Archive for September, 2011

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Oh Deer

September 30, 2011

It’s been….. an interesting week to say the least. It’s been one of those weeks where you feel like you are being pulled in ten different directions. If things don’t get written on the to-do list they don’t get done.

Weeks like this I find myself still waking at 4am. Even in the off-season I crave my morning time. I have been running. Just running as I head into a marathon build shortly. There is something about 4am, the night sky and quiet roads that has me captured. Even when I don’t need to be up at this hour. No one needs me at 4am. No one can interrupt me.

Or so I thought.

The other morning nothing was unusual. I was out for a morning run, just an hour. There is a cemetery that’s been being built for the past 2 years not far from where I live. It fascinates me for some reason. I have never seen anyone build a cemetery. It’s taken over two years now, it’s a beautiful place.

As I hit the turnaround point I again looked over at the cemetery. Beneath the stars and the moon it looked magical. Peaceful. Serene.

There are a lot of houses in that area and some bushes and our town, especially this time of the year is known for deer. Deer here deer there deer everywhere! They are everywhere, especially this time of the morning.

As I came upon that house by the light pole at the bottom of that one hill I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye. It wasn’t moving fast but the shadow was large. I thought about how I’d be able to fight someone tooth and nail if they tried to jump out of the bushes and rob me (they’d get my QT2 hat, the bastards!), and how they’d be so unlucky to have chosen me……

I turned my head and was met with the same startled look that I was wearing. We met eyes, it slowed down, I got a little bit past then…..

BOOM! Crash! Whoa.

What the hell just happened?

My headlamp flew across the road. My Garmin 310Xt flew the other way. I immediately cursed myself for not wearing it, for just carrying the watch unit itself. My wrists stung (I thought I knew how to fall) my right hip was wet, I knew it was blood. I turned my head to the left and saw Bambi running away.

Did I just hit a freaking deer? Or did the deer hit me?

All I knew is that I knew enough to not hit my head. I am one concussion away from wearing a helmet at all times.

Dude. I just collided with a deer. You dont’ hear that every day. Trust me I know how lucky I was. For years I was a trauma nurse. When people hit deer and get killed it’s usually because the deer gets trapped in their windshield and kicks them to death. You don’t even want to know the stuff I have seen. I know how dangerous these guys can be.

I noticed headlights coming. ARH! Get up Eggers. You don’t survive a deer to get run over by a car. Curt will wonder what the hell you were doing laying in the middle of the road. Someone will say she had a heart attack again and we told her she exercised too much!

I got myself up and as the car passed I pretended to be stretching. I found my headlamp and after a few minutes of looking found my Garmin. Put this thing on the strap Eggers!!!! Then I assessed the damage. A little blood, some scrapes. Nothing major. I began to run….. whew. No pain.

Lucky duck.

My week hasn’t gotten much better. My memory continues to dwindle…. I don’t think I have sen daylight even though it’s been light out. Trying to communicate with Wheeler in Kona where Bree Wee gets internet on Alii drive but he doesn’t. Things in other situations keep happening that make me look over my shoulder and say…… am I being punked?

Friday I pulled into Dunkin Donuts. It’s one of those gas station Dunkin Donuts, so you drive behind the building. There are a lot of trees there.

Welcome to Dunkin Donuts! She cheers from the intercom. What can I get you today?

Medium black coffee please. (I order the same thing every time.).

Would you like cream and sugar with that?

No thanks. Just black.

Splenda?

Black please.

Equal?

Black please.

No half and half or flavoring then?

I looked behind me. I am being punked. I am sure of this. I am your easiest coffee customer. Black. No flavor, no double wet extra hot shots, no ice, caramel (or is it Carmel) and hell no whip cream. Coffee. Black. Pure. Simple.

No thanks, just black.

Soon my medium cup of awesome is in my hands. The sun is shining, the windows are open. Life is good. As I drive away something comes through my window from the trees next to me. ACK! ACK! No sooner did that thing fly into my car did I fly the hell out. Once I had a mouse in my car (my old car). OMG! OMG! OMG!

