Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome Capo! Thanks, Cannondale!

Is this a hint to get into track cycling? Or maybe to become a hipster?

Monday, September 28, 2009


*Note to my readers, I've been fasting and still training, so anything said hereafter is subject to the rantings of a calorically-depleted athlete whose moods are related to blood sugar :) *

It has been a day of remembrance, one of reflection. Each year, in the Jewish faith, we celebrate our New Year followed by Yom Kippur - our day of atonement. The New Year always falls on the darkest night, when the moon is least visible. Traditionally, about 1/2 way between the New Year and the Day of Atonement, we write down our sins or disappointments from the past year and we cast them away in a flowing river. It is a ritual, but one that provides comfort in a variety of ways. I've been holding onto so much this past year and I think, on occasion, I've let it overshadow all of the good and positive things in my life. I am an emotional creature and I hold onto every achievement and everything that I perceive as a disappointment or regret.

Letting go of the things we cannot change is big. Coming to terms with yourself is the largest part of the day of Atonement. Yes, we ask forgiveness from God for the actions, words, events of the last year, but more importantly, we ask for forgiveness of ourselves. To let go of regret, anger and fear.

It is easy to spiral into remembrance of that which we regret and on a day like today, when we fast, it is the point. But now, as I've finished my long run for the week, sitting with my loving boyfriend to "break"fast, I feel nothing but hope.

Without the hindrance of that excessive mental weight (not to mention it's apparently good for me to destress for my heart!), I plan to make 2009 great again and keep this positive flow of energy, enthusiasm and love thru 2010.

Lots of news to share this week...a new bike has joined the family, an athlete has just committed to her first Ironman and other plans are in the works.

Happy New Year to all, and here is to finding peace with yourself at the end of this day of atonement.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Walkin' the Walk

"Have faith in you and the things you do" - From the disco classic ' We are Family' (yes, I listen to disco and every other type of music! What of it?!)

It has been a super few days for training. I'm still combating paperwork from the 1/2 Iron on the 20th, but looking forward to the next plans for this season. IMFL, The Turkey Trot and Italy!

Training has been great - a few solid swims, runs and bikes. Finally ramping up the intensity a bit, which feels GREAT!

Wednesday I made my way to Dr. Chris Dembski for some ART torture, I mean work. Hurts like hell while he's working, but I feel amazing once it's over. That afternoon brought a beautiful and hilly tempo ride around my quiet local, foliage-filled roads, followed by a sweet muscle strength swim... I LOVE paddles. Nothing makes me feel stronger, meaner or leaner in the pool than paddles. They force you to correct your stroke and are a real strength-building tool. Go get some. It didn't hurt that I had a cute boy swimming next to me and that I got to take him home afterwards!

Thursday brought an open water swim - my first with a wetsuit this season. All these chilly nights have made the lake positively brisk. Lovely, but brisk. It was the first time I've ever felt that tight chest, gasping for breath sensation. It went away after a few strokes and I had a super swim accompanied by my kayaking-fiend of a Mother.

After a family ride on the horses, I pulled on my zoots and hit the pavement for a fun run. 30 Min. steady warm up, 20 min. pick-up and 10 min. cool down. I love running - it's so efficient and yesterday I just floated through the workout.

Today is a nice base ride and swim leading into a big weekend of bricks and possibly another point-to-point run! Woot!

Sunday I'll be volunteering at the 10k race in Southbury, come out an run or just support this great local event!

Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Check it out! Goodies from my girl Tracy

Visit www.chomperbody.com for her full line of awesome all natural

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Momma mouse

She traveled indide the AstroTurf. Survived it being tossed around, so
I found a safe spot for the momma and her babies!

My pumpkin patch

Just because I love October, here is a pic of my pumpkin patch - I have 10 nice ones coming along!!

Tired Pony

It was a whirl-wind weekend, but now it's on to the next project. Lots of paperwork, lots of unpacking, lots of planning for the next event and Italy camp and Ironman training again!

The event was super this past weekend and I have renewed enthusiasm to train!

We're a few short days away from the start of my birthday month... yes, I celebrate for the whole month, that way no one feels badly if they miss the day itself! Plus, I like having an excuse to celebrate continuously!

