Archive for July, 2013

My rocks

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2013 by runmyssierun

I got to meet up with the kids from the little private Catholic school that I grew up in for dinner the other night. I got this…. And a donation to boot. Never forget where you came from.

They are my rock.



Vampires without answers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 29, 2013 by runmyssierun

Today made me ask more questions… Still no answers.



Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2013 by runmyssierun

In 24 hours, I will be reunited with classmates from St. Joseph’s Catholic School. The small group of forever friends that I have known since I was in first grade!!! We are sure to discuss all that we have done, detailed gaps that aren’t discussed on facebook and show off pictures of kids, pets and travels. I. CANNOT. WAIT.

I will not be wearing blue plaid. (inside joke)

In 24 hours, I will know more about my blood disorder and possible leukemia.

In 24 hours, the sun will come up and the the sun will set.

Today’s 24 hours included my PR (personal record). I rode my bike the furthest I’ve ever ridden = 68 miles.  In 25 mph wind and blazing 100 degree heat!!! It was brutal but the crowd I was with made it so much better. From serenades to sock dances to dumping water on us better than the star of Flash Dance, it was a ride to remember!!!

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Yesterday, my youngest boy put his foot down and had enough of Mommy running, biking and swimming for his grandma that he misses so. He begged me to sign him up for a 5k race so that he could run to beat cancer, too!!

I ran alongside with him the entire time and his big brother cheered him on. We all wore orange.

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I’m so proud of my boys. They get me. They get it.


We used to

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2013 by runmyssierun


Weekend Worrier Warrior

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2013 by runmyssierun

The last few weekends have had some intense workouts. I got the chance to ride with the Mellow Johnny’s group last weekend and witness a few of my friends compete at the Couples Triathlon in Austin. I got just as much joy in completing something that I once thought was impossible as watching others complete something they once thought was impossible, too! And yes, I had cowbell!!!

I’ll insert the pictures now and explain back later…

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14 bruises

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by runmyssierun

What a week! This morning I missed my early 5 a.m. wake up bike ride and did some one handed bike drills and speed intervals with Coach Sandy and some of the Multi-sport Maniacs. I don’t want it to seem like bragging so I feel the need to say this up front now… I really am very surprised that my legs are not hurting and sore as how I would imagine they would be. Coach Sandy really does know what she’s doing. She’s making me stronger!!!

This morning was really awesome with Coach!!  She took us along a stretch of road that was laced with sugar cane fields. There isn’t a lot of traffic so it’s safe for us to practice drills and high speed intervals in flat straight lines. The best part was that she came up to me and recognized that I was improving. Albeit, I still have a long ways to go… but I’m improving!!!

The whispers of the sugar cane silenced my worries. There have been a lot this week. The sound they make is amazing. If you ever have the chance to run or bike by a sugar cane field on a windy day, I promise you, you’ll feel the magic. I needed to feel that.

sugar cane

About three weeks ago, I fell while on a bike ride. It wasn’t a huge smash boom crash. It was one of those slow motion I’m-falling-and-can-order-a-triple-latte-and-still-have-20-seconds-left kinda falls. I was able to buffer my fall with my arm and caught myself with a giggle. No biggie. But my ego got hurt.

The following day, I noticed a bruise on my butt and some tenderness around… well you know… down there. I saw them but casually blew them off. I mean… come on. They’re bruises. That’s all. I rode the Hell of the South a few days later so clearly they weren’t bad enough to stop me.

But they were enough to make a friend of mine tell me that they were not normal for that kind of fall. She is in the medical field and I have to admit… she made a good point.  I believe I can properly quote her with “OH MY GOD! Those aren’t bruises! They’re Hematomas!”

I now have bruises all over my body for no explainable reason. Fourteen of them!

Now, I debated on whether or not to make this little trial of mine public on this blog. After watching Robin Roberts last night accept her award at the ESPYs, I knew I had to. Whether or not this is life changing, it becomes responsibility when you know better to educate those around you.

