Archive for August, 2012

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Back to the road

August 26, 2012

“You are in.” Coach Michelle texted me. “It’s Mary time.”

Thanks to her help and my inability to be in a wifi zone (as hard as that is to imagine) I am in for Ironman Mont Tremblant 2013. My heart jumped, stopped and then hit zone 5 all at once. I feel this way every time that submit button gets hit for Ironman and I never really understand why. Ironman focuses me like nothing else does. I love and hate it at the same time. I have done 6 or 7 of these races in the past ten years and I have this …..thing… for this distance. At this distance I have been my best, my worst and everything in between.

And with that text, it’s on.

I love the journey to the starting line. It’s a year long journey, let’s face it. And during that year a lot happens. It gets lonely, it gets dark, it gets awesome and it gets amazing. Race day is such a short snippet of that journey, when you hit that finish line you think…. holy cats… it’s all done. Just like that. It’s not necessarily race day but everything that goes into it beforehand.

I am choosing to double the trouble with another go just weeks later at Ironman Florida. So I will (god willing) have an August and November Ironman on the docket. Here at QT2 systems we focus so much on recovery and restoration and I will have to hit that spot on.

On Saturday I got back on the open road. I promised that I would so I did. I did the same thing on Sunday as well. It felt good and it felt horrible. I don’t know if cars knew who I was or recognized what the pink ribbon on the back of my bike was for…. but there was more car courtesy than I have ever experienced before. I appreciated that and I was sure to do my part by riding correctly and responsibly as well.

On the way back a giant pack of motorcycles came by. There must have been 60 of them riding two across. That’s legal of course and they were all driving responsibly and driving the speed limit. The thing about a motorcycle is that they are so loud and you don’t hear them until they are about to pass, and I have to admit, through no one’s fault (they did nothing to scare me, they were all fine) I got absolutely spooked out of my mind. IS this what Heather experienced… did she even hear the guy….. I kept turning around and wondering when it was going to be over (and I can’t emphasize enough that they were being safe, responsible, were doing nothing wrong…. it was 100% my own reaction). I sat up and tried to pull myself together.

I don’t know if they either knew who I was or also recognized the pink ribbon and its significance…. but as they began to pass they moved as far to the left as was safe for them, many of them began waving to me…. friendly waves…. holding up peace signs…..  they gave me space. I don’t know what prompted that, but I was so grateful.

I have to remember that one derelict on a motorcycle doesn’t define who all motorcyclists are.It’s the same as the cyclists riding against traffic, two abreast and without helmets. They don’t define the rest of us.

I was talking to my Dad later that evening and relayed the story. We talked about how another law, another penalty isn’t going to be what makes the biggest change in the habits of drivers. All of the motorists and motorcyclists I encountered over the weekend…. were simply doing their part. As was I.

People want to know what the police are doing about things like drivers who text and use cell phones. I think they do what they can. I mean, you’ve got one officer patrolling a road where thousands drive. They can’t see into every car and to catch someone doing it isn’t as easy as it looks. While I agree that they need to stay on top of this stuff… why don’t we make sure that we do our part? Like all of the people on the road this weekend.

We all did our part.

We have to begin with ourselves. We can’t expect law enforcement to catch everything. We can be advocates for one another, we can set the example. We can do the right thing. In all honesty…. (and if you think I live in a  world where dogs shit rainbows…. trust me while that’d be AWESOME…. I pick up dogshit in my backyard every damn day!) if we be the change we want to see….. we can meet law enforcement half way.

I have been told that law enforcement doesn’t make a difference, That when you tell the police… they don’t care.

The truth of the matter is….. you don’t know if they don’t care.

The way I can relate is this…..

One night when I worked in pediatric emergency an adolescent girl was brought in. CPR was being performed and it was thought to be an attempted suicide. As we worked on her, and good GOD did we work on her….. we were told mid resuscitation that this was not a suicide attempt but a homicide attempt. Imagine the range of emotions that we went through, now that we had her clothes  cut off and thrown on the floor….  now we had potentially destroyed evidence, now we became even more despondent as our efforts were not working.

