Thursday, December 27, 2007


Do you want to live that long?

I'm betting yes but only if you are able to still live on your own, drive a car, bake your own homemade beans, run the new upright vacuum you just purchased on your own because the canister vacuum was "just too big to lug around" or perhaps, head out for a snowshoe on Christmas day?

Meet Tom, my freak of nature grandfather. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way mind you, but pictures speak a thousands words.... Like they say on Slowtwich, pictures or it didn't happen.

I hope your holiday was all that you wanted it to be and the coming new year brings you peace,health,love and happiness!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's A Marshmallow World

It's only December and we are just on the cusp of the first day of winter yet we've already passed the mark for the entire accumulated snow fall of last season here in Boston.
Plainly put: We are getting BLASTED. The commute has been a bear, and lets not even talk about trying to run outside in this. The sidewalks are an ice tundra now covered with just enough snow so you can't tell where the whip-u-on-your butt-ice patches are. Oh well, if you can't beat it, might as well join in for some winter time fun. Shoot, it's only here for 3 more months!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Looking Back

2007 will just be a distant memory soon. (Sigh) Hard to believe another year has come and gone. I thought I'd post a synopsis of my 2007 season. I'll try and be brief. Feel free to hit that little blue arrow up top on the left hand corner of your screen, or that red X opposite the little blue arrow when your eyes start to glaze over with boredom. I am so very fortunate to have had a fun, injury free year.
I don't take this for granted and I'm thankful every day that I can participate in sports. Special thanks to my husband who daily, has to put up with my whining and unrealistic obsessive compulsiveness that daily life should be perfect, every hour accounted for, and always wanting to be one step ahead. Also my coach Josef Brandauer, for helping me meet my goals and also having to endure some of my whining.

January 2006
One Hour Swim - 4345yrds
(This is one of the most mentally painful swims you can do in a pool. The first 30minutes of this is pure torture. It takes FOREVER to get there but then the last 10 minutes fly as you are trying to get in that last bit of yardage)

2007 New England Masters SCY Championships 1650 Free 1st (40-44) 21:40.26
(This meet always makes me nervous. The highlight was having my sister there and having the final lap bell ringing over my lane during my heat!)
Wrenthem Duathlon
2nd (40-44) 1:09:33 (1st in our age group: 1:09:32 I was a fire breathing dragon singeing the hair on the back of her neck!)

Florida 70.3 Triathlon 5:07 5th (40-44) ( This race is no walk in the park coming from cool weather New England. The run is like an Xterra trail run on sandy open fields in the heat of the day with about 5% on pavement. Fun fun! Note to self: NEVER EVER wear racing flats with no socks in sandy trails with wet feet. My arches are permanently scarred from the deep blisters with that dumb ass move)

Mooseman International Triathlon
9th woman overall 2nd (40-44) (Any race my friend Keith Jordan is behind is top notch) Endorfuns race management rules period.

Great Harvard 5 Mile Road Race 6th overall 3rd (40-44) 34:56
(Oh.. the hills)
Old Colony YMCA Triathlon 1st overall 2:20:21
(All the fast girls stayed home?)
Nautica NYC Triathlon
2nd (40-44) 2:20:54 ( I loved this race! Free entry thank you Accelerade! How many can say they swam in the Hudson River and didn't run into any dead bodies or biked on the West Side Highway?)

Timberman 70.3 Triathlon 5:09 2nd(40-44)
(Keith.. I love you. Need I say more?)
Cranberry Country Triathlon 5th overall 1st(40-44)
( Always a race I like coming off of Timberpaloosa fitness)

Laborious Labor Day Ten Miler (Good god, Why? Why do I have to pick these courses riddled with bloody mile long hills?)
3rd rubber legged woman 1:10:35

CROSS SEASON!!! September-December( every race a learning experience)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

New England's Finest- Girl Style

Congratulations Mo! A bit late posting this as it happened last weekend (Dec 3rd)

Bruno Roy rides to a weekend sweep and the verge MAC title

photo: Carl Waltrip

Maureen Bruno Roy came and conquered not only the season-ending Capital Cross Classic, but also the 2007 Verge MAC SRAM season championship.

Bruno Roy became the third woman to sweep both halves of Verge MAC's three weekend doubleheaders. Kerry Barnholt swept both the Granogue and Wissahickon races in October, and Georgia Gould swept both days of the New Jersey weekend in November. But Bruno Roy, fresh off her World Cup debut and another seventh place finish in France, not only swept the final weekend, but scored highly in all six races against the best in American cyclocross to win the Verge MAC title.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Striped Socks

Not just any striped socks, these are now considered my lucky cross socks.Does my face look distorted? It is. From the brain numbing cold. Yikes.. by lap 4 of the MRC Wrentham Cross race on Sunday, my feet were attached to my pedals but I could barely feel them. I had chemical toe warmers in my shoes prior to the race, but they must have been old because they were submarginal in putting out any heat.