So here goes…

I went to the doctor and got my blood checked. I have symptoms that could possibly identify leukemia. Bruising, fevers, night sweats, increased white blood cell counts, weight loss, tiredness, tingling and numbness… and other symptoms. In the back of my mind, I have answers and reasons for each of those symptoms. I’m a clutz. I fall off my bike. That’s why I bruise. I exercise a lot, that’s why I’ve lost weight and am tired. etc etc…

But after all that my family has been through, wouldn’t it be really stupid if I did get leukemia, saw all the signs and then ignored them because I was scared?

The smart thing would be to address the issues with my doctors and medical team.

My doctor did find some problems in my blood. I have been referred to a very good doctor at Texas Oncology. Please keep me in your prayers these next two weeks. Deep down inside, I do not believe that I have cancer. However, ignorance is NOT bliss. If I do have it, I hope to identify it in the early stage and fight it with everything I’ve got. If I don’t have cancer, I hope that someone out there who may have similar symptoms sees this and has the courage to address it properly, too.

20 seconds

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2013 by runmyssierun

There are days when others say it better. Coach Chavez said it best.

This was copied from her facebook just hours after the Couples Triathlon on Sunday in Austin.

This is how the 800 meter swim panned out this morning: I was confident in my open water swimming ( I’m not fast but I get it done) the water was warm and I was ready. 5,4,3,2,1 and we are off. I couldn’t get a good rhythm with my breathing ( had to breath every stroke) then my sighting was horrible I kept swimming to the right, I could hear the guy in the canoe telling me ” you are swimming off course…so more sighting . When finally I decide just float regain your composure and just see where the hell you are going! So I stopped tried to tread water nope baby your in fresh water you ain’t buoyant – oh hell I’m not wearing a wet suit I CAN’T float!!! PANIC !!! I sink , I try to float on my back , I sink ! Again , I swallow water , I gasp ! That’s it call for help!! HELP with my right arm waving in the air for the girl on the canoe!! HELP, I’m here I hear her say. I extend my arm and hold on, I look at me Garmin 114 meters !!! That’s it 114 meters , I look to my left and the start of the swim was right there ! The Bowie on the other hand was FAR!!! That’s when she asked ” are you ok?” I looked up at her and said ” I’m scared” – I kept looking at the start it was right there , she could just help to to get OUT and I was done! Then I said NO , oh hell NO , all that training, all those hours for what? You want to be an Ironman and you can’t even swim 800 meters- she asked again can you do it? I looked at her and said ” I have too” I let go of the canoe and off I went. Many things went through me head first all the people whom I motivate , those that say if she can do it so can I and second Myssie Cardenas-Barajas saying “It takes 20 seconds” and it did!!!

20 seconds


36,000 lives

Posted in Uncategorized on July 11, 2013 by runmyssierun

I got a phone call recently from a gentleman who was probably as close to tears as I was. He called to inform me that I had be chosen to be sponsored for my volunteerism and dedication to finding a cure for cancer by the Mattress Firm and further to ask if I would be willing to continue my fight with THEM at future events…

specifically to find a treatment for PANCREATIC CANCER.

God really does work in mysterious ways. SANDRA, this one’s for your daddy.

Of course, I gladly accepted the challenge.


Lean in

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2013 by runmyssierun

I was told by someone that this blog is all about me bragging. I’m sorry that person feels that way. I will admit that I have received some much needed confidence back in my life. I will admit that my body has changed – a lot in the beginning and little by little now. I do think that my training has improved my performance but that’s because I’ve stuck to a plan designed by a professional and have worked hard for it.

So I’m sorry you don’t get the message that I’m pushing myself because of a cause. I’m pushing myself because I made a promise.

I found out that I am not the person I once was. I wanted to make myself a better person and make the world around me a better place for my kids.

The problem was I recognized that I was changing and acknowledged it… Aloud. See some people think that if you become better than who they think THEY are… You should be stomped down and put back in your old place. Or just don’t say anything at all.

I’m figuring out quickly who truly wants me to succeed and who doesn’t.

And it’s really sad that trying to do something for those who are battling cancer are the ones who will suffer for it.


HOTS – the real story from the inside

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2013 by runmyssierun

So you know that a while back ago I vowed to start filling my bucket list and get over my fears because life is just too dang short, right? Well, I think I may have taken that promise a little bit too far….