30 minutes after she arrived she was pronounced dead. I remember standing there with tears rolling down my face feeling like we all got punched in the stomach. Murder. You have to be kidding me. As I closed her eyes I prayed that she wasn’t afraid, that she didn’t know what had happened, and that she was in God’s hands.

I walked out of the trauma bay, took off my bloodied trauma gown, and placed it into the dirty linen hamper. Walking back into peds ED  I slid my trauma glasses to the top of my head and I began washing my hands. I looked up at the board as I was doing so and noticed on the board that a child was waiting to be seen….. and it was always our goal to be in a room within 5 minutes.

remember not even 5 minutes had passed since we declared the adolescent girl dead.

I walked into that room and introduced myself. The mother immediately began to scream at me as she jumped up and straightened out her fancy suit coat and her diamond necklace. She was irate that she had waited for TEN MINUTES and her son had a stomach ache.

I turned around, walked out, and asked my charge nurse to take over.

This mother had no idea what I just walked out of. My emotions were much too high and what I wanted to say was this “Let me apologize, or maybe go ask the mother of the girl we just pronounced dead to come apologize for my being late to assess your son.”

The reason I relay that story is this…. you don’t know what these guys just walked out of. So if they seem tired, if they seem not to care…… it’s because they are human. We are not robots, we are people. Don’t ever and I mean EVER tell someone else what they feel unless you have the ESP power to sit in their soul and feel what they are feeling.

They care. They want to know if you are run off the road. They are just as tired of this as we are. But never EVER tell them they don’t care. Never EVER complain about response time…. you have no idea what they are in the middle of. And trust me…. they are not in this field for the glory.

So… it begins with us. It begins with how we treat one another. It begins with our own behavior as cyclists and as motorists. It begins with how we act towards one another.

Let’s be good to each other. Let’s treat each other with respect and not confrontation with anger. We live in this free country for a reason. At the end of the day we value our freedom and the choices we have in our lives. We can’t expect this all to happen from the top down. There are more of us then there are of them. Let’s begin it from the bottom up.

I am positive we can meet somewhere in the middle.

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Share the Road Meeting

August 24, 2012

I am still not on the open roads with my bike. I am just not ready. Instead I have been logging the miles on my computrainer, my home spinning bike and on the gym spin bike. I know it’s silly…… but I am just not ready. As my friend Todd told me…… I can’t not get out there. He’s been riding for more than 20 years “I need to feel the wind in my hair.” He said. (within his helmet of course).

I do too. I need to feel that again. The feeling of riding. I am just not ready.

Our Share the Road meeting is coming up. It’s Thursday August 30th. Because of parking logistics and over 150 people scheduled to attend the meeting will now be held at Fairport High School, where Heather Boyum was a beloved Science teacher. Thanks so much to Fairport High School for allowing us this venue. Securing a place these days was not easy. People wanted insurance, control of the meeting, etc. Big thanks to the people who worked on that for us. I didn’t do anything to secure the venue…. it was all done with help.

This is not a Mary endeavor, this is a community endeavor.

We don’t want this meeting to be the endpoint. We want it to be the starting point. I can’t tell you how many emails I have gotten that have said “Mary I applaud your efforts, but change is too damn hard, bureaucratic and layered.”. That’s fine. I don’t really care how hard something is.

I know a thing or two about going up against something much bigger than me. And again this isn’t Mary versus the dragon, it’s all of us together. I have learned if you really believe in what you aim for….. then you just systematically navigate what you have to navigate and work until it’s done. Nothing worth anything was done overnight.

There could be up to 200 people at this meeting. What I am interested in knowing is this: will you all still be here 6 months from now?

