Current leader of the USA Cycling National cross calendar, NECCS and MAC Series, Maureen “Mo” Bruno-Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven) has upped her level of fitness this year, and the results show it. So far this season, she has won four UCI races and finished top 3 in five others, all the while keeping a full-time job as a professional massage therapist.
“I’m definitely trained more a little bit this year and I’ve tried to cut back work, but it’s hard.” said a chuckling Bruno-Roy when asked what she did differently this year to up her level. “Every three weeks, when I finish my three weeks of training, I realize I’m really tired from working and training. So I’ve had a little bit more training this year and it’s definitely paid off in terms of fitness, the rest is really hard to figure out.”
She took over the lead in the USAC cross standings on the second week of the calendar after winning one and finishing fourth in the two races of the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend at the end of September.
She would love to train even more but she can’t, as the other half of MM Racing her husband Matt is a full-time PhD candidate in Immunology through the Harvard Medical School. “We can’t afford to cut back on work. Matt is in school, he’s a student, we have to pay the rent and the bills, travel and all the expenses. I spend two hours in the laundromat washing all my sheets from the office, then I go food shopping and to the bank and then I go to work until 8 at night.”
Her husband is also the mechanic on the team. “Matt is phenomenal and everything always works perfectly. So I do not have an excuse when it comes to the bike. He was and is a professional mechanic, he’s not just a husband working on my bike. He treats me like a professional cyclist.”
With the upcoming USGP Mercer Cup presented by Knapp’s Cyclery in New Jersey, Bruno-Roy was finishing off a block of training capped off with the Cycle-Smart International Races in Northampton, MA this weekend. It will the first time this year for Bruno-Roy to take on most of the Elite Women at at USGP race.
“I’m a little bit nervous about that, a really good field, I really trained hard coming into this race so I can recover for that one,” said Bruno-Roy, “so sometimes you have to sacrifice the race before the big one I think.”
After finishing fourth and seventh this past weekend, her focus is now on recovery and getting ready for the next big race.
“It always makes me nervous when I don’t have a good week before but I have to realize that it just goes with the training and everything and sometimes you have to have that bad… not good weekend and hope to really recover. It’s hard to figure out how much rest I need.”
Bruno-Roy doesn’t know how much rest she truly needs. “As long as I’ve been racing the last four of five years, I’ve been working full time so each year that I increase my training, I try to decrease work a little. Sometimes the balance isn’t there, sometimes I need to not work as much. Almost everybody I compete against does this for a living and it’s an honor to be close to them but I always want to push myself to be a little bit better.”
Another change for the 34-year old Bruno-Roy is that she will focus on the US National Cross Elite Championship this year and not race in the Masters 30-34 competition which she has won three before, in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
“I’m not planning on racing age group this year. I can’t believe that I bumped up in age group and I’m not ready to swallow that pill I guess.” said Bruno-Roy who would have to race in the 35-39 masters race. “And because I feel that I’ve tried to raise my level of racing in general this year, I really want to focus on the elite race. That’s my goal.”