Archive for January, 2012

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Fear of What?

January 30, 2012

Every now and then that desire to do another Ironman creeps in. The plan was for my seventh to be at Ironman Canada in 2013. There is a group of us going. Ironman Canada is my dream race. But every so often as I am riding on the trainer or running on these … until today….. non snowy streets the desire begins to creep in again. Through the course of my 15 year career I have done 6. I am spaced out well. I don’t overdo it. The training isn’t much different from what I currently do. I know exactly how to balance it with family.

Then I pull myself away from it. Not this season Eggers. I come up with a whole host of reasons of why it should wait until 2013.

Then I go along my way.

Last week…. although it was the week long birthday extravaganza…. and by the way we had a ridiculous turn out for our 38 X 100….. pictures on Wednesday (the camera is in my swim bag which is in the car, meaning….. frozen) it was somewhat of a frustrating week. We all have those. Not every session is the game changer, we have “those days”. And I…. like we all do…… made a flip remark in my training log. Sometimes I forget that Jesse reads it (being my coach, I don’t know why I forget).

It sparked an interesting conversation. One of the things that came out of it was…… I lacked focus in 2011 (my words not his… but he agreed). I also raced well below my potential. That’s a given. I had plenty of reasons why I suppose I did lack that focus. I had some health issues. I sold a business, joined QT2….. I could come up with a good list trust me.

We dove a little bit deeper until the real reason came out.

I was afraid to fail.

Ironman Florida 2010. I walked and vomited to an 11:40. An 11:40 is an excellent time. I realize many would kill to go that over 140.6 miles. Absolutely. I would be lying if I told you that I was happy with that. I would be lying if I told you that finishing was enough anymore. Finishing is always a piece of it. Always. But when you have gone around the Ironman block a few times (or in my case 6) you know the game, you know the risks, you know what you are capable of. On this course I had already broken 11 hours and a 10:30 time….. was not a hope. It was what we were ready for. It was what I was there to do. The nutritional issues I had on race day I had experienced in training, but if you’ve ever had an issue in an Ironman it gets magnified.

Partly because it become the center of our attention.

I came out of that feeling incredibly defeated. Disappointed in myself yet at the same time so incredibly proud that I did finish. It’s a weird dichotomy. So happy yet so unsatisfied. I knew that was a damn respectable finishing time yet I wanted faster. Coming apart like that just plain sucks but at the same time it builds something within you that makes you even stronger than you thought you were.

I was avoiding Ironman is what I was doing. He asked me this:  What are you scared of if you were to go back at it  100 percent?

I am afraid I would fail. I know I am not the only athlete who is afraid of that. I am just one of the few who will admit it. For me, the more honest with myself and with you I can be……..

Jesse had me list 6 things that would happen if I failed. Then he had me list 6 things that would happen if I didn’t fail. Then he said this:

The only cost of failure is that you don’t get the second list of 6….that’s it! The first list is self-imposed, and “Eggers cooked up”.  The second set is REAL.  Let’s print out the second list of 6 and attempt to realize that the absence of those is the ONLY cost of failure. 

Ain’t that the truth. I had to read that a few times because it was true. And simple. I don’t need a coach who is going to hold my hand and tell me I am a good person and that I do a good job. I can tell myself that. I need someone who will call me out when I am feeding myself bullsh*t. That is who I respond to.

I am the same sort of patient. You should have seen my OB/GYN during Luc’s birth. I didn’t need soothing music and a back rub and a therapy tub. I needed clear concise direction. HOLD HER LEG she directed my husband NOW PUSH. Oddly…… it took 17 hours to get that monster of a baby out. Ever freaking since I worry about peeing myself when I laugh yet during an Ironman I pee myself without a second thought.

Whoa tangent.

But that’s what I respond to. That’s what I did respond to. I concocted this story about how I was too busy to focus on myself, which was the cover story for I am afraid to fail and walk through that sh*t show again. What happens if I take that gamble again? Screw the first 6, that’s th story. I printed out the second six and I read it six times. Yes…. this is right……. exactly. I am in a win win situation.

I took a deep breath and took a look at the fall Ironman schedule. With Vegas a bit too late and costly to jump into an M Dot race….. but I decided to look outside the box. Beach 2 Battleship caught my eye. I have coached two athletes through it who absolutely loved it. What if I took a gamble with a non M dot race? What if I go back to something I love so much and find out what’ really there?

Ironman peels me like an orange. It squeezes me out. Nothing is more eye-opening, self learning and as daring in terms of the depths you are willing to reach than an Ironman for me. Good god I love this distance. There I said it. Now that I acknowledged I was afraid to fail…… am afraid to fail…. it’s like the garage door has been lifted off my foot.