Minuteman Road Club did an amazing job in putting together this race. Very well organized and our results were up and posted on Sunday night. Wow! Thanks to Rob for his huge effort in getting that together so quickly. I've come accustomed to having to wait 3 days before seeing cx results posted.

This course was a second for me. I did it last year for the first time. It was very different from last weeks Palmer race which I loved. Nothing technical except for a set of uphill barriers right after a tight
right hand turn downhill section.
I was worried. I haven't done well on courses like this one thus far this season. To name a few, Bedford and Plymouth. A power course I overheard someone say. Ugh. I'm not a power course/grass crit rider.

Oh well... Stay upright and don't blow up after the first lap I said to myself. Try and stay on a wheel or two and don't get upset or give up when you're out there riding solo. It's most likely gonna happen.

Surprise! It didn't!!! I stayed in the mix. My last race of the season panned out exactly the way I wanted it to. Honestly I have to thank my friend Sally McInnis. She is one I always target to try desperately to stay with and never can. Yesterday she was no where to be found at the starting line. I looked over at her husband Brian and we were like.."where is she?" She was still out on the course and missed the darn start. She jumped in with the junior riders I believe who started a minute after the 3/4 women. There she was though, making up time. I spotted her behind me on the end of the first loop and I was runnin' scared. "Sally's gonna reel me in like a flounder", I thought. I rode as hard as I could through the wooded section that was flat in the biggest gear I could handle and also on another flat section near the finish area. In the drops, trying to keep her from bridging the gap on me. I tried to power out of all the turns that I could and tried not to make any major mistakes. Come to find out, Sally had raced the day before in East Hampton in even tougher conditions and didn't have a chance to strip down and felt over dressed during our race. Still, the fact that I could see her back there made me ride just a wee bit harder perhaps?
I got lapped by Elite rider, Rebecca Wellons out on the open field area. She was commenting on my socks as she flew by me and I quickly asked if she was the first (123) woman to confirm that soon I would be done! "Yup" she said and I started to crank it up just a bit more to get to the finish fearing I'd be passed again.

7th in the women's 3/4 race. I'll take it and quit while I'm ahead!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Last Up -Wrenthem Cross

Tomorrow is it. #10 on the cross circuit for me. Time to chill and eat magic cookie bars and drink steaming mugs of hot chocolate after a 4 month long Cx season. It's freakin' freezing here today and the wind is still whipping. Hopefully it will die down before tomorrow. I can just imagine myself dressed like the StayPuf Marshmallow guy just to get through the race. I just get way too cold too quick these days.

Yesterday I snagged a BlueSeventy long sleeve Helix wetsuit for 288 greenbacks(retail price $525) and here's the kicker, I was going to order it (size med) on line at but my friend Dede who's about the same size as me forewarned me to try on both the Med and the Med/small at our LBS before ordering it online. Thankfully I did and she was right, a medium would have been too big in the chest and arms and I wouldn't have been able to return it to SBR. Lucky for me the LBS matched SBR's price and I didn't have to pay shipping. Whaaaaa!!! What a HUGE difference in the arms and shoulders in this wetsuit design. My Orca Speedsuit always fatigued my arms when I swam in it. Hellloooo Ebay!

One less thing to buy this spring for CDA. I tried hard to divert my attention from the carbon Guru frames hanging on the wall calling... "you need me..plez take me home" My plan is to nag Dede once a week from here on out until I wear her down to a stub so she will give up one of her Guru's to me if she gets another new one this coming season. What are friends for? :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've decided to sign up for the BU Masters LMSC Championship meet coming up December 14th. I did the 800 free last year so I thought it would be fun to do it again. BU has a nice facility and the 800 free is exclusively a Friday night event so I don't have to get wrapped up in all the other short course events on Saturday or Sunday. Last year I won my age group for the 800 free.How I managed that is still a wonder.

Unfortunately, I'm far from being in stellar swim shape at the moment and this week I set a record by attending Masters 3 days in a row AND stayed for the entire workout instead of slithering out of the pool in the middle of the main set when Coach Paine wasn't looking. Whoo Hoo! Today, I nabbed an empty lane and Bill had me do an 800 broken up into 100's with a 5 second rest to see where my base time was. 1:20 it appears.

Then I had to do a 400 with no rest, just watching the clock at every 100 trying to go under a 1:20 pace. Ouch.
I was all over the place. 1:10 1:25 1:20 1:17. I started riggin' (as in rigor mortis) by the last 100.

