Mary Eggers

General

Texas 70.3 Race Report

I had an amazing day at Texas 70.3 last Sunday. I can’t believe it was 7 days ago because I can still feel almost every second of it. And that finish line…. oh man. I can still feel the thrill in my heart.

I was there to answer a whole bunch of questions. Do I still love it? Will I compare myself right now to the athlete I was 5 or 10 years ago? Would I start to compare myself during the race? At the finish line? Ever?

The answers to all of those questions came easily. I loved every damn second of Texas 70.3. Not once did I feel the pull to compare myself to any performance in my career. I never wavered from my race plan as it unfolded. I hit every mark, I hit every calorie. I stayed 100% present. I never felt anything but thrilled and freaking grateful to be there all day long. I loved that it was 50 degrees. I loved that it was as windy as hell on the bike. I knew if it was too cold for them it’d be just right for me. Hell compared to where I come from, this was summer!!!

Before I hit that finish line…. I mentally marked the spot during the first two laps of the run. Right as I made the right coming up that little hill from the beachfront. That place where I knew the finish line was about to begin. Right at that point I asked myself the question: do I want to truly go after this again? After a better performance? Do I want to reach for a podium spot in the future? Do I want to go through all of that again to be the best I can be?

I never hesitated in my answer. F*CK YES. I don’t have any interest in chasing the past. I loved every second of that past but the past is where the past should always be. I learned so much then and those are the lessons I have with me now, ready to create a new future. I am especially interested in next season, as I will turn 45 and that ages me into a new age group. Can I be competitive in that age group? Am I willing to put in the work to find out the answer?

Oh hell yes. I am in.

This is my high school friend Jenna, who is a breast cancer survivor and triathlete. She inspires the sh*t out of me.

Right here, right now…. this is the work. I started on this comeback trail exactly a year ago. I have a good 12 months of continued development before I begin to knock on the door of being competitive on that bigger stage. Patience is a huge huge piece of all of this.

Patience is actually everything not just in sport, but in life. Talk is cheap. Plans are so easy to make, goals are easy to set. Sometimes these things take years or lifetimes. But if you truly love what you are going after, and you want it so much your bones ache….. then you must go after it.

I can’t tell you how often I am told that what I do is ridiculous.

I just don’t give a f*ck.

I am all in.

In 13 weeks … God willing … I will toe the line of my 9th Ironman. My first in 5 years. My last one I didn’t have the heart I do right now. I was ready to be done. I am so glad I took that break.

I need all 13 weeks to get ready. I don’t like to race a 70.3 within the final 6 weeks because of the taper and recovery. I want a good long build with strong trailing volume. I know now I need the time to not only prepare but recover. I am at a point in my life where I don’t have to be sleep deprived, and as a masters athlete I need to make sure I soak up every ounce of recovery that I can.

I came home from Texas hungry. Hungry for more adventure, more fitness, and more fun.

While I traveled to this race solo, I was taken such good care of by so many amazing people in this sport. Thanks to Marci, Jason, Mary and Keith for bringing me along to dinner! Thanks to Stacy and the Sonic Endurance Crew for wrapping me in garbage bags after the race and giving me a place to stay warm. Thank you to Tina for making sure I was all settled. Thank you Jenna and Ricardo for being out there and cheering! Laura, I was going to stop and give you a hug instead of a high five and now I regret not hugging you! Thank you to all the amazing ladies in the 40-44 age group for being kind and fierce competitors. It was an honor to toe the line with you.

Thank you Mike, Heather and Gary, for being my guardian angels. I thought about you three a lot out there. I think about you three all the time. Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings.