Go forth now and go after it. Why not. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain?

2012 is shaping up to be a good one. With Texas, Harryman, Musselman and Vegas (all 70.3) on tap I have some serious work to get back to this week. The winter has been mild, I will be at the National Training Center in a week (QT2 CAMP) and I feel like someone took me by the shoulders and shook me hard, slapped me across the face and dumped a bucket of cold water over my head.

Wake up.

Here we go.

So what’s holding you back from chasing your dream? What’s holding you back from finding your best self? What’s holding you back from __________? Life is too short for this story telling, story creating. It’s time to look it straight in the eye, and grab it.

 

 

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38 X 100

January 27, 2012

Before we begin a GIANT SHOUT OUT TO……..

Professional triathlete and QT2 Systems Coach Doug MacLean…… for choosing Teens Living With Cancer as his charity of choice for his swim challenge!!!! He will be donating $100 to our awesome group of kids. Here is a video with some of these kids……..

I want you to know I am going to be making a very big push for these guys this season. $100 might seem like nothing to a big charity, but to these guys….. it’s everything. They are grass roots, run by Lauren and Leah. Leah is working there under a grant and it runs out in June. It’s my personal mission to keep her there becasue we need her.

More to come…… but together…… we can make a difference for these kids. There is a way that you can help us.

Tonight is the 38 X 100 extravaganza. If you can bring an empty milk jug for our TLC Fitness program.

Let’s just be clear. I wanted to swim 100 X 100’s. One other person wanted to. But many people wanted to swim 38 X 100! So here we are. 38 X 100 for my 38th birthday. We will meet a Naz at 8pm. (SO past my bedtime).

Here are the rules:

1. We will have fun. There is plenty of time this season for but busting. There will be a bit of that in here. But this is for fun. You don’t do this kind of sh*t for fun? Then you are a loser.

2. We will divide up into lanes of mostly appropriate abilities depending on how many people show and how many are in the pool.

3. I have 14 QT2 swim caps to give out. And I will make QT2 cupcakes. I will not lick the spoon and stir the batter. More than once.

4. We will break these up into the following sets (and there will be rest in between sets)

  • 5 X 100 on a rest interval to warm up
  • 5 X 100 on a slightly faster interval to get into the groove
  • 5 X 100 pull, interval TBD
  • 5 X 100 kick!!! Because I have a kick off coming up. Bring fins. interval TBD
  • 5 X 100 75 free / 25 choice! Interval TBD
  • 5 X 100 free on a hard interval
  • 5 X 100 chicken, Tasmanian devil, bobbing, all sorts of insanity
  • 3 X 100 relays. Silly relays.

5. We will work as a team. No worries, we will keep everyone in the loop. You won’t be swimming out there alone. If you need to know why, see #1.

6. There will be photo taking and video. Wear your best suit. Why? See #1 again.

7. If you can, bring an empty milk gallon for our TLC Fitness Program!!!

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The edge of glory

January 26, 2012

Last night was not easy. It was hard. There were tears.I knew there was going to be.

Our Teens Living With Cancer Fitness Program kicked off on my birthday of all days. And what better way to finish a wonderful birthday. Now… because we are a research study and for other obvious reasons (HIPPA…. just plain privacy…… etc) reasons when I talk about these kids I may refer to them as kids or participants. So that’s why I am about to be vague.

Night one began with assessments by the research students from the  U of R. They brought over all of their stuff and measured flexibility, strength, body composition. The participants also had some endurance tests to complete and one of those tests was a timed mile, either walked or ran. (run?)

One of the participants has a below the knee amputation. I might want to emphasize that the participants are between the ages of 13-22. So think…. teenager. The amputation didn’t occur that long ago. Something this teenager was once able to do……. now they can not. This teen made it a half mile. I knew when the mile began and others were running. I saw the look in their eyes. I knew there were two things I could do. Step back or step in.

Sometimes teenagers need space so I gave it. I know they are along for the ride and I know this was the worst night for them in a while.

How would you feel? Now go back to high school. How would you feel if you lost your leg your junior or senior year? It’s hard enough being a teen. Add that.

When I watched that happen, it reinforced what I am doing here. What Lauren,Katie, Leah, Andy and I are doing here. This is the reason. We knew they would come into this program on day one and feel like they were thrown under the bus. Here is how unfit you are. Here is how much you weigh. Here is how flexible you are and here is how strong you are not. Whatever the results were. Everyone else can make a mile and you can’t.

That’s a heavy load.