The mission of this meeting is to bring this community together, educate and inform, and let you know what’s being done. We will hold this meeting in less than 90 minutes. I will be the timekeeper and each of the speakers we have, will be held to a 10 minute timeframe. The exceptions will be the Boyum Family who will decide whether or not to speak at the last minute, and Sheriff O’Flynn.

But read on.

The meeting will be held at Fairport High School on Thursday August 30th at 7pm. Here is the agenda:

1. I will start the meeting and give a quick intro.

2. Heather’s family may speak.

3. Todd Sheske: Todd is local cycling in my opinion. He’s been riding and competing for over 20 years and is the director of the MVP Cycling Team here in Rochester. He is also the founder of the Jon Dechau Foundation. Jon was killed 6 years ago while riding on 5&20 in the town of Lima, by a distracted driver. Click here to learn more about Jon. Todd will speak a bit about the foundation, and he will focus on the rules of the road from a cyclist’s standpoint.

4. Rachel Stockholm: Rachel began a petition (click here to read and sign) that asks our state representatives for stricter DWI laws and enforcement. She will let us know where she is at with working with our elected officials and what steps we need to take next to get this to happen.

5. Tom DeRoller:  Chair of the American Diabetes Association Tour-de-Cure Ride, Captain of team Chain Reaction/Midtown, and as an avid recreational cyclist who has survived a near fatal bike/car accident 4 yrs. ago (shattered hip & fractured femur) Tom is also the Lifestyle director at MidTown Athletic Club. He is going to share some of his experiences as a cyclist who has been hit as well as his group’s efforts to make our roads safer.

6. Moms in Motion Representative: One of the awesome MIM’s is going to be speaking about the shirts that are going to be sold to raise money for Heather’s children’s educational fund. I believe and I will confirm that you will be able to place an order at the meeting, if so….  “cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids – all proceeds to Frazer and Paige’s education fund. We are offering men’s and women’s technical shirts, with the kids shirts in cotton. We are asking for cash (please and thank you) and on the front of the envelope – name, and number of shirts, sizes and if it’s a men’s or women’s shirt”. Again I will confirm.

7. Sheriff O’Flynn: The Sheriff will be coming to take your questions. Because we are going to keep things very controlled and orderly we are going to ask that you submit your question to me, via email at “maryeggers at gmail dot com” before Wednesday August 29th. I will be asking the questions on your behalf, and will include your first name. This is our best best to keep things in control and prevent emotion from rising up. Please remember, the Sheriff’s office is responsible for enforcing and not creating the laws. They are also very interested in working together with us to make these roads safer. Again, email me the questions and I will prepare them for the meeting.

200 people have RSVP’d on our Facebook page. If you can join us, please RSVP so we have a rough idea of how many to expect. If you did RSVP, please come. The reason we pushed the meeting to the end of August was to let some of the emotion settle so that we could get to work.

This is a starting point, not an ending point. We have a great core group of people who are working hard to get things done. I can’t thank them enough for all of their assistance in this effort. I think it really speaks to the community that we are.

When I have been out running I feel like drivers are more aware. They give me more space. One apologized to me because he thought he cut me off (he didn’t). I have changed my driving habits entirely. My phone rides in the way back, I pause longer at stop signs.

Again….. bike safety did not kill Heather Boyum…. drunk driving did. Just this week an accident was narrowly and miraculously avoided on the highway…. a drunk driver…. a repeat offender was driving the wrong way. I am still stunned that drunk driving is a problem. I can’t believe people do it. I learned long ago not to. It’s just plain stupid. Killings due to it are preventable. 100%.

Please share and invite and email me your questions for the Sheriff. And we will see you on the 30th.

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Reignite

August 19, 2012

I felt like it was a command center around here this weekend. As I rode my bike Saturday morning (on the computrainer) I had the computer all set up watching coverage of USAT Age Group Nationals. A National Champion last year Curt took home 5th place, screwed by a difficult to sight swim. About 90 seconds separated the top five men in his age group.

Now that’s  a race.