I got a phone call a few weeks back from the coordinator of the “Hell of the South” bike race. Maybe it was because I was in the car with the kiddos and running errands that I didn’t really pay attention to the details nor ask a lot of questions about it so a few days before the actual race, I questioned my involvement in this event. Rather, it was one of those palm to forehead moments. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?

“It’s an annual event that the shop hosts as a thank you to our favorite customers. It’s kinda underground.” he said.

“When is it?” was all I asked.

“The morning of July 4th,” he responded.

“Sure! I’ll do it.” —- pendeja

I don’t remember asking how far the ride was nor any other important details.  So when I received the email reminder with the route and the rules, I was a little shocked – and yes, that was an understatement.  When you read the rules and it states “there are no rules”… you get kinda worried!!! I immediately went up to the top of the email to see who else would be riding it and was clearly outsmarted. He blind copied the participants to keep it super duper secret squirrel underground.

This annual event was an invitation only ride that was clearly designed for the adrenaline junkie who got a rise out of speed, danger, endurance, pain and bragging rights. It was a sizzlin’ hot 56 mile ride through pot holed pavement, dirt, caliche, gravel, sand, hills and streets lined with dogs waiting on the attack. It was EVERYTHING I needed to train for Viva Bike Vegas!!!

The best part about it??? It’s hard to name that one time… but afterwards one moment stands out. I got a facebook post from the mother of Sarah Morales who said she was “Berry berry habby for you”. I love that little girl! I hope to make a big difference in her world.

So here’s how it went:

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you. — Caroline Myss

We all gathered in the parking lot and formed in a half moon around Wally. In his usual nonchalant manner, he told the group of  how the race came to be. The ones who had completed this race before knew the story… us new kids had to pick up our mouths from the floor.

He told us that the first couple of years of opening the shop, he biked this path to and from his home to Wally’s Bicycles. Now, I had heard all the legends of this horrific scary path. To think that this guy traveled on two skinny wheels fifty miles twice a day to and from work and was nothing to him.  And we turn it into a one time annual race?!?!? The guy must be Superman!

“The rules are… there are no rules!” He exclaimed and pedaled off. Like the suckers we all were… we chased off right after him!!

Cautiously, I kept myself at the back of the pack. These guys were la creme de la creme of local cycling. Surprisingly, they were riding at a very comfortable pace and then it hit me… ah ha! They won’t be like this for long. This first little stretch on paved road was all a farce. They were playing mind games!!! Yup! The moment the pavement ended was when the games began!!!

Man, they all shot out like demons from hell!!! I was a good twenty seconds behind the speedsters so by the time I got to the dirt path, it was extremely difficult to see the pot holes, dips and turns through the cloud of dust. I pedaled on through though as fast I felt was safe for me. BLAM! BLAM (my bike hits hole after hole)! WHACK (a tree branch with thorns hit me)! WHACK again! BLAM! BLAM! And hairpin turns left and right all over the place! Not one minute in I already see two guys on the side of the trail fixing a flat.

“Oh Lord! Please hear me! Momma! Take care of me! Please don’t let me fall or get a flat!” I pray silently as I pass them.

“Quiebro mis huevos!” I hear one guy cry out and can’t help but laugh.

I see a second group of guys fixing a flat and roll on remembering Coach’s words “It’s going to be very important that you put your training first from here on out.  It won’t matter how kind or thoughtful you were during training when it comes to the event.” Two flats already. Please God please don’t let me get a flat!!!

I see a paved road just ahead. Javi Cavazos is right by me. We both stop and look at each other with the same doe-eyed expression that said “Now what do we do?” So I bluntly blurt out “Let’s wait for the others so we don’t make a wrong turn.” I don’t think either of us knew where we were going even though the both of us had driven (or tried to drive) as much of the course as possible the day before.

It didn’t take long for the pros to fix their flats and move along… and we’re off. Now, I’m in familiar territory – the paved bridge by the NABA Butterfly park. Ok, I got this now… or so I thought.

The tiny little portion of the levy that I had ridden a few times before was very comfortable to me. But it didn’t last long. It led us to a gravel trail where my bike immediately sunk in and fishtailed every which way. Whoa! Whoa! All that core work that Coach Sandy gave me went into action. I had always heard from the Cyclepaths to stay clear of gravel so I had never ridden in it before and didn’t know how to handle maneuvering myself through it. It was do or die.