In a panic I ran around the car and threw open all the doors. Some guy at the car wash stood and stared at me. something jumped in my car! I cried to him. He walked over and as he did, doesn’t a squirrel run out.

Squirrel.

Seriously?

Where is the camera…… I look around. The guy is laughing. I start laughing. Someone must think I need comedic relief this week. because it was funny. Who has encounters like this with two animals on two consecutive days? I have a dog, I am nice to animals. What does this mean?

Of course someone has the answer for me. “The universe is trying to give you something. That’s why you keep crossing paths with all these animals.” (All these animals? Try two.)

The universe wants to give me something? Okay. I will let the universe give me something. I drove myself right over to Wegmans and marched right to the New York Lotto Machine. Mega Millions…. check! The regular lotto…. check! Pick ten….. Check! If the universe wants to give me something ….. the universe can give me a few million buckaroonies.

Yes but you will only get 75 million of that jackpot my husband reminded me.

The day that I ever…. and I mean ever…… say……  only 75 million…….. the day that only seventy five million equals only twenty-five cents in my vocabulary….. will be a very good day for me. Until then the back of my lotto tickets are signed, the New York State Lotto app is loaded on my phone, and I shall send out the vibes like they say to do in “The Secret” and allow the universe to give to me.

When I win that only seventy-five million dollars you better believe I will thank Bambi and Squirrel for leading me to my friend who made that prediction to begin with. Then I will buy my own satellite versions of Tim Horton’s Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks for the west wing of the house that seventy five will build me.

And I will drink black coffee every single damn day.

Oh wait, I already do that.

One concussion away from a permanent helmet. One.

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Coaching Integration

September 29, 2011

Don’t forget! Webinar tonight with Jesse! If you are a USAT Coach it’s a perfect opportunity to earn some CEU’s and if you are not a coach, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn from one of the best. The topic is “13 Concepts for Long Course Racing” and the information to join us is right here! I don’t promote things I don’t believe in, and I sold an entire business (that was doing quite well and growing) to join this coaching team. There’s a reason why!

My integration into the QT2 coaching methodology is coming along. It’s not without struggle, but with each struggle is a new chance to learn something. There is a very certain way that we build a season, and before we do anything else we map it all out…… some coaches call it an ATP (annual training plan) , we call it a histogram. It involves excel and a lot of formulas……..  which are not my strongest point. As I build them I have several moments of “I don’t understand this.” which eventually turn into “AH-HA” moments.

Big props to Wheeler for his patience and his help, I dont’ know if he realizes but in his teaching ,me…. I am definitely teaching him. I am not an engineer nor a math teacher….. which seem like they may be requirements for this sort of thing! The important thing is that I am learning, albeit slow …… and when it all comes together it’s a good feeling. I know it’s a solid plan for my athletes.

Nothing worth doing is ever easy. I never took this on because I am a fan of easy. Some days…. I wish I was!

As I evolve into a QT2 Coach I am thrilled as ever to not be dealing with the business side of coaching. I get to connect with athletes, and focus on coaching. I finally have been able to set some coaching goals for myself because frankly…. I have the time to. As it’s time for my USAT recertification I am traveling down to Philly at the end of October to retake the Level I clinic. I had caught wind that the one and only Bobby McGee would be there…… he’s an amazing running coach who also works with mental skills for athletes and someone whose work I truly admire. To me it was worth heading down to listen to him, take the boys on a fun road trip and explore the running Philly has to offer…. rather than watch some webinars.

Now that I have the time I can deepen my coaching education and further explore all that I can do with it. Moments like this make me realize that life is really a canvas and you get to choose what you create. Never allow yourself to be limited by anything. As they say in regards to the lotto….. have a dollar and a dream….. when it comes to life; where there is a will there is a way.

I credit my parents for teaching me that.

