Mary Eggers

Date archives March 2018


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.



Friday mornings

I love Friday mornings at the pool. This past Friday morning was no exception, except that it was a testament to the people who share the lanes. At 0430, there was a band of snow coming through Rochester that would have (and did) cause many to turn around. With visibility zero and roads yet untouched, getting to the pool was dicey. Two hours later you would never have known what had happened.

But there we were, on deck shortly after 5am. We don’t swim the same workout, but we swim together. It’s the “Good morning, how was YOUR drive?” said with a laugh that I appreciated so much. Or the groan over the snow from otherwise snow lovers. Or just sharing a lane with David who has swam here for 34 years (5 days a week). Those are the moments that I love.

As I have said before, outsiders think we are here for the physical effects of the swim bike run. We are to some degree. But it’s the moving meditation and the camaraderie that keeps us here for over twenty years (in my case).

Saturday morning I crewed for Luc as he ran Johnny’s Running of the Green, an iconic road race here in Rochester. These are the events where you get to just wrap your arms around people and connect, whether you are running or not. It was beautiful that so many people stopped Luc to thank him for inspiring them with his hard work and running. He needed that yesterday. This community has played such a big part in raising him, I personally thank you all for that. He feels at home in these events. The time and placings become secondary to what this is all about.

We all find our “tribe” somewhere. Mine was established many years ago and evolves through time. I look back on all of the experiences I have been able to have through the venue of this sport. I would change nothing. The good or the difficult. It’s brought people into my life that I can’t imagine living without.

Add into that the amazing technology that connects us further. Saturday’s when I am on my bike on Zwift for several hours I can virtually ride with people from all over the world. Through a simple text we check in on one another and help each other along. Connectiveness is a gift. And absolute gift.

#SuperG and I have “girls weekend” coming up at Texas 70.3. In our world it’s what friends do. We travel to races together. There I get to see some high school friends and some people in this sport I have not seen in far, far too long. It’s always so much more than just being about a race.

Every event this season surrounds that feeling of connectedness. Celebrating friendship and celebrating being part of this beautiful tribe.

Returning to competition hasn’t changed much in that regard, because I never left. I just stepped off the race course for a while.

But let me tell you that getting ready for this race and sharing the excitement over a new race kit, getting my wheels set, heck picking out my race goggles and sending THAT to the people in my life who GET that it’s not about goggles. It’s about being back. Being here. Being part of this amazingness (there’s a neologism for my nursing students!), I want to soak it all up and savor all of it. It’s awesome.

Friday mornings are my favorite morning to swim. You might find that feeling out at a bar on a Thursday night. I find it on the pool deck at 0500. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.