At least the pain from doing cyclocross has taken the edge off the discomfort of swimming hard.

It seems that the MIT Masters Committee can swim but just can't get it together for a simple logo design for a cap and swimsuit for those of us participating in meets this winter, so I took it upon myself to visit and order up a suit for the meet. Burn baby burn....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Palmer Cross

This week we went with the pink star( as opposed to polka dot) knee socks with matching pink bandanna, yet another reminder to myself that I'm here to have fun and if you can't be fast, you can at least look fashionably coordinated, right? I'm happy to report Palmer now reigns as my favorite course overtaking last weeks' Lowell race. Lowell's on my Sh*t list anyway for screwing up the race results.

Palmer was a last minute ditch effort to make up for missing Sterling. It was so hard to get up and drive back in the direction we had just come from visiting family in NY but we packed up the truck and off we went.

No expectations for myself knowing that I would be racing in the women's "open" at 12:15 for 45 (ouch!) minutes.
I was pleasantly surprised. The wait from getting there at 8am so Paul could race at 9 went by fast. I watched quite a bit of racing, got in a good warm up and the best part that I took notice of were the lines on the course. They were already picked for me! It was a no brainer in the trails or on the open fields to which line I should take having 3 races already over with by the time the women were up. The course was a mix of wooded single track type trails with 3(ugh)run ups and 2 sets of barriers. I wore my heart rate monitor again and noticed I could get my heart rate to 189 at times especially on the last long steep run up where everyone loved to hang out and watch us suffer.. loop after loop...

I mentally prepared myself for getting lapped after looking at the starting line and I did. The first 3 women caught me on the back side of the course near the finish. I reeled in 3 women myself and stuck to the wheel of one woman for one loop and passed her out in open field area. I could tell at every run up it was wearing her down more so then me and I decided I'd lead for a while and thought she would stick to me but she didn't.

Overall I felt way more comfortable with my bike and skills this weekend than I ever have. I was not tentative on any part of the course and I finally felt a sense of confidence instead of worrying about what was coming up next. I am so much better now and it's paying off even if marginally. The other women I see week after week are getting better and stronger too, so it's hard to bridge that gap.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lower Hanging Fruit Got Shafted

Bizarre results from Lowell but I snagged a good photo from the day! :-)

Looking at the results from Sunday's race,I don't understand the process of how they decided to post them.

No times were posted for the women Cat 4 race and they didn't post the entire Cat 4 women's field placings. Frankly, I would have been happy to be left OFF the list then to be posted as last. I have nothing to compare last year with.

The men's Cat 4 race was a huge field, certainly more than the 26 they posted.

Why wouldn't they just post the top ten with times in each category, explain this at the top of the results and call it a day? My personal opinion is everyone paid the fee to race and should get results.

I guess I'm spoiled with the wearing of a small disk attached to a neoprene ankle wrap that gives me a plethora of information from triathlons

The fee's would increase but maybe not a bad idea for cyclocross especially if the fields keep growing. Ends the confusion of trying to manually and visually record data.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Oxi Clean

A must have if you ever want to wear your kit after a day like yesterday in Lowell. I must admit, I was forewarned. "Lowell- as far as i understand, don't bring the nicest kit (or bring an old one and check out the course before). there's some tacky mud on the track they are sending you around that hardly comes out.." Tacky mud? It was liquid/granular asphalt! My skin suit is still soaking in a bucket.

This had to be my favorite course this year! I just loved it. It was technical but not overwhelming. Lots of turns some nice flats to motor on and a long (I'll call) run up but I heard and witnessed after, most of the men had no problem riding.

I had a solid warm up and felt pretty good. I vowed to have FUN today and not be so concerned with who was around me or the lack of. I wore my black and pink polka dot knee socks over my tights that matched my helmet and bar tape just perfect-o! They were a reminder to me that this is supposed to be fun. I got lots of comments about them during my race.
The men's 4 race started just before us and it was a HUGE group. We chicks were up next. I was clipped in on my right pedal with my foot at 12 o'clock ready to roll. I had stopped chatting with my new friend Sally so I could pay attention and get a good start.
Awe geeze.. I blew it! What a dope.
I slipped off my left pedal trying to clip in so I was fumbling with that but hammered right back and was smack in the middle it seemed. Then I could see up ahead at the very first minor up hill with a tight right turn that went down, what I've come to dread and why you are told to get out hard and fast so you can avoid this. The pile up. There I was walking my bike up and around with 6-7 others of us with this poor girl sandwiched in between a tree, her bike and all of us trying to scramble around her!

