Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's 61 degrees currently here in Massachusetts. In December???? Very bizarre indeed. So the scheduled long run turned into a outside ride instead. Unfortunately, my body didn't know what to do on a bike not supported by a Computrainer. Fun nonetheless and more so the novelty of getting outside in December when normally it would be 19 was very cool.

So while my feline slept in a computer briefcase....

I pulled on my gear

and off I went. The roads were wet but the air temps, amazing. What a treat!

Here I am on a pee stop. Can I just tell you how pleasant it is to drop trow and bare your a$$ in 60 degrees instead of 19?

And lastly,

This.. this is never good....

and sadly yet another casualty

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas on the seacoast of Maine

Partridge in a pine-wooden pear underneath- tree

Eliot Maine coast

Just something I saw during my Christmas morning run

The outside of my sister's house. Can you tell she's a floral designer?

Lobsta traps on my morning run

Parker the Golden Retriever.

Lives for snow and swimming.

Eats bananas and clementines, celery... you name it.

Favorite toy: anything plush, shaped like a squirrel or a duck with a

built in squeaker.

Just to prove there are people here not just dogs... Me,my sista and my bro.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Long Course/50 meters

I got squat to blog about but will say this: I'm excited that the MIT pool is set up for long course until the middle of January starting today. Yipppppeeee!

How is it that I can still count on my hands the number of times I've been back swimming feeling like a total wanker in the pool slow as sh*t and feeling miserable, yet today it was long course and I managed a 1300 warm up and a 2000 set I suggested for the lane: 4x5oo swim/pull/swim/pull
(15 seconds rest inbetween) without slithering out in the middle of the mainset?


Oh... the whining and look of "have you been sniffing tubular glue again?" after suggesting this set but we did it.
4- 500's might not seem like much but the first day of long course, oh baby.. you feel it. You see, masters is officially on break until Jan 1st so it's up to us as *Lane Three* to get our own sorry a$$'s to the pool and figure out our own gig.

I don't miss the 25 yard set up one nanosecond.

Bring it on!

Anyone planning to do the One Hour Swim in January? You can do it on the very last day of January. Grab a lane and someone to sit at the end of the pool to record your mileage. It's definitely a test of mental toughness yet a nice way to help build an early season base.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

MIT Masters Lane 3 Holiday Fun

Where are the morning MIT Masters swimmers in Lane 3???


drinking alcohol in place of chlorinated water, and having way too much fun.

mmmmmmmm beer

I don't know how we did it, but we planned ahead and got every last one of us in lane 3 0f 7 lanes to join in for a bit of non aquatic socializing. This was strictly an *our lane only* party. What a bunch of lane snobs,eh? Ha! Most of us get up before 5:30 to swim and to be honest there isn't much fun and laughter to be seen or heard at AM Masters. In fact don't look at me the wrong way or your apt to get your pull buoy whipped across the deck and if you miss that send off.... OMG... hell have no fury like TGP's morning scorn. (just kidding) We are a different breed for sure. But hey, toss a couple of beers our way 13 hours later and the fun never ended. We've got an awesome diverse group of neuro surgeons, money managers, MIT professors and research staff to name a few all with a common interest. Swimming!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dear Santa

It's me...TGP here. Notice my Christmas tree. There's nothin'underneath 'cept for some stray pine needles. Zilch, zero, nada. I hope it's not too late to get my list to you via Blog land. I've been pretty good this year Santa. Granted I did my share of whining about a foot, a hip, a shoulder and a lower back. It's one thing to complain another if you don't try and fix things, right? Trust me on this one Santa, I can call the orthopedic office and they recognize my voice instantly. I wander through the office saying hi to Paul, and Anthony and Shawn, and Elaine the receptionist who always gets me in quick because we have the same name. They are like family.

OK, here goes:
Please note: the order in which the items presented is not necessarily the order of importance in I mean want.

1. A goLITE BlU Light therapy box.

Santa, I REALLY need this. My day starts at 4:50 am in the dark, I work in a basement level with no natural light and I leave to go home in the dark. BLAH is the best way to describe me right now plus it's cheaper than electric shock therapy. No need to add to our already over burdened health care system, right?