But I kept feeling this strange feeling inside of me. Like something rising up. I chalked it up to coach anxiety and moved along.

This morning I felt myself in the same situation again. Except now three races are up on the screen. I have three athletes racing IMMT, Curt is racing Sprint Nationals, and half the QT2 team is racing Timberman 70.3. And that feeling….. it’s there again.

Ugh…. I thought to myself….  what I would do to be out there racing today.

WHOA!!! I caught myself, I stepped back…… I smiled. What did I just say?????

I would do anything to be out there racing today.

Last year at Syracuse 70.3 one of the pros bikes launched off the top of his car on his way to the race. I tried to convince him to take my bike, I didn’t really need to race. At Texas 70.3 I was having a freaking party out there. All of the sprint races I did this season…. same thing. I was having too much fun. My head wasn’t in the game but not in an I don’t want to be out here sort of way. When I got passed, I didn’t respond to the challenge. I celebrated the athlete who passed me. Come to think of it that’s how I have felt since the end of 2010 to be really honest with you.

I thought burnout came in the form of… I don’t want to do this anymore. Not in the form of…. hey let’s have a party out here… sort of way. Trust me the latter is much more fun!

But now….. here I was……. and I swear I began to shake a little bit, okay a lot….. when I watched the cannon fire at Ironman Mt. Tremblant. I got nervous when Curt’s wave went off at Nationals. I watched Timberman splits come in with bated breath. I felt like I wanted to be out there. I felt like I wanted to be in the mix and in the game and I wanted to feel that feeling of racing again. You know that feeling….. that feeling of laying it all on the line and even crossing that line, running so hard you taste blood in the back of your throat and falling to the ground at the finish line because you gave it everything you had.

Oh my god. I thought to myself. My fire extinguished and I never even realized it.

I had to stop myself from scrolling through races. Simmer down Eggers, simmer down. We want this to build. Coach Michelle has me scheduled for a 5K, and a 10K before Philly. I need to actually get on the start list for IMMT and IMFL and get registered for the other races I have aimed for. I don’t want to shoot this cannon too soon….. I want it to build.

That feeling was what brought me through 10 miles on the treadmill in the garage this weekend (Curt was out-of-town) when it was beautiful outside. It was what brought me through a 3 hour computrainer ride and kept me awake last night…… dreaming.

I am dreaming again.

As I dreamt I got up and wrote down targets, outcomes, goals. I took a look at my life logistics and realized that they are better than ever if I am going to go dream chasing.

Before I became a QT2 Coach I owned my own business for 7 years. That meant I coached 20-30 athletes, did my own billing & accounting, ran all of the logistical pieces being a business owner requires you to do. Through the past year I have gotten to do 100% what I love. Coaching. I only coach 10 athletes, and that’s all I ever will coach, it allows me to give 200%. I am a much more effective coach that way. At QT2 we are not into numbers, we are into quality.  I write Mission Plans as well and I focus on coaching education. I don’t do anything else when it comes to being a coach, and that’s allowed me to really find a good patch of clear water for myself. Coach Michelle’s number one goal for me was to find Mary time. I simply didn’t have it before because I had to always have one foot in the administrative side of coaching. (I am LOVING working with Michelle. It’s been a whole week. But I am LOVING HER.)

And in the past year I have learned more in terms of coaching and performance and mental fitness than those 7 years previous. But now I coach and learn. And there is Mary time. For the first time ever.

The stars have aligned for the next year……. it’s the perfect time for me to chase.

I didn’t realize I took this break but I took it long before I officially took it. Let me tell you though…. if you need to take a step back to allow the fire to rekindle, then do it. Trust me….. it will come back. Right now I am salivating and I mean salivating (sorry computer) that there are three races going on and I am not in any of them.

That’s the feeling I had lost and didn’t know it yet.

So here’s to the next dream to chase. And here is to the work I am putting in to achieve it. Time to hit that treadmill, with three computer screens following three different races…… inspiring me all over again.