The biggest thanks goes to my awesome coaches Jen and Liz of Multisport Mastery / Jennifer Harrison Triathlon Coaching …. FOR EVERYTHING. Thank you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

And thank YOU for continuing to read, and coming along this 20+ year journey with me. It is my deepest hope that you discover what YOU are passionate about, and you go after with everything you are. I don’t care if it is triathlon, long jumping, kayaking, or kitting. I want YOU to find that belief within yourself to not give one single f*ck what the naysayers say. I want you to flip the switch on your own self doubt, and to get out there and chase the dream that you have been considering. There is no such thing as too old. There is no such thing as too…. too anything.

Take your dreams by the horns and chase them with everything you have. There is one person who gets to be the author of your story.

You.

So let’s do this, shall we? Game on.

Note: if you are interested in following the journey, I chronicle in more detail on Instagram, especially on IG story. I am not big on the workout selfie, but I am big on the story. Find me here. 

General

Fire Within

Ironman Lake Placid is going back to the original bike course. Cue the celebration on my end. I love this bike course any way that it’s designed. I especially love the original one. Debates are aplenty on which version has the most elevation., which one is easier, etc etc.

I don’t give one sh*t about elevation. This is Lake Placid. This course requires skill and it rewards patience. It will test you eight ways from Sunday not in the difficulty of one climb, but in how they are strung together, which way the wind is blowing, and how hot it gets here. Placid has a way of sneaking up on you with a cool morning, and a hot afternoon. Worry too much about what the clock says about your bike split and you are walking the marathon.

If you are running at mile 22 then you were prepared, and you were patient.

Stop worrying about trying to match elevation with shorter races. Start focusing on executing your training and developing your durability.

Ironman isn’t a math test. Ironman isn’t built on metrics, it’s built on heart and soul. It’s built on what you do when it gets tough. It is not built on what coach gave you which plan, but on whether you not only executed the plan but mastered the recovery.

You go in with plan A,B and C and you end up executing plan F. Because there is no way to truly know what will happen out there. You just prepare and you prepare to be ready for anything. You prepare your body to be resilient and you prepare your mind to be patient.

You will be tested on this course in ways you won’t expect but in ways you’ve trained every single day to be.

I promise you that.

That’s what I love about this whole thing. Call me obsessive and I will counter you with the word passionate. It’s not the finish line I crave, that’s just 30 seconds long. It’s the process that lights my fire. Give me an obstacle and I will find a solution. I don’t stew. I move beyond.

I thrive on rolling with punches.

As I roll towards Texas 70.3 I have had a few punches. My travel partner had to pull out, within 10 minutes I am set. I have athletes racing, and friends who live there who have my back.. An acquaintance LOST MY BIKE CASE (I know, do NOT get me started). Luckily for me, I have two and I finally learned my lesson about giving myself and my trust away. Moving on.

What happens on the course prepares us for our lives. What happens in our lives prepares us for the race course. Be stronger than the doubt that too easily holds you back. Think of doubt as a string that once pulled unravels the whole damn sweater. How? STOP BUYING INTO THE BULLSHIT STORY THAT DOUBT TRIES TO LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE. Rise up against it. Stand up for who you are, what you believe in, and what you dream about. Let no one be the author of your story except for you. Let nothing happen to you. Let yourself be strong enough to rise above it all.

I am so ready to hear the starting gun of that race. My plan for this race is to get lost in the process. I don’t give a damn what the finish time is. I will aim for under 6 hours. I have gone under 5 before, but that was the past and this is the now. I have never been the athlete who attaches her self-esteem to podium placings or finish times (thank you mom and dad for that).

I am the athlete who competes with a fire in her heart and a drive in her soul.

So don’t worry about the elevation of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course. Get your miles in as well as your recovery. The cumulative training you do for this race will get you to the finish. There is nothing you can do in training to 100% mimic how mile 22 of that marathon will feel. If you are my athlete you will be ready for it. If there is one place I know, I know Lake Placid. If there is one course I breathe, it’s this one (here is a good place to plug our camp. Click here).

The elevation is going to be what it is. It’s Placid. The one secret about this race…. is that the beauty around you and the fire within you are no match for the hills before you.