2. Cuisinart Grind & Brew.

Coffee! Ahhhhhhhhhhh. I'm into coffee now Santa and I want a nice coffee maker that I can pre program so that it's warm happiness is waiting for me at 5:10am. Lord knows I NEED it on my drive to the pool especially now when it's frigid and dark out. My lane mates are counting on me. My skilled position of back of the lane cheerleader is very important and appreciated at the moment and I don't want to let my lane mates down. I find I bark out orders and bitch and moan less when I'm caffeinated. My lane mates seem so friendly on days I have coffee. Hmmmmmmmmm.

3. (As many as you think I can have) coupon booklets for the following:

Chiropractic adjustments xxoooo I love Dr. Joe so don't forget him too Santa. Crack crack and I'm good as new.

Massaaaaaahge Mo Bruno Roy- THE BEST massage therapist and wonder chicka pro cyclocrosser EVER!

Splish suits xxxxoooo I love Dawn and Ira too. They created all my "can you make this" requests come true.

4. A Bose Sound Dock. Ok, I admit this is a bit frivolous but when I'm on my Computrainer and want to crank 50 cent's In Da Club without damaging my ears, the stereo is tooooo far away and it doesn't accommodate my ipod.
5. A year's supply of Cliff Bloks (with caffeine of course)

6. My own Bosu Ball to add to my at-home functional training gadgetry with a personal instruction DVD of Jen Harrison doing a demo of each prescribed core/functional training technique using the Bosu to keep my foot, back, hip, shoulder from biting the dust again.

and finally.....

7. A pink Blackberry Pearl. See.. I don't need an iPhone!!! Trying to be budget minded here. I know we are in a recession.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thank you for shopping with us Elaine!

Internet shopping. Who doesn't love it?

All you need is a couple of senses intact, some minimal index finger dexterity and your all set baby. I imagine all those people out there with a serious shopping addiction now find it even harder resisting the urge to rack up the credit card. It's just too simple now. If you do have a measure of self control, cyber shopping is the most awesome technology EVER which brings me to my purpose of this blog post.

How many time have you found a pair of goggles for instance that you just can't swim without? It's like the drawer full of saddles I have. After shellin' out a small fortune, I finally found the saddle I love. All my bikes have Specialized Rubys atop the seat post. Ahhhhhhhh.

It's all good until you go and try to replace this prized item you've nailed due to wear and tear or loss and then your up sh*t's creek without a paddle when you come to find out your special something has been put to rest in the marketing/production world. UGH.

TYR Aqua shift metalized goggles.

Comfy, low profile, no racoon eyes. "ocean" or "solar" mirrored finish so my lanemates can't see me roll my eyes when they piss me off.

I love these and used to be able to get them quickly and easily from

Not anymore.

They are becoming extinct.

This does not make me happy. Just like when they discontinued John Frieda Beach Blond Ocean Waves spray. If you don't know what it is, it doesn't matter. It's gone. Now you can buy a bottle of it at for $89. One of the last $5.99 bottles left on the earth. Stupid company....

After several google searches, I found my beloved goggles and ordered 4 pairs. Now I'm feeling like I need to hoard them like Elaine did on Seinfeld with her *Sponges*. Some guys weren't *Sponge worthy*. I'm now wondering if Masters swimming is worthy of subjecting a fresh pair of my Aquashift's.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The non swimming Splish wearer

Monday was my first time back in the water since Sept. 6th. Leave it to Ms Injury USA, I somehow pulled a tendon or something in my bicep after my last 1/2 in September. I attribute it to tossing on a full wetsuit and swimming/racing hard 1.2 miles in it when I hadn't worn it in any outdoor practice swims.I'm beginning to agree with myself( we have these little talks every so often) that as practical as I am at times, I do the most idiotic things reinforcing I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, possibly one brick short of a load? Swimming only continued to irritate it more when attempted so like with the running, I had to shelf it for a while this fall.

Returning to Masters after 3 months off is equivalent to a hot poker to the eye. Don't you agree?

Even a week away is painful.

I used to lead the lane at times. I now ride the back of the bus. Forget about the back of the bus, picture me holding on to the bumper with my teeth.

I hated getting out of the pool without at least 3800 for a workout. I now slither out mid main set still breathless from the warm up set.

It's not pretty but like they say, what goes down must come back up like my 401 profit sharing(please god) and hopefully my swimming.

There will be no Short Course Meters(800 free) December swim meet at BU for me. Waaaaaaaa.

The one hour swim ain't looking so good for January either.