You get one shot at all of this. One shot. Make it yours.

The continued off-season is treating me well. I am remaining active, I am not a fan of getting out of shape. I am out of the pool and off the bike for last and this week, and have begun to run just a bit. Running is simple. Shoes and go. I love running in the early morning underneath the stars and barren roads. I have always been a morning person and running feels like my secret. It feels better to be out here than in bed sleeping. This is where I have a space of XX miles and no thinking. It’s just like yoga.

The last time I took an offseason before October was in 2005, so I am embracing this fall with everything I have. I have a sneaky feeling it won’t happen like this next season!

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USAT Elite Nationals… BUFFALO!

September 25, 2011

Coming home. It’s always wonderful. I live 60 minutes away from where I grew up yet it’s been years since I have traversed the roads I frequented so as a Buffalonian. As I drove down route 5 from Orchard Park this morning…… it brought back memories.

In 1997  (or 1998, I forget)  a group of us stood at what was then the Pier. Rich, Andre, the Hoad, Curt….. a few others. We decided to form a triathlon club. The Buffalo Triathlon club. Did you know I was one of the club’s founding members? The BTC put on a race at that site called the Buffalo Triathlon. It was where I attained my first triathlon win. Curt and I moved to Rochester in 1999, the BTC continued and flourished. The Pier came and went. The Buffalo Triathlon became known as “A tri in the Buff”, Score-This was born, took ownership of the race and moved it to Evangola State Park.

When we arrived at the race site for the USAT Elite Nationals Race Saturday morning  I stood and looked around. The last time I was here I was holding a giant basket of flowers, with Jim Costello who presented it as a gift for winning that day. Funny how you arrive at this place in your life where memories are of adulthood and not of the teenage years. A place where you see someone and they suddenly have a 15-year-old child.

Then you turn and look at who is your own accomplice today and realize its your ten year old son.

Earlier this week I had told Luc I would be coming down here to check it all out. I knew Laura Bennett and Hunter Kemper were racing. One of our QT2 ITU guys Ethan Brown was coming. We arranged a homestay for Ethan and his friend with Nick Brodnicki, local triathlon stud. Turns out the homestay for the guys couldn’t have been a better fit.

Luc asked me the next day if he could come. “These guys are in the Olympics Mom?” I confirmed. Hunter Kemper was in fact an Olympian and a lot of these athletes would be as well. He begged me to come. I warned him it’d be a long day. He insisted.

Heading to a race with our son was about the best thing on earth. Discussing with him entities of swim, bike run was a thrill. Sure we had talked about it before but now we were talking about how these athletes live, how they travel, the distances they raced (as opposed to Ironman) and what they were all about.

I love this time in live when discussions with your children become about something. Some days it’s about Gettysburg. Today it was about our sport. Anything you can have in common with children and discuss is meaningful in my opinion.

Nonetheless when it’s about sport I am going to cherish it all the more.

Our experience at USAT Elite Nationals was amazing. We arrived early for the age group race to watch Ironman Florida bound Ken do his thing, and do his thing he did. This guy is ready. We got to hang with Ken and Greg and our pal Jeff Henderson, while catching up with some folks I hadn’t seen in years from home.

The elite races were awesome. To see athletes like Laura Bennett, Hunter Kemper and the like, this up close and personal was really special. With the race being where it was…… it was a terrific venue for the athletes. It was a bit sparse on spectators however which meant that we got close. Like real close.

I noticed a common thread from all of these athletes: they possessed an unbelievable professionalism. I wanted to ask them…. did you guys have to attend some sort of class on how to act like a professional? Because I have never seen this kind of behavior before, from every single athlete.

Every single athlete we encountered was kind, had time to stop for a word and a picture. When we realized that the finish line was essentially open Luc stood there hoping to high-five a few of the guys. Every single one stopped and slapped his hand. Most…. just seconds after finishing a balls to the wall effort…….  talked to him. Interviewed HIM. None said a THING about their races, you had to pry it out of them. They asked Luc if he had fun, if he liked triathlon…. how HIS day was.