There are two things we can do with it. Avoid it. Or face it.

We avoid it by quitting, not going back, not getting on the scale, looking away, ignoring it.

We face it by not being satisfied, and deciding to commit and make a change.

What these teens have gone through is much more than not eating healthy and not exercising. They were going through chemotherapy, surgeries… they were not being lazy. They were defeating Cancer. They came out of it ravaged and weaker than when they went in, and no one taught them how to gain their fitness back.

There were kids who couldn’t do one push up. Couldn’t complete the mile. We are here to change that.
That’s the entire purpose of this study and this program. We caught it early when they could have just gone on about their lives and realized this later. No one taught them how to get their strength back. No one taught the one with the hip replacement how to execute cardio, no one showed the one with the below the knee amputation how to be active again. A year ago this teen had a totally different body. Treatment changed the body, and no one taught this teen how to adapt.

That… is why we are doing this.

I knew coming into these assessments that it was going to be a tricky situation. I knew there were hip replacements, amputations, limitations, and that those would be compared to the more able bodied teens. When you endure Cancer you can have that strong sense of “WHY ME?” , naturally. As a teen…. that’s magnified. All you want to do to begin with is fit in. Now you’ve got a wig, you are sick, and spend years in hospitals. You just want to be “normal”.

So what we have to do with this feeling of disappointment….. is harness it. We knew that fitness had been lost we just didn’t know how much. It’s hard to look at. Now that it was brought to the surface we take it by the balls and we work to change it. We are going to figure it out. We are going to adapt and shift and take their fitness back.

This is the whole reason we began this thing. There is NOTHING for these Teens. NOTHING. The Livestrong program that I keep seeing through the YMCA?????? 18 and up. The mean age is 50. These kids have been left behind.

I always told my Dad I wanted to be a girl who changed the world. I never knew how I was going to do it or what I would even do. He taught me to find something I believe in with my heart and my soul and fight for it with everything I have. Honestly I used to think I would do it through Ironman and triathlon. That is certainly my platform. I have four teammates (Lauren, Leah, Katie and Andy) who believe we can change it too. There is power in numbers.

This is something I believe in with my heart and my soul. This program. Stay tuned, we have 8 weeks left. We will be completing the same tests at four weeks and at the end, and then a few weeks after the program has completed. I have a good feeling about this. A real good feeling.

Those kids will wake up this morning feeling sore and possibly defeated. In a strange way they are going to like the soreness. It’s from work, not from illness. It’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign of life.It’s a sign of moving forward.

It’s their edge of glory.

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BIRTHDAY!

January 25, 2012

Today is my birthday, and I declare it a national holiday! Go ahead, take the day off of work. Shoot me an email and I will write you an excuse (then I will even come and help you pack up your desk when you get fired. I am nice like that).

How will I spend my birthday? I know….. this is what has been keeping you up at night. I understand. right up there with paying your mortgage and the price of gas was….. what will Mary do on her birthday? No worries…. I am here for you.

I am going to swim. Then Bike. Then Run. Then to the TRX insanity challenge.

I am going to go hang at Starbucks, get my free birthday coffee and do a ton of  QT2 coaching work. I love what I do, and to do it on my birthday is extra awesome.

I am going to have lunch with Luc at school.

I am going to take a nap.

I am likely call my husband three hundred times today and tell him it’s my birthday.

I am going to get pizza for dinner.

And then……. this is where I get serious…….. tonight is the launch of our Teens Living With Cancer Fitness Program. This is the big night. Aside from being with my family (and trust me by the time it’s time to go this evening, they will push me out the door) I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday. It took us a year to create this program and I am so incredibly proud of it. Much more to come in the coming weeks, I want to share the whole thing with you.

And again leaning on the side of sort of serious-ness……. it’s been a great week so far. But I have made it a great week, that’s why. I came into a situation at the end of last week where I had to make a pretty big decision (about my work as a nurse) and soon it’ll be time to close one door to allow the one I stepped into last September to take full effect. While I don’t intend to sound cryptic, my work as a nurse (part time) involves people and I don’t ever say much because of who I work with.

But it’s time to take the jump hook, line and sinker. And step into the now and see what comes of it.I have one life. I have one shot. If not now then when? If not here then where? If not me then who?

Now hang on while I go shake the magic 8 ball.

Free webinars and clinics this week!

Don’t forget that this Sunday we’ve got a FREE webinar for you at 8pm, on swimming. It’s called swimming: get the basics and during this webinar we will discuss:

  • How to set up a swim session / progression.
  • How to assess your stroke with more than a time trial
  • Key elements to look for when looking at video of your stroke
  • Open water versus pool swimming.
  • Do I need Total Immersion?

