We are now sitting on the cusp of the first ever non wetsuit swim here in Placid…. it’s never official until race day…. and truthfully if you want an Ironman with a non wetsuit swim, this is the one you want.

The team is ready and the town is buzzing with triathletes and families. As congested as Lake Placid gets…. at other Ironmans you don’t get the feel you get here. I can’t even describe it. There is an energy and a vibe that’s awesome.

The Train-This Team is ready, here are some of them and …… who is THAT over there…. why yes…. it’s White Hot! He is here and ready!

There wasn’t much for me to do yesterday, except a little training with The Wizard. (got to ride a little with Cait Snow as well!). We took to the loop of course, that’s where you ride here in Placid. We talked a lot about business and things to come. It was really excellent to be able to relate the business side of coaching with someone. It’s not often spoken of with coaches how our own performances take a certain level of “hit” when we coach. We give so much to the athletes we work with that it’s inevitable.

It’s because we care.

And honestly I have accomplished so much in my career, it’s something I am absolutely at peace with. There is nothing better than watching someone you work with achieve their goals. No win I have ever achieved has topped that feeling.

Going forward we have some exciting changes that will hopefully also breath fresh air into my own performances and allow me to strike a really good balance. I am really excited and I can’t wait to tell you!

An afternoon swim confirmed to me that if I was swimming in this race I’d prefer the non wetsuit swim. The water is pristine, and it’s a good warm.

As some of us sat at a sidewalk cafe on Main Street for dinner, we got to talk all things Iron, Is there anything better than sharing something like this with so many people? Everywhere I turn there is a familiar face, a hug and a good luck on Sunday!

First things first however. The swim off. Stay tuned for a full report from that, I pick up my media credentials today, and we will watch this Iron town quiet down as we hit the brew pub on Ironman eve.

 

 

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On the road again

July 21, 2011

This week it’s off to Ironman Lake Placid, where I have several roles to play!

Coach

I will be there in support of the amazing ten athletes I have had the honor of bringing to the starting line in 2011. Many of them will be wearing the green and blue, be sure to give them some special shouts out! GO TRAIN-THIS!

Journalist

I will be covering the race on behalf of XTri, my first time at a big race with media credentials! I will be following the women’s pro and amateur races. Be sure to follow me on twitter @maryeggers for updates throughout the day!

Speaking of Xtri, please check out my interview with professional triathlete Jacqui Gordon, who will be competing on Sunday! find that interview here! And don’t worry, there is at least ONE spelling error!

Athlete

On Saturday morning at 6am I will face off with my coach Jesse Kropelnicki of QT2 Systems for the second annual “Eggers vs. Kropelnicki swim off!” it’s 2.4 miles, loser buys the beer. Last year I lost. I will not be doing that again.

6am Mirror Lake

If you are around join me for some training! Friday morning at 10am I talked Dan Jareke of Nice Tri into a four hour ride around the loop, and even coerced him into a pedicure after. Will he bite? Find out!

Stay tuned right here for all the details on a very exciting weekend!!!

 

 

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The Rochester Kid’s Triathlon NEEDS YOU!

July 20, 2011

On Saturday July 30th the Rochester Kid’s Triathlon will be taking place and yours truly will be the announcer! We are in need of volunteers…. here is the info:

We are just about 10 days away from the big event!  Many kids have registered for the race and we are in need of more volunteers.

We still need you and 5 of your closest friends to come out and volunteer for us!   If you are part of a running or biking group and have other friends or colleagues who might also be able to volunteer, please pass their name and email address on to us, or better yet, have them email us directly at kidsvolunteer@rochestertriathletes.com.

We will ask volunteers to be at GVP on Saturday, July 30th around 6:30-6:40am.  There will be a Volunteer meeting around 7am that morning.  More details about exact volunteer assignments, where to pick up your neon-orange Volunteer T-shirt, etc. will be sent out on Thurs, July 27th.

If you have a particular interest in doing the volunteer job of “bike helmet fitter” we ask that you attend a few minutes of training given by the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, who is a sponsor of this event.  Email me at  kidsvolunteer@rochestertriathletes.com with your interest in this position and I will see that you get all the information about the training days and times, or how to get training from one of us.  We want all kids who bring their own helmet to have it fitted appropriately and also provide helmets for kids who do not have them.

Please spread the word among your friends and fellow athletes, thanks so much!

Joan (Co-race director!)

kidsvolunteer@rochestertriathletes.com