“Mom, these guys are talking to ME!” He turned and said. “TO ME!”

If I had to capture what it meant to be a professional athlete….. these athletes were it. It was INCREDIBLE.

At the end of the day Luc and I sat in the car for a few minutes, just tired. He looked at me and said “THAT was a cool day Mom.” And I smiled. To be able to share this with him was amazing. To get him this close to the athletes who represent various countries at the Olympics was just plain awesome. That they took the time to stop and really connect with him….. was unbelievable. I was so impressed on so many levels.

Here is a picture of Luc and Hunter Kemper. Mr. Kemper was in the middle of eating a powerbar on the way to the swim warm up and graciously stopped for  a picture and a chat. Luc didn’t know what to say!

And here is a little video, I thought I had gotten some footage at hot corner, but I was so busy tracking EZBreezy that I forgot!

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Yoga Girl

September 23, 2011

You may already know this…. but I am a yoga girl. I don’t talk about it that much, mostly because yoga is so widely misunderstood. I teach yoga and I practice yoga. I am nowhere near flexible. I have told you before….. I am not your typical yoga teacher.

The first time I stepped foot into a yoga class I was there to win. I will be really honest with you about that. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to hold crow the longest, head stand first, be right in time with the teacher. When I took my first class at breathe I stood between Mister Yoga and a professional soccer player. If they did two push ups I did three. If they jumped into chatteranga I jumped higher and held longer. If they did a handstand I did a forearm balance.

When I did my Level I Baptistse teacher training in Hawaii…..  I tried to beat Baron Baptiste himself. When he had us hold chatteranga I held it low and I held it long as he walked through the rows of 100 teacher potentials. He came to me. I smiled inside, yeah, he will be pretty darn impressed with me…. I thought.

Instead he stuck his toes into my ribcage, elevated me two inches and moved me forward two inches. Into the right position.

“Hold that hotshot.” He said. I almost died. Physically and mentally I almost died.

Later that night he put us in frog for 45 minutes. 45 minutes. When I am in frog my hips are nowhere near the floor. I fought it for 26 minutes. I am a triathlete, my body don’t do that Baron….. then one of the assistants came up to me with a bolster, which at the time I felt was a sign of weakness.

The assistant knew I was a triathlete. He was one as well. Don’t bring the bolster I cried inside. He brought me the bolster. My legs were shaking, my shoulders were aching…. and here he was essentially DNF’ing me.

He wasn’t. He slid the bolster underneath me. He told me to let go. He told me that for athletes less can be more. He instructed me to lie down on the bolster. Suddenly, everything relaxed. My knees slid further apart. My pelvis rested on the bolster. What was once full of fight and bravery……..  let go, relaxed and surrendered.

The next morning we all practiced together but instead of calling out the flow of class, Baron would say “flow through the warrior I series, we will meet up in a headstand.” Headstand, that was something I could do. I flowed through the series and got right into my headstand. What I didn’t realize was that Baron was practicing directly behind me.

Gasp!

No, wait. What was he doing? He didn’t…. he didn’t do a headstand. Instead he came into downward facing dog. With a block underneath each hand.

TWO BLOCKS.

As I remained in my headstand… it clicked. Less is more. Props aren’t crutches, they are props.

Eggers….. you can’t win yoga.

I came out of my headstand and as I eased into child’s pose I finally, finally relaxed.

Later on in Shavassana my favorite song was played, by Krishna Das. If you have ever been to my yoga class you know which one I mean. I play it every time. For some reason the tears came to me. I was sobbing. I couldn’t figure out why, life was fine, nothing was going on, no crisis, no nothing. I was so mortified to not only be crying but to not even understand why. I covered my face in a towel.

Then I heard a big sobbing sniffle. It was the guy next to me. Jeff. He was crying too. I looked over at him. I looked to my left….. same thing.