And much more. It’s free. It’s 8pm. It’s part of the Learn This Series presented by QT2 and Score This! To register click here.

This Saturday my husband and I will be at the Eastern Hills location of Berts Bikes in Buffalo, and we will be presenting a clinic on setting up a triathlon season. All levels of athlete, beginner to elite are welcome! Click here for more info! It’s at 4pm, and it’s free!

And don’t forget this Friday evening at Nazareth College we will be swimming 38 X 100 for my 38th birthday! All are welcome! Just shoot me an email so I bring enough cupcakes. The first 14 get a FREE QT2 swim cap!

Why am I not doing 100 X 100? Because no one else wanted to. Strangely, then this video popped up on Facebook. (the part that pertains to me, is the 100 X 100!)

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Link for Sunday’s Webinar!

January 24, 2012

Don’t forget this Sunday we’ve for a FREE webinar presented to you by QT2 and Score This!!!!

Swimming: Get the basics. We will review everything you need to know about a swim program, from stroke assessment, to pool equipment to open water swimming!

Sunday Jan 29th at 8pm. FREE

Cick here to register! SPACE IS LIMITED!

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38th Birthday Week

January 23, 2012

On Wednesday I am turning 38. Wow. I can’t believe I ill be 38. I remember being 28, and having a 1 year old (in triathlon world, that was equivalent to being a teenage mom!).

I have always found reasons to celebrate things and get excited about things and for that reason I have always celebrated my birthday for a week. Why not? I am all about fun, in fact I put the “F” back in fun for guys like Wheeler.

I will say this…… I never thought I would say this…… I am SO much wiser at 38 than I was at 28. I have been around the block a few times. We can say that much. That’s the benefit that comes along with age.

We’ve got an action packed week planned here, I hope you are well fueled!

Monday:  Power Vinyaysa At Breathe, with my awesome assistant Anita 7:15, Pittsford location.

Tuesday: More Power Vinyasa at Breathe, this time downtown!!!! 6:30pm

Wednesday: We kick off our Teens Living with Cancer Fitness Program. I get to do this on my birthday!!!!!

Thursday: A little longer ride at Berts, we will hit the trainers for 1:20 (gotta make room for cupcakes!) 6:30pm.

Friday: our 38 X 100 at Nazareth College, 8pm. A swim cap for the first 14, and no worries, there will be relays!Then maybe we will even go to Thirstys. Which is right next to Hungry’s. Really!

Saturday: Yoga again at our Pittsford location, Erica is our awesome assistant!  10:30am!!!! Then……. we are coming to BUFFALO! We will be at the Eastern Hills Berts Bikes location presenting our “Planning your 2012 season” 4pm!

Sunday: We have our second webinar in our Learn-This series with Score This!!!! This week it’s all about the swim. Get the basics. We will talk about biomechanics, assessing, what equipment you need, and structuring a workout. FREE! To register….. click here.

The Logan Franks TRX Insanity Challenge is going well. I believe I currently sit in 2nd place with a new personal record of 20:13.

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Pool toys

January 20, 2012

FREE Triathlon Clinics! Just a reminder that our Berts Bikes triathlon series clinics begin this Saturday, January 21st beginning at 2pm, at the Henrietta location. Our topic this week is “2012, planning your season”. Curt and I will cover the basics of periodization, how to gauge your training, how to incorporate weight training, etc. This will apply to all levels of athlete from beginner to advanced and even help in single sport planning too! Are you located in Buffalo? Well hang on just one week because we will present the same location at the Eastern Hills location of Berts Bikes on Saturday Jan 28th at 4pm!

We’ve got you covered this season.

Click here for more information.

TRX Insanity Challenge update. Round 1 of 7 complete. Franks 19:16, Eggers 20:35. I have some room to breathe during this so I expect my next round to be faster. Rule #2 is this: we do not sacrifice form for time. That leads to injury and injury leads to Jesse killing us both because we will be out. So we work on the honesty system here. Don’t forget to hop over to www.loganfranksracing.com to submit your results, or join us over there on Twitter.

How do I feel? Pretty damn sore.

38 X 100 for my 38th birthday: Let me be clear…. the only reason I am not swimming 100 X 100 is because no one else wanted to. except like…. Travis. Um… yeah. 🙂  So we chopped it to

PARTY FAVORS!

