Thursday, December 31, 2009


Oh, it's on... don't mind the 3+ inches of snow... the house is ready, the champagne is chilled and friends are on their way here from all corners of the world!

Since I'm on athletic probation until Monday, I've been walking the dog endlessly and doing yoga like crazy. The good news? I didn't go 1/2 as crazy as would have been appropriate at Costco last night!

I'll be sure to post photos and a full recap tomorrow. Going into the Cleanse to make it worthwhile - tonight is sure to be a blast!

Oh, and even better news....stay tuned for some exciting new sponsorship announcements!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oof - Da

That midwestern phrase pretty much sums things up. Despite a brief respite from this nasty bug over Christmas, it's baaaaaaack. So yup, oof da.

I'm now in the process of building back my immunity - Coach Eric has ordered me to cease workouts until Monday and just rest, rest, rest. It's frustrating, but as he put it, "Better to work this out now rather than battle it in May" - Yup, that's why he's the voice of reason.

It's a bummer - I thought I was over the hump last week and got in 4 great runs. The good news is that I'll be EXTRA flexible by the end of this because of bonus yoga time each day. I'm hoping that will help me manage my stir-crazy mind as well!

Tomorrow I meet with another potential sponsor for 2010 - I'm beyond excited!

With that, my apologies, dear readers, for my absence.

Don't worry - once I'm back up and running there will be PLENTY to tell! That, and the Eric Hodska 2-Week Cleanse Diet begins on January 2nd. I can't wait!

Hopefully I can lose the little bit of extra holiday poundage and get on track for 2010 and ITALIA in Febuary!

If you are interested in the 2-week cleanse or the 3-day cleanse, leave a comment and I'll put you in touch with Eric directly.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


As if I didn't already appreciate him, my carebear of a boyfriend came
home from the market with not only groceries, but this quarter-machine

I hope having my carebear around cleans this bug right out of me!
Many thanks for the calls and wellwishes. Somehow having pneumonia
doesn't seem so bad with so many good vibes!

Sadly there is no training news since I get winded walking to the
bathroom. But the good news is that it forced me to finish my holiday

Oh, and my favorite carebear in carealot? Tenderheart.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Yup, sorry for the blogging hiatus. I'm KO'd (knocked out) with a nasty bug. Be back for more blogging once I shake this!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dubbel Belgian Brew

All bottled and ready to drink in 2 weeks!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Presentation is everything!

Happy Chanukah!

The Truffle - Factory is in full swing! It's a holiday tradition and it's growing. This year, I've made 4 types of decadent vegan truffles and Sam has expanded his brewing capabilities from the basic set I gave him in the Spring. Another activity on the list this weekend will be
bottling and corking his Belgian Brew!

The Luna Pale Ale (LPA) was a hit and this one is even better! The
hardest part isn't the brewing... it's drinking all those Chimays and
others for bottles!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


...XTERRA and Runners Edge for the pre-Channukah goodness!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Juice Me!

"Posing. Posing with my leg. Posing. Posing a threat!" - Flight of the Concords

Why yes, those are 3D glasses. Thank you for noticing!

A few weeks ago I put on a fundraiser for the Steep Rock Association in Washington, CT

Before the race, I bought a traditional post-race food item: Cookies. I'm a cookie purist - it's all choco-chip, all the time for my people (yes, even on Passover we do choco-chip macaroons).

As I wheeled my overflowing cart of cookies towards the register, a woman stopped me and said, "girl, you must really like you some cookies!?"

"Yes," I replied, "I'm on a cookie diet and it's working great, don't you think?"

The conversation went on, but it stunned me that the woman didn't catch my facetious fact, she believed me!

Well, she believed me for good reason, apparently. A cookie diet is not so far from my lifestyle over the off season. Yes, I am admitting it:

Hello, my name is Mandy and I'm an addict. I first started eating cookies 24 years ago.

It's been a day since my last indiscretion and I'm ready to change.

Sadly, there are no yummy cookie tokens for resisting the sweet-temptations.

There is, however, a juice-fast diet option to break me of my bad habits in 3 days. Purge my body of that oh-so-evil sugar craving that is the real root cause of my addiction to cookies.

This by no means is a weight-loss technique, although that is sure to happen as a side effect. This is a pre-new years bad-habit break.