“Don’t think about it Myssie! Just do it! Just push through it!” — have you ever met that voice inside my head? She’s super sarcastic and mean. Mean! Really mean! “Look at all those wheel tracks! It’s been done before. They all did it. They all went through it. That means it can be done. THIS is NOT impossible!! DO IT!”

And before I knew it… I had zoomed right past that gravel and onto bumpity bump bump bump caliche. I looked for the trail of wheels that treked the path before me and stuck as close as I could to the markings thinking that they clearly knew where to go, which part of the caliche track was safest to ride, and I followed. It was tough.  It was rough. The bumps were constant for miles. I think I actually felt my brain jiggle around in my head. I felt my fingers begin to go numb. I had the death grip going on. I. WILL. NOT. LET. GO. OF. MY. BIKE.

I was thirsty. I WILL NOT LET GO.

My glasses were falling down my nose. I WILL NOT LET GO.

My toes are tingly. I WILL NOT LET GO.

Oh. My. God. Is that a hill? I WILL NOT LET GO.

I pushed and pushed and pushed… and the thought came into my head… I’m going to fall. I’m going to fall all the way down this caliche hill because it’s too steep. It’s too steep. It’s too steep!

Unclip! Unclip! Unclip!!!!! NOW!!!

I made it. I got myself safely off the bike and walked up the last 1/4 of the hill’s peak. Whew!

“What do you mean “whew”?!?!?!” — ohhhh, she’s back – the voice in my head that always yells at me. “You gave up! How could you give up like that? You think your mom would have given up? You think Chavez would have given up? You think Dezma would have given up? NO! They wouldn’t have! This is nothing!  NOTHING! You get up on that bike and don’t you come back down again until you finish!!!”

And that was that.

I took a deep breath, looked up and took off. Three minutes later, I hear Ramon yell to the group “Never mind, Myssie is booking it!” I guess they were waiting and wondering where I was. We zoom off together like motley ghetto cyclists on a mission from God. 

"The few... the proud... the insane ones" -- Ramon Hermida

“The few… the proud… the insane ones” — Ramon Hermida

Until we all see it at the same time…. WATER STOP! Woo whooo!!!! Water!

I have a bad habit of connecting moments of time to music, movies or cartoons… this one was a Saturday morning cartoon moment.

We each hydrated and took off once again. That’s when it hit me… this is the fence. THIS is the fence! This is THE fence! It’s the BORDER WALL!!! I had never seen the border wall! Crazy huh? I’m riding along the border wall! People risk their lives to reach this blessed point wanting a better life. People risk their lives defending it so our lives are better than others. I am riding on sacred ground. I am riding so I can have a better life and others can receive or extend their lives. Wow! I soak it in and resist all temptation to stop and take a picture. *Thank goodness our sags captured a picture of me by it!!! 🙂

And here we go…downhill. With every hill you climb, you usually have to descend it eventually. Going downhill on loose gravel was challenging. I remembered Sebastian crashing as he went downhill on the overpass a few weeks back. He’s a strong little kid. I don’t think I am truly that strong. I may act like it sometimes… but I doubt myself a lot!!!

click click

My bike seems to lose control and I desperately try to pull her reigns. “Don’t lose it, Myssie!” my inner voice screams out. I can see the sag team at the bottom of the hill with other riders. Don’t let me wipe out here. Please God! Don’t let me wipe out.

Whew! I made it. I made it through the first two of three unpaved portions of the race. WOW!! That was…. AWESOME!!!!  And then it hits me… What do you mean I’m not even half way through this? Are you kidding me?

I take a deep breath again. There is NO way I’m calling it quits now. I’ m the ONLY girl on this ride. I must go on. Coincidentally, the SAG girls yell out to me “Woo Whooo Myssie!!!! Way to represent!!!”

My ride this morning meant a lot to me. It was the ultimate training ground for my Viva Bike Vegas ride in September. But it meant a lot to those women who thought this was a boys only ride. To them, I was opening doors for them. Although I knew that a few women had done this race before me… none had done it last year and I was the only one doing it this year. I had to toughen up. I had to finish. STRONG.