38 X 100 for my 38th birthday. We will be swimming at Nazareth on friday Jan 27th at 8pm. Cost is $5 to get in and I have 14 QT2 swim caps to give as party favors. Shoot me and email if you’d like to join us. All are welcome. We will have a structure to the workout, so it’s not…. go do 38 X 100 see you at the end. There might be some fun sets too. Like the Tasmanian Devil. Bobbing. That kind of thing.

Oh don’t I know to have fun!!!!!! So please join us, even if you don’t know me personally, it is a good time to meet. clear your packed social calendar. (HANSEN)

Topic of the week, swimming.

There has always been great debate in triathlon about the use of “toys” in the pool. Take a look at a typical triathlete’s bag and you’ll find a plethora of things. Look in my bag and you will find:

Kickboard

Fins

PT Paddles

TYR Catalyst paddles

Pull buoy

Tire tube, tied (use it to band my feet)

Those are my basics. I use most of them every time I swim. I think that just like everything else in the world, used in moderation these are very helpful in helping us correct biomechanical issues and build strength. This is not to say I won’t pull 2K or have a specific focus, but I won’t swim every single yard of every single workout with paddles.

I do find it curious that we do the opposite with swimming what we do with everything else. Think about it, many times we train with water bottles on the bike and on race day take from the course so as not to carry extra weight and therefore go a little faster on race day. When we run we often train in a heavier shoe and then race in a lighter one. In the pool we make our hands bigger with a paddle and then we make them smaller by taking away that paddle on race day. Kind of funny.

I think any time you can change your feel of the water, it’s a good thing. It’s like functional strength, the more off-balance you throw yourself the more rounded an athlete you become, because you have to use all your senses and you have to adjust and adapt. For example I like to pull with the TYR Catalyst and then the PT Paddle because I make my hand giant with the catalyst, then make it totally disappear with the PT paddle. It gives me a dramatic change of the feel of the water, and really encourages me to pop my elbow high and feel the water. I like to feel that change. It’s challenging, it’s difficult, it would be easier to swim with my paddles and feel like superman.

(But I am not here for easy).

So when I am asked what I think about pool toys my answer is standard. Everything in moderation is fine. (That also applies to just about anything in this world!).

I have changed the way I train in the pool over the past 2 seasons. Prior to 2011 I was a Masters swimmer and while I miss my team dearly, I wasn’t training well (not the coach’s fault, mine). I swam fast enough not to get lapped by Ken, so I sustained a good level of good swimming for a long time. Not awesome swimming, good swimming.

When I swam at the Y or wherever I was I didn’t like when people tried to race me in the pool. I was there to kick their ass. Yes, I was that girl. So I would abandon the set and hammer just to make sure I “won” that day. As long as I kept my 100 yard repeat time under 1:15 I was happy.

Then The Wizard assessed my swim video and I was floored. I was pretty sure he was going to say…… “wow this is the best technique I have ever seen. You have nothing to work on.” And then I would pound my chest and be the swim video that everyone went to when they wanted to see how it was done.

Smack. Not.so.much. I was missing the water here, dropping my elbow there, swinging here, oh lord there was such room for improvement. And I swam at the collegiate level. I swim under an hour in an Ironman swim. I …. I…… I…… was a swimmer!

After that I made the commitment to myself to jump out of masters and swim solo and work the program Jesse created. It was geared for triathlon swimming. I started to work the drills, and work the sets, even the recovery swim. Right now I let people lap me who I know I’d smash in a race. It was hard for the ego, but necessary. I wouldn’t go out and run tempo daily, why would I swim tempo daily?

I made huge changes to my stroke. I went slow but then I went fast when it was time. I worked the progression and it turned out great last season. This season I am putting a little more focus in the water….. for a lifelong competitive swimmer that’s a big deal. Most of us have the attitude of…. I have swam my whole life . I will swim the way I swim.

So a year later and how is it going? I love it. I am swimming solo for the most part (when friends join me it’s a bonus). I swim outside 8 months of the year (yes, I live in Rochester NY), which has given me a whole new lease on swimming. I no longer feel like an old college swimmer but a new swimmer again. I absolutely love it.

Just like running and cycling have a progression…… so does swimming. I just finished 12 weeks of easy drill swimming. Now I have moved on to some strength work and some pace work. Those 100’s will come and if last season will be any indication……. I will be able to get below 1:10 (good god I remember when the repeat WAS 1:05. That was during my 10K per day life!)

To conclude swimming week the take home points are really this: don’t swim like a swimmer. Swim like a triathlete. Prepare for open water. Utilize toys in moderation, but change it up. And use more than a time trial to assess swim abilities. And dont’ forget….. get a video of your swim! Nothing shows flaws like a video, then you can bring the right drills and work into the mix!