You all know what comes after the New Year...(cue scary music)...the CLEANSE DIET! Now, that is 2 weeks of super strict habit breaking.

So, since I'm starting to train the rest of me, it's time to start training the mind and well, for lack of a better word, my diet.

3 days of home-made juices:

Orange/Grapefruit, The Green Monster, Lemonade and Cashew/Almond Milk. Can't wait (and believe me, that's not sarcasm - it's pure, unbridled enthusiasm!).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Make New Friends

"This is my life, it's not what it was before" - Staind

Life is good - great actually! The first week of exercise after a 3-week break is in the books!

You can tell it's December without even looking at the calendar. The social schedule goes thru the roof! Saturday night was a get-together with a whole new group of girls in my life. Moms, single ladies, wives, girlfriends and all cycling and/or triathlon enthusiasts (even if only by spousal association!)! It was a fantastic time - my throat was sore from the cackling that emerged throughout the evening.

I am most happy now - in training and life - because I've finally found my balance. I have a supportive, dedicated and loyal boyfriend. A stable, healthy and enthusiastic family. The greatest, biggest group of crazy, varied, lovely friends I could ask for and a healthy body (yes!).

Finding the balance between working hard, playing hard and training hard has been difficult for me (and I'm sure many others). I used to think I had to close myself off from others, but then I realized that I get that when I need it. There are plenty of times I have great company for training, but other times when I forsake the comfort of jokes or the motivation of a feisty training partner to train alone and build the beast within.

It helps to have things put in perspective. My girlfriend, Joanne, is a mother of 2. She is a wife and she works. She is also a pretty speedy marathoner, cyclist and now she's tackling swimming. She 'makes it work', as Tim Gunn would say! Seeing her success in her own personal goals made me realize just how selfish I used to be when it came to training and racing. Maybe it wasn't a conscious decision, but it was a decision nonetheless.

A decision to take the attitude that you can't do it all or that "something's gotta give". It's that same defeatist attitude that causes burnout in my opinion. I race happy, so why not stay happy in life AND training? What a concept, eh?

Coach Eric jokes about "do as I say, not as I do" and I suppose in a way, we're all guilty of that. I tell people all the time that they should stay social. That doesn't mean getting fall-down drunk every weekend, but your life should not suffer because you've decided to train for and Ironman or a marathon.

This past year, I feel like I've finally been able to rediscover my friendships, to build new ones and to shed that attitude that training comes above all. It is important, certainly, but so is having a glass of wine or beer, cackling with the girls and then returning home late at night to ride a WD-40 lubed sled with the dog, the boy and even more friends.

Yes, you can do it all. For 2010, you can bet I've got some extreme goals and you can also bet I'll achieve them while holding up my end of the other bargains in my life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Treasure Hunting

It's back to the grind around here - lots of work and now, exercise (well, still not so much of it).

After a lovely run yesterday, I moseyed over to my 'Rent's house to help clear out some old bedrooms, closets, trunks and soon....the basement. We've been on full-on cleaning mode recently - tearing apart family storage spaces and showering the local VNA, Goodwill and Social Services with unwanted treasures.

While sorting thru an old trunk (in my old room), I found some real gems. Notebooks from my Montessori days. One of the entries was about Mesopotamia. I wrote (in script b/c they never taught us how to write in print) that it was the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and is now known as Iran, Syria, Turkey and Iraq. I wrote that in 1989 at the age of 5. My mom and I started cracking up that a number of modern-day politicians that probably would not be able to provide such information.

Some other finds include a plethora of teeny, tiny leotards and tights... and slightly larger ballet shoes to pair with them.

The best find's of the day were hippy sticks - you know, a long stick w/ fringed ends and two drum-stick like instruments you use to toss the longer stick, without dropping it...and the VERY best find of the day was a MINT New Kids on the Block fanny pack. Awesome.

I'm debating about who will appreciate the fanny pack more:

1. my friend Robin who is a CRAZY nkotb fan.
2. Goodwill
3. Ebay crazies

Decisions, decisions.

Ok, enough BS-ing, it's time to hit the gym. While I like to use Eric's phrase, "My strength is my strength" - it wasn't enough of an argument for me to get out of lifting this base season. No complaining - time to slap on that makeup, push-up bra and fitness sneakers and get to it! Gym girl tirade will have to wait for another day.

Seriously, why wear makeup and useless clothing to the gym?!