Again I relaxed and let go. I let go. I let go.

That’s what I learned in Hawaii.

The style of yoga I teach is hot. It’s flowing. It’s dynamic. It’s freestyle. You will sweat your ass off. I don’t walk around and preach that you should be like the sun and the moon and allow your spirit to fly. I don’t walk around and preach how to live your life. Sometimes I teach anatomically. Sometimes I just teach by breath. Every single person is there for the experience they need and if you open yourself enough to it…… then you will certainly find it.

I identify a lot with a teacher named Brandon. He’s a Baptiste teacher and this video gives some good insight into how I function with yoga too.

Here is another good video of Baron himself, which gives you some insight into the style.

Many people are surprised at the depth of my yoga-ness. I don’t run around chanting about chakras and spirituality and all that kind of stuff (not that there is anything wrong with those who do). To me yoga is very simple: move and breathe. Community and love. I walk into the studio and whether I am teaching or practicing I walk out of there having hit the reset button. I find whatever I need to find on my own mat. Some days it’s spirituality. Other days it’s acceptance. Still others it’s courage.

Every person’s experience is different. And it should be.

You don’t have to be flexible. You don’t have to be good at yoga. If those were two requirements I’d have been kicked out ten years ago.

There is something that happens in that room, in that space. I can never give it justice through simple words. It’s just an experience I crave and love.

To be really honest…… the lessons I have learned on that mat are the biggest lessons I have been able to bring to my sport. But I don’t want you to know that. I don’t want you to know that secret.

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Off-Season

September 21, 2011

For one week.... THIS is the Core Diet in the offseason!

Off-season is treating me well. The entire three days of it so far. I am not a big fan of allowing yourself to get totally out of shape during the off-season. I am a big fan of waking up and saying to myself…… what do I feel like doing today to move? So far it’s been taking my dog for hour-long walks in the morning. Cup of coffee in one hand, her leash in the other. A good wool hat on my head.

The morning is dark but lit up by the moon.

It’s a whole different scene in the morning.

I have to admit to you though….. I am dreaming of what’s next. Normally when I am done with the season I am so spent that I am not thinking past the next day. But we’ve placed something on the schedule that I haven’t done in over ten years.

A marathon.

I have only run two straight out marathons in the mid nineties. Then I did six additional as part of Ironman. My desire to really improve my running now that I am healthy has grown. I brought the topic of a fall run focus up to the Wizard, as I typically only average about 30-35 miles a week during triathlon season. I know that for me to run well, especially as I am heading to a world championship in 2012 the key for me will be a drastic improvement to my running ass (—-. 🙂  ) well as continuing to improve body composition.

Throughout my triathlon career the seasons I have run well I average 40 miles a week. Now that my durability is sky-high, my health is solid, I wondered if it was again time to give that a go. Without the balancing of swim and bike could we really increase my mileage, maybe even over 50 miles a week?

Game on. The wizard suggested a big fall running focus, cycling and swimming for recovery….. marathon training. Like real marathon training. To culminate in a January Marathon.

Gosh I have never done anything like that before. Let’s do it.

So I am taking my down time seriously (I have three whole days in!!!) I am getting the season rest that I need. I am building Leggos like I invented them. The new coaching Gig at QT2 is coming along and I am learning so much. This weekend I will be hanging at the Nickel City Elite races to watch the Olympians and some of my teammates compete, meeting with some athletes and friends……

And I bought two new pairs of running shoes.

They say that to do something you have never done before….. you’ve got to do something you never do. I have never done a run focus like this. I have never run a  marathon in January (I chose the Charleston marathon because it has the best chances of being a cooler marathon). I don’t have any idea of what I could run. It’s been so long since I have even thought of a marathon outside of an Ironman that I don’t even have a dream flat-out time!!!

What I do know is that I can’t wait. There is no better time for running than the fall. The crisp air, the leaves, the endless trails in our area that offer the smell of autumn. Running in a long-sleeved top with gloves yet still running in shorts. Running with Cocoa off her leash just running free in Mendon.