I did make this fun suit today though and I got a nice email from one of my lane mates that makes me want to come back for more pounding. "Elaine-It was great to see you today. We are happy you are back in the lane.BB"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Palmer Cx That Wasn't

Instinct. Go with your instinct on everything. That's the relatively new mantra I've established for myself and it's working out quite well so far. Last night after a long drive back from NY from visiting family and gaining 5 pounds in less than 48 hours, I waffled on the idea on making the trek back out toward western Ma having the entire day sucked up completely for one cyclocross race smack in the middle of the day. I decided nope and stuck with it. God knows I needed to burn off some calories though. Geesh. Every year it's the same thing, Thanksgiving weekend away is completely centered around eating and I always come home feeling like

I did manage a long run today, some on line Xmas shopping sandwiched in between lots of laundry but here's where I've been hanging out most of the day. It's snowy,wet and raw outside which made me feel even better I didn't race today after all.

I did venture out to hang my wreaths the Boy Scouts dropped off. I know you all want my girly boots and my flannel lined J Crew chinos, right???????? Tis the season. Let the bargain hunting and tree trimming begin

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Benevolent And Protective Order of Elks Lodge #95

When I spoke to my dad this week he invited me to the annual turkey raffle at his local Elks lodge Saturday night. Stop laughing!!! How could I say no? Spending quality time with my dad has seemed somewhat minimal so taking advantage of the off season, I went to hang with my family for a little imbibing and turkey raffle excitement on a Saturday night. Wooo Hooo. I felt REALLY YOUNG among the attending. Loved that!

Turkey Raffle tickets and my red wine in a lovely plastic cup

Check it out! I scored some schwag but no turkey.

My sister on the other hand, won 2 turkeys. Dad (in the background) is happy Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 as he affectionately calls us, took home the goods.

Hangin' with my nephew is always a treat too. Here's to a season of gratefulness and an appreciation of family and how important they are. With the passing of Margaret still very fresh in my mind and heart, it's all too important for me to take a step back and remind myself to not take life and it's very simple pleasures and joys for granted. Happy safe travels and I hope you all have a great holiday with your families too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lowell Cross

I went. I got muddy. I didn't break anything.

Slip 'n Slide way-too-long mud pit.

What a clean up post race.

Here I am entering that muddy long section totally forgetting what Cathy taught me last Wednesday with the sand practice and tensing up midway thru and getting bogged down only to have to GET OFF and run my bike the rest of the way while seeming to lose another placing each time in this section. Duh.

Thanks Jamie for this pic proving I suck at riding mud. Honey, if you are reading this,does my butt look big in these shorts? Ha ha! So much for the no candy October and Veggie/fruitpaloosa November challenge... geesh.....
Happy to be done with no face plants in the mud that I witnessed with the CAT 4 men in the race prior to mine. Yikes..they were going down like bowling pins!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


nothin' like it when you come out of the chilly ocean water and you just want to plant yourself on a towel and shimmy the perfect indentation to cradle yourself in it's warmth and drift off. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Riding a bike through it is another story.

Last night I reluctantly dragged myself to my friend Cathy's house in Bedford for cross practice. I'm gonna be totally honesty here. It took a SERIOUSLY BIG SPATULA to lift my sorry ass up and out the door from work to go ride in the dark and cold. ICK. Like I stated in my last post, I felt out of the loop missing 2 weekends of cross racing and I felt FLAT ( and lets add FAT to that) and UNMOTIVATED.

Once getting there and I got started with the workout,I quickly learned it was worth the effort. First we did backyard grass cornering skills.Then 4 ~3min interval sprints down the bike path focusing on speed. Next up 20+ minute/5 lap mock race on a fast 1.24 mile course w/ sub 5minute laps - focus on speed, skills and race tactics - maintain "loose power" through the sand sections.

The sand sections? Maintain what? The sand section was a beach area surrounding a small pond. By the time we got to the 5 lap section of the workout, my light died. Pity. I'll have to go home now as I stood there fiddling with my dead battery. With five other people there I decided it would be best to not wuss out completely and modified what I would do.

Instead, of completing the laps, first I played around in this fun little park in the moonlight

darting though the twists and turn of the now vacant and lonely water toys. Then I decided I would venture into the sand. Cathy gave me some really good tips and by the end of the workout, I could ride the entire loop of beach twice without bogging down and having to get off. Oh, and not riding right into the pond. Yippee!!!! I think it helped that I only had moonlight to work with which in turn made the beach sand a bit out of focus. What you can't see, can't scare you right?