It’s on.

 

 

 

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In memory….

August 18, 2012

I was due to give the memorial speech for Heather Frazer Boyum at the USAT Age Group Nationals awards ceremony tonight. Logistics with family things have me home in Rochester…. so I am not sure who will be reading this, or what version if any they will be using….. but was asked to also publish that speech here. This was by far, the hardest thing I have ever written, and at the same the biggest honor, to have been asked. I want to thank Kat Donatello, Kurt Perham and Tim Yount for allowing us to share this with our fellow athletes…….

On July 17th, 2012 Heather Frazer Boyum wrote this on Facebook: 

My first 70.3 Tri (1.2 mile swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mil run) behind me. It was more fun than I thought! We had a crazy thunderstorm during the bike but I survived and rode on. The first part if the run was okay but the last three miles hurt like crazy! I made a goal for under 6 hours and did 5:55 ! I’ll never forget this day! My family (especially Eric) was so supportive, as well as my friends. Thank you!!! 

On July 28th Heather Frazer Boyum filled Facebook with pictures of her son Frazer completing the Rochester  Kid’s triathlon, beaming and applauding and celebrating. 

On July 29th at 7:45 in the morning, Heather Frazer Boyum was out riding with a friend…. preparing to come here to Vermont and compete in Age Group Nationals. You all might have been doing the same. Nothing special, just your normal Sunday morning ride. 

That day you came home. Heather did not. 

At 7:45 in the morning she was hit. By two…. yes TWO drunk drivers. 

In an instant a life that included being a mother to her 7 year old son, her 4 year old daughter, wife to her husband Eric, sister of Graham Frazer (who is here competing)… a life that included being a high school science teacher, a sister, a friend…… and a daughter. 

In that instant….. her life was taken. The brightest light in our lives…. was turned off. 

You may have noticed that her spot in transition was empty this morning. Her number was held, her race packet given to her brother. Today you competed without a very incredible woman. A woman who lived life to its fullest and was ripped from all of us…. too early….. too soon….. in the most unfair way there could be. 

She was so excited to have qualified for Age Group Nationals. She was equally excited to come here and compete with her brother Graham today. You’d better believe that he was not racing alone today. While he was out there believing that he was carrying her with him….. I guarantee that she led his way. And I bet she crossed that finish line JUST before he did. 

That’s what sisters do to their brothers. 

Please remember that your ability to be here in this race is a privilege. It is an honor. Every breath we take is a privilege if you think about it. 

That’s the way Heather lived and that’s the way that those of us who were lucky enough to know her….. will carry her legacy on. Like she said after she finished her first 70.3……. she encountered a crazy thunderstorm …. but she rode on. That is what all of us will continue to do. But now we ride with the wings of an angel. And that angel is Heather.

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The Rules of the Pool

August 16, 2012

It’s been an interesting summer at my beloved outdoor pool. Every day the lanes are filled and people are swimming outside from April through December in Rochester NEW YORK! As with any pool however there have been incidents. I see an increasing number of people (and this happens at the YMCA too) … get into it….. over swimming etiquette.

Swimming is for everyone. Yet at the same time it can be very frustrating. Pools are a certain size and accommodate a certain number of people. Let’s face it, not everyone knows the etiquette. So here are the rules as I think they should be:

1. Share the lane:  Unless you pay double the membership fee that I do….. share the lane. If it’s just two of you in the lane, by all means split it. You take one side, the other swimmer takes the other side of the black line. If there are people waiting to get in…. offer to circle swim. really, it’s not the end of the world. In a six lane pool splitting the lane means 12 people get to swim. If there are 13…… share. When you get to the lane, slide into one side of it if the other person is already swimming. If they don’t stop for a “mind if we split the lane” conversation, stand there for a lap or two of theirs, give them a chance to see you before you claim a side and cause a head on collision. If after 2 lengths they don’t slide over to their side, stop them. But be nice. Having your own lane is sometimes a privilege, it’s not a right. If you want your own lane, get an Endless Pool. If you ever arrive on a deck and every lane is taken, and I am there, I will circle swim with you. I don’t care about your speed. I will find a way to make my own workout more creative and not make you uncomfortable of get in your way. The pool is for all of us.