I have a world championship spot in my pocket that I feel that I have to earn. And I am heading out to do just that.

But first….. just a few more pumpkins.

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Syracuse 70.3 Race Report

September 18, 2011

As I was driving home this afternoon I listened to the Buffalo Bills Post game show. Moments before I held my breath with the rest of Western New York as the final 6 seconds rolled down and the Raiders made one last attempt.

INTERCEPTION.

SCREAM!

Oh.My.God.

The Bills had just pulled off the greatest comeback in history since…. well the comeback and it sent every Buffalo Bills fan into a frenzy.

See, I am a Buffalo born and bred girl. Specifically Orchard Park, home of then Rich Stadium (now Ralph Wilson). As an adult I appreciate the presence of two major professional sports teams (Bills and Sabres) in a city that you can drive through in ten minutes. As kids Sunday’s revolved around football games in every house in Buffalo. I have been through the four Superbowls, the Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly years.

Wide right.

Not to mention the Sabre’s infamous NO GOAL in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that entered all of Buffalo into a deep depression.

I am used to being the underdog. I know what it’s like to be in a slump. We Buffalo folk….. hell we invented it.

So as I was driving home, listening to the post game show……  I was full of hope for a number of reasons. Not just for football, but for myself. My future as an athlete. I can identify with this team. I have been through hell and back twice. I know what it’s like to look to the future and believe when no one else does, that yes…..  yes you can.

Chan Gailey (coach of the Bills) said something like this…. “Every win helps. Every win gives these guys a little bit of confidence. They believe in themselves a little bit more. And that’s what they need”. Then I listened to the players describe the game. They spoke with humility, passion and incredible belief that their best day was yet to come. They acknowledged there were harder days to come, that every day would not be a winning day. They said they would continue to work hard and savor the good moments while learning from the hard ones.

I felt like they were speaking to me. These guys, they know how I feel. They had been beaten down too, through some rough times. We put one foot in front of the other, and we allow a little luck to come our way. We take what we learn from the failures and we savor the successes. Nothing, absolutely nothing worth anything is ever easy. Nor should it be.

I was granted two strokes of luck today. Actually three.

1. Syracuse 70.3 fell between the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and Kona so the field was smaller.

2. The pro I offered my bike to didn’t accept (his has fractured during his morning drive…. long story)

3. It was freezing.

My time was not a time that would stand up in a world championship. In any larger race I would have likely never hit the podium. I had one thing on my mind today and one thing alone  (once the pre race insanity trans WNY three cities in one day, gluing tubular on in strangest of locations….. you don’t even want to know).

Execute the plan even if it meant my finishing time was 6 hours.

You see, after I spoke with the Wizard last evening he sent me an email. With an attachment. The email read “Tomorrow, don’t let it look like the attached.” And the attached was my Eagleman run analysis. Which resembled a kindergarten fingerpaint project. I smiled when I saw it. That bastard I thought. He just figured out how to hit my big red button.

I am a hard girl to fire up. Competitors in the race or age group don’t fire me up. Specific time goals dont’ really fire me up. Slots to Vegas don’t fire me up. I have been there done that. I smile on the course. I giggle too much. I high-five too much. I have a habit of being too laid back. That… fired me up.

I knew it was sent intentionally. They don’t call him the Wizard for nothing.

I thought about that run file the whole race. No matter what I would hit those targets regardless of the times they brought. Even if I was D.F.L.

I’d show him.

Turns out I showed myself instead.

The Syracuse 70.3 course is a stunner. It’s also no joke. That ain’t no easy course. It’s hilly, it’s gorgeous, but it’s funtastic in every single way. The swim was great, I had awesome girls in my wave and got just a bit hung up in the previous waves. That’s the deck you get though and part of the game is navigating it. That’s life.

