Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Official

From here on out, I'll be updating on BRAVEMANDY - go there catch up with me! Thanks for following!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Triple-Threat Tuesdays

Today wasn't intended to be a triple-workout day (5 if you count riding the pony and lunch with my Grandmother...yes, it is a workout to hear the same story 18 times in a row), but since I opted for wine and girl's night after a brutally stressful (and hormonal) Monday, I decided to kick my booty into shape...sadly that decision came after I realized I lost my keys, gave up looking and gobbled down cookies dipped in dark chocolate. Oops!

Workout 1: Bike - nice 2 hour spin. Banged this one out no problem. I LOVE my bike (well, bikes*, all of them).

Lunch/Horsey Time

Workout 2: Run - 75 minutes, hilly, pushing the pace - and I did just that... in pouring, driving rain. Then I hiked with the dog... in pouring, driving rain. And loved every minute.

Workout 3: Swim - just about 4k yards. and that will be done in time for me to tackle workout #4 - cleaning the house before LOST. Yes, I'm officially a loser. I admit I love that f-ing island. Maybe it's just that I had a hamster named Jacob.

Tomorrow marks the return of bike racing - I'll be racing with the FAST boys at the Bethel Summer Series Criterium. 1 hour, 1 mile loop, and a ridiculously fast pace. Now that I think about it, tomorrow will have a bit of swim/bike/run... with some nice aggravating time spent at the car dealership in the morning. Maybe that will help to fuel the workouts!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Where in the World?

Wowza - so I've been absent for a while, huh? It's been a busy few weeks. After St Croix I came down with a bit of a cold that sidelined me. Then last week was crazy-time with meetings and such. It was fabulous, but I lost track of blogging completely.

I'm in the midst of designing a new uniform for this year, adding events to the calendar, planning a family wedding (not mine, silly!), redesigning the BraveMandy site and so much more.

The new BraveMandy will be launching soon and I couldn't be more excited.

I've been slowly coming around - slowly being the optimal word here - recovering from St Croix always takes me longer than any other event.

Saturday I had a great ride with Dikran and Sam - Sadly my legs did not come along for the ride!

Sunday morning, fast-girl Joanne came to rock my world. We started with a hard 90 minute trail run and then a 90 minute road ride (with some dirt).

Today I'm sore and happier than ever!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Madre mio

My mother makes me feel brave, safe, loved, nourished and so much more.

My Mom is one of a kind - selfless beyond measure, she is always there for me...and everyone.

Good times and bad, my mother always helps me to put things in perspective. I tell her everything and we are beyond friends. We are always connected, even when apart.

She even loves me enough to get on death trap airplanes like the one above.

Mom, I love you. Happy Mother's Day. I hope one day I can be even a sliver of the mother you have been to me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Next One

"Done, done and I'm on to the next one." - Foo Fighters

So, as I sit here sniffling with a nice post-race cold (standing, actually... I don't like to sit down at the computer, or well, ever) I just signed up for the next big event before Ironman Lake Placid.

I want my dream (again, yes I've had it once before) and I'm going to get it.

Woot, Woot Woot! I CANNOT wait!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How Do You Measure

"525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in life. In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In cups of coffee? In inches? In miles? In laughter? In strife? " - Rent

A whole year has gone round from first triathlon of the season in 2009 to 2010. The same race, Ironman St Croix is always a marker for me. A staple in my race calendar.

Last year was a trial in so many ways, I was put through the ringer - fighting for my safety, my health, my business, my true friends.

It's amazing what happens in a year's time. I've come back stronger than I ever thought imaginable. Sam and I are quickly approaching our 2 year anniversary later this year. I'm LOVING my bike racing team and teammates and the results are a wonderful bonus. I'm fit, I'm healthy and I'm ready to rock this year.

Our first EndureIT event was a HUGE success, achieving carbon-neutrality, once again! A few days later (oof, that part was hard) I flew down to St Croix with my mom (Happy Early Mother's Day!) to race the hardest 70.3 on the planet.

Despite spf 70, I achieved a total body burn the first day and spent the rest of the time in the shade pre-race. I felt great in all my workouts and just in general. Relaxed and confident beyond measure. I wanted the win and I knew I would get it.

I had a great few days with my mom and she is truly a saint.

I woke up at about 3:30 to eat my patented QT2 SYSTEMS breakfast and it went down easy. At 5:30 the temps were in the 80's and humid, it was going to be HOT!

The race starts on a little island in the harbor - you have to swim there. At 6 AM I hugged my mom and swam to the Cay. Maggie and Duffy and many other friends were there and we all huddled together, trying to think of anything other than the pain to come.

At 6:30, the pro's were off. At 6:50 my wave went off, with no warning. I had a GREAT start and made a nice gap on the field, sadly, I led 3 other girls with me who then overtook me as we hit the traffic of all the men's waves. Ugg. I found the feet of the 4th girl and we swam together. The swim was gorgeous, as usual, but it always seems a bit long. I was aiming for a 25-28 min. swim and came out in about 31/32 min.

I had a quick transition (fastest of the day for both) and settled onto my bike.

Man-o-man are the roads rough in St Croix and exponentially so, since a few years ago. I rode steady, but didn't push too hard. There were many crashes and the heat/wind/humidity combo made for many DNF's. I could have ridden harder and perhaps I should have because I didn't really reel in the girls ahead of me (only a few minutes, since we all came out of the swim together, pretty much).

Coming off the bike, my right foot was killing me, still not sure what happened. That first run lap was pure pain. My chest was tight, my heart rate tacky, chills, nausea and just plain misery. I walked the aid stations and death-shuffled between. I dreamed of hiding in the woods instead of running my 2nd lap. How easy it would be to flag down a volunteer or cry on my mom that I wasn't feeling good. I thought of retiring from Triathlon - just forgetting it all. Somewhere around mile 5 of the run, I got excited. I thought of everyone pulling for me:

Sam watching Luna, My Dad, my friends, my sponsors - everyone sending and giving their all so that I can race triathlons.

As I made the turn to start my second run lap, I saw my mom. I told her I loved her and smiled. The crowds were great. I thought of my mom, waking up at 3 AM, in the sun all day with clipboard and stopwatch. The 2nd lap went MUCH better. I doused myself with water at every chance and walked the aid stations to get in fluids, ice, whatever I could get. I passed many athletes and felt really good about getting to finish (last year I had a mechanical and then a crash that dislocated my knee). Crossing that line was pure joy. So was the ice-cold towel the volunteers put on my back and legs.

I found the girls that beat me and congratulated them all. We had some nice chats and then I found Miss Jodie Ellis who had a FANTASTIC 2nd half-ironman race. Jodie was all smiles (somehow) after the effort and I could not be more proud of her. She will have an AMAZING season!

In the end, I was about 30 min. off my time from 2 years ago, but so were most of the pro women and other competitors. It wasn't my day. Maybe I was too conservative. Maybe I didn't push hard enough. Maybe the other girls were just fitter than me.

Whatever the reason, I'm happy to have the first tri of the season under my belt. A 5th place finish and plenty of beach time with good friends and my Momma.

The season is long and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

In other news, thank you to all of my fantastic sponsors - my personal website will be launching this week at and will be AWESOME.

I have some new sponsors and they will all be featured there and on my super-sweet kit!

Also, congrats to Alex M and M for his 10th place at Ironman St George and Cait Snow who ran her way into 3rd.

Onward!! I WILL make it to Kona this October. I will.

How do I measure my year? You'll just have to stick around to find out.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Live from St Croix

It's Brave Mandy!

No computer, so keep up with me via

Sent from my iPhone