2. If you are smart, you will swim with a swimmer. I was born a swimmer, and swimmers are the best people to share lanes with. Why? Because we have incredible body water awareness and at any given point in time…. I know exactly where you are in the pool. You really needn’t worry about me hitting you…. if you are not a natural-born swimmer then I have to worry about you hitting me. But because I have good body water awareness, I can adjust. If I am the stronger swimmer, I will. No big deal. If you are new to the water I can see why we are intimidating. I bring my own pace clock (I know…. I am THAT girl), I swim with big paddles. But trust me…… you won’t get hit by me. I know exactly where you are and I know exactly where I am. Swimmers know how to adapt, and move to give you enough space.

Oh yes…. I am THAT girl!

3. You might get hit.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been hit due to newby butterfly, scratched by an elementary backstroker, and kicked by a breastroker. No big deal. Not at all. I might swim with my giant garbage can lid size paddles….. I can tell you no one has ever…. and I do mean ever…. been hit by them. See number 2 for why. But let’s face it….. sometimes you will get hit when you swim. No foul…. no harm…. it happens. All it takes in this world to be honest is an I am sorry. Move along.

4. Use common courtesy: I have witnessed some meltdowns in pools. People who don’t know each other throwing F Bombs at one another. Really? It’s just swimming. Realize this: if someone is willing to verbally assault you over sharing a lane…. trust me it isn’t you their issue is with. If Something that small upsets them….. it’s not about the pool. It’s their life they are not happy with. This is swimming for god’s sake. One of my friends swims in New York City and a few months ago a woman she was sharing a lane with became upset and punched her. Punched her. YES….. punched her. The woman was kicked out of the pool and of course her membership revoked. But who does that?????? I guarantee this woman’s life was an unhappy one if she was willing to be that extreme. So use common courtesy. Be a nice person. The pool is for everyone.

5. Utilize your lifeguard: When you arrive at the pool, check in with your lifeguard for a lane suggestion. They are the ones who know the pool and know the swimmers in it. The lifeguards at MidTown know to tell people to go ahead and share a lane with me, they also can tell you who you are most likely to get hit by or who is almost done with their workout.

Swimming should not be dramatic or a source of stress. Life is hard enough, swimming is where life should be good. So be nice, have some courtesy and share the lane!

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Bike Test

August 14, 2012

Tomorrow we will have a “Share the Road”  meeting update. I can’t thank you enough for all of your ideas, contributions, etc. over on our Share the Road Event Facebook Page. PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING!

Monday I got back to work in terms of training. Workout one…. the bike test. Michelle warned me it was coming, and was kind enough to give me one more weekend of carefree training in my happy place of zone 1 (that’s QT2 speak for aerobic world!). I am the type of athlete though that will just go with it. If there is a bike test on Monday then I will do a bike test on Monday. I always test on the computrainer…. for a few reasons. It’s just not safe to do this kind of effort outside unless I am on a race course, it’s an environment I can replicate and I can use music.

Monday morning at 5am I began. I hadn’t done a bike test that I can remember or account for in possibly 6 months? More?

I tasted blood in the back of my throat. I felt like I might vomit. I felt like I could have turned myself inside out. Every piece of my body hurt. I loved every damn second of it. Nothing makes me feel more alive than digging to the bottom of my being in the name of sport. The more it hurt the harder I rode. When I get to that level of pain I want more not less. (Keep your opinions to yourself).