Post ride, Cath and Mike fired up the grill and hosted us for a great dinner. Awesome!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Stuff

I'm in a fog today. Is it really Monday already? Yikes. The weekend was a whirlwind. After much thought, we decided to pack up the car and head to Scranton PA from here in MA for Margaret's Wake and Funeral on Friday and Saturday. A memorial service is planned for her November 23rd here in Boston as well and we contemplated attending just the memorial but my gut feeling was to go to PA and honestly, I really wanted to be there. This was not a matter of what was going to be more convenient. It was the right thing to do and I'm so glad to have gotten to meet her brother, her dad and her mom. It was a very tough weekend for all but also very apparent that her family was ever so grateful for all of the support surrounding them.

In other news, I've missed 2 weekends of cyclocross racing due to more important life obligations so I'm feeling out of the loop but trying to maintain some sort of fitness both on the trainer and getting outside when possible. I've started running again after a long hiatus. My goal this fall is to completely heal all nagging injuries and it's been a slow process.
Also I've decided to go the controversial MAF route in building up a solid base. My biggest mistake last season was jumping back into running way too quickly and intensely last January and I paid dearly for it by missing my Ironman and insisting on dragging myself through a season plagued with nagging injuries. Time for a fresh start with some new ideas.
So as a very disciplined individual, if I'm supposed to run uphills, downhills, in the dark, rain or snow with a heart rate of 140, damn it,I'm gonna do it. Special thanks to Kerrie for helping me get started with this endeavor.

Keep up the great work on the 5-O-day challenge all who are participating!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloweeeeeeen

Halloween eve in Eliot Maine

I'm up in Maine this weekend visiting my sister and celebrating my grandfather's 95th birthday tomorrow.
November 1st means 2 things:
1.I will have been candy free (including tonight)for the entire month as well as cookie, pastry, cake, scone, and muffin free as well.
2. I will be breaking this by having a nice slab of birthday cake tomorrow night.

This doesn't mean I'm going to hell in a hand basket and falling back into my old routine. In fact I invite any of you to join me in a new challenge for November. After putting our heads together, Jen H and I came up with new one. This time you'll be ADDING to your diet instead of taking away. Simple, right????
Here's the details:

You must sign up on the google spread sheet.
You must (try) and post an update daily on the intake
The goal will be to try and consume 5 servings of either fruit or vegetable in
it's purest (or close to) form.
Example: A muffin with cranberries or a slice of banana bread doesn't count
Ice berg lettuce, cucumbers, celery don't count either. :-)
The challenge will start November 5th and end December 5th. Stay tuned for the
new google spreadsheet coming soon.
The idea is, instead of filling yourself with empty calories you will be compelled to get you daily intake of fruit and veggies which will hopefully fill you up and discourage mindless eating of M&M you will regret later!
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for you personal messages and responses concerning Margaret. It's very special to know in a world full of despair, violence and hate, people can come together and show sincere support to someone they've never even had contact with yet display genuine concern and a sense of personal connection. It's made a long sad week for me personally a bit more bearable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Margaret has lost her battle with brain cancer.

She died this morning, Tuesday October 28th.

She was diagnosed with a brain stem anaplastic

astrocytoma on November 15th 2007 at the age of 28.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MRC Wrentham MA Cyclocross!!

Race #2 for TGP in the wacky world of cyclocross is in the books. I get a D- for my race results this week but an A+ for my kit; don't you think??? It's the skully tights that made the grade and we all know if you suck, you can at least look good. I got blown away by a bunch of girls who know how to turn their bike zippy fast through tight turns and ride a power course in the big ring.

This weekend I captured a few fellow blog mates racing and here's the proof! Cort, Gary and Brad were in the men's 1,2,3 race while the Women's Cat 1,2,3 race featured Cathy. I did my very best in getting right in her face with quality cheering to keep her mooooovin' on the back side of the course where no one was spectating.

Bad Brad

Gary- swims with his sneakers- David

Cort-will race for beer-Cramer

Cathy can't call me a sandbagger-Rowell

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And just for kicks, let's not forget my newest TP team mate to join the cross circut along with Jay, Peter and I this week. Double D (Dave Dornus). Dave grabbed a borrowed bike and jumped in the Men's 3,4 35+ race having never done a cross race before as showcased in this photo of him looking like he is going to hurl the bike instead of carry it over the barrier. A simple fix for this Race Across America (team of 4) second place cyclist.