Onto the bike the cold was perfect for me. I wore gloves and that was it. Every single 70.3 I do I spend the first hour cursing the Wizard, hoping if he’s out training it hits him in side stitches. Thoughts of hate go through my head….. what does he know, my heart rate is huge, he’s such a jerk making me ride so damn slow….. by the turn of the first hour it changes. I then begin speaking to myself in third person (like any mentally stable athlete) hold the heart rate Eggers. Right on target with HR and power. Hit the nutrition…. good good.

No women passed me the entire ride. I knew it’d be a slow ride for me, but it seemed somewhat odd.

As I came into transition I put my garmin in my mouth. That always seems to freak spectators out. It’s the only way I won’t forget to yank it off my bike. It would kinda sorta be funny if I choked on it one day. If I am going to go I’d prefer to go in style.

Eggers chokes to death on garmin 310XT.

On to the run I had only one thought in mind. HR 165 No.Matter.What. I’d show The Wizard. I’d show him. I didn’t care if it meant I was running 5 or 12 minute miles. I was going to hold that as instructed. And hold it I did. I loved the run course. It’s a lollipop on a stick and you run the lollipop twice. It’s hilly through mile three and turning and rollers the rest of the way. What goes up definitely comes down.

I kept waiting for the usual….. the women to pass me. But I passed one in a different wave right out of T2. Me? Pass a girl? Holy cow. This was new. Don’t get excited Eggers. The only two women who passed me loop one were some of the pro women, looking fantastic and strong. By the second loop more girls came by but I am not the type of athlete to ask “Is this loop one or loop two?” It wouldn’t have changed anything. I was sticking to the plan no matter what.

I’d show him.

Nutrition came easy. There is a reason for that, I shall divulge this week. Pre race I did cut down on coffee, so when it came time to hit each aid station I happily cheered “Double Latte Please!”. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Double caffeine makes me happy.

I felt incredible on the run. I watched pace but stuck to that heart rate like it was my damn job. Nothing would peel me from it. I was happy, smiling, cheering, giggling. Joking with fellow competitors. Good Lord Eggers….. I thought…. the Wizard would kick your ass!

As I came down the stick of the lollipop I felt incredibly happy. Eggers (third person thing again)…. see if you can jack that HR up…… hit 170 (I know, I live on the wild side!). And I did.

As I crossed the line Kelly C. was there and I told her right away….. this race file is a damn A PLUS!!!!!!

A phone call to my Dad confirmed I was in third place in my age group. really… ME? Good lord. Then I heard an announcement for Vegas slots. Vegas? I looked to see how many spots were in my age group. Three. I was third and there was three. Okay.

A quick phone call to Curt (who opted not to race)…….

Do I take the spot?

Yes. It’s a world championship.

So take it?

Yes. It’s a world championship.

Okay. I will take it. OK?

OK.

(enlightening conversations always happen between us, I promise)

In a bigger race my time wouldn’t have me on the podium, or the map. I am VERY well aware of that. Karma threw me a bone though, and I am biting on it. With all my teeth (even the newly restored ones. He never said anything about chewing on bones with them).

As I hopped back on the Thruway to meet my Dad in Batavia for dinner and to exchange Luc, I cried. I cried for a good half hour. Trust me they were tears of happiness. Tears of gratitude. Tears of chance. Hope. faith.

You see, as I said I have been through hell and back with my health. Some know, some don’t. My performances have declined due to it. I never explained, I never had to. People judged me, laughed at me (even to my face), and they called me “over” in a thousand different ways. I smiled and took it like a champ. Because I knew what was going on, and trust me I have been so honored to still be in the damn game, even if I wasn’t on top of it.

When I began working with the Wizard I had to accept and understand that this would all take time. It would take a physical overhaul seven ways from Sunday. I have been patient. I have stumbled. I have fallen. I have been frustrated, elated, but I never stopped believing.

I did not have the fastest time today, but I executed that race to a damn T.

That right there, allowed me to slam the door shut on the past. close it up and close it tight. It’s time to move on.