I finish every single bike test to a song called “Becoming Insane” by Infected Mushroom. I love this song. It riles me up. Music helps me like that. There are times when I dont’ use music at all and there are times when I just open up and allow it to inspire me. Why not? Sometimes out on that race course when the going gets tough I will replay a certain song in my mind. I can feel the rhythm I can feel the beat I can feel the lyrics and more often than not it makes me dig deeper.

When it was over I was smiling. My heart rate was eight billion, I could hardly breathe but I felt like I was awake again. Awake from this break of a season I have had. Awake from zone 1. Awake and feeling what I need to feel in order to be the successful athlete that I aim to be again.

Good god I felt ALIVE.

The results…. better than I expected. But it wasn’t like I was out of shape. I have trained a good amount of base, I have kept healthy…… but very informally. You want to come back feeling better than ever about triathlon (granted, it’s day two here)…. take a break. I didn’t take a physical break. I even raced a few races in suboptimalshape, got my ass handed to me, and loved every second of it.

Love My ROO!!!!

I took the emotional break…. Tim Snow encouraged that a few months ago. Rather than force it, step back from it and allow it to come to me again.I was very fortunate that I didn’t go through a burnout where I hated training or hated racing. Motivation to train never wanes. I loved being on the race course. For me that was a good sign. Taking that break allows the fire to begin to burn again. I felt it Monday morning as that feeling…. you know which one…… when the effort gets hard… it kind of rises up…… builds up….. boils to the surface….. that one. I take that and ride it as long as I can.

As I looked over the remainder of the week I felt excited. There is intensity (remember, I am not starting from scratch, I have a pretty ridiculous aerobic base underneath me!), there is structure and man, it feels good to have that again.

It feels really, really good to be on the athlete side of the training log again. It’s allowing me to separate myself from being a coach to being an athlete. I have often struggled with that balance. When it comes down to it my athletes come first, and in my opinion as a coach that is how it should be. But Michelle is teaching me how to also make myself an athletic priority. She’s really good at that.

So day one, bike test done. This week is no joke either, my zone 1 vacation is gone! But there is nothing in the world that makes me feel more alive than the hard stuff. I can go long all day long, bring it up a notch and make me face the woman in the mirror. Make me toe the line against myself. That woman has always been my harshest critic and toughest opponent. I am highly motivated intrinsically. I do not get much from external sources. It’s not enough for me if Joe Smith is racing and I want to beat him. That doesn’t light my fire. Give me a competition against Mary Eggers though….. and I am all over it.

For a while part of that has been lost. Until yesterday. Yesterday I caught her looking at me square in the eye. So I rubbed my hands together, shook out my legs and took her on.

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A new beginning

August 12, 2012

This week I will have a “Share the Road Meeting” update. If you haven’t hopped over to our Share the Road event page on Facebook, please do. It’s kind of a brainstorming place, and each day I take the points being made and try to figure out how, what, and develop the broad points. Please please please don’t forget the petition for Senator Robach that Rachel Stockholm began… asking for tougher penalties for DWI offenders. Click here for that. Had there been tougher penalties, Heather would be alive today. Bottom line. We are going to begin there. Parallel to that we will be working to develop ways to make our roads safer. So hop on over and stay tuned. Your ideas are welcome!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am making a coaching change as I begin a bit of a new journey.I have been without formal guidance by choice since last March when I had a small health thing pop up. Because all of us here at QT2 are so versed in our protocols many of us coach ourselves, and most are really good at it.

I am not good at it.

As I have taken a bit of a break this season….. it gave me some time to reevaluate. I did two sprint races purely for fun…. and loved it. I have kept training, my volume is great….. just with no plan and no focus. I realized that while I am great at planning for my athletes, and staying on top of them…. I always slide myself into last place. That fire in my belly is coming back and I need to take that and go with it.

Time and time again this season…. Jesse has asked me, advised me, warned me, told me….. it’s time for a little bit of Mary time. He’s right, he’s absolutely right. I have worked hard to find that balance. I will never strike that perfectly but I can get close. Because of everything I do my time and energy are limited, and I don’t always expend that on myself.