It's back on the cleanse diet to prep for Florida and loose a few pounds. Feeling good and after ART on Wednesday and a massage this weekend, I'll be squared and ready to go!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandma and L'Shanah Tovah!

Happy New Year all my fellow "Chosen People" and to my Grandmother who turns 92 today. I told her I think it's a good omen to have your birthday on the New Year when we inscribe ourselves in the book of life for another year.

I look forward to this new start, to enjoying some apples and honey to toast the sweetness of a new year and a new beginning. To celebrate and find comfort in the rituals of my religion (despite my more spiritual nature) is important and the whole experience is heightened by the fact I am surrounded by (multiple generations of) family, friends and this weekend, many athletes!

This weekend is a wild ride with the 1/2 Iron the culmination on Sunday. The race is better this year than any other year with great sponsors, talented athletes and the low-key vibe I strive for!

Until Monday.... L'shanah Tovah - Happy New Year!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Go...and then Go Some More

With "race week" upon me, I knew I wanted to make this weekend epic. It started with a nice strength swim on Friday night (my favorite time to swim!), then, after watching Paris J'Taime (I highly recommend it - a bunch of French Film shorts about love - great actors) I got a full night's sleep. Saturday was gloomy, but I was determined to have a great long run.

I've always wanted to do a point-to-point run and looking at the map, I found the perfect route - leave from my house, head out on roads for a bit and then hit the dirt from New Milford, thru Roxbury and Bridgewater and into Washington. It was peaceful and perfect - absolutely silent outside except for the rain falling.

A family friend was visiting this weekend and that afternoon, after a ride on the horses, we opened beers and enjoyed the mild evening weather. She lives out in California and commented that she has trouble finding a place where she can just enjoy nature and the quiet - to really listen to her inner voice. It was something I was thinking about earlier in the day.

I never train with music (with the exception of indoor workouts in the winter on rollers), I like to hear my inner dialogue, to think of work, of my relationships, commitments - or even nothing at all. We started talking about this phenomena - I think a lot of people constantly play music when working out or enjoying nature to mute that inner voice, maybe for fear of what it has to say? There are definitely times when thoughts enter my mind - thoughts I'd rather not think - but it's only when we face those that we can really find that inner peace, no?

Sunday brought sunshine and a new riding buddy! My friend Chuck agreed to a nice long ride and we chose to ride the super-fun Housatonic Hills course with a few bonus climbs in there. 4 hours flew by in a nano-second. Didn't feel so hot after the ride - a stop at a local well for water resulted in my throwing up for a few hours.. yucko.

Finishing out a great day, was the return on my boy! All I can say is I need to send him away with the boys more often - it's definitely worth the reward when he gets home! Being swept off to a lovely Indian Dinner at Thali.

Best yet - it's a beautiful Monday morning!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rest In Peace

The local community and outdoor adventure world lost a great man. Dear friend and outdoor junkie, Duncan Boyle died suddenly at the age of 52. He was a kind and wonderful man and I will think of him fondly. Many ridiculously early mornings were spent in the pool with Duncan and he was the first person to sign on to help or participate in any and every endeavor of mine since I was a child.

I will miss him and I know the community will miss him. My thoughts go out to his wonderful family. On a day like this, when we are already remembering the losses suffered, it is important to appreciate those we do have in our lives.

On NPR this morning, a Father was recounting his final conversation with his son, a NYC firefighter just as he was leaving to assess the damage when the first plane hit. When asked if he had any regrets, he said, "No, I have none. How many people can you say that your last words to them before they died were 'I love you' and their final reply to you was 'I love you'."

I suppose it's fitting that on a day of mourning, it is raining outside. Each time I have suffered a loss, it has been raining. Maybe it's overly simplistic to make such an observation - a dark, dreary day makes one contemplative - but it is apt. It poured the day in July that I said my final goodbye to West and it only seems right that it should be the same while mourning Duncan and the victims of 9/11.

This afternoon, when I go for my swim workout, I know exactly whom I'll be thinking of. We all say goodbye in a different way and perhaps this will help me come to terms with the loss of this friend.

New Beginnings

2010 is going to be good. Yea, I said it - I'm already looking forward to 2010!

Last night I was in the city meeting with my new cycling teammates. It was an awesome time - such empowering and exciting women and we are looking to rock it while having fun next year. We came into it with great enthusiasm and organization - the results will definitely speak for themselves.

