Mary Eggers

Date archives July 2016

General

On the beaten path

I made a pact with myself this weekend….. to not train on the Ironman Lake Placid course. It’s not that I don’t love the course… I LOVE the course. But I have been riding it 2-3 times a year since 2002 (when you were in high school). I did that because I didn’t really know anything else around here, and I liked to be in the thrill of the action, especially during Ironman week.

Lake Placid has a really special place in my heart. Ironman Lake Placid is what ultimately brought me here so many years ago. But after a while, you start to look beyond the beaten path and you start to understand that there is so much here that you have never really experienced. It took me a really long time.

During Ironman week we have come to stay out of Lake Placid, believe it or not. The hustle and bustle of Ironman…. after all this time has worn off on me. Each year I understand the viewpoint of the locals and how they feel. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the race, I love everything about it. We are on course as our athletes race it coaching and cheering…. but aside from race day…. I will let the nostalgia of the Ironman experience rest with those who haven’t experienced it before.

This year we found an awesome studio apartment to rent for a week in Saranac Lake. The family we are renting from owns a coffee shop (hello! destiny!!! incredible coffee and people!), and I have done nothing except explore. It also helps that I have a super Adirondack resource (thank you AMY!). I am on new bike routes that wind around lakes and take me away from the hub that gets so crowded. Interesting observation: motorists treat you differently here on a road bike. Truly, they do.

We have been SUP’ing and swimming in a few different lakes, but have found the best vibe at Lake Colby. There are few motorized (I haven’t seen any) motorized boats and the water is slightly more rough, which I like. Luc continues to master his SUP skills and yesterday we realized that Curt and I  can keep up with him (for now) as we swim! I can’t even begin to convey how amazing this is. During Ironman week our traditional Mirror Lake is crazy crowded, so this has been great.

Luc sup

For cycling on the road, I found several different routes right off this website, the roads are good quality, the traffic is low, and the hills are amazing. Not to mention the scenery.

Sadly, I have never done much mountain biking while up here, and I confess, it’s because I am typically training for a triathlon and fear injury. Truthfully, road cycling is more dangerous than mountain biking, I can promise you that. So we loaded up the mountain bikes and we hit some trails.

For a relatively easy trail, but one with different terrain, you can hit the Bloomingdale Bog, which runs about 10 miles point to point. Luc traditionally has been comfortable on crushed stone trails on his mountain bike, and on the Bog he realized he can in fact roll over big rocks, roots, ride through sand. It was the perfect ah-HA moment for him. Experiencing those moments on a bike, on a SUP board, they are priceless.

And he told us we were cool parents. YEAH!

bog

I wish I would properly convey what a big deal this was for him. I have been hoping there would be a day he would show interest in actual mountain biking, and on the Bog… HE DID. Our hosts also are avid cyclists and mountain bikers and pointed out to us that we have not one but TWO awesome mountain bike parks right near where we are staying. Dewey Mountain and Mt. Pisgah are literally right here, so off we go to their trails today! I love dirt and my mountain biking skills are adequate… just because I haven’t put the trail time in. What a perfect opportunity to do exactly that. A little road bike in the morning, a little trail in the midmorning. Perfect.

The running? Same. Tons of trails and routes that wind me around things I have never taken the time to pay attention to. Shame on me, but I am making up for all of that now.

And that…. is the whole thing I am learning. Because you are never too young or too old to stop and look around. And change, and change again. There is so much to do and to be seen in this world, hell right here in the Adirondacks. Had I always had this appreciation I fear I might not appreciate it as I do right this minute, and I would not trade one moment of my journey to have seen it sooner. This is happening as it should happen, and I am open and willing for the whole experience.

On Sunday we focus on what we came here to do, support our incredible Valor Triathlon Project athletes as they complete a journey that began a year ago. There is nothing in the world like finishing your first 140.6, just as there is nothing like finishing your first 5k, or sprint triathlon. Today we meet with each of them and I get to see the look on their faces as they prepare to take on one of the biggest challenges of their lives.

The cool thing is this: they are ready and I know they are. They have put in the work, and the recovery. The awesome thing about being the coach…. I know the end of their story. It has a lot to do with a finish line.

We can’t wait!

General

Coming back

I could see my reflection on the bottom of the pool as I swam, the sun was shining so bright above me, it felt good on my back. The water felt good in my arms. Long course outdoor meters never ceases to feel anything less than amazing. regardless of the day I am having …. regardless of the intensity of the session… one thing is for sure….. this is and always has been a privilege. Knowing I sound like a broken record, I will say it again and keep on saying it. Having the privilege to be an athlete my whole life is nothing less than a big…. giant gift.

I have always felt that way. Through the good times and the bad, the ability to move in some way has always been there for me.

The other day I ran my hands along the bead of the tire as I mounted a brand new one on my road bike’s wheel. There is something about the feel of a brand new tire, as well as the feeling of needing one. My time on two wheels has felt better than ever. Some days I hit the trail with my mountain bike, other days the road bike, still others I find what I need on the trainer in the garage.

I have been sure to branch out, as what got me into the pickle I found myself in a few years ago…. was rigidity. A fear of stepping off the plan, out of a zone, fear that it would not add up to what I hoped it would. What it added up to was poor health, burnout and almost walking away completely.

What healed it was time. Time away. Time on my SUP, my skis, time reconnecting with moving all over again. Never again will I allow things like that to be missed. Everything is fair game when it comes to reaching your goals. Everything always should be. Without health we don’t have happiness. Without happiness we don’t have health. Without health we don’t have anything much less performance.

I have said this before and it bears repeating: No one…. including myself…. has ever trained themselves out of illness and injury. However…. those who have had the ability to step back and heal come back and can come back stronger when they approach it differently.

That’s the path I am on now.

There were just a few seasons of that rigidity…. they were enough to land me in one hell of a hot health mess. Now as I come back I have been able to set big lofty goals, long term and short term. The hunger in my belly is burning bright and matching the workload to progress has been surprisingly easy.

I can’t wait to roll, unleash, burn the match that I am dying to light. I know that nationals is truly just the kick off, that will be the benchmark from which I will grow. I can’t wait for that line to be drawn in the sand.

It’s my plan. Funded by myself. Designed by myself to embrace all of the things I love. My way.

It feels good to feel GOOD again. To have fatigue relived by a good night’s sleep. To see progress rather than spinning my wheels in endless cycles of that fatigue and non progress. It feels good to not have the overwhelming feeling that I need to check boxes, but instead that I can evolve. That I am under no one’s expectations but my own. Man that feels amazing.