I was a little relieved to be back on pavement. At least for a short while. Who cares if it had pot holes three feet deep or rabid stray pit bulls strategically scattered alongside the road… it was paved. I had to laugh at the warning sign at this point. It said “Warning Damaged Road”. Really? Was that necessary? I wanted to scream out “DOH!” to TxDoT. Damaged was an understatement.

There was one very nice paved stretch of road. It was smooth and fresh. It gave me a chance to look around at everything that was round me: sunflowers, a donkey grazing, birds singing, my death grip loosened and I ate up all the peacefulness there. I felt like a kid again. This right here.. this very moment… was my fountain of youth.

Aaaaand it stopped. Suddenly. The pack I was riding with lost Javi. We waited for him just as the pavement ended and we gazed upon the next big obstacle…. sand. Miles and miles of sand. Now, mind you, this is not any ordinary sand like you see along the beach shore. That kind of sand is compact and pounded tightly by water. This sand is 4 – 6 inches deep. It’s loose and dry and evil and has a really really bad attitude. It sat there. Waiting for us. It had a plan. It knew exactly what to do to all who dared tread upon it.

Naively, I went for it. I figured, the faster I zoom through it, the less chance of me sinking into it and the faster I’ll be done with it. FAIL. I went maybe three feet into it before I saw all the evidence of wipe outs from the cyclists who attempted the same thing before me. Nu uh! No way! I quickly got off and walked it. I was relieved to see the footprints of those who thought the same way. They may have gone a foot further than I did… but I wasn’t the one who fell. I was NOT going to fall!!!

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I remembered Wally’s advice from the day before. Each of the dirt paths have an evil all their own. They each scare you differently. This one scared me the most. But I pushed through it and saw the gang and sag truck with water waiting there like angels who came from the skies. Never EVER before in my life had I been more happy to have reached a half way point!!! I was only half way!!! Good Lord! I’m going to have to go back the same way I came!!!

Ok, what you just read… reverse it. I had to go back. The same way. Ugh!

Long story longer… I never fell. I never got a flat. I never quit. The last half mile was jam packed with doubt. I was exhausted. I saw the finish line and wondered if I had the strength to unclip my shoes from the bike. Just then, I saw a cyclist on the side of the road. His bike was laying down a few feet away from him and he was sprawled out half naked like road kill alongside it. OMG it’s Wally! That’s not a good sign. If the guy who created this path is road kill… what’s gonna happen to me when I get off my bike?!?!? I’m so doomed!!!

I didn’t want to get off. I was too scared. I had to keep up the facade. I made it! I made it! I finished!!!! I still don’t want to get off. I think I may have been in shock.

Just then, someone yells out “You want to ride it in to Wally’s or hitch a ride on the sag?”

“I WANT TO RIDE THE SAG! GET ME ON THE SAG NOW!” I thought to myself.

And I rode back to Wally’s… on my bike. Like a boss. Yaaaaaa

Wally presented me with my buckle. I earned it.

That was AWESOME!!! Most phenomenal ride of my life.

It's not a good sign when the cyclists before you look like road kill.

It’s not a good sign when the cyclists before you look like road kill.

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Going down hill.... in loose gravel... on a road bike!!! What am I doing?!?!?!

Going down hill…. in loose gravel… on a road bike!!! What am I doing?!?!?!

Riding along the levy and the Texas/Mexico border wall. Before this ride, I had never seen the wall!!!

Riding along the levy and the Texas/Mexico border wall. Before this ride, I had never seen the wall!!!


mastered my death grip on the handle bars

mastered my death grip on the handle bars

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The fun begins where the pavement ends!!!

The fun begins where the pavement ends!!!

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Our neutral start, heading south to our demise...

Our neutral start, heading south to our demise…

As always, the last to leave...

As always, the last to leave…

On our way - this was the ONLY time we were all together as a group.

On our way – this was the ONLY time we were all together as a group.

My buckle was well earned! :)

My buckle was well earned! 🙂

25 cyclists vie for the 2013 "Hell of the South" buckle at Wally's Bike Shop

25 cyclists vie for the 2013 “Hell of the South” buckle at Wally’s Bike Shop

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