I'm looking forward to having some more direction cycling-wise for next year and it is helpful to get an outside perspective about what others think are my strengths.

All in all, very cool evening.

We're looking for additional sponsors, so email me if you're interested!! mandy (dot) braverman (at) gmail (dot) com.

YAY, racing!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eating the 'Humble Pie'

So this weekend I got an invite for a ride w/ the Cannondale/Stage 1 Crew. They are a FAST bunch and a fun group. I was planning on a long-ish ride for Saturday and a brick run to follow. The ride was touted as a nice 2-hour loop. Ok, so a bottle of water and a banana should do it for that part and I'll restock for my own rider later!

2 hours became just about 4 of me falling off the back for the entirety of it. Mercifully, different ride participants (Joanne, Murray, Dan, Joey, My Sam Boy and Craig) came back to pull my sorry a$$ back up to the group.

Totally depleted nutritionally (and the ego was in pretty bad shape too), I got my butt back to the boy's house and passed out until well into dinner time.

Sunday was touted as a T1 brick day - a 1 hour HARD swim, folllowed by a 2 hour steady ride. I wanted to add a short brick run to it to make up for the day before. Well, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck... this Lyme is seriously kicking my butt. After a hike and splash with the dog, I made my way to the couch for a few hours of napping. While most of the day was shot, I was not wasting it! Headed out for a nice run and got the legs moving. It didn't hurt that at the end of my run, the Whalen family - out for a Sunday ride on their bikes - called out "nice butt!". Before I had time to turn around and glare, I realized that sly, smiling face was my Johnny Whalen's!!

A family dinner topped off the schedule and led into a lovely Monday of long runs and family swims in the Lake. End THAT night with a BBQ at the Tarrywile and I still don't know where the time went.

All I do know is that the 1/2 Iron is fast approaching (on Sept 20th if you want to race or volunteer!) and that not long after that, I'll be off to Florida for IM!

In the meantime, I'm trying to find some other races to pop into - any suggestions? Running, cycling, tris... looking into tris in October...

Onward, y'all!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More tests

And this time, someone thought I was going to blow up cvs. Yup,
aparently being blonde and 5'1" makes me look pretty scary... Or maybe
it's just the wires. Could be.

The good news is, with this baby hooked up, I get to race HARD
tonight! Sweeet!!!

Can't wait and as the Lyme meds are finally kicking on, I'm feeling
more like myself. Had a great swim and run yesterday and it was the me
I haven't felt in months. What a difference!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Race site, post cleanup

Beautiful Lake Zoar at Kettletown Park. Just before Sunset yesterday.

So, a few days ago I visited our 1/2 Iron race site. P.s. Still time to reg for the 1/2 Iron Individual, Aqua-bike and Relay divisions on Sept 20th. Visit www.endureitmultisports.com for more info!

I went for a swim at the park, that was packed, I think in large part due to stay-cation craziness! The water was perfect - clear and beautiful, but I did see a few weeds. I decided to be pro-active and before any of those buggers even made it close to surface level, I wanted to nip them in the bud. Yesterday, Mother extraordinaire and Corinne (friend extraoridnaire) hopped in kayaks, grabbed some garden tools and we spent hours pulling out any and every week we could see. A lot of fun and very satisfying work. What a way to spend a day off!!

Lots doin' this week - another Eric Hodska set of DVD shoots this week - can someone say starting a cleanse diet again so I look good on camera?!

You know it's Fall when Texas Hold 'em games start up again - many of the C-dale crew ship off to Germany for Eurobike and the Eaglemans have made their way back to Switzerland.

I finished another book (I'll post a full list here on all my summer reading) yesterday - David Sedaris' "Barrel Fever". So great. I'm hoping to snag tickets to see him in October here in CT.

In other news -huge congrats to Victoria on her kickass race at Canada, Michael Seiler - an Ironman, officially! and to Kate who took 4th in the female pros at IMLou. You all are awesome!!

I had another solid weekend of training - with a nice 4 hour ride and brick, and a long run on Saturday followed by a swim. Today it's back to the grind and tomorrow, I get to race!! I'm on my way to the hospital early to get hooked up to the Halter monitor and I've been instructed to "go as hard as possible". Wohoo!!!!