What I've come to learn:

You can listen until you eyes glaze over to someone spouting off tips to you and what to try to accomplish at the start and what to avoid but until you have actually experienced it, it's really the only way to figure it out.
Needless to say, the first girls that avoided that pile up got a good lead. Smart ladies.. (and lucky)

The rest of the race was pretty standard in the Trigirlpink book. I did manage to reel in 2 women and rode as HARD as I could. I wore my heart rate monitor for the first time so I could get a sense of how hard I was working and maybe to prove just a teeny tiny bit that I'm not a complete slacker out there to my coach and although I do not have this in file form to download as proof, I averaged 172 on the low side and up to 179- 182 for most of the race it seemed. It was a fun course and after loop two, you could find a good sense of where you could recover and where you could try and make up some time if only in your head!
Next up, Palmer after my bike gets both wobbling wheels trued this week and my bars get some fresh new pink tape.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back Sliding

Plymouth Cross was this weekend. This was race #7 for me in this wonderful wacky world of cyclocross. I should be getting my groove on, stickin' to a wheel or two, zipping over those barriers, ya think??(Insert laughter) This time I was determined to stick with some of these chicks no matter what. This was a CAT 4 only women's race so I couldn't fall back on my safe excuse that all the women are much more seasoned and have loads of mountain biking skills.
It was frigid and super windy. Instantly, I found another excuse AND to add insult, someone inadvertently attached a cement mixer to the back of my seat post. Ugh… I knew something wasn't right on my first warm up loop. 15 minutes before the start, I pulled out of my warm up to jump in the truck blast some heat on my cold hands, and eat a bag of Cliff Bloks with caffeine washed down with 1/2 bottle of water to try and clear out the cobwebs after a laborious warm up.
During my warm up, I mentioned to Paul that I thought the course was a bit too tame. Lots of open grassy sections and only one technical part that was well, way too technical for my liking. This included multiple tight turns going down a trail that was rocky and had exposed roots and sand and was narrow. The perfect recipe for me to chicken out and want to walk my bike down. Want and did are two different things. During warm up on the first loop, I went down dropping my chain to boot after picking a poor line to get around a big exposed tree root smack in the middle of the narrow trail that had a sharp left downhill turn. "HTFU", I told myself. Some nice dude caught the whole experience and kindly threw some advice out while skillfully maneuvering around it.
"Better to stay to the left" he said. I was too miffed to thank him trying to gather my trail-side yard sale and mumbling under my breath about ripping yet another pair of tights. Good advice and I took heed to it for the remainder of the warm up and race. The race itself was uneventful. Start was open with no hole shot to try and scramble to. Usually I'm last being polite and letting all the other chicks go through a narrow start or tight start if there is one. Like every race, slowly the women in front of me got further and further away. I managed to stick with one woman who I knew but I observed 2 things that are becoming a pattern that I need to try and work on. #1. Any screw up on a turn or bobble on a barrier dismount or mount and bingo the person I was trying to stay with would gain 3-4 bike lengths. #2. If I let any Jr. riders get in front of me especially in a wooded section, I would be content and settle in behind instead of trying to go around and stay with the woman I was trying to stick with then, I would realize (too late) that joe jr. was petering out and I'd go around and poof, there would be no one in sight anymore in front of me. I had no one to work off of for 2 laps but didn't give up. My quads were BURNING but I felt like I was going nowhere in the wind and grass. Oh well it was a no energy day for sure. Just didn't feel good. Maybe I shouldn't have done a hard trainer ride on Thursday followed by a skills ride at Delany on Friday with a race on Saturday....
I'm sooo bummed that Sterling is Thanksgiving weekend. No way can get out of coming back early from a trip to NY with the inlaws for a Saturday race. Any and all excuses to somehow manage this and still save face for attempting it are welcome.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Official First One

This is my very first post! I've been playing around with the features,templates and such getting used to this blogger format. I'm not sure I'll be posting that much. First of all, I'm not a very articulate writer and I'm not sure many will be interested in what I'm actually posting for that matter.

Cross season is in full schwing! I've got 5 races under my ever expanding waistline. SuckerBrook, Bedford, Amesbury, Gloucester, and Canton. They've all been fun and each and every race I learn something new in this nutty sport. It's quite addictive and after every race, I'm looking to see when I can do another one to add to my connect-the-dots bruise fest my legs seem to be in. No one forewarned me of this continual format. I've met some really nice people this season being my second.

Last night Paul and I did our own Blairwitch Halloween ride in the trails in West Concord, MA. It was the first time I rode with a bike light in the dark. It was fun! I only crashed once on a stair run up. At least my knees are evenly bruised on both sides now so I'm balanced in the bruise department.

I'm trying to think of a good adjective to describe myself as a competitive age grouper in triathlon and a back of the pack, official course sweeper, scaredy cat cross racer.