I am heading to Vegas in 2012. My mission until that time is to earn that slot, and hold this bone I have been thrown with everything I’ve got. The first part of the plan has been laid out. Now we just fill in the blanks. I have a boatload of work to do but something got lit within me today. Something deep and permanent. I knew when that feeling would be back and back for good.

Tears filled my eyes as I listened to that post game show today. If you are a Buffalonian you know what I mean. Things give us hope. It’s like we all hold our breath when that football is thrown, we lean….. we scream at the TV…… you know what I mean…. that feeling. We will do it boys, we will do it. I know the feeling of behind the underdog. In fact I prefer it. They never stopped believing and nether did I.

The Buffalo Bills and I have something in common…… we kept the faith. We both got thrown a bone, and the road……. it’s all ours to come back on.

The season is done, two weeks of rest. Then we begin a full on run focus. And much much more. Until then I am going to sugar myself silly with mallowcreme pumpkins and as much coffee as I can drink. And work on my game face. Because in the world championship it can’t be a smile and a giggle. Well…. it can still be a smile.

A giant thanks to my Coach…. Jesse Kropelnicki of QT2 systems……. my amazing QT2 systems Team, the athletes of Train-This, the amazing people of Score-This, to Kroe and her family for treating me as part of theirs….. to Jeremy Clay of Bike Loft East for welcoming me today as part of their team…. to my amazing husband Curt Eggers for being the MOST AMAZING MAN IN THE WORLD, to my unbelievable son Luc….. for being my daily inspiration, to my Mom and Dad for watching our son today so I could race and Curt could have a day of rest, and for dinner, and the toll! To the companies that support me….. they are all listed to the right. I realize I have more support than some of the pros, trust me that is appreciated more than words can say.

And to you…… for enduring what we have endured……. together.

Every win helps.

Thank You.

h1

Let’s play triathlon

September 16, 2011

It’s been a few weeks since I have raced. I have been to races (announcing), I have tracked Nationals, Ironman…… I am never out of the triathlon loop. The break in a bit of competition leaves me hungry as I head into Syracuse 70.3 this weekend.

My compression socks are on, I sleep with my legs elevate, my bike is shiny. My tires are already pumped. Race outfit set to go, wetsuit selected. Course is reviewed, nutrition is packed.

I execute the same taper every single time I race, it’s now in my blood. Monday I feel like lead. Tuesday I wonder if I will come around. Wednesday I begin to feel the pop. Thursday I feel bloated. Friday I feel revved up and Saturday I feel set to go. It has happened the same way the 15+ years I have been racing.

My game face is a smile.

I love what I get to do. Sometimes I win, sometimes I bomb it, sometimes I fall right in the middle. I know my plan, I stick to my plan and I race from my heart.I won’t know or care what anyone else on that course is doing. I will just know that we are out there together. There will be so many familiar faces in terms of spectators and fellow athletes. I can’t wait to high-five on the course. I can’t wait to shout banter back and forth.

To me a race is a giant celebration. Daily I work with people who can’t, race day I celebrate can.

I go into these events with faith and hope. Faith that execute the race I am trained and capable of racing. Hope that my fellow athletes get to experience the same. excitement to see if I can dig deep when I need to.

I love wondering what the day will bring and at the same time knowing what I can bring to the day.

I am excited to be staying with my good friend K Roe. I don’t know how on earth we won’t stay up late toilet papering houses and freezing other’s underwear. I am excited to have the big QT2 breakfast. I am excited to see the Train-This and Qt2 athletes out on the course. I am excited to race with my husband again. That is always such an unbelievable treat.

Last weekend as we began the Finger Lakes Triathlon Rich said “Let’s play triathlon!” and it’s been in my head ever since.

If you are competing…. make it happen, embrace the day, allow yourself to do what you do on the course. Get turned inside out, find the thrill in how dig you can deep.

Most importantly remember the blessed life that we all lead.

Let’s play triathlon!