I realized that in order to develop myself again as the athlete I am and the performances I know I can have….. I need to work with a coach. I need that one on one partnership and accountability. I need someone to be invested in me…. other than myself. Now Jesse, he’s invested. He’s fabulous. I have LOVED working with him. However….  now I work for him. So he’s my boss. And he’s my mentor in coaching Jennie. Love him as I do….. that’s a lot of Jesse time. That’s too much Jesse time. Besides….. I have one BFF necklace and that belongs to Wheeler.

I asked Jesse to put me with who he thought I would work best with. Preferably someone who wasn’t involved with me in any other way in my life. Jesse knows me better than I know myself, and I felt that if he paired me with the tooth-fairy then that would be exactly who I needed to be working with.

He took a few days to decide and that was horrible. Not for him, for me. But he takes the time to make sure it’s right.

And then he told me. I smiled. I smiled really really really big. Perfect.

I am going to be working with Michelle Joaquin. She’s a QT2 coach and has been with the team since 2007. She’s someone I respect and really look up to. Her athletic career needs no explanation, and what I really like about her is that she works with an extremely small group of athletes. I think I am her third. She does that on purpose, to make sure she can give her 100% to make sure we can give our 100%.

She’s perfect.

When we talked it felt even better. I know the QT2 systems and protocols…. but over the past year I have had to learn so much more as I have become a QT2 coach. It changed everything about the way I coach and now that I understand it as a coach I understand it doubly as an athlete. See…. when you are a QT2 athlete you begin to think you understand what goes into your training and your plan. You sometimes wonder why your long rides are 5:31 and long runs might be 1:22. You think it’s because your coach is messing with you.

Then you become a QT2 coach and even though you’ve been coaching for 7 years before that, you realize that as an athlete you only knew the surface of a lot of layer beneath. As an athlete you see the boat floating on the top of the water. As a QT2 coach you understand that there are miles of water beneath what holds that boat up.

You simply can’t replicate it. You have to dive deep and understand it and learn it.

To bring myself to the level I know  I can….. I still need that someone on the outside to guide me. It’s just the type of athlete I am.

Michelle knows I know the depth of what goes into all of this. It’s nothing she needs to teach me. Now we can get right into the meat of the matter. I have some big goals for 2013. All of my eggs will go into four baskets. Two 70.3 and two Ironman races. Sprinkle in some others as they fit. With coaching and everything else that I do, it’s the best method for me.

I have never worked with a female coach. I know Michelle and I know that she gets me. I am excited to have new perspective, but allows me to work within the same structure that brought me here in the first place. I knew Jesse would know exactly what to do with me. Michelle already knows how we have to break up the season for all of this. It’s going to be a good journey. This woman is no joke.

So stay tuned. This is the beginning of my 2013 journey. I have a marathon in 12 weeks. I have been in a base phase of 15-20 hours a week since…. March. “Okay that vacation is over” she said to me. “we need to get to work.” If I were coaching myself I would have remained in that base phase for another few weeks. Because it’s comfortable for me. What I need isn’t being comfortable, and trust me Michelle is not into allowing me to be comfortable.

One of the million things I love about QT2 and what Jesse has built….. is that we take care of each other as well as our athletes. I can’t tell you how many bumps in my road they have all helped me navigate. From a health issue to supporting the Duel in the Pool to battling the special education system. I thank my lucky stars that I have this group of people not only to call my colleagues…… but…… don’t mock me for being corny here (CHARLIE) ….. but I consider this group my family. I feel like I was adopted into this amazing group of people. I think it shows. Sure we have darn good results for our athletes. Look at any race and see our athletes nailing it. I think what happens off the field shows in how we are with one another. We care about our athletes and we care about each other. It is what makes QT2 so darn strong in my opinion.

Okay enough flower petals and rainbows. It’s time to get to work. Here is to a new beginning. I can’t freaking wait! Let’s go Michelle!